Japanese

The Difference between 習う and 学ぶ

習う and 学ぶ

The Difference between 習う and 学ぶ

The dictionary says that “learn” is 習う(nara-u) or 学ぶ(mana-bu) in Japanese. But they are not same. Please check the big different!



習う and 学ぶ

When you look up the word “learn” on the dictionary, you will find the Japanese translations, 習う(nara-u) or 学ぶ(mana-bu). They are correct. But Do you know the difference?




The Difference between 習う and 学ぶ

Here is the explanation of these words.

  • 習う・・・It is “learn something from someone”. You need to have a teacher.
  • 学ぶ・・・It is “learn something by yourself,or from something/someone”

When you use 習う, you imply the existence of teacher or coach. You cannot use “習う” if you learn or study something by yourself.
For example, 「私は日本語を習っています。」. The speaker goes to the English class, and he/she has the teacher.
On the other hand, 学ぶ can be used as a personal action. For example, 「私は日本語を学んでいます。」 The listener cannot know if the speaker has the teacher or not. If you want to know, ask him/her!


【The example sentence of 習う】

  • 彼はAmi先生から日本語を習っています。(He learns Japanese from Ami-sensei)
  • トムは空手を習っています。(Tom learns Karate.)
  • 子供の頃、水泳を習っていました。(When I was younger, I learned swimming.)


【The example sentence of 学ぶ】

  • 私はフランス語を学んでいます。(I learn French./I am learning French.)
  • トムは本で野菜の育てかたを学んだ。(Tom learned how to grow vegetables by the books.)
  • 学校で学んだことは将来役に立つ。(What you learned at school is helpful in the future.)




Wrap up of 習う and 学ぶ

Even great Japanese learners do not know the big difference, so I wanted to write this entry! I hope you understood it well! They are very similar but apparently difference. I hope I could help you! Keep up the good work!


Taka, Aquarium manager

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