People LOVE to say that Japanese is difficult. Like all languages it has its challenges - but it also has some key things that make it easy peasy…Read More
A blog about learning and teaching Japanese, walking Japan, and sometimes about kit-kats.
Search this blog:
By the entrance to the conference room, there was a flip chart with a message: “Please sign in here, and then go through the door and say good morning to the room”.
“OHAYO GOZAIMAAASU!” I yelled. (GOOD MORNING!)
We had practiced this yesterday. “In Japanese workplaces,” they told us, “you must greet the room enthusiastically when entering.”
As I took my seat, I noticed that some trainees had been given a piece of card by staff as they entered.Read More
Earlier this year, I was telling a friend about the various monthly challenges I set myself to practise Japanese.
“What are you going to do in July?”
“I might try writing every day, like a diary or something? Or I might watch Japanese TV every day…”
“Fran, watching TV every day doesn't really sound like a challenge.”
“…or I might play video games every day.”
“That definitely doesn't sound like a ‘challenge’ to me.”
“…all the more reason to do it, right?”
Who says challenges have to be challenging? I played Japanese video games for about 20 minutes a day for a month. Here’s what I learned: six reasons to play video games in a foreign language.Read More
Every new year for about four years in a row, I have resolved to “read more”.
…and every year on about January 8th, I realise I have forgotten, and give up.
Have you heard of the S.M.A.R.T. acronym for setting “good goals"? SMART goals are objectives that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.
Looking at the SMART criteria, it’s fairy obvious that “read more” is not a good goal…Read More
“I can read it and understand it, but I can’t speak like that!”
…Does this sound familiar?
Almost all language learners feel that their production (speaking and writing) is not as strong as their comprehension (listening and reading). This is normal, but it’s still frustrating.
One method that is supposed to improve your listening and speaking is shadowing.
I’d heard of shadowing before, and I’d seen Japanese language learning resources devoted to it – but I’ve never tried it. I decided to try this every day for a month, and see what impact it had.Read More
イギリスのボランティア・ウィーク(Volunteers’ Week)をご存知ですか。Read More
It’s both. And it’s neither.
Beginner students often ask whether “shinbun” or “shimbun” (the word for “newspaper” in Japanese) is correct.
You’ll see both spellings...and books about the Japanese language don’t seem to be able to agree either.
If you look at the two most popular Japanese beginner textbooks, Genki has “shinbun”, whereas Japanese for Busy People has “shimbun” and also “kombanwa”.
But why?Read More