Monthly Archives: May 2014

Colors in Japanese – noun form and adjective form

Color words in Japanese exist in two different forms: i-adjectives and nouns. Some of them are present in only one form (usually the noun form), but many are present in both. I’ll present a list of basic colors along with the different forms that color exists as, with the i-adjective form first (if present). Red:… Read More »

The long road to fluent reading ability in Japanese and some pointers to help on the way

The other day I heard from someone that they were having difficulty learning to read Japanese, such that they had to re-read passages several times over to fully grasp the meaning, and generally had trouble thinking in Japanese when reading. This is a difficult problem indeed, one I have faced for many years myself. I have… Read More »

Japanese phrase ender し (shi)

It’s time for one of those posts which I rarely do – one where I focus on a single word. This time not only is it a single word, but a single character and single sound. “し” can mean everything from poetry (詩) to death (死), but in this case I’m referring to neither. Rather… Read More »

Learning foreign languages and humility

Succeeding in learning a foreign language, especially one very different from your native tongue, requires many traits: a good memory, time management, the ability to experiment and learn to pronounce foreign sounds, listening skills, and an analytical ability to comprehend and use various grammatical constructions. But there is one critical trait that is often overlooked… Read More »

Book Review: The other side of the swing (ブランコの向こうで) by Hoshi Shin’ichi (星新一)

This book is one of the few I picked up in the used Japanese book section of a Japanese market in South Florida, along with this one which I reviewed the other day. My wife had shown it to me and said I might enjoy it, so I picked it up and looked it over.… Read More »

余裕(yoyuu): a unique and useful Japanese word

余裕(yoyuu) is a great word to learn in Japanese because it has no direct translation to a word in English with the same nuance, and also because you’re likely to hear in in daily life once in awhile. Generally speaking, 余裕 represents some sort of resource, and oftentimes it is used in the negative sense to… Read More »