Jun
16
2014

Advanced Japanese Colors

Like any language, Japanese possesses a myriad of vivid descriptive terms for color. This article will introduce some interesting differences and quirks about color in the Japanese language, and also offer a selection of beautiful Japanese color names so that learners can expand their vocabulary palette beyond simple (and vague) descriptors such as red, green and blue.

Advanced Japanese Colors
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Sep
05
2013

The Bases of Japanese Verbs

Japanese has very long verb phrases. Things attach to verbs in various ways to produce phrases like 急がなければならない. Just to think, it can be way longer than this. This chain can easily go past six things in succession.

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Apr
28
2013

Japanese Onomatopoeia

Onomatopoeia. That’s a big scary term with a much less daunting meaning: any word that mimics a sound. In English, onomatopoeia consists of words like “boom”, “pop”, and “cock-a-doodle-do”.

Of course, Japanese also has onomatopoeia (which they call 擬態語 : ぎたいご). They have LOTS of it…

Japanese Onomatopoeia
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Dec
08
2012

36 Cool and Obscure Words (WOTD Roundup)

For the last month or so, (almost) every day, I’ve been posting a #Japanese #WOTD on Twitter. Since information on twitter is quickly buried, I’ll leave a record here for the sake of data permanence…

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Dec
01
2012

Reading Practice: the Dead Parrot Sketch in Japanese

Month Python’s dead parrot sketch. It’s deservingly one of the most famous sketches in all comedy, in which John Cleese (Mr. Praline) attempts to return a dead parrot to a stubborn pet shop owner…

Reading Practice: the Dead Parrot Sketch in Japanese
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Oct
20
2012

Numbers and Time Cheat Sheet (PDF)

For those of you who missed it because you aren’t connected with Nihonshock on either Twitter or Facebook (shame on you!), I just released a digital version of one of the most popular sheets in the full Cheat Sheet Pack!

Numbers and Time Cheat Sheet (PDF)
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Oct
02
2012

5 Traits of a Successful Japanese Learner

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…

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Aug
11
2012

Shorthand Kanji Forms

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.

Shorthand Kanji Forms
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Jun
01
2012

Japanese Cheat Sheet Pack

At last, the time has come to unveil what I’ve spent the last several months working on: a pack of Japanese cheat sheets for intermediate to advanced Japanese learners.

Japanese Cheat Sheet Pack
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Apr
16
2012

How to use Japanese Counters

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.

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