Recently, I’ve been wondering how to improve my language abilities without just reading simplified textbooks(which I think should be used for reference, not as the sole source of language learning). I’ve been using this language exchange site called Lang-8.com which I think is really great for writing stuff and getting it corrected quickly. You help someone, someone else helps you out and get points, its a great exchange program. My account on it is “Miburi” so if you want me to take a look or add me, feel free to friend me and I will take a look at your posts when I have the chance.
For traditional methods, I feel like a lot of textbooks have outdated material, which you end up not understanding the context but more of just rote memorization of key terminologies.
Like for instance, every book starts off with
おはようございます お早うございます good morning
私の名前はジョンです。My name is John
こんにちは 今日は good evening
こんばは 今晩は good day
さようなら good bye
which is great and all, but I don’t think people in Japan colloquially say that all the time like in American English and every other language.
We shorten terms, especially if its with someone we know. Basically, the level of comfort we have with each other in terms of relationship will affect the words we say and I think textbooks just avoid that, teach us all one language.
So this post, I’ll dedicate it to some more often used American words and American English slang and my attempts to translate.
今日のブログはニューヨークにある日本料理店を探すというものです。マンハッタンの地図を見ながらちょっとEast Village[イースト·ビレッジ」のSt. Marks Placeをさがしてみると、この3rd Avenue tから Avenue A はたくさん日本のお店が増えていました。過去１０年間から１５年間で、この場所はどんどん日本町の様相を呈してきました。たしかにカリフォルニアはJapanTownという所があるらしいけれどニューヨークではまだそういう名前つけていなくてここはたぶん二つ目のJapanTownになるかもしれません。
From the example provided, the answer is 1, listen carefully and you will hear the man asking the woman to come to the 事務所(office) at 9:30AM. She asks him how long it will take by taxi from the hotel to the office. He says it’ll take about 30 minutes so she said ok so I’ll leave at 9AM then. However, he said the roads might be crowded so for her to come 15 minutes earlier therefore 8:45AM. This is just an example in the book, but understanding not only the words but the meaning is crucial to learn to understand the language. If you don’t understand everything or its too fast just listen to parts of it at a time. Its just as important to immerse yourself in the language your studying everyday regardless of how much you know. I will just publish 5 questions today with the question and the answers will posted in the next 5 questions. There are 40 questions, so this will be an 8 part listening series. Hope you all enjoy！
Amazing video from MyHusbandisJapanese YouTuber, they are a married couple with a Japanese husband and American wife that have a long distance relationships(遠距離恋愛)。 I love the production of their videos, they teach a lot of colloquial Japanese as well as speak English, which Jun(the husband) is pretty good at.
They also translate their English and Japanese together so for Japanese this is a good English to learn and for English speakers you can learn to read and listen Japanese.
Please check the video out and give it a thumbs up! Also, hope you guys are excited for a real exam! my next post will be on JLPT3 grammar and listening. I will be uploading an audio file and the actual practice questions on here so get ready to answer some 試験の問! I took the JLPT 3 a few years ago and passed but they changed it into a 5 part exam and now the 3 is like a mix between the previous 2 and 3, like a 2.5 so I will start from there and continue learning!
This photo of Konomiya Shrine is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Hi everyone, this will be a short introduction to Onomatopoeia. In Japan, you’ll often hear a lot of Onomatopoeia not only in writing and illustrations but used in speech as well. Unlike in English where it is rarely used but more sound effects, the Japanese have differentiated OMTP(shortened it) into varying groups with each having their own meanings.
Let’s quickly get into the different types of OMTP
Sounds that people and animals make. Simple words like a dog’s “woof!” or a baby’s cry or a cat purring.
More for sound effects that aren’t animal related, more object sounds like the wind blowing, an explosion, or rainfall. Out of the three types of onomatopoeia, giongo is the most inconsistent, and the one type of word you’re least likely to find in a dictionary. Think of giongo like the action words that comic books artists make up.
Words that describe actions and emotions that don’t necessarily make noises. Gitaigo is not technically OMTP because there is no sound but more of abstract things like a facial expression or a feeling.
Hi everyone, I was reading up on one of my favorite Japanese blog teachers, Maggie-sensei http://www.maggiesensei.com and I came across an article she did on Japanese slang スラングand net talkネットの会話. Since most of the time, your studying proper Japanese and vocabulary, I thought it was be interesting to see what real Japanese are using across the net. It’s probably not going to be stuff you use in talking, it’s kind of like saying lol, rofl, gtg, cya, wtf, wth but normally Japanese.
Maggie sensei has lots of great Japanese examples like for instance
“So today’s main slang verb is ググる = ぐぐる = guguru. It means “to google” or “to search for something on Google”
Ex. そんなこと自分でググったら？ = Sonna koto jibun de guguttara? = Why don’t you google it yourself?
