This month, I’m starting on N4 Grammar points. We are first going to start work with some grammar that you can use with masu stems – yasui, nikui, and kata. With these you can talk about something that is difficult or easy to do as well as talk about how to do something. Do you […]

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I should start off by saying that I’m not getting divorced.  I’m still happily married and probably will be for the foreseeable future.  Some of my fellow expatriates and Japanese friends haven’t been so lucky though. Which, to my naive self, seems a little surprising.  Don’t get me wrong, I come from a divorced family […]

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Using Categories to Speak Fluently

April 8, 2015
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You might have heard that a core of about 2000 words of any given language make up somewhere around 80% of all communication in that language. And that if you can master those 2000 words you can use the language fairly well. And you might have already learned a good 2000 words in Japanese. Just […]

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JLPT BC 157 | Back to jDramas

April 1, 2015
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I’ve been spending (or wasting depending on how you look at) with keeping my streaks up on Memrise. I think it is great to have that daily goal, but I have busy days and not so busy days and it can make it hard to keep up with keeping a good streak going. This has […]

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JLPT N5 Grammar: Using mada and mou

March 25, 2015
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This month, we go over how to use mada and mou to talk about changes in states. These two words are sometimes translated as yet and already. They mark a change in states or emphasize the fact that a state has not changed. Do know how to these grammar points? Do you know how to […]

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JLPT BC 156 | The Realities of Living in a Foreign Country

March 18, 2015
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There seems to be a small subsection of the expat population in Japan, that likes to shower the world with negativity and tell you about how horrible it is to live in Japan.  Some of them came over seeking the easy profits and seemingly easy lifestyle of teaching the language that they grew up natively […]

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How to Start Learning Japanese

March 11, 2015
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From time to time I get asked about what is a good way to start learning Japanese. What is the fastest way to get started in the language and get going with it, especially since Japanese has a barrier of entry that a lot of other languages don’t have – the writing system. From day […]

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JLPT BC 155 | Intensive Reading and Memrise Update

March 4, 2015
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I’ve been trying to keep my studying pretty steady over the last couple of months and not really piling on and changing anything. This has a lot to do with me just having way too much going on for me to focus on going in a different direction. I’m also not entirely sure where to […]

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JLPT N5 Grammar: Using nisuru, kusuru, ninaru, kunaru

February 25, 2015
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This month, we go over how to use nisuru, kusuru, ninaru, and kunaru to talk about changes. You can use these to talk about making changes to something or something going through a change in Japanese. Do know how to these grammar points? Do you know how to form them? When do you use the […]

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JLPT BC 154 | Big Hero 6 vs. Baymax

February 18, 2015
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A couple of weeks back I had some free time to take my family to Baymax (US title: Big Hero 6).  It is a cute little movie about a boy, named Hiro, who befriends his brother’s robot and ultimately goes on to fight the bad guy and save the day with his trusty team of […]

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JLPT Memorization Techniques

February 11, 2015
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Long ago we needed tremendous memories. We didn’t have computers to catalog and tag our memories. No Facebook to post our mindless musings and latest kid pictures too. We had to keep all that junk in our head. And we used to be pretty good at it. Great orators of years past could remember long, […]

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JLPT BC 153 | The Inevitable Catch Up Phase

February 4, 2015
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December in Japan is always unbelievably busy. There is the Christmas/Bonenkai party season. Then, you have New Year’s cards to design and write. And finally, the big cleaning where you throw out as much of the old as you can to make way for the new. Then after New Year’s, you have your first visit […]

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