Monthly Archives: September 2014

Using a summaries in your foreign language study to increase retention and understanding

In a previous blog post I discussed how the element of necessity makes the brain more active in the learning process, increasing retention and understanding of foreign language. One little trick I discovered is that if you are planning on giving a summary to someone about some media you are consuming (article, podcast, movie, etc.)… Read More »

Japanese Anime Movie Review: Wolf Children (おおかみこどもの雨と雪)

Although Japanese anime was the first thing that got me really interested in Japanese culture, the more I studied Japanese the more I learned to appreciate other media such as Japanese novels, dramas, and (live action) movies. Having said that, once in awhile I still get in the mood to enjoy some high-quality anime from Japan,… Read More »

Guessing a difficult Japanese word from it’s Kanji: 表面張力

I recently heard the word 表面張力 (pronounced “hyoumen chouryoku”) on a science-related podcast and at first I was completely clueless but after hearing an example usage or two I managed to guess the meaning. I’ve mentioned this in another post or two, but one of the great things about Japanese is that you can guess word… Read More »

Japanese culture highlight: 挨拶 (aisatsu)

Having spent no more than a few weeks in Japan in my lifetime, I usually hesitate to speak too much about Japanese culture because I have so much to learn and so little to teach. However, the topic I have selected this time – 挨拶 – is something I feel I have enough experience with… Read More »

More foreign language tracking: vocabulary words

When creating my language learning website Language on Track, I wanted to add some other features in addition to goal tracking to really make it a nice set of tools to help study foreign languages. The one part of LOT that I likely spent the most time on and am the most proud of is… Read More »

“otagai” and “otagaisama” in Japanese

お互い (“otagai”) is a Japanese word which is a little tricky to translate into English directly, but roughly means something along the lines of “each other’s”, “one other’s” or “mutual”. A common expression which uses this phrase is the following: お互い頑張りましょう Let’s each try our best Notice that this is a little different than “一緒に (issho… Read More »

バトンタッチ (“Baton Touch”) in Japanese

This expression is an interesting one, which I’ve seen used in a unique way in both real life and in a Japanese movie. The original meaning is pretty easy to guess – it’s the term for when passing a baton on in a relay race from one runner to the next. However the meaning has… Read More »