Category Archives: Japanese Study: Advanced

Japanese book review: 「脳が若返る!大人の古典・名文暗唱ドリル」(“Revive your brain! Recitation drills of classic literature”) by 篠原菊紀 (Kikunori Shinohara)

Generally, I try to focus on fiction works in both my reading and translation of Japanese. It’s not that I don’t enjoy non-fiction, it’s just that I have limited time and fiction is usually more relaxing and interesting for me. However, I recently had an opportunity to read through the book 「脳が若返る!大人の古典・名文暗唱ドリル」 compiled by 篠原菊紀 (Kikunori… Read More »

Japanese Word Highlight: 超訳 (chouyaku), the “extreme translation”

Recently when I was reading a book with explanations of old Japanese (for example a Matsuo Bashō poem from over 300 years ago), I came across the word 超訳 (pronounced ‘chouyaku’). I had never seen this word before, despite having prepared this vocabulary list which included a few terms about translation. While the word was not… Read More »

Japanese Vocabulary List: Card and board games

This list is about words related to board (Catan, etc.) or card games (poker, etc.). I hope you find  these useful! If you are interested in Chess specifically, I have a vocabulary list for that here. ルール (ruuru): rule / rules 解説 (kaisetsu): explanation 初心者 (shoshinsha): beginner ボードゲーム (boodo geemu): board game 遊ぶ (asobu): to… Read More »

Bilingual book of classic Japanese fairy tales released (Mimei Ogawa: The Father of Modern Japanese Fairy Tales)

After doing translations of Japanese fiction for over two years now, I’ve gradually moved from the stage of just putting translations on my blog informally to releasing them in E-book form on Amazon. My first two books were translations of a classic SF Japanese author (Juza Unno), and while that was a great experience, for… Read More »

The correct way to describe a negative state using そう (sou): “なさそう” vs. “なそう” (nasasou vs. nasou)

Sometimes in languages there are grammatical rules which are tricky or obscure such that even native speakers have difficulty with them. One example in English could be comma usage (although depending on who you ask, there is some subjectivity involved there). In this article, I’d like to go over an aspect of Japanese grammar that… Read More »

Japanese SF Novella translation: “Two of Six: A Captain’s Dilemma” by Tomohito Moriyama [Chapter 1, Part 1]

I’m always on the lookout for great Japanese works of fiction that I can translate in order for English-speakers to appreciate them as much as I did. The other day I came across one such work, the SF novella “Two of Six: A Captain’s Dilemma” (original title “6分の2”)by Tomohito Moriyama (森山智仁). I was fortunate enough… Read More »

Japanese Literature Review: 「猫を抱いて象と泳ぐ」 (Swim With an Elephant, Embracing a Cat) by 小川洋子 (Yoko Ogawa): A nostalgic ode to chess

Yoko Ogawa (小川洋子) is an award-winning Japanese author who has written over 30 works, with at least eight of them translated into English so far. She is perhaps most known for her novel “The Housekeeper and the Professor” (博士の愛した数式) which was also made into a movie. I read Ogawa’s book “Little Bird” (ことり) last year… Read More »

Japanese Site Review: audiobook.jp (Japanese audiobooks)

While I don’t think I’ll ever stop loving print books (including E-books), Japanese audiobooks have some significant advantages. For a non-native speaker, I get extra information on the nuances of the text, especially for dialogue when there is a good voice actor. I don’t have to look up unfamiliar or forgotten Kanji characters, and I… Read More »

Learn Japanese with a famous Youtuber: Hikakin (ヒカキン)

Compared to learning a foreign language in an environment where that language is spoken daily, learning away from such an environment has several disadvantages. In fact, that was one of the original themes of this blog. (I’m mostly talking from experience about Japanese here, but I believe this applies to other languages) Besides cultural things… Read More »