A simple explanation of the particles wa (は) vs ga (が)and the surprising equation “1+1=2”

I’ve dedicated a great deal of my time to having a good understanding of Japanese grammar, and proper usage of the particles “wa” and “ga” is one of the tricker areas. I’ve written some posts on this topic, and you can find many others if you google around. I am not going to go into a… Read More »

Japanese Translation Contest Announced: Promising Translators 2018

I’m very happy to announce Self Taught Japanese’s first ever Japanese Translation Contest: Promising Translators 2018 After seeing so many people spending so much hard work doing translations of Japanese stories on their hobby time, often with little (if any) compensation, I thought of running an event that would help discover some of the amateur… Read More »

Self Taught Japanese’s first voice interview (with John Sensei of Manga Sensei)

The other day, John Sensei of Manga Sensei contacted me and invited me to do an interview for his podcast. At first I hesitated, feeling a little nervous since this was the first time I would be giving a voice interview, not to mention that part of it would be in Japanese. But in the… Read More »

The mysterious case of the double wo (を) particle

Japanese particles can be tricky because of their many usages and combinations. For example 「で」 can be seen with other particles in the two-particle pair 「では」or 「での」 or even in the 4-particle combination 「ならではの」. On the other hand, the 「を」 particle (written as ‘wo’ or just ‘o’), is one of the most straightforward to learn.… Read More »

The making of the English translation of “Eighteen O’Clock Music Bath”

Recently I published my second eBook (Volume 2 of the “Science: Hopes & Fears” series) which contains my translation of the classic dystopian tale “Eighteen O’Clock Music Bath” (original title: 「十八時の音楽浴」)by Juza Unno (海野十三), who is acknowledged as a founding figure of Japanese science fiction. Just like I did for the my previous book (Volume 1 of… Read More »

Japanese Novel Review: “Boy of Civilization” (文明の子) by Hikari Ota (太田 光)

I’ll be the first to admit that the novel “Boy of Civilization” was a hyoushigai (表紙買い) for me, which basically means I bought it after being attracted by the cover. Not only was it beautiful on its own, but it also reminded me of the cover of “Lagos on a Journey” (旅のラゴス) by Yasutaka Tsutsui.… Read More »

Japanse novel translation excerpt: “Little Bird”(ことり) by Yoko Ogawa (小川洋子)

Last year I reviewed Yoko Ogawa’s wonderful novel “Little Bird” and at the time I was even considering translating a small portion of the book for translation practice, and to give English-speaking readers a taste for the style of the book. But I got busy with other articles and translation projects, and never got around… Read More »