Google Translate and You

Google Translate. The lazy person’s way to language. Full of errors, especially with non-Western languages. A waste of time for the serious student. Well, anyway, that’s what I used to believe. Now, I don’t believe it so strongly. (All the following is based on what I do in Android. I’m sure something similar can be done in iOS.) Here’s what I currently do when I get a sentence from a Japanese person on HelloTalk that I can’t figure out. First of all, I copy and paste it into Jota+, because sometimes a really tiny Kanji that gets a bit bigger in my text editor suddenly becomes comprehensible. If that didn’t… Read More

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Why doesn’t Maggie Sensei get more Love?

I just realized today that every time I’ve done a search for a piece of Japanese grammar, and Maggie Sensei’s site comes up, I always get super useful content from her everytime. She explains everything clearly, gives lots of examples, and has bonus dog pictures! Today I looked up the grammatical meaning of との, and there it was, a complete list of all the particles that could be used with の , lots of clear examples, and a dog picture. Also today, I finally noticed she has a Patreon, and I subscribed immediately. I don’t have any affiliation with her, other than being a satisfied Internet user of her services.… Read More

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Maintaining

Wow, been making a lot of basic grammar errors on HelloTalk. You’d think these are things I would have learned by now, but no. Either I’m regressing, or this is normal in language learning, or I’m just too darn tired from things outside of studying Japanese. Still. They say if you don’t make mistakes, you’re not learning anything.

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vs Japan

I’ve already mentioned Matt vs Japan, but now he has a video up where he is interviewing a guy with the YouTube handle BritVsJapan. I wasn’t aware language studying meant you had to face off against the country of that language. EdVsChina. KateVsThailand. Sounds kind of silly, doesn’t it? Maybe it’s an AJATT clan title. Even if you think it means Matt/Brit vs the Japanese language, that’s still a weird way to approach learning a language. “I hate this language, but after I punch and kick it enough, it will surrender and I will be triumphant! TRI-UM-PHANT!” Or maybe it’s just awkward marketing. Me, I’m studying Japanese because I like… Read More

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This Word is Rare

So I’ve already written about how I’m using the Android app Aedict as my main Japanese dictionary. It’s really handy, acts as a simple translator, but, it has one feature I can’t understand. It (like every Japanese-English dictionary I’ve seen) uses Jim Breen’s dictionary data as the source of all the words. And, it gives a “rarity” for each word I have looked up on it. I questioned some of the rarities before, but today I really had to check what was going on. I was typing out a reply on HelloTalk to someone, and I wanted to check that I was spelling こちらこそ correctly (no doubled vowel sounds anywhere),… Read More

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Sweet YouTube Japanese Drama

No, not a professional production. It’s Japanese From Zero versus a fan of All Japanese All The Time (AJATT). I like Japanese From Zero. I haven’t really looked at the printed materials that George Trombley puts out, but his videos are always informative. His explanations are clear, and he definitely knows his spoken Japanese very well. Then there is a guy called Matt, who runs the YouTube channel Matt VS Japan, and is a fervent disciple of the AJATT method. I don’t know a lot about AJATT, beyond the fact that its website reads like it was written by a dude bro who is trying to sell me insurance. As… Read More

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Speaking Japanese outside Japan

Naturally, if you want to learn how to speak a language, you need to speak it with a native speaker of the language. Someone who isn’t afraid to correct your mistakes. But outside of Japan, how do you meet with native speakers of the language? School This is certainly one option. But the only native speakers in the room are going to be the 先生 and any アシスタント. And they’re too busy running classes to have much time to chat with you after class. Some schools offer an immersion experience. If you’re independently wealthy, you can apply to do a full immersion at a school in Japan, which solves all… Read More

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Ganbatte Shadowing App

I was introduced to this app on HelloTalk. I haven’t had much of a chance to try it out yet, but it does have impressive credentials, developed by the International University of Japan, both for their registered students and for non-students. It has a nice reference page describing the different methods of language shadowing, and then you go to download lessons at your current level of Japanese fluency. You can have the script used open, or you can hide it and just focus on shadowing the speech you hear. It records your voice so you can compare your speech patterns to the patterns of the native speakers. This might be… Read More

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Pogan Lol

Pogan Lol昔、昔。。。 Pogan Lolが自己の侍あり呼び出されるのが日本の海岸に来ました。TooYoobの芸人さんでした。+7カメラや七つ人のNPCの仲間も持っていた。 「俺は有名な白人だぜ」と言った。「アメリカのOhioの白人だぜ。全部の日本人は必ず俺にニコニコしてるぞ。俺にたくさん人がおめでとうと言う。こっら!」 彼はカメラを設置して撮影を始めた。 NPCsは「Pogan Lol様はすごいですね」と言った。Pogan Lolは何ごとを言わなかった。 「おおい!」Pokechuuのコスチュームを持ちながら怒鳴った。「behifuhetaguhichikiyonmiboinpaemo!!!」と言った。それから彼は1万の恐ろしい行為をした。 NPCは「天才!天才だぜ!」と言った。 それからPogan Lolは日本を去って全部の日本人が「よっかった!」と大声で叫んだ。 二週ごはPogan Lolが「俺はまだ百万長者だぞ!」と言った。 NPCは「将軍!将軍だぜ!」と言った。 TooYoobは「私たちはぜったい嚇怒しています!」と言ってそうして穏やかな懲らしめを上げた。 世界は違わなかった。ハッピーエンドではありませんすみませんです。

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