Monthly Archives: May 2012

Page-Turner

In the words of the authors of Making Sense of Japanese Grammar – A Clear Guide Through Common Problems: Since any grammar book, alas, is far from a thriller, we do not recommend that you read ours from cover to cover on a rainy afternoon. (If you tried, your eyes would swiftly glaze over, especially if you like to read in a reclining position!). I guess you can say that about any book with grammar written in bold letters on its cover, even such excellent references such as A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar. And yet this is what the book I have read a second time through. Today I got finished with it, and it took about 2 weeks, give or take 1. Doing it was a good decision. As it turned out, there have still been some holes in my understanding of some grammar points, that are now buried once and for all. Now that I got done with this one, I will soon move on to reading A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar a second time. The outcome will be a more in-depth understanding of grammar, and the possibility to use what was learned in a natural Japanese style.

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Reading for Writing

It is funny. Here I am, wanting to write. I have the perfect source for learning it, and yet I am reading even more about writing, than I actually write. I guess this is inevitable. Even mori7 stresses the importance to read consistently, to develop knowledge and a feeling for the language, before starting to write. They are giving this advice to both parents and teachers, as well as the older students visiting their site. I am neither a preschool nor a school child, or a child at all, but you knew that already. Only in my heart I will remain to be one. That aside, in a way, I am currently a child again. I am trying to learn a culture technique, probably the most important next to speaking, and my level is close to that of a 1st grade elementary school child.

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What Difference A Day Makes

My goal for the longest time now is to start writing in Japanese. Writing about it feels like playing a broken record that repeats itself at the same spot time and again. I delayed starting to write many times, and I had many excuses for not starting. One of the first was “I lack the necessary grammar and vocabulary”, “I want to write about interesting things”, “I want to be able to express myself like an adult of my age.” There are probably more that even I have forgotten, but this is perhaps one of the saddest of all excuses I could have come up with “Communicating in the language is not that important to me, getting better at reading and listening is, so starting to write can wait ad infinitum.” Wanting to write but feeling unable to do so is frustrating. The easy way out of it is to find excuses why something isn’t working, as opposed to working on the problem to improve.

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Learning Something vs. The Deep Desire to Learn Something

I want to learn how to play tennis, to draw, to write short novels, to code, 折り紙 (おりがみ) paper-folding, to play the piano! But how should I go about doing it? But of course! Lets look for the answer on the Internet. You will find that an innumerable number of search results will turn up. And now it is your first task to sift through them to find some of the more helpful results to guide you. Say you want to learn to play the piano. Type in “learn piano” in your favourite search engine and look at the results. “Learn piano with …”, “You can learn the piano …”, “Learn to read notes with …” Doesn’t look very promising, because every second website offers their content on a pay-per-view basis. Pay 59,99$ and you get access to my lessons, a community, and monthly magazines! This is not very helpful at all in case your wish is to find out whether or not piano is for you in the first place.

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日本人の知らない日本語

Today I am going to introduce you to a drama called 日本人の知らない日本語. This drama is about a group of foreigners learning Japanese and their Japanese teacher. She is expected to teach the students the Japanese language and social customs. Right from the start she fails big-time. She eventually becomes better as the story unfolds. She begins to understand the needs of her students and also one thing or two about things she is expected to know, since she is Japanese, but obviously doesn’t. Her life isn’t easy with students who seem to know everything better, who are able to speak Japanese very well, and know their Kanji. I don’t want to spoil you so I leave it at that.

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The Other Way Around

In case you are into Anime you might be familiar with the following problem. It took ages to get the Anime you want to watch, and to make the most out of the experience of watching them, you want have subtitles too. Maybe just because it makes it easier for you to understand, or because you plan to create a deck in Anki with them. No matter what your reason for the want of having subtitles are, I bet with you that you are out of luck in 9 out of 10 times, to find exactly the ones you need. I’ve been in this situation many times, and I came to the conclusion that it isn’t worth to look around, in the hopes to find them. What are we to do in this situation? Either give up and move on to some other Anime that has subtitles, to the cost that they might not be interesting at all, or forget about the subtitles altogether.

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Thats Why I Hate Japan

This title might offend visitors who discover my blog and happen to live in Japan. But please don’t feel offended by it. お願いします! The reason for choosing this title is whenever I visit websites and watch videos, they contain offensive material that should be prohibited, that is f-o-o-d. Every time I watch one of those I get so hungry, that I want to catch the next plane to Japan, to be able to bury my teeth into one of those delicacies myself. Really! It is unbearable sometimes. And on top of that it causes me to become hungry, in the middle of the night, while nothing is in my refrigerator, and no snacks to fill in the time between breakfast and lunch.

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