Monthly Archives: November 2015

Text-to-speech: a useful tool for the foreign language self-studier

Thanks to the Internet, a person studying a foreign language without a formal study program can look up answers to the many questions they will surely have along the way. One place where your typical internet searching doesn’t work too well is matters of pronunciation, since it’s hard to convey sounds using just text. There… Read More »

An interesting use of “wakaranai” (分からない)

In a Japanese novel I am reading I recently came across the following phrase where 分からない was used in a strange way that caught me off guard. The dialog went something like this: 探したんだけど、わからない。[Sagashita n da kedo, wakaranai] The context here the person speaking was searching for a friend who had been lost in the forest.… Read More »

The real origin of “arigatou” (ありがとう), Japanese for “Thank you”.

I have an interest in learning the origins of various Japanese words, which is funny since I couldn’t care less for the origins of words in my native language, English. I don’t think it’s for the sake of history, since memorizing arbitrary facts puts me to sleep, and it’s not for utility since the origin… Read More »