Oct 29

【RocketNews24】Why Japanese doesn’t need swear words

Posted by Michelle Lynn Dinh (Shimane-ken, Chibu-mura, 2010–13), editor and writer for RocketNews24. The following article was written by Casey Baseel, a writer and translator for RocketNews24, a Japan-based site dedicated to bringing fun and quirky news from Asia to English speaking audiences. 

js-8

The other day, my wife and I spent the day hanging out at the beautiful and awesome Hitachi Seaside Park. As we headed towards the exit at dusk, I pointed to a grove of trees with the sun setting behind them and got to bust out one of my favorite five-dollar Japanese vocabulary words: komorebi.

In retrospect, two things come to mind. First, shouldn’t a five-dollar Japanese word really be a 500-yen word? And second, why is it that the Japanese language has vocabulary as specific as komorebi, meaning “sunlight filtering though trees,” yet doesn’t have a good equivalent for *#&!, %?$!, or even &*!$?

Heads up! The following discussion of profanity contains language that might best be read when you’re not at work or school.

Read more at RocketNews24!


Jul 2

【RocketNews24】Japanese student’s English homework captures futility of life

Posted by Michelle Lynn Dinh (Shimane-ken, Chibu-mura, 2010–13), editor and writer for RocketNews24The following article was written by Clara Clegg, a writer and translator for RocketNews24, a Japan-based site dedicated to bringing fun and quirky news from Asia to English speaking audiences.

Japanese student’s English homework captures futility of life

I’ve marked my fair share of English exam papers here in Japan, and there have been a few gems of hilarity in amongst the spelling mistakes and butchered grammar, but nothing that measures up to this beauty. One student’s answer to a simple question was so deep and existential, it read like poetry.

Read More


Apr 16

【RocketNews24】Six (and a half) essential resources for learning Japanese

Posted by Michelle Lynn Dinh (Shimane-ken, Chibu-mura, 2010–13), editor and writer for RocketNews24The following article was written by Philip Kendall (Fukushima-ken, Shirakawa-shi, 2006–11), senior editor and writer for RocketNews24, a Japan-based site dedicated to bringing fun and quirky news from Asia to English speaking audiences.

Six (and a half) essential resources for learning Japanese

As we’ve said before, Japanese isn’t actually as hard to learn as it’s often made out to be. Unlike English, for example, Japanese follows its own grammatical rules far more rigidly, pronunciation is easy because there is only one variant of each vowel sound to choose from (none of this tomayto/tomahto business), and it’s possible to create entire, perfectly meaningful and valid sentences without uttering a single pronoun or bothering to conjugate a verb.

Nevertheless, the language will not magically seep into you through a desire to speak it alone — you still need to encounter and study it as often as possible. With that in mind, we’d like to present to you the six and a half resources that no dedicated student of the Japanese language should ever be without. Oh, and the good news is some of them are completely free.

Read More


Feb 12

【RocketNews24】Nippon or Nihon? No consensus on the Japanese pronunciation of “Japan”

Posted by Michelle Lynn Dinh (Shimane-ken, Chibu-mura, 2010–13), editor and writer for RocketNews24The following article was written by Master Blaster, writing team for RocketNews24, a Japan-based site dedicated to bringing fun and quirky news from Asia to English speaking audiences.

Nippon or Nihon? No consensus on the Japanese pronunciation of “Japan”

As any student of Japanese will tell you, its use of Chinese characters known as kanjican be a nightmare at times. And although they can be really useful at deducing the meaning of complex words, they give little in the way of clues as to how one should pronounce them.

Take the kanji for Japan (日本) for example. Even a first grader can tell you what it means, but ask a group of adults how to pronounce it and you might get a mixture of “Nihon” or “Nippon” and maybe even an occasional “Yamato” if one of those people happens to be a smart-ass.

