What is the Japanese Calendar, and what year is it?

What is the Japanese Calendar, and what year is it?

Did you know that Japan has its own numbering system for the years? As well as the Gregorian calendar (the same calendar used in the west, the one that says it's 2019 now), Japan uses another system which names years after the reign of the emperor.

(The western calendar is commonly used too - and the two systems can be used interchangeably.)

So, what's the date?

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First Annual Step Up Japanese Christmas Party

 First Annual Step Up Japanese Christmas Party

We went to Goemon  arguably the home of Brighton's best ramen - at the end of term for a celebratory bowl of noodles. The inaugural Step Up Japanese Christmas party!

I wanted to introduce my students in different classes to each other, and to celebrate what you've all achieved in 2016.

Oh, and to eat ramen. I love ramen.

I didn't take many photos (oops - too busy having a nice time!) but here they are:

 
↓ (I know it's blurry but I think it catches the mood! Do you know how to say "blurry" in Japanese?)


Not one to miss a "teachable moment", I also wanted to encourage everybody to order in Japanese.

So we practiced in class the week before. Ordering in restaurants is probably one of the most useful things you can learn how to do in another language.

Everyone ordered confidently, the staff were super helpful, and I was (am!) a very proud teacher.


Thanks SO MUCH for all your support over the last year! メリークリスマス! 

Sarada at the Resutoran...Part 2: The Answers


Remember, some loanwords look and sound a bit like English - but they're not!

Last week I gave you some Japanese loanwords to guess the origins of. Did you guess what languages (not English!) these words come from?

Koohii コーヒー coffee -  Portuguese

Zero ゼロ zero - French

Pompu ポンプ pump - Dutch; Flemish

Botan ボタン button - Portuguese

Koppu コップ cup - Dutch; Flemish

Sarada サラダ salad - Portuguese

Kokku コック cook - Dutch; Flemish 
There have actually been Dutch and Portuguese loanwords in Japanese since the 16th and 17th centuries, when both countries established trade with Japan.

So, next time you see a katakana word you don't recognise, don't despair - it might not have originated from a language you speak! ;-)