スクショ: a Japanese loanword you’ll never guess the meaning of

It’s pretty commonly known that Japanese takes many loanwords from other languages, especially English. (I’ve written in detail about this before here) These range from obvious ones like オレンジ (the color ‘orange’), some that are bit tricky like セーター (sweater), and there are even combination words like the famous カラオケ (‘karaoke’ which is a combo… Read More »

Japanese learning mobile app review: Sokuji (即時): Japanese Dictionary Browser

The other day I got an email from Megzari Raphael, the author of the app “Sokuji: Japanese Dictionary Browser” who asked me to check out this app which targets Japanese learners. “Sokuji: Japanese Dictionary Browser” is an iPhone app which tries to serve a single, important purpose: easy, fast lookup of Japanese words while browsing the web. The… Read More »

Japanese fiction translation: “Final Days of Summer” by “Masaki Hashiba” [Story 1 / Part 2]

This is the English translation of the second part of the first story (“Stargazer”) of the series of short stories titled “Final Days of Summer” (残夏)  by Masaki Hashiba (ハシバ柾). I’ve gotten permission from the author to translate and put these on my blog, and he is very excited about his work being translated to English. As always, since… Read More »

Japanese Grammar: Using kara (から) and node (ので) to express a reason in isolation

As I’ve written about before, in Japanese oftentimes words or entire phrases can be omitted, even more so than in English. I’d like to talk about another case where things can be omitted in Japanese, but first I want to give a quick summary of talking about reasons in Japanese. Expressing a reason is pretty straightforward and typically… Read More »

Japanese fiction translation: “Final Days of Summer” by “Masaki Hashiba” [Story 1 / Part 1]

After doing a great deal of searching through a few sites including カクヨム (review) and 小説家になろう (review) I found a great series of short stories called “Final Days of Summer” (残夏)  by Masaki Hashiba (ハシバ柾). While it is still a work in progress, I feel that the stories that have been finished are great enough on their… Read More »

Japanese Site Review: カクヨム (kakuyomu) – a great place for free novels and short stories

Sometime last year I wrote a review of the site “syosetu.com” (小説家になろう) which is a nice place to get your fill of free (and legal) Japanese novels and short stories. Since then, I have been a pretty heavy user of the site, reading portions of a great many stories, and writing emails to handful of authors to get… Read More »

Japanese vocabulary list: Math and number terms

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a Japanese vocabulary list, so I thought I would make one about mathematics and numbers (数学用語). I’ve purposefully left shapes out of this list and may make another list later just focusing on those. (Interesting fact: In the 2015 PISA average scores, Japan scored #5 in math and #2 in… Read More »

Japanese novel translation: “Welcome to the Raindance Cafe” Chapter 5: Lonesome Pop Star (Part 3)

This is Chapter 5 of the novel “Welcome to the Raindance Cafe” by Yama Yamasaki (山崎山). I’ve talked to the author and gotten his permission to translate and put it on my blog. The story’s original table of contents and summary can be seen in Japanese here. You can see the original Chapter 5 in Japanese here. I’ve… Read More »

A discussion about the origin of Japan’s name (日本, nihon / nippon)

It’s amazing how you can study a foreign language for so long, yet somehow overlook what seem like basic things. The other day I was reading a book about Japan written for elementary school children which talked about Japan’s history and culture. On one of the first few pages, it said that the Japanese call their country… Read More »