Jul
04
2010

Japanese vocabulary: crime words

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.

Japanese vocabulary: crime words
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May
23
2010

7 polite phrases foreigners aren’t supposed to know

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!?

7 polite phrases foreigners aren’t supposed to know
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Apr
17
2010

Kangoku izakaya: a dinner in prison

Have you been a bad boy or bad girl lately? Well, maybe you should turn yourself in for your heinous crimes at a kangoku izakaya.

Kangoku (監獄) means prison, and izakaya (居酒屋) is a Japanese style drinking restaurant.  So a kangoku izakaya is a Japanese restaurant/bar that has been styled to look like a prison! And if the thought of vicious felons and dirty prison cells doesn’t whet your appetite, I don’t know what will.

Kangoku izakaya: a dinner in prison
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Apr
17
2010

Nihonshock’s new vocab section

Following on yesterday’s graphical tweak of the site, I’ve added a new feature: Vocabulary.

These are basically short posts (just a paragraph or so) about a specific Japanese word that I thought was either interesting or worth talking about. The words included will (for the most part) be…

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Apr
03
2010

iPhone tip: add Japanese words to the dictionary

While I love my iPhone with a passion, I have to admit that the Apple team could have put a little more thought into what features would be needed in Asia. One of the major shortcomings of the iPhone for users in Japan (and I would guess other Asian countries as well) is that your input dictionary doesn’t learn.

iPhone-chan (or as I call my iPhone: ai-chan) tries to detect words contextually (I think…), but any non-standard character usages you manage to get into the system are quickly forgotten.

Fortunately, there’s a workaround. And don’t worry, you don’t need to jailbreak your phone to get it to work.

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Apr
01
2010

12 Japanese IME Tips

If you’re serious about learning Japanese, I’m sure you will eventually either want to or need to be able to type in Japanese on your computer. Typing in Japanese is done with software called an IME (Input Method Editor), which allows you to type Japanese phonetically (romaji) and have the your typing automatically converted to […]

12 Japanese IME Tips
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Mar
03
2010

Japanese Proverbs: February 2010

It’s that time of month again! Here are all the proverbs I tweeted throughout February, along with readings, translations, explanations and other interesting notes. Enjoy! Follow me on twitter to keep up with the new ones. March might be the last month I do proverbs before switching to something else.

Japanese Proverbs: February 2010
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Feb
24
2010

Puratto Kodama: Cheap Shinkansen Tickets

If you’re following me on Twitter, you’ll know that I recently went to Tokyo for the weekend. Living in Nagoya, I frequently get hit with the urge to get out and do something new, but one of the biggest blocks to doing so is the cost of travel. Trains are either slow (local), or expensive (shinkansen), and busses are slow and uncomfortable.

But recently I came across a very interesting deal the JR Tokai Tours offers: ぷらっとこだま (Puratto Kodama). I’m not the first to blog about this discounted ticket program, but it really is a great offer and deserves repeating, and I’ll also elaborate on things a little, since I actually tried out the program myself.

Puratto Kodama: Cheap Shinkansen Tickets
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Feb
17
2010

Japanese words for age

You may already know that Japan has the world’s longest life expectancy. But did you know that Japanese are also the most well prepared for their longevity with a vast array of special words for different ages? Although many (umm, almost all?) of these words are not commonly used, they’re still fun to know. And you never know what’s going to come up on a Japanese game show or in your izakaya parties. Here’s the list!

Japanese words for age
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Feb
12
2010

4 Major Japanese pizza chains compared

Oh the hardships, the ordeals I endure for the sake of this blog. But someone had to do it, someone had to stomach 5 whole pizzas in the course of researching a completely legitimate, informative blog post.

(Translation: Lloyd used his blog as an excuse to order delivery pizza 5 times in one month.)…

4 Major Japanese pizza chains compared
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