Monthly Archives: April 2014

Poll Analysis: What would you like to see more of from this blog?

Recently I posted my second poll, “What would you like to see more of from this blog”, and was very delighted to get such a great response, with over 60 people chiming in on their opinions. First let’s took at the most common answers: Grammar constructs and usage, with example sentences [16% 10 votes] Detailed… Read More »

Japanese adjectival clauses

One of the big grammatical differences between Japanese and English is the way adjectival clauses are formed, and getting familiar with this will help you on the road to better understanding of Japanese, and more advanced sentence creation. The basic use of single-word adjectives is the same in Japanese in English, and the reverse in… Read More »

Special Na-adjectives in Japanese which are really not

As most of you studying Japanese probably know, the language has to types of adjectives: Na-adjectives (i.e. 素敵(な))and I-adjectives (i.e. 大きい). Each of these has different rules for conjugation into various forms. There is a few words in Japanese that look like Na-adjectives that derived from a I-adjective. Here is a list of a few… Read More »

Japanese Vocabulary list: computer science and software development terms

At popular request, I’ve decided to make a list for computer science and software development terms. If you know of any ones not listed here that you use frequently please let me know in the comments! Many of these words can be used as both a noun and a verb with する. For details check your… Read More »

Cultural background knowledge and foreign language learning

I’ve mentioned in a few posts how background knowledge on a certain subject will make comprehension, and acquisition of new vocabulary words much easier when reading or listening to foreign language content related to that subject. For example, if you are very familiar with biology and read a Japanese biological journal, you’ll be able to… Read More »

Japanese ふりかけ (furikake) – a nutritious and tasty condiment

There are some aspects of Japanese culture you aren’t likely to come across until you live with a Japanese family – whether that is in Japan or elsewhere. One of those is ふりかけ (furikake), which literally means “sprinkle” and is a Japanese condiment which is commonly sprinkled on top of rice. There are many varieties with… Read More »

The art of パラ読み (parayomi) in a foreign language

パラ読み – a quick perusal of written text – is an important skill that we take for granted with our native language. We can slow down and analyze word by word when trying to grasp content fully, and speed up when we just want to grasp the basic concepts. With a foreign language, the process… Read More »

Japanese suffix ーがる (-garu)

The Japanese suffix ーがる is one of those things you aren’t too likely to learn about in a beginner Japanese course. You may have seen it in a advanced textbook if at all. I understand the reason for not introducing this expression until a student has more experience with the language’s fundamentals. After all you… Read More »

A Phenomenology of Shadows (影の表現学)by Kawai Hayao(河合隼雄)

In many ways studying a foreign language is like an adventure – besides the many new words and phrases one encounters, there is the content itself which usually comes from a foreign culture. So you never know what to expect, except that your experience will be different than things written or spoken in your native… Read More »