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Why Japanese is So Frustrating

Japanese is very frustrating – but not for the reasons you’d think. You might think it’s because there are so many kanji with so many different readings. This isn’t the reason it’s frustrating.  Learning those is a time-consuming slog, but it’s straightforward.  Tools like wanikani can help with that. You might think it’s because the grammar is so backwards from English.  That isn’t really the reason it’s frustrating.  It’s fairly easy to adapt to, once you get into the right mindset. You might think it’s because there are so many… Read More »Why Japanese is So Frustrating

The Japanese Resources I Currently Use

My journey of learning Japanese has been finding new apps/resources/etc., using them, tossing them aside, and finding others…  ad nauseum.  So the ones I’ve found now are the ones that have stood the test of time (for the most part).  Each one is a “part of this complete breakfast”, but none of them is a silver bullet, and none of them will get you towards the goal of N1 or C3 or fluency or whatever. Also, these are the resources that work for me.  Don’t get mad if they don’t work for you. Wanikani… Read More »The Japanese Resources I Currently Use

What I Would Do Different in my Japanese Journey

What would I do differently in my Japanese journey? Maybe not try at all?  Well, maybe, but there’s more to it than that. When I first started Japanese, I didn’t really know why I was doing it.  I still am not entirely sure, but I think it kind of came down to being my way of dealing with some issues that I was going through at the time.  I think I learned Japanese for much the same reason I started the Lily project.  There was something about that world that attracted… Read More »What I Would Do Different in my Japanese Journey

I had a Dream about Japan

Last night, I had a dream about Japan.  It wasn’t a nightmare.  It also wasn’t nice. This part of my dream started being in a van or something that someone else was driving, and being stopped by Japanese police.  It turned out the van had some kind of illicit substance in it, but none of us knew what was going on.  The police detained all of us.  I thought I could use my knowledge of Japanese to communicate with them.  I tried.  They kept responding in English.  They pretty much… Read More »I had a Dream about Japan

Are Japanese Comfortable with English?

I won’t bury the lede:  no, but that’s changing. I’ve been watching a lot of anime lately.  An interesting thing about anime is that it is written by Japanese people for Japanese people, and the western audience is an afterthought and, I think, seen as unimportant.  That’s changing because there are a lot of potential fans in the west (the Crunchyroll awards seemed pretty well attended in Tokyo) but for the most part, that’s true.  So, by watching anime, you get a pretty good idea of not only Japanese culture (obligatory fireworks… Read More »Are Japanese Comfortable with English?

Kanashii vs Sabishii: The Untranslatability of Nuance

Well, here’s an interesting one I pulled out of my “things to write about” hat, which is growing larger and larger. In Japanese, there are multiple words for “sad”.  I’m not going to pretend “kanashii”, and “sabishii” are the only ones.  They might be, they might not be.  But they are the words I know.  And they cause no end of grief for watching subtitled anime. The word translated as “sad” in Sound! Euphonium is “sabishii”.  That isn’t a word that directly means sad. In the tenth episode of the… Read More »Kanashii vs Sabishii: The Untranslatability of Nuance

The Roman Alphabet in Japanese

One thing that really puzzled me, even from the beginning of my studies, is how Japanese tends to integrate the roman alphabet.  Sometimes in ways that are obvious, sometimes not, but they seem to be very aware of the alphabet and they use it in some case.  There are a few letters they’ve integrated into Japanese words – T, S, M, L, and H. (I seem to recall P too, but I can’t remember exactly how). I think partly they think it’s cool, and partly it’s just easier to use… Read More »The Roman Alphabet in Japanese

Can You Learn Japanese from Anime?

Well, back to some posts about what this blog was originally about.  The last few were pretty personal, and I don’t mind that, but you gotta counter the carbs with some meat, I guess.  Don’t worry, the personal posts will be back, I just have some stuff to mull over and process on my own before posting it here.  This blog is a lot of things, but it’s not really therapy, and it shouldn’t be, either. The question of the day:  Can you learn Japanese from anime? My answer has… Read More »Can You Learn Japanese from Anime?

Why I Hate Anime Dubs

I hate anime dubs.  I mean I really can’t stand them.  I’ve tried to watch one or two, and I always end up dropping it after a few episodes.  Subtitles are far better in my opinion. Is this because I’m an elitist who thinks that the anime is only good in its native language? Well… that’s true, but that’s not why I hate anime dubs.  It’s close, but not really. Is it because I’m upset at the localizers for fucking up the dubs? Well, I am, but that’s not why… Read More »Why I Hate Anime Dubs

Why Japanese Was, and Wasn’t, a Waste of Time.

So a couple of things before I start this post. Thing #1:  This is a post where I take advantage of the fact that no one reads this.  If this post were to somehow, by some miracle, go viral, I will probably remove it. Thing #2: This post is a statement on how things are, not how they should be.  The distinction is very important here, and I’d appreciate it if you, the reader, would keep it in mind. I am a very intelligent person.  In fact, I’d go so far as to say… Read More »Why Japanese Was, and Wasn’t, a Waste of Time.