Category Archives: Japanese Study: Beginner

shibaraku (しばらく): a good Japanese word to know

The Japanese word ‘shibaraku’ (written “しばらく” in hiragana or sometimes written ”暫く” in kanji), is a word that I learned very early on in my Japanese studies and I still come across quite often. It has a simple meaning and usage that easy to learn and add to your own repertoire. This word means a… Read More »

Japanese Slang Word: 「鬼〜」 (Oni~)

When studying Japanese, especially if you don’t live in Japan, there are always blind spots which can develop in your learning depending on what materials and methods you use to study. One area that I’ve found difficult is slang, because many of the materials I use (especially books and TV dramas) tend to not use… Read More »

Japanese phrase: “warukatta” (わるかった・悪かった)

Over a year ago I’d made a post about the expression “yokatta” (よかった), and I thought I would follow that up with a post on the Japanese expression “warukatta” (“わるかった”, sometimes written in Kanji as “悪かった”). If you are relatively new to Japanese you may hear this word as “warukata“, but if you listen closely there… 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 »

Japanese Study Resource List

Dictionary Goo: My favorite Japanese dictionary. http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/ Japanese Stack Exchange: A great place to have difficult Japanese questions answered, especially grammar related. http://japanese.stackexchange.com Reddit Learn Japanese: A good place to ask questions about Japanese and learn about resources. https://www.reddit.com/r/LearnJapanese/ Oshiete Goo: Knowledge sharing site (Japanese only). Great place to see polite, intellectual Japanese. http://oshiete.goo.ne.jp Reajer: bilingual readers… Read More »

How does Godzilla unpeel a banana in Japan?

Language and Culture are inextricably connected, and to master a language of any country surely requires a strong grasp of its traditions, manners, beliefs, and other aspects of culture. Getting a proper fill of culture is one of the most difficult things about studying a foreign language self-taught when not in a country where that… Read More »

Mobile app review: “Kitty Collector” (neko atsume / ねこあつめ)

Setting your computer, smartphone, and tablet to Japanese is a great way to expand your vocabulary in a natural way, using words in context instead of a dry vocabulary list. This means both the OS itself, as well as the applications or games you are using (sometimes the setting of these things is linked, sometimes… Read More »

Japanese phrase “mou hitotsu” (もうひとつ)and a brief Murakami translation

Recently I was reading an interesting blog which contains reviews of Japanese books (in English), and I came across an article about the Haruki Murakami (村上春樹) book “After Dark”. While I am not going to go into that book in detail in this post, in the the article I found there was a short passage… Read More »

Self Taught Japanese Podcast: 8 recordings in 8 days

A little over a week ago, I decided to start a companion Podcast for this blog, covering many of the same topics: studying Japanese on your own, anime reviews, etc. I managed to record eight episodes in eight days, though it was a bit challenge since recording plus editing took roughly between 45 minutes and… Read More »