Learning Japanese Grammar Naturally

June 3, 2015
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I’m a native speaker of English, but when I first started teaching English.   I ran into some problems.  Students would ask about English grammar rules – when do I use this?  Why is this incorrect? And I didn’t really know what to tell them, because, well, I didn’t know English grammar rules. This is a […]

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JLPT BC 161 | Doing it the Hard Way

May 27, 2015
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In school, I always had a hard time paying attention in class.  The teacher would lecture away and we were suppose to be taking notes, but to be honest I could never proper filter out what was important and what wasn’t.  Half the time I left the class knowing that I had listened to something […]

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JLPT N4 Grammar: Using hajimeru, dasu, tudukeru, and owaru

May 20, 2015
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This month, I’m continuing on with N4 grammar points and how to use the masu stem effectively. We are going to talk about how to start, continue and finish something using 始める, 出す, 続ける, and 終わる. Do you know what the difference is between 始める and 出す? Do you know how to form sentences using […]

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JLPT BC 160 | BSing in Japan, Honne vs. Tatemae

May 13, 2015
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A few years back, I was working at a school and we were trying to arrange a farewell party for one of our fellow teachers.  One teacher found a great Indian restaurant that wasn’t too far away from the school.  It seemed like a great place.  It had a big room to accommodate everyone and […]

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Japanese Drilling Done Right

May 6, 2015
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Japanese is a bit of a difficult language to learn for native English speakers. First of all, the sentence order is different, which can make organizing your thoughts a little trickier at times. Also, some things that are expressed as adjectives or sometimes expressed as verbs. And there are a ton of other more difficult […]

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JLPT BC 159 | Analog vs. Digital

April 29, 2015
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I’ve been taking it pretty easy with my studies recently due to some re-prioritizing of my time. I’m chugging away on Hirugao and Harry Potter but I’m giving myself a little more time to digest things. I felt a bit rushed of late trying to get through study sessions and I’m finding that is not […]

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JLPT N4 Grammar: Using yasui, nikui, and kata

April 22, 2015
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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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JLPT BC 158 | Divorce in Japan

April 15, 2015
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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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