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.
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.
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!
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.)…
Last fall, I purchased an iPhone 3GS through Japan’s official distributor for the device, Softbank, along with a two-year phone contract. But since my credit card is based in the US, iTunes kindly directed me to the US store for all my purchases. I was excited to download Pandora (which I had heard many great […]
Japanese particles are both a blessing and a curse. They make Japanese grammar simple and direct, almost like a computer language. They always follow the rules because they are the rules. Particles tell us “this word does this” and “this word does this.” However, these little suffixes can cause tremendous headaches for us English-speaking learners because they group meanings together quite differently than our English equivalents (prepositions), or in some cases have no equivalent at all.
Of the lot, wa (は) and ga (が) are almost undoubtedly the most annoying pair of particles to keep straight. They’re probably the most frequently used particles in the language, so you need to learn them early (note: you won’t master them early), but it’s very difficult to find a decent explanation for them even in big bulky text books. And if you want to make your Japanese teacher sweat, just ask them to explain the difference.
I’ve devoted a lot of introspective soul-searching time to thinking about these two little guys, and in this article, I’m going to do my best to shed some new, meaningful light on the difference between は and が.