Monthly Archives: December 2015

Using the non-past in Japanese when giving instructions

Japanese has relatively few verb tenses, at least compared to English, and you can get a lot across just with the past tense (i.e. shita), non-past (i.e. suru), and te-form (i.e. shite), plus their polite forms (shimashita, shimasu, shimashite [this last one is pretty rare though]). However, while this lack of tenses makes less conjugations to memorize,… Read More »

Japanese story translation: Shusaku Endo’s “The man who shared my face”

As part of my training to become a (self taught) Japanese translator, I’ve been doing some unofficial hobby translations from Japanese to English. The first of these was the intro of the most recent Candy Candy novel. For my second translation project, I chose a short story from Endo Shusaku’s “Humorous short story collection” which I reviewed… Read More »

Several ways to say “Never” in Japanese

In Japanese there are a few expressions which are close equivalents to English “never”, and in this post I’ll go over a few. If you want to express the concept of “never” in Japanese, you can keep things simple and just use the negative form of a verb. Literally, this is close to “~will not”.… Read More »

Japanese Grammar Focus: “tomo” (とも)

Due to a request from one of my readers, in this post I’ll be talking about the Japanese expression “to mo” (とも), which has a variety of uses. First, “to mo” can be used to mean the particle “to” along with the particle “mo”. I won’t be going over either of these particles in great… Read More »

Japanese Novel Review: Hibana (火花) by Naoki Matayoshi (又吉直樹)

In our trip to Japan this year, we visited many bookstores throughout the country. I love Japanese bookstores not only because I can see what is popular in literary Japan, but also because it’s fun to read the covers and backs of a bunch of books and figure out what type of book each is.… Read More » – contract translation services: First take

A few weeks back when I had written an article about translation, someone had posted a comment about the site, which is a web-based human translation service. “Gengo” (言語) means “language” in Japanese, and the company is in fact located in Tokyo. The concept of the site is pretty straightforward: Those who need text translated can work… Read More »

Gacco: Online Courses in Japanese

One thing that makes mastering a foreign language tricky is how the vocabulary, grammar, and even pronunciation can change depending on the environment and situation. For example, watching an cartoon targeting children and a comedy show broadcast on TV will be extremely different experiences. For Japanese, assuming you have a good foundation in grammar, if you watch… Read More »

Japanese to English translation: “Candy Candy Final Story” – Prologue

For some time now, I’ve been thinking of getting into Japanese to English translation more seriously. I’ve just finished the novel “Candy Candy Final Story” by Keiko Nagita, and when I discovered there was no official English translation (and no unofficial one I could find), I realized it was the perfect opportunity for me to… Read More »