Japanese Language Cheatsheet For Travelers Going to Japan but don't want to really learn Japanese? Use a cheatsheet.

    Tofugu Japanese language cheatsheet preview

    My boss is heading to Japan for a few days next week (lucky!), so I'm helping him with some really last minute language study before he heads out. The goal isn't to teach him any grammar, vocabulary, or anything like that, the goal is to make sure he's able to get by as simply as possible. That's why I made him a one-page cheatsheet, and then sharing it with all of you.

    Tofugu Japanese language cheatsheet

    You can download it by clicking on the image of it up above, but let me offer some explanation on the pdf as well.

    • This document was created for people with little to no Japanese language ability or experience. So, if you know a lot of Japanese then you should probably take a look at some other cheat sheet. It's good if you're traveling to Japan, don't know any Japanese, and want to have the bare minimum to get by.
    • I've included the "Japanese" version of most everything on there. This isn't for the user of the sheet, it's more for people who just can't pronounce anything so that way they can just point to different things and native Japanese speakers will be able to read it.
    • The "fill in the blank" section will probably require a dictionary (I'd recommend getting one on your phone if you can). I've included possible vocab words that you can put in the blanks right on the cheat sheet, but that won't cover every possible situation. With a dictionary you'll have a lot more flexibility.
    • The Japanese language pronunciation guide might be a little confusing, but I couldn't think of a better way to describe it. Most Japanese "letters" consist of both a consonant and a vowel (or just a vowel), and the sound of the vowel is pretty much always the same no matter what consonant is attached to it. Just do your best and point to things on the sheet all confused-kine if you have to. If you want to go more in depth on the pronunciation try learning some hiragana.
    • Of course, I'd recommend you actually go learn some Japanese rather than relying on this cheatsheet if you are planning on going to Japan. It'll make your life a lot easier, and a one-pager won't get you very far. It's one page, and covers only the bare minimum!

    Hope you enjoy it and find it useful. Feel free to share it around, give it to a friend, etc etc. Once again, here's the download link!