Tag Archives: self-taught

Some thoughts on effective learning of foreign language vocabulary

(The other day a friend casually asked me about how I learn vocabulary words in Japanese, and at the time I could only give a fairly simple answer. So I thought about it some more and decided to write an article about effective learning of foreign language vocabulary.) Regardless of what foreign language you are… Read More »

Two types of “can’t” in Japanese: improper vs impossible

When learning a foreign language, often it is good to try and get away from your native language and think in the foreign language so you don’t end up saying things that sounds like they came out of a translation program. Having said that, when speaking that foreign language it will take time for your… Read More »

Talking about the future in Japanese (mirai, shourai, kore kara, ima kara, etc.)

In this post I’d like to discuss a few ways of talking about the future in Japanese. To begin with, one of the first words students students learn about the future is 未来 (mirai), which can be used to talk about something that has not occurred yet. Let’s use this word in a simple sentence:… Read More »

Japanese grammar: a tricky passage and morphing adjectives

Reading foreign language material is always an adventure, especially when you come across grammar you’ve never seen before. Oftentimes, you can just figure out the meaning from context, but I’m the type of person that wants to understand the grammar completely so I can grasp any nuances involved and potentially learn to use the patterns… Read More »

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 »

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 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 »

Japanese Writing Lab #3: How do you study Japanese?

This is the 3nd assignment for a program I have started in order to help myself and others improve their writing in Japanese. For details about the program, see this post. Also see this post for a list of all assignments. For the first few topics I am keeping to things which are pretty easy to write about, so… Read More »

Japanese Writing Lab #2: Why did you start studying Japanese?

This is the 2nd assignment for a program I have started in order to help myself and others improve their writing in Japanese. For details about the program, see this post. Also see this post for a list of all assignments. The topic of this writing assignment is to discuss why you started learning Japanese.… Read More »

Short essay: Thoughts on learning to speak and write in a foreign language… naturally

When learning a foreign language, I think we all tend to go through stages. First, we may have a mild (or major) interest in the culture of a foreign country, and begin to pick up a few words here or there in that country’s native language. In the case of Japanese, it might be a few… Read More »