Tag Archives: Language

Learning Japanese Tips – The Humble Index Card

Index card

Photo by GabrielaP93 on Flickr

Back when I started learning Japanese, I had nothing more than some audio lessons and a pile of index cards. It was a simpler time. As I’ve progressed and branched out over the years I’ve expanded and explored many different learning options and digital solutions. This week I’ve decided to get back to the basics.

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Japanese Idiom: To Eat Cold Rice

rice bowl

Photo by el patojo on Flickr

We have an idiom in English when we do something stupid and have to face the consequences, it’s called being in the doghouse. The Japanese have a something similar, except it has to do with the temperature of your rice :)

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How to Order Food in Japanese

Ordering Food in Japanese

Photo by by quinn.anya on Flickr

Ordering food in Japanese doesn’t need to be an intimidating experience. With these simple phrases and your pointer finger you’ll be ordering food off the Japanese menu like a pro.

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Top 5 Considerations for Selecting a Study Abroad Program in Japan

Japanese classroom

Study abroad programs are an excellent way for students to supplement the educational process with lessons in life. By jetting off to another country to continue the path towards a degree, you will enjoy the opportunity to meet new people and learn about different cultures in a foreign setting. In other words, the experience can open your eyes and expand your mind. However, choosing the right program can be difficult.

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Japanese Counters Cheat Sheet

Japanese taxis

For anyone who’s tried learning to count in Japanese, you’ll soon find out how many strange and annoying variables the Japanese language has for counting. There’s different words for counting days of the week, people, flat items, long slender items, floors in a building, large animals, small animals…and on and on.

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Japanese Idiom: Kill two birds with one Stone

Two birds on a wire

Photo by liquidnight on Flickr

There’s a few Japanese idioms that have a direct and well known translation in English. This is one of them :)

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Best Japanese Learning Tools – Part 2: Websites

Japanese learning websites

Photo by Dan_H on Flickr

I hope you enjoyed Part 1 of our list of helpful Japanese learning books. In this part we are going to talk about several websites that really help you learn Japanese online. Let’s do this!

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Japanese Idiom: Having Hellish Ears


Photo by ukmari on Flickr

At first glance, today’s idiom is hard one to decipher. What exactly are hellish ears anyway? Enter…and all will be revealed.

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Best Japanese Learning Tools – Part 1: Books

Best Japanese Learning Tools - Books

Photo by afrowolf on Flickr

I realize that any “best Japanese learning tools” type of post will be subjective at best. It all depends on your learning style and your circumstances.

So while these tools may not end up being your favorites, they should give you a good sampling of what works well for learning the Japanese language. Please keep in mind that I’ve been learning the language almost completely devoid of native speakers or immersion possibilities. So these tools are compiled with the home learner in mind.

So let’s get at it!

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The Danger of Learning a Foreign Language

Photo of tree

Photo by ahp_ibanez on Flickr

Just came across an very interesting article by Tim Sullivan on how learning a language outside of its culture can hinder your abilities to speak. I find this is especially true with Japanese as much of the language and word choice depends on your relationship to the speaker.

It dawned on me that learning a foreign language didn’t assure effective communication would happen. I learned the hard way that if you don’t understand the values, assumptions, thought process and culture behind the language you’re studying, then it’s better if you don’t speak the language at all.

Read the full article here.