Nomad Survivors screenshot. "You've lead a life of suffering with nothing to show for it."

Just Good Enough

So what kind of person decides to study Japanese because they like languages? Many types, but one type is the person who loves languages and wants to be the best they can be at everything they do. (Self-insert? You tell me.) And that person comes to Japanese, and for the first six months or so in the average structured class, doesn’t think it’s so bad. “Hiragana? Psssh. Simple. Katakana? Weird shaped hiragana. Easy. Everything is just something something desu!” But then things start creeping in. Causative form. Passive form. Potential form. Causative-passive? Japanese verbs are easy, though. The most regular conjugation patterns ever. But then the non-baby kanji. Even the… Read More

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Dogen – Phonetics, or How I Learned to Love Morae

Japanese is hard enough as it is for someone with English as their native language. A wildly different grammar. A set of only 46 morae that  are used in every Japanese word. And the pronunciation of each one doesn’t vary between different words (ignoring the sort of nasal sound that you get with the か・き・く・け・こ in some words). And, of course, the 2000 or so kanji that are found in the words you need to be a literate reader of everyday Japanese, and… And then you throw pitch accent on top of it. Listen, you need a lot of dedication to learn this language. You have to have a real… Read More

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