Tag Archives: study

Lego Ninjago Anime on Youtube – in Japanese

I’ve been a huge fan of Legos ever since I was a child, and fortunately my son has grown quite found of these great building blocks as well. But it was some surprise when I saw him watching a Lego “Ninjago” cartoon in Japanese.  One of the reasons is like “Ninjago” isn’t exactly accurate with respect… Read More »

Japanese weather forecasts – a surprisingly useful study tool (with weather vocabulary list)

Let’s face it – weather is one of the most boring, hackneyed conversation topics in existence. But when looked at the point of view of foreign language study, weather forecasts become a surprisingly useful resource. To start with, forecasts on professional radio stations (check NHK news podcast out as an example) will have announcers that enunciate cleanly and… Read More »

Book review: “Japanese Respect Language” by P.G. O’Neill

I picked P.G.Oneill’s “Japanese Respect Language” because I hadn’t seen too many Japanese textbooks focused exclusively on respectful language, which is arguably one of the most difficult aspects of Japanese to master. At the time when I decided to get it I remember thinking the term “respect language” had an unfamiliar ring to it, having usually… Read More »

Travels in Japan: [Part 9: Taking your Japanese skills to the next level in Japan]

Many people who visit Japan for a short time (excluding business trips) are there to see the sights and enjoy the wonderful array of foods the country has to offer. The first time I visited Japan, over 10 years ago, those were my main goals as well. But if you’re heavy into Japan’s culture and language, you’ll want… Read More »

Searching out opportunities to think in a foreign language

Sometime ago I wrote a post on thinking in a foreign language, which to me is one of the milestones of true fluency. Near the end of that article I briefly mentioned how I sometimes “pre-cache” Japanese phrases in my head before speaking, though I downplayed it at the time, and felt it was more… Read More »

Language learning technique: take things a bit beyond your comfort level, then dial them back

One technique I have found useful in language learning is to find some content, whether it be reading or listening, which is a bit beyond my comfort level in terms of difficulty, and practice with it for a period of time. For this to be effective I would say it should be for at least days, ideally… Read More »

Some uses of the Japanese verb 限る (kagiru)

This time I’d like to talk about a few uses of the Japanese verb 限る (kagiru), which means “to limit”. The first use is to mean “not necessarily”. Here is an example sentence. 美味しいとは限らない It’s not necessarily tasty Literally 限らない is close to “do not limit to”, but in this case the meaning matches up… Read More »

Making embedded questions in Japanese

An embedded question is when a sentence contains a question inside of it, for example “I don’t know where Japan is”. Sentences with embedded questions can be declarative statements like that example, or instead can be questions themselves, as in “Do you know where Japan is?”. An example of a non-embedded question would be the… Read More »

Japanese verb suffix 〜きる (~kiru)

In Japanese there are many verbs which can be as a suffix to another verb in order to enhance the other verb’s meaning. The verb which is being enhanced comes first and is always in the pre-masu form (i.e. たべる→たべ or のむ→のみ). The suffix which does the modification can be conjugated like a normal verb… Read More »

Short quiz on basic Japanese particle usage

Update: I made another quiz on Japanese particles here. Writing posts about Japanese is fun and all, but one of the reasons I started this blog was because I like teaching, and have had some experience myself teaching a different topic at the College level. Teaching includes not only pushing material to the student, but… Read More »