Monthly Archives: July 2015

Expressing state in Japanese with “ni aru” and “ni natte iru”

In Japanese, the expressions “にある” (ni aru) and “になっている” (ni natte iru) are used to express the state of something. “にある” is often used with words like 状態 (joutai, “state”), 状況 (joukyou, “state”) or 傾向 (keikou, “trend). Take this example sentence: 体は睡眠状態にある。 The body is in a state of sleep. Here you can think of this… Read More »

“Fushigi”, a decidedly mysterious Japanese word

The word “fushigi” in Japanese, written in Kanji as 不思議, has several related meanings including “strange”, “miraculous”, and “odd”. It can be used as both a noun or a na-adjective. I always like to look at words’ definitions in Japanese to try and get closer to the root meaning. Here is the word’s first definition in… Read More »

Book Review: “Japan Journeys: Famous Woodblock Prints of Cultural Sights in Japan”

A few weeks ago I entered in a contest on Haiku Girl’s blog and was lucky enough to win “Japan Journeys: Famous Woodblock Prints of Cultural Sights in Japan”, by Andreas Marks (published by Tuttle Publishing who coordinated with Haiku Girl to run this contest). This book contains around 200 Japanese woodblocks of famous scenic areas… Read More »

Searching out opportunities to think in a foreign language

Sometime ago I wrote a post on thinking in a foreign language, which to me is one of the milestones of true fluency. Near the end of that article I briefly mentioned how I sometimes “pre-cache” Japanese phrases in my head before speaking, though I downplayed it at the time, and felt it was more… Read More »

Japanese site review: Naver Matome (まとめ)

In the age of the internet, studying any major world language should be much easier than it was several decades ago, when technology wasn’t nearly as advanced. We now have access to hundreds of free dictionaries online, sites how to learn our language of choice, and of course web sites written by natives for natives.… Read More »

LUSH FUN: multipurpose soap bar that donates to Fukushima

Although it has been over 4 years since the Fukushima Diaster in Japan, from what I have heard there are still many thousands of people who have not been able to return to their original houses, or are otherwise struggling because of the aftereffects of this terrible tragedy. Within the first few months after this… Read More »