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明けましておめでとうございます!

Hills Learning 0 308 Article rating: No rating

WIT Life is a periodic series written by professional Writer/Interpreter/Translator Stacy Smith (Kumamoto-ken CIR, 2000-03). She starts her day by watching Fujisankei’s newscast in Japanese, and here she shares some of the interesting tidbits and trends along with her own observations. Happy New Year to all readers!  Hope the year of the monkey has been treating you well so far.  I am enjoying some time at home before my interpreting travel schedule begins at the end of this month.  My ...

Why Watching Anime Can Help You Learn Japanese Faster

Hills Learning 0 821 Article rating: 5.0

Anime has been successful in bringing the understanding of Japanese people to many people all over the world that would have not gotten to hear it anywhere else. It is estimated that the world has nearly 122 million people who can speak Japanese; sadly most of these people are found in Japan. This is because the Japanese language lacks the reach that the other many Asian languages as well as other languages have gotten. However, the advent of Anime has provided a lot of people with an easier ...

Honorific Speech - Sonkeigo (2nd Article of 3)

Hills Learning 1 763 Article rating: 4.0

Welcome to the this page! This article is on the beastly sonkeigo 尊敬語, Japanese respectful language. Sonkeigo, or keigo, is used when you are speaking with or about someone who is well respected, has your respect, or has a respectful position, such as any member of a royal family, presidents, professors/teachers, or senpai (big brother or sister in a club or company). You will often be the recipient of sonkeigo when in a Japanese restaurant. However, you never ever speak about yourself in ...

Nihonglish

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What can be the hardest part about learning a language is maintaining fluency. When you're outside of the classroom or the country of your target language or don't have native speakers with whom you can practice, you start getting rusty. However, a way to integrate bits of Japanese into your every day life is through what I like to call 'Nihonglish'. Please read further for more details! What is Nihonglish? The Basics Advanced Grammar   What is Nihonglish? It's a portmanteau ...

Having a Chat with Japanese Taxi Drivers

Hills Learning 0 2664 Article rating: 4.3

What do you do when you're lost in the middle of Tokyo with nothing but an address to guide you towards your location? If you're rushing to your next meeting at the hotel you're staying at, the most obvious choice would be to take a taxi. However, this may be daunting task for some people. Holding an impromptu one-on-one conversation with a driver in a foreign language and trying to communicate where you want to go may not be something you want to do every day. However, this article has ...

The Art of Speaking Japanese - "Chunking" Level 2

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A few weeks ago I wrote an article on “chunking.” This was a good article, I felt, which introduced a very critical concept for native English-speakers learning Japanese. Simply put, “chunking” means to treat long strings of modifiers along with the modified noun (usually) or action as a “chunk,” a unit. Longish Japanese sentences can look complicated and complex when they’re actually very simple, structurally. Chunking is a tool I use in my daily life as a translator to really make sense of ...

Learning Japanese - The Wonderful World of Particles

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Welcome! This is the first article in a series on jyoshi助詞 (particles) in the Japanese language. This article is a primer with more detailed articles to follow on individual particles. First off, it’s clear to everybody that English and Japanese are pretty different. They look different, sound different, write differently, they move in opposite directions, and the way things are said is different, too. The differences pile up very quickly. So, language learners look for cost-effective ...

The Art of Speaking Japanese - "Chunking"

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As native English-speakers learning Japanese, there are a few extra tools that’ll really help you make sense of what’s going on in the more complex Japanese sentences. In this lesson I want to introduce you to one of them l call “chunking.” Long Japanese sentences can look complicated and complex when they’re actually very simple, structurally. Chunking means to identify those inclusive “chunks” of text which’ll help you parse the sentence into more easily manageable and understandable ...

New Ways of Speaking Japanese

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Feel like you’re in a rut? Tired of always using those same old bland declarative statements of “watashi wa ~ desu” or questions like “o-genki desu ka?” Adding in some conversational filler words is a great way to improve your Japanese and make it sound more natural. Including these words will let you add to the conversation, change topics, or cut to the chase just like the natives. Let’s get started: Changing Topics: ところで                  tokoro de – by the way… 話は違うが ...

Travel Japanese - Taking a Taxi in Japan

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You might know how to travel across Japan in the bullet-train (shinkansen しんかんせん 新幹線)… but what about when you need to get somewhere FAST? Sometimes public transportation just isn’t what you need. This article is designed to show you the basics on how to hail a Japanese taxi (takushi タクシー) and get where you need to go when you need to be there. Step 1 – Hailing the Taxi: Hailing a taxi is the same as in the USA. You raise an arm out to signal the driver. There will be some Japanese ...

How to say “Do you understand English?” in Japanese and Basic Travel Language

Hills Learning 0 12365 Article rating: 4.1

To enhance your trip to Japan its important to learn some key phrases before you go. At Hills Learning we refer to these phrases as “Travel” phrases, and this set of Japanese as “Travel Japanese.” The first article in regards to travel Japanese taught our readers the golden word, “Sumimasen,” or excuse me. This article will focus on how to ask people “Do you understand”, a key phrase to learn when traveling to Japan. The vocabulary used for this portion of travel Japanese is: English – ...

Japanese Conversation: Perfecting Hotel Japanese 2

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When learning Japanese conversation, it’s important not to just learn what you need to say, but also what could possibly be said to you. One of the most difficult parts of traveling to Japan was not trying to use the grammar patterns that I’d learn previously, but trying to understand what was being said to me. Memorizing some key phrases that are said in the hotel will not only prepare the Japanese language learner to be able to have a conversation in Japanese, but also help with a basic ...

Japanese Conversation: Perfecting Hotel Japanese

Hills Learning 0 3412 Article rating: 4.4

When learning Japanese conversation, or developing conversational skills in general, it’s important to develop “situational fluency.” Language learners should anticipate common situations they’ll run into, and prepare their language skills to meet the demands of those situations. Of course each Japanese language learner has different demands, some might be traveling to Japan later on, others might have more immediate needs in their current workplace. This article will cover very useful ...

Learn Hiragana while Practicing Japanese Conversation

Hills Learning 0 2941 Article rating: 3.8

This article is dedicated to teaching some key Japanese conversational phrases while practicing the alphabet Hiragana. By the end of the article you’ll learn how to respond to a typically asked question in Japanese Conversation in a creative and fun, way. Note, there will be a key at the end of the article to help potential students that might not yet have a full grasp of Hiragana. Learning Hiragana, as mentioned in an earlier article, is key to any language learner of Japanese. The whole ...

Learning Japanese Conversation, as Familiar as Sony

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Japan is both a thrilling and exotic, yet familiar culture. When people hear “Japan” they think of a faraway country in the East, with Kimono’s, Anime, and Samurai. Although Japan has these culturally different aspects that make it seem exotic, they also have household names such as Sushi, Nintendo, Toyota, Panasonic, etc. Learning the Japanese language also at first might seem exotic. The grammar structure is actually quite different than English, and learning the characters and vocabulary ...
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