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Conversational Japanese

Whether you want to learn conversational Japanese for travel or just for fun, you'll find this course makes it easy and enjoyable for beginners to master the essentials of the Japanese language. Guided by a native Japanese instructor, you'll also gain cultural knowledge only an insider has.

Throughout this six-week course, you'll learn useful conversational phrases and vocabulary words particular to a specific area of travel. You'll practice these in drills, interactive exercises, and dialogues. In each lesson, you'll find helpful audio aids and Japanese words written in the English alphabet. This technique will allow you to bypass one of the biggest obstacles for most beginners of Japanese: the letter system. By the end of this course, you'll have acquired basic conversational skills that enable you to travel around the country easily, and you'll have discovered the heart of Japan!

6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
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Starting March 13 | April 17

Conversational Japanese


Details + Objectives

Course Code: jpn

What You Will Learn
  • Master the essentials of the Japanese language
  • Practice drills, interactive exercises, and dialogues that will help you in specific areas of Japanese travel
  • Discover how to learn conversational Japanese while bypassing the letter system - one of the biggest obstacles for most beginners
  • Gain important insider knowledge of Japanese culture, customs, and traditions that will help you make the most of your new language skills
How the course is taught
  • Instructor-led course
  • 6 weeks in duration
  • Courses begin each month
  • 2 lessons released each week
  • 24 course hours
How you will benefit
  • Get the most out of your travel experience by learning the language and customs that will help you make lasting memories
  • Gain confidence in your ability to use conversational Japanese so you can connect and relate to others on your trip
  • Discover the real heart of Japan through the language and cultural knowledge you acquire


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Week 1

Get know the graceful sounds of Japanese letters and syllables. You will explore Japanese through Roomaji, a handy system that uses the English alphabet. Then, discover how to use Japanese greetings and introductions, and understand the traditions and customs that go along with them.

Week 2

Learn all about Japanese respect and humility, as well as how to address others politely in conversation. You will also discover how to ask and answer simple questions. Then, learn how to speak about your nationality and occupation so you can talk a little about yourself as well as ask about others.

Week 3

Learn how to order coffee and take a relaxing break in Tokyo. You'll also learn one of the single most useful expressions - onegaishimasu - which you'll use to politely ask for nearly anything you need. Then, learn the yen's value and how to say large numbers up to 100,000 yen. You will also learn some must-use phrases for shopping.

Week 4

Learn the right language for navigating your own way around the city. You will identify some words for places that you'll likely want to find during your own travels, like the ATM machine, the train station, the restroom, and more! Then, learn about Japanese diet and food etiquette.

Week 5

Become acquainted with the different types of hotels in Japan, —including traditional Japanese-style inns and more Western-style hotels. You will learn how to say months and dates in Japanese for making a hotel reservation. Then, examine Japan's railway system and some useful train-related travel expressions. You'll also learn how to tell time so you won't miss your train!

Week 6

Learn how to ask about inn amenities. You will get to know all about Japan's national affinities for bathing and karaoke - all part of relaxing Japanese-style. Finally, learn how to prepare for any unexpected situations while traveling in Japan. You'll see how to ask for help and handle medical emergencies.

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Instructors & Support

Ririko Hayashi

Ririko Hayashi has successfully taught people of all ages for over 30 years. Born in Tokyo, Japan, Ririko received her Bachelor's degree in Japan and then moved to the United States, where she obtained her Master's degree. Her professional experience includes working as a Japanese-English interpreter in several fields, including business, law, and education. She teaches Japanese to private students and is a longtime music teacher at the college level.


Prerequisites / Requirements


There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements: 

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.

Software Requirements: 

  • PC: Windows XP or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
Instructional Materials

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.


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When can I get started?

A new session of each course opens each month, allowing you to enroll whenever your busy schedule permits.

How does it work?

Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the six-week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends.

How long do I have to complete each lesson?

The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you’re encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release.

What if I need an extension?

The final exam will be released on the same day as the last lesson. Once the final exam has been released, you will have two weeks plus 10 days (24 days total) to complete the final and finish any remaining lessons in your course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.

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