Tag Archives: language

Language learning pitfall: Learning similar words at the same time

There are surely as many techniques to learn languages as there are languages, if not many more. And a majority of the techniques you read about online or in a book will likely provide some benefit for at least a fraction of language learners. But there are a few things I’ve learned over the years… 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 »

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 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 »

Japanese vocabulary list: School and Educational Institution Terms

This is a list of Japanese words related to school and educational institutions. I’ve always enjoyed school and If you are staring to use these terms either for yourself, or for a loved one, I wish you the best luck! While I haven’t attended a school in Japan personally, I hear that they are much more difficult… Read More »

Japanese Grammar: Using kara (から) and node (ので) to express a reason in isolation

As I’ve written about before, in Japanese oftentimes words or entire phrases can be omitted, even more so than in English. I’d like to talk about another case where things can be omitted in Japanese, but first I want to give a quick summary of talking about reasons in Japanese. Expressing a reason is pretty straightforward and typically… 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 »

Japanese children’s book review: 「にほんのマナー えほん” (Japanese Manners Illustrated Book)

Studying Japanese using Japanese books written for children is always something I suggest to leaners who are in the beginner or intermediate levels. As long as you pick a book that isn’t too difficult (you can start with baby books to be safe) you will some good reading practice, and also the satisfaction of actually reading a… Read More »

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 »