Often, questions written in Japanese end in a full stop, not a question mark. But why?Read More
A blog about learning and teaching Japanese, walking Japan, and sometimes about kit-kats.
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Shortly after I started studying Japanese at university, I got an email from a friend in Sweden:
“How’s it going? Learned any more ‘Japanese words’ like camera and video?”
I’d copy-pasted her some of the "new words" from my textbook. There was a list of them - words like kamera (camera) and rajio (radio)…
I felt like I was cheating. These aren’t Japanese words!
Or are they?Read More
Counting 1-10 should be easy, right?
“Ichi, ni, san, yon... (or is it shi?), go, roku, nana (or shichi), hachi, kyuu (but sometimes ku)...”
Oh, yeah...Japanese has multiple words for the same number! Seven can be either "nana" or "shichi", for example.
So how do you know which word to use?
Sometimes, either is fine – like when you count 1-10, for example. But sometimes, only one word will do.
Let's take a look at some of those special cases.Read More
The “strange” meals were “quite unlike any food I’ve ever tasted”, wrote one visitor to the Sekishoin Shukubo temple in Mount Kōya, eliciting the blunt reply from one monk:
“Yeah, it’s Japanese monastic cuisine you uneducated fuck.”
Guests online also complained about…Read More
Lots of you probably use flashcards already. Why not use really, really clever ones?
Imagine you're studying Japanese vocabulary with a set of flashcards. You go through the cards one by one, putting them into a "pass" pile if you remembered them, and a "fail" pile if you didn't.
When you finish, you work through the "fail" pile again. You get about half of them right.
The next day, you go through all the cards again. It takes ages, and it's boring - you did all these yesterday.Read More
Do you take your smartphone with you wherever you go? If the answer’s “yes”, congratulations! You have a powerful language-learning tool in your pocket at all times.
Supplementing what you're learning in class with apps and games is fun, easy, and cheap. But with so many applications out there, here do you know where to start?
So in no particular order, here are five and a half brilliant apps to get you started on the magical quest that is learning Japanese.Read More