Tag Archives: Language

Japanese Idiom: To Vomit Mud

Photo Credit: Daniel Conway via

Photo Credit: Daniel Conway

While talking to a friend, she mentioned that the Japanese will sometimes day they “slept like mud” after a particularity hard sleep. That got me thinking about other “mud” idioms that the Japanese have. I don’t know if you’ll be happy that I found this one :P

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Japanese Idiom: Hold Someone’s Drum

Photo Credit: hank_rhoads

Photo Credit: hank_rhoads

I’m sure you’re familiar with the English idiom “to beat one’s own drum”, and at first inspection I thought this Japanese idiom was the same thing. But while there’s some similarities, the results are much different.

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Japanese Idiom: Start with a Dragon end with a Snake

Photo Credit: Christopher Chan

Photo Credit: Christopher Chan

At first glance, I had no idea what this Japanese idiom was about. Can you guess what it is? :)

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The Benefits of Learning Japanese as a Second Language

Photo Credit: Nomadic Lass

Photo Credit: Nomadic Lass

Learning a second language is a brilliant addition for your CV and your general set of skills.

Being bilingual positively affects your life and can open you up to numerous amazing opportunities. You will develop your mental capacities in that you will become much more attentive and your problem solving skills will become much sharper and quicker.

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Japanese Idiom: Snakes Know Another Snake’s Path

Photo Credit: Dakiny

Photo Credit: Dakiny

Here’s a fun idiom to describe a rather slippery character. It reminds me of a similar English idiom “he’s a snake in the grass”, but this Japanese idiom has a bit more to do with comparing one snake to another.

Let’s take a look!

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How Many Words Do You Need to Know to be Fluent in Japanese?

Photo by e.g.gatsby on Flickr

Photo by e.g.gatsby on Flickr

Granted, there is a debate on what exactly being fluent in Japanese means. Personally my aim is to be conversationally comfortable rather than try and pack in 30,000 words. Truth be told, even if I know 30,000 English words, how many of those will I actually use every day or even in a year? So here’s what I think it means to be fluent in Japanese and how many words that’s going take.

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Saying “Sorry” in Japanese

Photo by Kalexanderson on Flickr

Photo by Kalexanderson on Flickr

A while back we did a post on how to say you’re sorry in Japanese. The post took a look at some simple ways on how even the most beginner Japanese learner or traveller can express themselves properly. I ran across a more in depth series on the different ways to say you’re sorry over on the LiguaLift blog.

Japan is a country where ostensive humility prevails over and above over almost any other social norm. Japanese people appear to say some variant of the word ‘sorry’ at almost every juncture during their day—even when they have done nothing wrong!

Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of the series. It’s well worth a read if you want a deeper understanding of the various ways and degrees of apologizing in Japanese.

Japanese Idiom: The Crying Signboard

Photo by tokyoform on Flickr

Photo by tokyoform on Flickr

Today’s idiom paints a fun mental picture and is uniquely Japanese. So what exactly is a crying signboard?

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How to say “It was nice to meet you” in Japanese

nice to meet you Japanese

Photo by Ben K Adams on Flickr

Japan has been know as a place where manners go a long way. While style and opinion certainly change, it’s hard to go wrong when you try and be as polite as possible when meeting new people in Japan. For this instalment of our lessons in helpful Japanese travel phrases we thought we’d look out how to say “It was nice to meet you” in Japanese.

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Japanese Idiom: To Mix Like Water & Oil

oil and water

Photo by Bill Gracey on Flickr

The Japanese idiom we’re going to look at today is also very similar to an English idiom of expressing when two things or people cannot seem to mix or get along. It’s called water and oil.

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