Tag Archives: word

Japanese Slang Word: 「鬼〜」 (Oni~)

When studying Japanese, especially if you don’t live in Japan, there are always blind spots which can develop in your learning depending on what materials and methods you use to study. One area that I’ve found difficult is slang, because many of the materials I use (especially books and TV dramas) tend to not use… Read More »

The trouble with insufficient samples: The Japanese word 偉い (erai) and it proper usage

When learning words in a foreign language, the only way to get a full understanding is to gather data from as many sources as possible: dictionaries, media (fiction/nonfiction) and of course as many real-world situations as possible. I see this is as chiseling away the various subtleties of this word little by little until you have the… Read More »

問題 (mondai): a very problematic word in Japanese

In this post I’d like to talk about the Japanese word 問題 (mondai), a very useful word which has several meanings. The first meaning, possibly the most common, is “problem” in the sense of something that is not going according to plan. A: 大丈夫ですか?             [Is everything OK?] B: ええ、問題ないです。… Read More »

An important Japanese word that is good to master: “hoka” (ほか、外、他)

As anyone who has studied a foreign language can attest to, knowing what words to study is one of the more challenging things because there is so many words out there. In this post I’m going to go over the word “ほか”(also written in Kanji as “他” or ”外”) and some of it’s uses. This… Read More »

More about the origin of the Japanese word くるま (kuruma) [a confession]

In my last post, I wrote about how the Japanese word “くるま” (which means “car”) originated from the words ”来る” (to come) and “魔” (devil). While these two words are actual words with the meanings I specified, the truth is that they have nothing to do with the word ”くるま”. After all, my post yesterday was written on April… Read More »

Japanese grammar highlight: Word order in Japanese

According to a poll I’ve been running since August 2014, the number one thing people would like more from this blog is information about Japanese Grammar. Writing about grammar is tricky since there are are many good books and websites about it, and I like to try and avoid duplicating content that is available elsewhere. So… Read More »

Shiritori: Japanese word game

Quickly getting bored with academic learning materials, I always search for new ways to use Japanese without actually living in Japan. Typically, the more fun the activity is the more positive feedback there is and the more likely it will continue. One game which is entertaining and requires no physical props or materials is game of… Read More »

Easily mistaken Japanese word: 病院 (byouin)

As we all know, one of the best ways to learn a foreign language is immerse yourself in an environment where it is beneficial, even necessary to communicate in that language. One of the pitfalls of this type of situation is that there is always the chance of miscommunication, either because you make a mistake… Read More »

Japanese 調子 (choushi) – a useful term to add to your lexicon

The Japanese term “調子” is quite a multifaceted word with seven definitions in the dictionary, as well as a handful of expressions and compound words that use it. In this post I’ll talk about the usages of it that I have heard most, and I feel are most likely to be useful. The primary definitions for… Read More »

Japanese tongue twisters

One thing you’re unlikely to come across in most Japanese learning resources is tongue twisters, which are the Japanese versions of phrases like “She sells sea shells by the shore”. These are called 早口言葉 (はやくちことば), a word which might seem like a tongue-twister in itself (: Though these phrases themselves don’t have much practical use (you’re not… Read More »