Read More


Jan 22

【RocketNews24】10 everyday English words that were originally Japanese

Michelle Lynn Dinh (Shimane-ken, Chibu-mura, 2010–13) is an editor and writer for RocketNews24, a Japan-based site dedicated to bringing fun and quirky news from Asia to English speaking audiences.10 everyday English words that were originally Japanese

While Japan’s bank of English loan words has grown to the point where “context” and even “paradigm” can be understood by most people, there seems to be only a handful of Japanese words that have been sprinkled into the modern English vocabulary. Of course, there’s things like “manga”, “sushi,” and “karate,” which English speakers can instantly recognize as comics, a Japanese food, and a way to kick ass (in that respective order), but there are also some sleeper agent Japanese words traipsing about our English conversations. Let’s take a look at Japanese words, like “honcho” (as in “head honcho”) and “tycoon” (as in “oil tycoon”), that we use in English.

Read More


Oct 22

【RocketNews24】Ninja life skills: 7 tips to make learning Japanese that little bit easier

 

Posted by Michelle Lynn Dinh (Shimane-ken, Chibu-mura, 2010–13), editor and writer for RocketNews24The following article was written by Philip Kendall (Fukushima-ken, Shirakawa-shi, 2006–11), senior editor and writer for RocketNews24, a Japan-based site dedicated to bringing fun and quirky news from Asia to English speaking audiences.

nihongo-top

Despite its apparent difficulty, Japanese is fast becoming one of the world’s most desirable languages to learn, with more and more Westerners studying it every day. Eventually, though, we all hit a wall with our studies and feel like we’re not making any progress. The books you threw yourself into with such enthusiasm start to become a chore to open, the army of kanji characters you have yet to study stare back at you with mocking disdain, and despite all the hours you put in you still can’t quite keep up with that anime you were determined to watch without subtitles. It happens to the best of us, but there are ways to break out of this rut, not to mention rekindle that love for studying Japanese, or any other language for that matter.

So today we’d like to bring you our short list of tips and tricks for boosting your Japanese language ability and make studying less of a chore. The following is a combination of both tips and experiences of foreigners who have achieved varying degrees of fluency in the language and our combined knowledge. It’s by no means the final word in language study, but give some of these a try and we’re sure you’ll be surprised at how quickly your Japanese proficiency improves.

Read More


Sep 18

【RocketNews24】Ninja language skills: Boost your Japanese with the power of onomatopoeia

 

Posted by Michelle Lynn Dinh (Shimane-ken, Chibu-mura, 2010–13), editor and writer for RocketNews24The following article was written by Philip Kendall (Fukushima-ken, Shirakawa-shi, 2006–11), senior editor and writer for RocketNews24, a Japan-based site dedicated to bringing fun and quirky news from Asia to English speaking audiences.

Ninja language skills- Boost your Japanese with the power of onomatopoeia

There are in fact three distinct types of onomatopoeia in the Japanese language: 擬声語 giseigo, 擬音語 giongo and 擬態語 gitaigo.

 

It rarely appears in beginner or intermediate textbooks, but spend a day with any native Japanese speaker and you’ll soon realise that onomatopoeia is a vital part of the language. Utterances such as, “The rain fell like ‘pssshaaaa’” and, “My heart was going ‘boom boom boom’ the whole time!” may come across as a little ineloquent when said in English, but in Japanese these kinds of mimetic words are not only considered perfectly acceptable, but pop up absolutely everywhere.

So if you’ve ever wondered what sound a Japanese pig makes, how best to describe a rolling boulder as opposed to a tiny marble, or would be perplexed if a doctor asked whether the pain you’re feeling is more shikushiku than kirikiri, now’s your chance to hone your language skills and add a few new words to your Japanese vocabulary!

Read More


Mar 23

JCAW Symposium: Global Opportunities through Japanese Language 03.23.12

Thanks to JETAA DC Secretary Leigh Ann Mastrini. Posted by Kay Monroe (Miyazaki-shi, 1995 -97).
———————————————————————————————————————–

On April 7, 2012, the Japan Commerce Association of Washington, DC (JCAW) will be hosting a symposium on “Global Opportunities through Japanese Language” – The purpose of the Symposium is to provide a networking opportunity for students of Japanese language who want to pursue related careers, and corporations or government agencies interested in hiring American students who speak Japanese and understand Japanese culture.

Please see the link and introduction below for more information and more importantly, to register by 03.23.12!
http://www.jcawf. org/japanese/ program/cherry_ blossom_centenni al/education/ symposium/ Read More


Page Rank