Tag Archives: learning

Japanese Mobile App Review: Sanseido’s Gendai Shin Kokugo Jiten (三省堂現代新国語辞典)

Recently I went on a long plane trip where I knew I wouldn’t have network for a few hours, and since I was planning on reading and/or translating during the flight, I needed a good Japanese dictionary mobile app that I knew would work offline. I ended up downloading a few, but the one I… Read More »

Gacco: Online Courses in Japanese

One thing that makes mastering a foreign language tricky is how the vocabulary, grammar, and even pronunciation can change depending on the environment and situation. For example, watching an cartoon targeting children and a comedy show broadcast on TV will be extremely different experiences. For Japanese, assuming you have a good foundation in grammar, if you watch… Read More »

Language learning technique: take things a bit beyond your comfort level, then dial them back

One technique I have found useful in language learning is to find some content, whether it be reading or listening, which is a bit beyond my comfort level in terms of difficulty, and practice with it for a period of time. For this to be effective I would say it should be for at least days, ideally… Read More »

Going cuckoo with Japanese “ku ku”

When you switch to another language and culture, there are many different things you have to get used to: pronunciation, written script, and customs, among others. But math is one thing that you normally would expect things to be mostly the same, since after all numbers are generally universal, including notation for equations and such.… Read More »

Opposition to the overuse of metrics in language learning (and in daily life)

We live in a day and age where recording aspects of our daily life as numbers, and analyzing that data, has become more and more commonplace. To give a few examples: we measure how many steps we walked, how long we brushed our teeth, how much we drank, how many times we smoked, how long… Read More »

Mini Japanese quiz 3: distinguishing between transitive and intransitive verb forms

I’ve released my 3rd Japanese quiz, this time on transitive/intransitive verbs. Take it here: testmoz.com/458663 Here are the details: Quiz Topic: Differentiating between Japanese transitive / intransitive verbs: Number of questions: 10 Question style: Multiple choice – each question has two verb, one intransitive verb and one transitive verb. Some of the verbs are conjugated. Required… Read More »

Why does Japanese have so many loan words? (外来語, “gairaigo”)

Anyone who has studied Japanese knows that the language contains loanwords called 外来語 (“gairaigo”), which words ‘borrowed’ from another language and imported into Japanese. As part of this transition, the works take on a new spelling and pronunciation, which can be a shortened version or one containing syllables from multiple words. The meaning itself can… Read More »

The Art of Conversation (in a foreign language)

Of all of the activities we do on a daily basis, I feel that the act of communicating with another person using spoken language and a series of back and forth exchanges, what we call “conversation”, holds a very unique place. If you think about all the things involved in this process, and how closely it is… Read More »

Using a summaries in your foreign language study to increase retention and understanding

In a previous blog post I discussed how the element of necessity makes the brain more active in the learning process, increasing retention and understanding of foreign language. One little trick I discovered is that if you are planning on giving a summary to someone about some media you are consuming (article, podcast, movie, etc.)… Read More »