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…
After a hiatus spanning almost a year and a half, I’m back in 2012 and my first article is about the board game of Go…. which coincidentally was also the primary reason for my absence. (^^;) I first learned of the game at a small cafe in the outskirts of Nagoya. Like many small cafes […]
Have you ever wondered how Japan fits their roughly 78 million vehicles into a habitable area roughly the size of Maine? Well, it takes just the right mix of creativity and precision (it also helps that most of the cars are really tiny). In this post I introduce a few of the methods Japanese people have come up with for getting the most out of their limited parking space.
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!?
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.
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…
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.
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 […]
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.