Category Archives: Aside

Fiction Novel Review: “The Lightkeepers” by Abby Geni (an interesting study in literary style)

Once I got to the point where I could read novels in Japanese, it became difficult for me to budget time for English novels. Although I still read much faster in English and would say I still enjoy it more on average than Japanese books, each Japanese novel I read will improve my vocabulary, (hopefully) my reading speed,… Read More »

A discussion about the origin of Japan’s name (日本, nihon / nippon)

It’s amazing how you can study a foreign language for so long, yet somehow overlook what seem like basic things. The other day I was reading a book about Japan written for elementary school children which talked about Japan’s history and culture. On one of the first few pages, it said that the Japanese call their country… Read More »

Sorry, but (Japanese) translation A.I. is still asleep

Recently someone told me of an article in the New York Times titled “The Great A.I. Awakening”, which talks about how Google Translate has switched over to using an A.I. based system, and the supposed improvements. The beginning of the article talks about Japanese to English translation, and includes several English translations of a passage… Read More »

Dr. “Birigirl” Tsubota’s personality test

The film “Flying Colors” (ビリギャル), released last year (2015), is about a girl who originally has no friends and horrible grades, but works hard and drastically improves her grades. The film is based on a true story, which is captured in the novel “学年ビリのギャルが1年で偏差値を40上げて慶應大学に現役合格した話” (rough translation: “The story of a last-place girl who raises her grades by… Read More »