Category Archives: Lessons

Kanji Spotlight: Go for Gold

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Hi! It’s been a while since I did the last kanji spotlight! The word I’m going to introduce is gold! This is gold. Well. Not literally, but the gold kanji. “Wait! Isn’t that the kanji for money?” You ask. Yup! That’s right. The kanji has two pronunciations. It can be read as kin, which would mean gold – both the… Read more »

Kanji Spotlight: Of trees, books and lumber

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I got a whiteboard sometime back, and since I love writing on whiteboards, here are three words that I’ll highlight… The first kanji we’re looking at is 木, meaning tree or wood. As you can see in the second kanji, by adding a single stroke, we get 本, meaning book.  The 木 kanji can also be used as a radical, as seen in… Read more »

Reading: Mini Conversations 2

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Two short conversations, with parallel English text. 田中たなか:ポールさん、おはよう! Tanaka: Paul-san, morning! ポール:田中さん、おはようございます。 Paul: Tanaka-san, good morning. 田中:もうすぐ夏なつ休やすみですね。 Tanaka: The summer break is coming really soon yeah? ポール:そうですね。 Paul: Indeed. 田中:ポールさんの夏休みなにしますか? Tanaka: Paul-san, what will you do during the summer break? ポール:私わたしは家族かぞくと一緒いっしょに旅行りょこう行いきます。 Paul: I will go on a vacation with my family. 田中:いいなぁ!どこへ?海外かいがい? Tanaka: That’s nice! Where to? Overseas? ポール:はい、オーストラリアで。 Paul:… Read more »

Reading: Mini Conversations 1

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Short reading passages with parallel English translations. 田中たなか:この本ほんは誰だれの本ですか? Tanaka: Whose book is this? 鈴木すずき:あ!私わたしの本です! Suzuki: Ah! It’s my book! Vocab: 誰 (だれ, dare) – who 本 (ほん, hon) – book —————————– 鈴木:田中さん、昼ひるご飯ごはん食たべましたか? Suzuki: Tanaka-san, have you eaten your lunch? 田中:いいえ、まだです。 Tanaka: No, not yet. 鈴木:一緒いっしょに食べましょか? Suzuki: Shall we eat together? 田中:いよ。地下ちか一の食堂しょくどうで? Tanaka: Sure. The canteen in basement 1? 鈴木:はい。行いきましょ。 Suzuki:… Read more »

Japanese Honorifics

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Japanese honorifics are a huge and important part of Japanese socialinguistics. If you have watched any sort of Japanese show or anime (in Japanese of course!) you’d probably be familiar with some of the most common honorifics used. Unlike in many other cultures or languages, a name is almost always followed by an honorific. The only cases when honorifics are… Read more »