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 »

Ep 8: Watch more Japanese Variety Shows!

In this podcast I talk about how Japanese “variety shows” (バラエティ番組 – “baraeti bangumi”) are a great way to help refine your Japanese language and cultural knowledge, especially if you are not living in Japan. I recommended the show “ホンマでっか” (honma dekka) which you can see an episode of here. Also I mentioned “Youは何しに日本へ” which you can… Read More »

Ep 7: A detailed look at the Japanese verb “shiru” [知る] (to know)

In this podcast I give a detailed explanation of the verb 知る (“shiru”) which means “To know” in Japanese. I talk about some of the main verb conjugations, and then give some examples which can be used in daily conversation (ex: 知るわけない, “shiru wake nai”)   Dictionary form: 知る (shiru) Negative form: 知らない (shiranai) Masu… Read More »

Ep 3: My favorite way to learn Japanese: (Japanese) Podcasts (and a tribute to Chin san)

In this episode I talk about using Japanese podcasts as a tool for Japanese learning. I talk about their many advantages (and a few disadvantages), and also two of my favorite podcasts involving “Chin san” from back around 10 years ago when I first got into podcasts. Dogcast Bonchicast Also I give some suggestions for… Read More »