Category Archives: Japanese Study: Beginner

Japanese Writing Lab #5: Favorite movie

This is the 5th assignment of a program I am running to help myself and others improve Japanese writing skill. For details, see this post. Also see this post for a list of all assignments. This time the topic will be “好きな映画” (suki na eiga). Write about your favorite movie, or just any movie you enjoyed. If you aren’t into movies… Read More »

The trouble with insufficient samples: The Japanese word 偉い (erai) and it proper usage

When learning words in a foreign language, the only way to get a full understanding is to gather data from as many sources as possible: dictionaries, media (fiction/nonfiction) and of course as many real-world situations as possible. I see this is as chiseling away the various subtleties of this word little by little until you have the… Read More »

Japanese Vocabulary list: Trains (電車) and related terms

Who doesn’t love trains, especially children? Even if you don’t love them, living in Japan (or other big cities) pretty much forces them to use them, so this list of train-related words is sure to be of use. 電車 (densha): train   [this word is written with the Kanji for “electricity” and “car”, and thus… Read More »

Japanese Writing Lab #4: Hobbies

This is the 4nd assignment of a program I am running to help myself and others improve Japanese writing skill. For details, see this post. Also see this post for a list of all assignments. This time the topic will be “趣味”, which is “hobby” or “hobbies”. Feel free to write about a single hobby you enjoy, or more than… Read More »

Japanese Writing Lab #3: How do you study Japanese?

This is the 3nd assignment for a program I have started in order to help myself and others improve their writing in Japanese. For details about the program, see this post. Also see this post for a list of all assignments. For the first few topics I am keeping to things which are pretty easy to write about, so… Read More »

問題 (mondai): a very problematic word in Japanese

In this post I’d like to talk about the Japanese word 問題 (mondai), a very useful word which has several meanings. The first meaning, possibly the most common, is “problem” in the sense of something that is not going according to plan. A: 大丈夫ですか?             [Is everything OK?] B: ええ、問題ないです。… Read More »

Japanese Writing Lab #2: Why did you start studying Japanese?

This is the 2nd assignment for a program I have started in order to help myself and others improve their writing in Japanese. For details about the program, see this post. Also see this post for a list of all assignments. The topic of this writing assignment is to discuss why you started learning Japanese.… Read More »

Linguistic debate on the existence of subjects in Japanese (from three points of view)

Recently I came across this interesting post by fellow blogger Moaz Elgabry. For only having studied Japanese a few years, his Japanese writing skill is quite impressive, and I’m curious to see his thoughts on different topics. His post discusses whether the Japanese language really needs to have a grammatical subject and how such a subject should be… Read More »

Japanese Writing Lab #1: Basic self-introduction

In a recent post I announced I would be starting a new program on my blog called “Japanese Writing Lab” that aims to motivate people to practice writing in Japanese, provides feedback on their writing, and allows them to see posts of other Japanese learners. This article represents the first writing assignment of that program. For this… Read More »

Japanese vocabulary list: airplane related terms

I’ve created a vocabulary list of Japanese words related to airplanes and air travel in general. This is one area I’ve found I have some weaknesses in, and I thought if I was going to review these words myself I might has well write it up for others to learn from. 飛行機 (hikouki): airplane 空港 (kuukou):… Read More »