Category Archives: Lessons

Have a Discount!

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Pork sold at the supermarker

So I got a message from J today, asking me what the words on the yellow sticker mean. Well, good news! I hope you bought that pack of Okinawa pork because… It’s on offer! Let’s see what’s on the yellow sticker: “レジにで本体価格の3割引き” レジ – cashier 本体価格 (ほんたいかかく) – pre-tax price 割引き (わりびき) – tenths discounted So yup, that pack of… Read more »

Say What? Snakes and Prawns

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Ebi and Hebi, prawn and snake

Introducing a new segment on Nihongo Manabu! Say What? aims to discuss words and phrases that are easily confused. In this first post, let’s talk about two fairly similar sounding words, へび (hebi) and えび (ebi). The two words might sound similar, and they do indeed both refer to a type of animal, they couldn’t have more different meanings. While you… Read more »

Kanji Spotlight: Sing Your Song

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Today’s kanji spotlight is on the word 歌! You may have seen this kanji around recently… Yup. It’s the kanji for song, and it appeared in the previous post as the Kouhaku theme for this year, “夢を歌おう”, or Sing the dream. Sing? Song? I’ll explain in a bit! But first, let’s look at how the kanji is written! Now back… Read more »

Kanji Spotlight – Water

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Water - the kanji and it's meaning

This entry of kanji spotlight is dedicated to the universal solvent – water. Learners of the Japanese language will encounter this word (水) pretty early on. It’s classified as an N5 vocab.  After all, who could live without water? Not me. Good thing the word is easy to write, with just a total of four strokes, you can express this… Read more »

Gummy Grandma Christmas!

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A friend shared this really hilarious meme to me, and I just had to share it here. Oh the things that can happen when you don’t know the language! Gummies? Grandma? In Tokyo? During Christmas? It’s funny that I see a number of people asking about this sentence, because apparently it never gets subbed in animes. Or TV shows. Because…… Read more »

The curious case of the Potato Starch

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A while back, someone asked in a group chat what ‘katakuriko’ meant. Of course, I turned to my favorite Japanese dictionary site,, to find out. Turns out that katakuriko, or 片栗粉, means potato starch. Eh? Potato starch? But potato is じゃが芋 (jagaimo)… How did potato starch become 片栗粉? So I did my research. Not that I have to look far though, because… Read more »

Reading: Short Passage 1

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This entry provides a parallel translation of the passage used in the reading and comprehension practice 1. 私わたしは動物どうぶつ大好きです。 I love animals. 家いえで兎うさぎと犬や飼かっています。 I keep rabbits and dogs at home. 鳥とりもう飼っています。 I also keep pet birds. 兎は二匹にぴきいます、犬いぬも二匹います。 I have two rabbits ad two dogs. 黒くろいのはクッキーちゃん、白しろいのはゆきくんです。 The black rabbit is called Cookie, while the white rabbit is called Yuki. ワンちゃんはかわいいトイプードルのあきちゃん、と忠実ちゅうじつの秋田あきた犬しばちゃん。 The cute… Read more »

Kanji Spotlight: Enduring Ninjas

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Hi everyone, it’s kanji spotlight time! The kanji that I’ll be focusing on today is 忍. Anime and manga fans would probably have seen this word before… Yup, that’s right, this kanji is pronounced as ‘にん, nin’, as in ‘忍者, ninja’. Let’s look at the definition of 忍 first. This word is actually an old word, one that is hardly used on… Read more »

Reading and Comprehension Practice 1

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Read the following passage and answer the questions in the quiz. 私は動物大好きです。家で兎と犬や飼っています。鳥もう飼っています。兎は二匹います、犬も二匹います。 黒いのはクッキーちゃん、白いのはゆきくんです。ワンちゃんはかわいいトイプードルのあきちゃん、と忠実の秋田犬しばちゃん。 毎晩私はあきちゃんとしばちゃん一緒に公園で散歩します。あきちゃんはボールの遊び大好きですが、しばちゃんはフリスビーほが好きです。公園で広いの原ありますから、ワンちゃんたちは原で暴走する事も大好き。ワンちゃんとすごす時間はたまにちょっと大変けど、すごく楽しいです。 [os-widget path=”/coolohoh/comprehension-practice”]

Kanji Spotlight: Lossing Iron

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Hi! So… I was really busy last weekend and didn’t manage to get this post out…. this is a little late but enjoy! Following the previous week’s kanji spotlight post, this week we’ll talk about a related kanji! Remember I talked about how the kanji 金 can be a radical? That’s right! When 金 is part of a kanji as a radical…… Read more »