I mentioned a while ago that I was going to attempt to remove third person pronouns from my everyday language as much as possible. There are several reasons for this. The first is that Japanese and other languages get along just fine without using them as an ordinary part of
I’d say this is a pretty good topic to talk about, right? There are many things about Japanese that are very different from English. Some are just what they are – they’re different, but there’s no real useful insight to be gained about my own language. The fact that Japanese
Many years ago, when I was a teenager in the late 80s and early 90s, the cult that I was raised in had a propaganda magazine called “Youth <insert year here>” where leaders of the cult would attempt to be relevant to the youth of the day, and most of
Japanese jyukugo fascinate me, because each one tells a story. Sometimes the story is boring, but sometimes they offer an unwitting insight into the mind of a culture. I was reminded of this when I learned the jyukugo 電池. The two kanji together mean “electricity” and “pond”. But if you put
One of the more frustrating things about Japanese to a beginner is the multiple levels of politeness. At first glance they seem completely foreign, but I really don’t think they are. It’s baked into English as well, it’s just not so much a grammatical construct as a manner of speaking.
Every now and then I’ll hear someone say that Japanese is pretty straightforward. I’ve said that a couple of times, and in limited contexts, it’s true. The rules are pretty clear, and most of the time if you follow them you’ll do okay. See the catch in that sentence? “Most
One of the most fascinating and frustrating things about Japanese is that it is a very precise language. For example, the word for “husband” and the word for “prisoner” only varies by the length of one vowel. It is a metered language, it does not have stresses like in English.
One thing I find fascinating is that a large fraction of the Japanese language is made up of loanwords, I’ve heard about ten percent of their language being of English origin. But they take our words and adapt them to their syllabic structure, making them Japanese words. Most English speakers
The very first thing I watched in Japanese – and the thing that made me feel like I wanted to learn it, was this video: It is a rather cute video of a bunch of Morning Musume girls (this was 13 years ago!) taking a faux English lesson. When I
Goldilocks and the Three Bears Sometimes you will hear an English speaker say something like “We’re looking for that Goldilocks sweet spot”. What does that mean? As you can see from the story, Goldilocks is a fairy tale, which is a story told to children at a very young age.