打ち言葉

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. I was in Japan on business for most of September, and while there I caught up on dramas, variety shows and news programs... 

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Why Watching Anime Can Help You Learn Japanese Faster

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. However, the advent of Anime has provided a lot of people with an easier ...

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2014年の現代用語

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 ...

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Counters in Japanese

One of the most difficult grammar points of Japanese is counters. As opposed to English, in Japanese there are only a few plural nouns, like 私たち, so you have to add number words, or counters, for the different things you want to pluralize; you can't just attach a number to a thing (well, you can but you'll be grammatically incorrect). 

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Japanese Onomatopoeia

Ah, onomatopoeia, the spice of life! One of the pleasures of speaking Japanese is being able to use onomatopoeia. It's everywhere - in manga, anime, television adverts, books, music, newspapers, conversations - you name it and it's there! This article will open your eyes to this beautiful world of オノマトペ! オノマトペ and Rules Giseigo Giongo Gitaigo Extras!   

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Successful Strategies for Remembering and Using Kanji

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...

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1221

Learning Katakana - Interesting Tips and Tricks

It's always confusing for new learners to become masters at reading and writing Japanese, especially because Japanese has three "alphabets" instead of one. Luckily, you have come to the right place to get better at all three, but in particular, Katakana...

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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. 

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Written Japanese - The Lowdown on the 3 Alphabets

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. 

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Japanese Proficiency Test - What's Changed and How to Handle It

Whether you're a new student for the Japanese Proficiency Exam or have taken it in the past, the JLPTin 2010 has changed. Consequently, how to study and handle the exam has also changed. This article will discuss the history of the exam and why changes were brought about, what's new about the Japanese Proficiency Test for 2010, and how to best study to pass the JLPT. 

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Why Learn Japanese?

This is a certainly a question that is asked of both myself, and of Hills Learning. Japanese in the 80’s was what Chinese is today, a language that is learned for business, political, and most importantly future expectations. If a language is perceived to become more prominent, people will try to learn it...

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Learning Kanji – Simple Strategies and Your First Two Kanji

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. In this article we’ll explain how to start learning Kanji, and give you the very first beginning Kanji. 

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