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今年の漢字

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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. Well, it’s the end of the year already, and if you’re like me you’re wondering where 2015 went.  The last time I checked in here was four months ago, which was pre-Paris attack and pre-Presidential ...

今年の漢字2

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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. In a follow-up to yesterday’s post about the top 10 buzzwords in Japan this year, the country’s “kanji of the year” was just announced. 税 (zei) or tax was selected, referring to the consumption tax increase ...

2014年の現代用語

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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. Every year Japan picks the top 10 buzzwords for the year, out of an initial pool of 50 nominated phrases.  You can find the list and explanation of selections in Japanese here, and below I will break them ...

Successful Strategies for Remembering and Using Kanji

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Let's face it, 漢字 kanji is torture. It is. It's Chinese characters that have been tweaked to *fit into Japanese, and have both Chinese readings, 音読み on'yomi, and Japanese readings, 訓読み kun'yomi. Not to mention that a lot of kanji has the same exact reading as other kanji. For example, the following characters have the same 音読み reading of しょう: 小, 性, 少, 賞, 正, 章, 生, 称, 省, 商, 症, among many others. *Many kanji resemble their original Chinese counterparts, but are not the same character. ...

Written Japanese - The Lowdown on the 3 Alphabets

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Scared of written Japanese? Does the thought of learning kanji 漢字 (the Chinese characters) give you sudden dread and make you want to sign up for French or Spanish or German or Farsi?? Japanese is generally considered to have one of the most fiendishly difficult writing systems on Earth. However, I think it’d be awful if amazing wonderful prospective language-learners such as yourself were suddenly turned away from Japanese by such a myth. That’s right! It’s true! The notion that any part of ...

Learning Kanji – Simple Strategies and Your First Two Kanji

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Learning Kanji can be a daunting task. There are about 1,000 – 2,000 Kanji that are necessary to learn in order to be able to read newspapers, street signs, and menus in Japanese. With all these Kanji characters, it’s important to know the most effective order for learning them. In this article we’ll explain how to start learning Kanji, and give you the very first beginning Kanji. First of all when learning Kanji, be ready to learn multiple meanings and usages per Kanji. Remember in the ...

Learning Kanji – Beginner Concepts and Simple Strategies

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The most daunting yet fulfilling to learn alphabet in Japanese is Kanji. Kanji literally means “Chinese character,” because literally the alphabet derived from Chinese characters. In English, it’s similar in that the roman alphabet came from Latin, however Japanese Kanji words and Chinese words are actually quite similar. So much so that Japanese speakers can look at a Chinese newspaper or book and get at least a general understanding of what’s going on, I myself could do a job search in ...

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