Tag Archives: language

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 »

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 »