Meetup this Saturday at Kale for The Portland Japanese Language Exchange (ポートランド日本語交換会)

When we lived in Florida, I had attended a Meetup for those studying Japanese. While it was fun, I wasn’t motivated enough to go back a second time. However, having recently moved to Meetup now I have the opportunity of attending Portland’s own version of that, which seems somewhat active with over 200 people registered.… Read More »

Japanese Writing Lab #4: Hobbies

This is the 4nd assignment of a program I am running to help myself and others improve Japanese writing skill. For details, see this post. Also see this post for a list of all assignments. This time the topic will be “趣味”, which is “hobby” or “hobbies”. Feel free to write about a single hobby you enjoy, or more than… Read More »

Spoiling and being spoiled in Japanese: 甘やかす (amayakasu) and 甘える (amaeru)

甘やかす (amayakasu) and 甘える (amaeru) are two words I use somewhat frequently in daily life which are little tricky to express in English. As a hint to their meaning, it’s good to notice that both of these words contain the Kanji “甘” which is the same one as used in the word for “sweet” (甘い, “amai”). Let’s… Read More »

Japanese Novel Translation: 『そして、星の輝く夜がくる』(And thus, the starry night fell upon them) by 真山仁 (Mayama Jin) [First chapter]

Recently, I reviewed Jin Mayama’s book “そして、星の輝く夜がくる” which I thoroughly enjoyed and consider it one of the best Japanese novels I’ve read. As I’m always looking to improve my translation skills, especially for novels, I decided on translating just a few pages of it. In short, the novel is about a teacher who volunteers to help… Read More »

Japanese Writing Lab #3: How do you study Japanese?

This is the 3nd assignment for a program I have started in order to help myself and others improve their writing in Japanese. For details about the program, see this post. Also see this post for a list of all assignments. For the first few topics I am keeping to things which are pretty easy to write about, so… Read More »

A response to a reader’s comment about Gengo, quality, and rates for translation

Recently I received a long, interesting comment from scalesoflibra, a reader and fellow blogger on one of my posts about the translation service Gengo. You can see that person’s full comment on the previous link, but I’ll give a brief summary of it here: Gengo charges around 5 cents for a standard level translation job, which means that… Read More »

The “〜くある” (~ku aru) form for Japanese adjectives

Recently I saw a post on Japanese Language Stack Exchange about the 〜くある  (~ku aru) form of adjectives (ex: 美しくある), and there was no good answer so I did some research. By the time I was ready to post, the question had been deleted, so will make a make a post here with my findings. To review, let’s… Read More »

問題 (mondai): a very problematic word in Japanese

In this post I’d like to talk about the Japanese word 問題 (mondai), a very useful word which has several meanings. The first meaning, possibly the most common, is “problem” in the sense of something that is not going according to plan. A: 大丈夫ですか?             [Is everything OK?] B: ええ、問題ないです。… Read More »

Japanese Writing Lab #2: Why did you start studying Japanese?

This is the 2nd assignment for a program I have started in order to help myself and others improve their writing in Japanese. For details about the program, see this post. Also see this post for a list of all assignments. The topic of this writing assignment is to discuss why you started learning Japanese.… Read More »