Category Archives: Japanese Study: Moderate

Japanese short story review: “Memoirs of a traveller” (ある旅人の手記) by Romo Mamiya (まみや ろも)

“Memoirs of a traveller” (ある旅人の手記) is another short story I recently found on the free novel and short story site 「小説家になろう」. It reasonably short, at around 8,000 characters, and is grouped in the “human drama” (ヒューマンドラマ) category. If you are like me, and haven’t heard of this word before, it basically means works that focus on… Read More »

The “〜くある” (~ku aru) form for Japanese adjectives

Recently I saw a post on Japanese Language Stack Exchange about the 〜くある  (~ku aru) form of adjectives (ex: 美しくある), and there was no good answer so I did some research. By the time I was ready to post, the question had been deleted, so will make a make a post here with my findings. To review, let’s… Read More »

A discussion on problems students face with the common Japanese verbs もらう、くれる, and あげる (translated from a textbook)

Recently I posted a review of the book “Teaching methods based on student native language, English edition” by Kazuko Nakagawa, which provided some important insights on mistakes English-speakers typically make when learning Japanese. I wanted to translate at least a short portion of this book to give a feel what the content is like, and also… Read More »

Vocabulary list: Chess in Japanese

Though I really enjoy studying Japanese, it’s that much better when I can combine Japanese with one of my other hobbies, like Legos or fiction novels. Another one of my hobbies is Chess, and lately I’ve been noticing a lack in my vocabulary when trying to express some of the basic chess concepts to my son,… Read More »

Unofficial translation of the prologue of Jun Ikeido’s “Downtown Rocket” (Japanese -> English)

Lately I’ve been making it a point to translate a small portion of each Japanese novel I’ve finished reading, for the purpose of polishing my Japanese to English translation abilities. I’ve already had some success doing translation on the side using Gengo, but much of that work is more everyday/functionali stuff (business emails, etc.) as opposed… Read More »

Book Review: “Teaching methods based on student native language: English Edition” by Kazuko Nakagawa

On a recent trip to Portland, Oregon, we stopped by a Powell’s books to see what they had to offer. Besides having an amazing selection of many types of books, they actually had a section of Japanese books, most if not all which were used books. It was no Kinokuniya, but as you may know… Read More »

Japanese to English translation: “Candy Candy Final Story” – Prologue

For some time now, I’ve been thinking of getting into Japanese to English translation more seriously. I’ve just finished the novel “Candy Candy Final Story” by Keiko Nagita, and when I discovered there was no official English translation (and no unofficial one I could find), I realized it was the perfect opportunity for me to… Read More »

Japanese book review: “Candy Candy Final Story”

“Candy Candy” is a Japanese historical Shoujo (girls) manga written by Keiko Nagita (名木田 恵子) which was originally published in the magazine “Nakayoshi” serially from 1975 to 1979. It was quite popular, and spawned an anime, theatrical show, and several novels. To give an idea of the popularity, around 12 million copies were printed in total for the… Read More »

Lost in translation: things don’t always match up at the word level

The other day I was reading some posts about Japanese on Twitter and came across a post that had a simple phrase written in English, and then translated into Japanese. Here is what it said: Hey, did you lose weight? あれ?やせた? [Are? Yaseta?] At first, this looks like a pretty innocuous phrase. Both the English… Read More »

Using online searching to uncover natural expressions in a foreign language

Learning the basics of a foreign language, while a time-consuming activity, is generally relatively straightforward: memorize the alphabet(s), pronunciations, grammar rules, and of course loads and loads of vocabulary words. With these fundamentals under your belt, you’ll surely be able to express a great many things in that language. The challenge comes when you want to… Read More »