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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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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Go big or go home…

Go big or go home… …is a recipe due to make you fail in studying a new language. You need to do it every day, regularly. I’m as guilty as anyone else of failing to do this. So this is my new plan going forward in 2018. I’ve set my WaniKani subscription to expire by next December. So I will need to finish the course there in a year, which is certainly doable, especially since I’m not starting from level 1. There are some new online grammar resources, like bunpro.jp. And Dogen on Patreon. Heck, I might even take a physical course somewhere this year. So, go big or go… Read More

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お久しぶりですね?

It’s been a long time since my last blog entry. So what have I been doing with my Japanese studies? HelloTalk I’ve been using this app quite a bit to get answers on Japanese grammar, give answers to English grammar, and practice speaking some Japanese. Meetups I’ve been going to a lot of Japanese-English meetings via Meetup.com. I don’t know how these are going to be affected, given that they were recently bought by WeWork, but I guess I’ll find out. WaniKani Getting back into kanji studying. I’ve given myself a year to finish up using this online resource. That’s it. I don’t want this to become a dead blog,… Read More

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Working the Conditional Form

Wow, this part of Japanese grammar is SO complicated. So I can use と たら ば なら Obviously, not all can be used, based on the context of the sentence. It’s figuring out the context of the sentence that’s the problem. The way I am trying to learn it is that there is an antecedent part of the sentence, and a consequent part of the sentence. I go to Japan (antecedent) I will visit Osaka and eat a lot (consequent) In English, I’ve got one word for conditional, if. If I go to Japan, I will visit Osaka and eat a lot. In English, there is also the word when,… Read More

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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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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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