So Many Choices: Grammar [Apps and Web Sites]

Web sites and apps, the painless way to study Japanese grammar. Ha, ha! Oh, I’m so funny. There is no painless way to study Japanese grammar. Just a lot of hard work and regular study. At some point, the pain lessens as you become more fluent in regular conversations. At least, that’s my theory. If it ever happens to me, I’ll let you know. This list isn’t by any means the full list of what’s out there. It contains entries I’ve had personal experience with. I roughly break these down into the following categories: Websites ImabiThis one is the full course meal. The owner of this site has a grand… Read More

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So Many Choices: Grammar [Books]

Japanese grammar. You start off studying it thinking, “Say, this isn’t too bad!” And then you get into て form, and adjective conjugations, and set grammar constructions, and then you listen to real Japanese people speaking outside of a classroom, and realise that you know nothing, John Snow. But, you have to learn some kind of rules, so when you go to speak, people can cheerfully smile at you and say 「日本語は上手ですね?」. Japanese people are very polite, you see. This entry is a bit long, so I am going to talk about apps that I use for grammar in a separate post. Books Holy cow, there are a lot of… Read More

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So Many Choices: Vocabulary

There are a lot of ways to learn Japanese vocabulary. This is one of the times where I think a mix of self-study methods is better. Textbooks I started learning my vocabulary the old-fashioned way. Took some Japanese courses, didn’t do a lot of my homework, and then stammered in class when 先生 asked me a question. I don’t recommend this as a great method, but still, you do retain some things. Genki I/II Sure, there are lots of other textbooks out there, but these give you a great start in studying Japanese. Sure, the situations and vocabulary are a bit skewed towards academia (do I really need to immediately… Read More

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So Many Choices: Kanji

So Many Choices: Kanji

I started off this blog talking about kanji. and I’ll never stop talking about kanji. Intriguing, beautiful, frustrating, vital…what’s not to love? These characters, borrowed from the Chinese and then evolved by the Japanese over many centuries, are one of the biggest obstacles in learning Japanese well. You can certainly get to some level of proficiency without learning kanji. but if you can’t read in a language, how proficient are you really? Books I didn’t start my kanji studying with books, but I certainly splashed out some cash on them. Remembering the Kanji This certainly is one of the most well-known study guides. James Heisig locked himself in a library to… Read More

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So Many Choices

What are the pillars of a language? Grammar Vocabulary Reading Writing Speaking Those are the major ones, anyway. Back in the day, you would go to a school, and the school would assign you to a teacher. Someone would assign you a textbook or two or three, and off you went. Do your homework, write some tests, speak the new language in class in usually artificial conversations. and if you were diligent, you might have wound up understanding a new language. How did you choose where and how to study? Well, pretty imply, where could you afford to live for at least nine months and also fund your studies? If… Read More

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お金

日本語の授業を受けりたいと、お金が大切だな? お金とか時だとかやる気も大切だと思う。 このごろ「Zoom]を使わなければいけない。教室で出席するのよりリモートの授業で出席する時は足りない感じだと思うな。たしかに、見立ては少ない。 どうする?家で授業を練習して、いつも頑張りましょう。

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At the Japanese-English Language Meetup

I enter the Japanese-English meetup and am assigned to a group. For the first part of the meetup, we speak in English. Then, forty to forty-five minutes later, the host tells us to switch languages. Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we just keep speaking English. No one objects. For some, Japanese is a scary language, and for others, they appreciate getting more English practice. Sometimes we do. Then the fluency stream takes over. Either you are swimming in the stream, or swimming as hard as you can so you don’t drown. The native speakers and the people who are almost fluent dominate. Sometimes I get a word in. Sometimes I just… Read More

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Grasping This Beautiful Moon

A Zen Master lived the simplest kind of life in a little hut at the foot of a mountain. One evening, while he was away, a thief sneaked into the hut only to find there was nothing in it to steal. The Zen Master returned and found him. “You have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.” The thief was bewildered, but he took the clothes and ran away. The Master sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused, ” I wish I could give him this beautiful moon.” — from… Read More

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Inspiration

So, it’s not easy to be inspired during a global pandemic. Even less so when you’re watching fools prance around with no masks on, breathing wherever they feel like it. But, of course, the secret to life is not just inspiration. It is effort after inspiration. And it’s not easy to put effort into anything but the basic survival skills during a global pandemic. However, what is the alternative? Working, eating, sleeping and nothing else? It’s like one goes through a set of stages of experience with the facts of the world around them. Like the stages of accepting death is coming, but a bit different. My stage now is… Read More

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