Maybe Taking the Second Class Choice?

Well, I had to pass on enrolling at the Toronto Japanese Language School. I’ve had some of the best, and worst, moments of studying Japanese at that school, but the good moments outweighed the bad ones by a lot. If I had any brains, I would have preregistered last summer and saved some cash, but right now I don’t have the ~$600+ dollars to put down for a class. If only they had an installment plan… Which leaves my other choice, to take a class at the JCCC. Much more affordable, and the classes there are equally good as the same level class at TJLS. I’m just going to come… Read More

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Take a Class?? Or Not?

Well, ’tis the season. When Japanese schools around town open up their school year to happy registrants. Do I want to take a class? PROS: structured environment minimal chance to practice speaking teacher to answer (limited) questions CONS: cost convenience teacher to answer (limited) questions You’ll notice (because you’re all smart people) that I have a duplicate listed. This is because, although teachers do answer questions, the school term has always been structured that there is almost no time. The general Japanese lesson plan seems to be Take hours in semester, divide by time per chapter, multiply by number of chapters, push as far ahead as you can to cover… Read More

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Pitch Accent? Huh?

Recently, I learned about Dogen on Patreon via Tofugu. No, not this 道元. This one. (Although, I just now made this connection. Could it be…?) Anyways, I sort of knew Japanese had a pitch accent, but Dogen’s Patreon page makes it painfully clear that it is not a simple thing, to be ignored. Well, I guess you can ignore it, since context will provide information to the Japanese listener trying to understand my feeble attempts to speak. But wouldn’t it be cool to use はし in conversation, and have the listener know immediately what you meant? I have to confess, though, this is a BIG demotivator. It just adds another… Read More

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Android Japanese-English Dictionaries: Akebi

(Sorry for the late post. Things got piled up.) The other dictionary I am using is Akebi. It is currently in beta. It offers simple word lookup, recognizing kanji from handwriting, and word lists, which are the same as notebooks in Aedict. The interesting thing is the more complex search. If you enter a set of kanji, you get a tab at the top displayed for each kanji. For example, if I type in 今回, I get two tabs, one for the first kanji [今], and one for the second [回]. Then, at the bottom, I get the full word, and the definition “now, this time”. So, this dictionary can’t… Read More

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Android Japanese-English Dictionaries: Aedict

I thought I’d devote a couple of posts to Android Japanese-English dictionaries, since they are so important to have. Right now, I’ve got two main ones I’m using. I’m going to talk about Aedict in this post. Aedict has a lot of features I like. Let me go through the main ones: Wildcard searches. You can add a ? before or after a kanji character, and get a list of all words with that character in that order, i.e. 先? and ?先 are two different searches. Notepad. You can save words to a notepad, you can have multiple notepads with different categories (verbs, nouns, い adjectives, な adjectives…), you can… Read More

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How To Language Shadow?

Language shadowing is apparently best done by walking around while you’re doing it. All the videos I’ve seen of people doing language shadowing show them walking around a park, by themselves, with ear buds in, and walking around and talking. I admire parks where there is no one to look at the weirdo walking around talking to themselves in a foreign language. I imagine calls to the police are greatly reduced in that scenario. Anyway, I’ve been using Erin’s Challenge! to try and do some language shadowing while bouncing up and down in my chair. Bouncing is movement, right? Also, one of my cats always decides it would be great… Read More

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EtoEto — When a Small Company Gets Too Ambitious?

When I first started studying Japanese, I told myself I couldn’t ignore kanji, even though every first year Japanese textbook I’d flipped through did exactly that for most, or all, of the textbook. I forget how I came across WaniKani, but it seemed like the best way to learn kanji, in conjunction with a full course in first year Japanese grammar and vocabulary. And used like that, it’s really great. The first man to make the kanji less terrifying was Heisig. As legend* has it, he locked himself in a tower surrounded by a moat, which was filled with kappa, and learned the meaning of every kanji by inventing clever… Read More

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Conversing in Japanese: Homonyms and Pitch

One of my favourite blogs about Japan on the net is Japanese Rule of 7. And one of my favourite posts on this blog is where Seeroiさん discusses the difficulties of all languages, but Japanese in particular. Kanji terrify people. I discussed them first on this blog because I both love and fear them, but also because I wanted to get them out of the way. They are a lot of work to master, but they are comparatively easy compared to listening to other humans speaking Japanese, and you responding to them in a grammatical fashion. (Or at least 45% grammatical, which is my goal these days.) No, as is… Read More

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