Ex. この言葉の意味がわからなかったからググってみた。 = Kono kotoba no imi ga wakaranakatta node gugutte mita. = I didn’t know the meaning of the word so I googled it and checked the meaning.”
Hi everyone, hope your Japanese studies is going well!
Recently, I’ve been watching this Japanese TV show called [Youは何しに日本へ？」which is about these Japanese reporters in Tokyo going around the airport looking for foreigners coming into Japan and seeing what they’re here for. Some obviously are tourist, but you get to see a variety of different people coming in from like bringing their Japanese wife/husband to Japan to working or even for “Ninja training”. It’s a pretty funny show and I would definitely recommend it. I couldn’t find any English sub so I watched it in Japanese but if you do find any English translations, I can post it.
Anyway, today’s lesson is going to be a multi-page series using comic books from Sushi-sensei in NYC. Apparently he came from Tokyo as an editor in a Japanese company and start a Japanese language school here in NYC. http://ny-japanese.com/
I’m just referencing his own comics he’s written since I find it informative, cute and funny so I will be translating and posting it in both Japanese and English.
The first one I’m adding is 話かけられる２。 Japanese people could also use it to learn English since its both translated.
｢英語通訳」Narration: I wasn’t lost on the streets, yet an old white lady who was walking in front of me suddenly turned to me and said…
道「みち」に迷って「まよって」 means to be lost(on the street) and いないのに means not non the less so combined its saying in English correctly “I wasn’t lost yet somehow….”
前｢まえ」を歩「ある」いていた means “front” and “was walking”, we would probably say “Walking in front of me”. Japanese like to use the idea of position + verb if it is a present sense vs the other way around in English. So its not “I see a cat in front of me” but more “In front of me, cat I see”. Remember to think of position before noun and vice versa in English.
白人「はくじん」Caucasian person のおばあさんold lady が突然「とつぜん」suddenly 振り返って「ふりかえって」turned around Continue reading →
So before I went into just vocabulary and learning videos, I thought it’d be a good time to backtrack a few steps for beginners and people who have been studying Japanese for a while to understand what it takes to learn REAL Japanese. For me, learning Japanese from tv shows, music, books were very useful but to really speak “real” Japanese and not textbook Japanese or just “weird” Japanese, going to Japan and living with a family that didn’t speak any English really helped. You kind of were forced to learn Japanese real fast or else you wouldn’t be able to get around. I think the same could be said with learning English if your a Japanese, being thrown into a situation where you NEED to learn the language forces you to pick it up very fast.
Now these 3 Youtubers all bring a different side of Japan and learning Japanese that I thought would be great to watch if you’re learning Japanese like me.
Video #1 Youtuber Luke – an Australian guy who went to Japan and started a MMA, security training company and married a Japanese woman. Learned Kansai dialect first. His videos are in English, but he’s very good in Japanese, especially with the culture and living of Japan since he’s not really a “Gaijin” but more of a Japanese “Gaijin” who works with the Japanese police department and military on training. This video goes into explaining how a lot of beginners end up learning and using wrong Japanese and to speak “proper Japanese” you must understand your social content, what type of Japanese to use and how to use it. For instance, he mentions even some Japanese people have difficulty understanding and using Business Japanese and Japanese in the 70s,80s,90s has changed a lot from just textbook learning.
Ryuzaki – Youtube English girl who studied Japanese by herself in England since she was 12, learned mostly from watching videos so more of the formal Tokyo dialect. She is probably incredibly fluent for someone who’s never taken formal Japanese classes or even gone to Japan, very diligently studies hours and hours a day and has gone to the point of being able to fluently read Japanese blogs. Great Youtuber to follow if your looking for someone outside of Japan to teach you Japanese.
Mira – She’s a Canadian girl who moved to Japan (Tokyo) and explains things very simple. Mostly in English and Japanese isn’t that great but she has very very insightful real day-to-day Japanese. Great vlogger to check out if you want to check out Tokyo and real Japan living and culture. There’s lots of things that they won’t teach you in the textbooks that are only real day to day things you can learn and see from her.
Good luck with your studies and don’t give up! みんながんばれえ～！！
Hi everyone, I thought it would be interesting to practice reading song lyrics for a music video. The music video I picked for this week is Hatsune Miku’s “Tell Your World” because I think its a good fast song to practice reading Kanji fast and understanding a fast upbeat and slow lyrics. Since Hatsune Miku is a vocaloid(if you don’t know what a vocaloid is here is a link, its a synthesized voice http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatsune_Miku) the pronunciation is a little robotic but should be fairly understandable once you read the lyrics. Also, since I can’t read 100% of the Kanji for the song, I thought I’d do the service and post the Furigana of the song plus regular and translated lyrics. Hope you enjoy, next video will be about Japan and culture.