Every Day Is A Good Day, Kind Of

Soon after I wrote this post, I was reminded of a certain Zen aphorism in Japanese: 日日是好日  which is read as nichi nichi kore kō nichi. This usually translates as “every day is a good day”, or “each day is a good day” or other such things. It is originally attributed to a Chinese ZenContinue reading “Every Day Is A Good Day, Kind Of”

Stop Memorizing Kanji and Learn Through Convergence

From time to time, I meet other folks who, like me, are interested in Japanese culture and language.  I have been studying it more or less since I married my wife, but more seriously about 10 years ago when I was focused on passing the JLPT exams, and through it all I’ve made a lotContinue reading “Stop Memorizing Kanji and Learn Through Convergence”

Keigo: the Spice of Japanese Life

No study of Japanese language would be complete without learning how keigo (敬語) works. Ostensibly, keigo is just honorific speak, but it’s also a good window into Japanese culture as well and reflects a lot of unspoken, cultural rules. Kinship Terms One cultural/linguistic rule is how you address your own kin versus another person’s kin.Continue reading “Keigo: the Spice of Japanese Life”

Japanese Sound Effect Words

Since I became a dad and we raised our kids to be bi-lingual in Japanese and English, I’ve come to incidentally learn a lot of “baby” Japanese words, but also a lot of sound-effect words too. Compared to English, Japanese has a large vocabulary of descriptive words for sounds, movement, moods and such. These areContinue reading “Japanese Sound Effect Words”

Part Two: Learning Hiragana Ain’t Hard!

In part one we covered the basics of how Japanese Hiragana script works. In this post we’ll cover some of the more advanced concepts. First let’s review the basic hiragana characters: n w r y m h n t s k (blank) ん わ ら や ま は な た さ か あ a りContinue reading “Part Two: Learning Hiragana Ain’t Hard!”

Part One: Learning Hiragana Ain’t Hard!

Recently a colleague expressed interest in learning Japanese language and asked me for advice.  I’ve been learning Japanese on my own for about 10 years ever since I married my wife, and have reached a point that, while certainly not fluent, I can still read Japanese without too much difficulty. Japanese language seems difficult atContinue reading “Part One: Learning Hiragana Ain’t Hard!”