Let’s be honest, learning a language is tough. While some learners go on to be highly proficient speakers, living and working in their second language, a large number (probably a majority) either give up half way or struggle to progress beyond the intermediate level.
Fortunately, whether or not a person will become an advanced-level bilingual doesn’t seem to have any relation to their IQ or age…
Shorthand kanji forms (called 略字:ryakuji in Japanese) are something you’re unlikely to come across in your Japanese studies (since they’re technically incorrect), and thanks to the everything-becoming-digital age are less useful than they once were.
This blog topic will take on one of the more neglected topics of Japanese language. And by “neglected”, I don’t mean that it is not covered in text books, what I mean is that the coverage given in textbooks tends to lack structure and be inadequate for advanced learning.
As any learner knows, kanji are an inescapable and daunting aspect of learning Japanese. There’s more than 2000 of the little devils and each one has multiple pronunciations, multiple meanings, and a predefined stroke order. That’s a lot to learn, so it’s understandable that most teachers and books avoid…
Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, but not without its share of problems. Mostly, these problems amount to stolen bicycles and umbrellas (I had my own bicycle stolen last fall). Recently I played through 龍が如く３ (English title: Yakuza 3) on Playstation 3, so I had a chance to polish my crime vocabulary a little bit. Here’s a list of crime-related words which may or may not have been found in the game.
One of the joys of learning Japanese is seeing that shocked and dumbfounded look on native speakers’ faces when you fire off a difficult word or phrase that even they probably wouldn’t have come up with. You get to smile snobbishly and think to yourself: Ha! you didn’t see THAT coming, did you!?