Category Archives: Japanese Study: Advanced

Promising Translators 2018 (Japanese Translation Contest): only two weeks left

Two weeks ago I announced “Promising Translators 2018”, Self Taught Japanese’s first ever translation contest which is a JP-EN fiction contest targeting amateur translators. The winner will receive a monetary prize, and there be other prizes given as well. This post is a quick reminder for those who are interested since there are two weeks… Read More »

Japanese literature reading mobile app review: “Sukima Dokusho” (すきま読書)

Those interested in Japanese novels and short stories have a variety of free options available: sites like Aozora Bunko (青空文庫) which contain older titles and “Shousetsu wo yomou” (小説を読もう) which cater to newer ones. While it’s relatively simply to just pull up stories from such sites on your desktop machine, I think many readers out… Read More »

Promising Translators 2018 (Japanese Translation Contest): three weeks left

Last week I announced “Promising Translators 2018”, Self Taught Japanese’s first ever translation contest, which involves translating a few pages of Japanese fiction into English. The winner will receive a monetary prize, and there be other prizes given as well. This post is a quick reminder for those who are interested that there are three… Read More »

Japanese Translation Contest Announced: Promising Translators 2018

Update: the contest has been closed to submissions and the winners have been announced. I will likely have another similar contest, so please check back later. If you are interested in future contests, please like or comment this post, or send an email to “selftaughtjapanese.contests [at] gmail.com” about what type of contest you’d like to see. … Read More »

Japanese Novel Review: “Boy of Civilization” (文明の子) by Hikari Ota (太田 光)

I’ll be the first to admit that the novel “Boy of Civilization” was a hyoushigai (表紙買い) for me, which basically means I bought it after being attracted by the cover. Not only was it beautiful on its own, but it also reminded me of the cover of “Lagos on a Journey” (旅のラゴス) by Yasutaka Tsutsui.… Read More »

和風月名: Alternate names for the months of the year in Japanese: (睦月, 如月, 彌生, 卯月, 皋月, 水無月, 文月, 葉月, 長月, 神無月, 霜月, 師走)

With a country like Japan that has tens of thousands of years of history, I guess it’s not much of a surprise that there is always more to learn. This includes cultural stuff, but also words and expressions that you may not have had exposure to on a daily basis (especially if are studying Japanese… Read More »

Some thoughts on language selection and code switching

Learning a foreign language is a challenge no matter which language you choose, and the difficulty achieving fluency depends on how distant it is from your native tongue(s), and whether you are in an environment where you are forced (or at least motivated) to use it daily. But once you become reasonably fluent in a… Read More »

Japanese Expression Highlight: 「水を得た魚 」(mizu wo eta sakana)

The other day when I was working away at writing a new blog post, I was told: 君、水を得た魚だね (kimi, mizu wo eta sakana da ne) I admit I was a little confused when I hard this. So what does it mean? First, let’s look at the words one by one: 水 (mizu): water 得た (eta):… Read More »

A great Japanese video for science and technology lovers: 「この世界が仮想現実であることを示す証明式」

YouTube is a great source of Japanese-language content for those studying the language, however with billions of videos, even with a good search mechanism it can be hard to find videos appropriate for language learners. Recently I was searching around on YouTube using some science terms in Japanese (like 分子) and came across a great… Read More »

Review: 日経おとなのOFF: 美しい日本語と正しい敬語が身に付く本 (“Guidebook to beautiful Japanese and proper polite language”)

日経大人OFF (Nikkei otona OFF) is a magazine series by the same company that publishes the Nikkei daily business paper. In this post I am reviewing a special edition of that series from 3/15/2012 titled: 「美しい日本語と正しい敬語が身につく本」, roughly translated as “Guidebook to beautiful Japanese and proper polite language”. As you can guess from its title, this magazine… Read More »