Tag Archives: language

Japanese Children’s Book Review: 「言葉図鑑」(Visual Word Encyclopedia) by Taro Gomi (五味 太郎)

Sometime back, I mentioned that I recommend reading children’s books in a foreign language as a good way to experience native-level content that isn’t too difficult. For Japanese, this is especially useful since you will have very little, if any, kanji to worry about, which is one stumbling block when reading Japanese books. I’ve read a great… Read More »

あらせられます (araseraremasu): A triple-polite Japanese word

One of the distinguishing things about the Japanese language is how there are many different ways to say the same thing while varying the level of politeness. For example, the below words all mean “to eat” in increasing levels of politeness. 食う (kuu) 食べる (taberu) 召し上げる (meshiageru) Besides the many different verbs, there is also… Read More »

Japanese literature review: Kenji Miyazawa’s “Matasaburo of the Wind”

I’ll have to just come out and admit it: of all of the books I have read there is a small group I never made it to the end of, including both Japanese and English works. One of these is Kenji Miyazawa’s (宮沢賢治) “Night on the Galactic Railroad” (銀河鉄道の夜) which was a deeply moving story when… Read More »

The Art of Translation: My process for translating from Japanese to English

Starting late last year, I’ve translated as a paid side job at Gengo for a few months, as well as translated parts of fictional stories as a hobby, roughly 25-30 chapters worth. By no means would I call myself a “professional” translator, but I feel I have had enough experience to improve my translation skills significantly. For several weeks now, I’ve… Read More »

Japanese to English translation: “Candy Candy Final Story” – Chapter 1, Part 2

I had previously written a review of the Japanese novel  “Candy Candy Final Story” (キャンディ・キャンディ Final Story) written by Nagita Keiko, and later posted a translation I did of the prologue, and another of Chapter 1, Part 1. Generally, when I do translations of small fragments of novels, I don’t intend to follow up with translations of any future chapters. However,… Read More »

Ways to describe style in Japanese

When studying a foreign language, just because you can understand something doesn’t mean you have the requisite vocabulary and grammar knowledge in order to summarize it and talk about it’s content critically. In my Japanese studies, I’ve found that it can be frustrating to describe in any amount of detail something I’ve just read (novel,… Read More »

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 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 »