Tag Archives: terms

A modern first person pronoun in Japanese

As it’s now the first of the month, in this post I’d like to focus on a first-person pronoun I’ve been hearing alot lately. While modern English has pretty much only “I”, Japanese has many of these words including “boku”, “watashi”, “atashi”, and even “washi” (and that’s just getting started). First person pronouns are called 一人称… Read More »

Japanese family terms which include birth order

In Japanese, differences in position, experience, and age are considered very important and are built into the language itself in the form of words that indicate where someone is with respect to others. This concept is expressed in the terms 先輩 (senpai), which refers to someone older or with more experience, and 後輩 (kouhai),  which… Read More »

An overview of confusing Japanese loanwords

In previous posts I talked about a few theories about why Japanese has so many loanwords, especially from English. This time I’d like to discuss some of the specific words themselves. Once the Katakana alphabet is learned, loanwords become a great help as many of them can be understood by English-speakers by simply sounding them out without having to… Read More »

Japanese vocabulary list: Science terms

For this post I’ve decided to create a vocabulary list for scientific terms in Japanese. I’m personally interested in science and enjoy trying to read Japanese magazines and books written about science, and I hope this list inspires some of you to try out the same. I will try to stay to pretty general terms… Read More »

Using Japanese family terms to refer to non-family

Japanese, like many other languages, has a large set of terms to refer to different family members (お姉さん, お兄さん, etc.). One special thing about these words is that many of them can even be used to refer to a non family member, including someone you just met on the street and are meeting for the first… Read More »