Category Archives: Japanese Study: Advanced

A great Japanese word: 脱サラ (dassara) –– getting away from The Grind

I’m sure many people are working full time for a company that they don’t own any part of, getting paid on a periodic rate based on a set contract. And I’m also willing to bet that a good portion of those people wish they could go independent and become their own boss, choosing what and… Read More »

Japanese educational site review: ReadNihon (“Learn Japanese By Reading It”)

Recently the creator of the new website ReadNihon, designed to help you learn grammar and vocabulary by reading Japanese text, contacted me and requested I check out his site and write a review, and I agreed. Having created my own set of web tools to assist with learning Japanese (Language on Track, still in beta),… Read More »

Japanese Writing Lab #6: Where you live

This is the 6th assignment of a program I am running to help myself and others practice writing in Japanese. For details, see this post. Also see this post for a list of all assignments. [Update: I have fixed the link here, apologizes for the trouble.] This time the topic will be “僕の住む場所” (boku no sumu basho), which means “Where I… Read More »

Shinichi Tohei (藤平信一), current head of Ai Aikido (心身統一合氣道), appears on a Japanese educational program

Last year I posted about my training in the Japanese martial art of Aikido (合気道, or sometimes written as 合氣道). There are many styles of Aikido which have many things in common and yet diverge in areas that can be both critical and subtle; for this same reason it can be counterproductive to try and learn… Read More »

A tale of particles: “ni” (に) vs “wo” (を), the verb “kizuku” (気づく), and a bus full of moles

Particles––small words that have big grammatical meaning––are one of the challenges to real mastery of Japanese. The particles “wo” (を) and “ni”(に) generally have fairly defined roles. “wo” is used when something is the direct object of an action (ex: りんごを食べる / eat an apple) whereas “ni” is used for the direction of an action… Read More »

Japanese word “sonna” (そんな) and related expressions [sonna koto nai (そんな事ない), etc.]

In this article I’d like to talk about the Japanese word “sonna” (そんな) and a few related expressions. The word “sonna” is a close equivalent to the expression “sono you na”, which in English translates literally to “like that”. However, we will have to look a little deeper into this word in order to understand how… Read More »

Japanese book review: “文藝年鑑” (Literature Yearbook) [an important guide for acquiring rights to publish Japanese works]

In the process of researching how to obtain official legal permission to translate and publish certain Japanese authors, I discovered the book “文藝年鑑” (bungei nenkan), which can be translated as “Literature Yearbook”. In this post I’d like to review this important reference guide, especially useful to translators and those deeply interested in Japanese literature. (By… Read More »

Japanese loanword spotlight: 「ナーバス」(naabasu) [It doesn’t always mean “nervous”]

Loanwords from other countries, called gairaigo (外来語), make up a significant part of the Japanese language, and learning their nuances is a key part of being truly fluent in Japanese. Many of these words, for example seetaa(セーター, meaning “sweater”), are used in a way that is very similar to their original language. However, some loan words have… Read More »

Japanese web novel translation: “Japan: A New Age” by Tasogarenin (黄昏人) [Chapter 8: Construction Begins]

This is my translation of the 8th chapter of a Science Fiction novel about a boy genius who helps develop groundbreaking technologies that change Japan’s society drastically, eventually resulting in the colonization of outer space. I had taken a break from translating this series, but due to popular demand I have decided to translate this chapter… Read More »