When learning a foreign language, it’s generally a good idea to learn some proverbs, what we call “kotowaza” (諺) in Japanese. It’s not just because they are a fun way to learn new words in context, but also because proverbs can express meaningful ideas in a concise form that often reflects that country’s history and… Read More »
My friend and collaborator Kaimai Mizuhiro (開米瑞浩) is working on an project that I think will be interesting to those studying Japanese, so I’ll talk about it a little here. Kaimai has a bunch of books out, and a common thread throughout them is how to communicate effectively (both verbally and with diagrams) in a… Read More »
In many ways Japanese grammar is simpler than English grammar, especially in terms of fewer tenses to deal with and the omission of unnecessary words. However, sometimes thinking in terms of English can make it difficult to understand seemingly simple Japanese sentences. In this post I’d like to talk about the expression 「もっと早く知りたかった」 (“motto hayaku… Read More »
Having trouble finding opportunities to practice writing in Japanese? In this post I wrote in Japanese about a fun experience I had. I ask you to try doing the same, and in exchange I’ll give my feedback on your writing. Japanese learners of any level are invited, and there is no length requirements on the result.
Japanese is rife with compound verbs, which are generally composed by taking the verb stem (what I like to call the ‘pre-masu form’) of one verb and attaching it to a second verb. For example 食べ終わる (“tabeowaru”) which is comprised of the verb stem of 食べる (“taberu”, meaning “to eat”) and 終わる (“owaru”, meaning “to… Read More »