Learn Japanese Through Song

Learning a song in another language is a wonderful thing. You can practice listening comprehension, in addition to learning about the culture from which the song came! In Japan, the best way to learn a song is through カラオケ and without a doubt, one of the most popular songs to sing is リンダリンダ.   


Top 10 Kotowaza - How to Use Proverbs in Japanese

Have you ever tried using kotowaza? Kotowaza are Japanese proverbs. There are three different types of kotowaza: 言い習わし (iinarawashi, a short saying) 慣用句 (kanyouku, an idiomatic phrase) 四字熟語 (yojijukugo, a four-character idiom) I will introduce 10 different (and useful!) kinds of kotowaza, their figurative and literal meaning, and how each of these proverbs can be used in a sentence.   



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 ...



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

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. Let's practice holding an impromptu one-on-one conversation with a driver and communicating where you want to go.


New Ways of Speaking Japanese

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. 


Japanese Conversation: Perfecting Hotel Japanese 2

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. 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 understanding of Keigo Japanese. 


Japanese Conversation: Perfecting Hotel Japanese

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. 


Learning Japanese Conversation, as Familiar as Sony

Learning the Japanese language at first might seem exotic. The grammar structure is actually quite different than English, and learning the vocabulary for conversation also might seem like a daunting task. However once a student acquires some basic grammatical patterns the Japanese language can also become familiar, well almost as familiar as Sony!