After looking around the interwebs for a bit for a 日本語 calendar, I was surprised how few there were out there that had what I was looking for. I wanted a カレンダー (karenda / calendar) that had the following: Month in Kanji with furigana Day of week in Kanji with furigana Numeric Day Kanji day with furigana Finally, I decided to just make one up myself. So, it can be found here: http://travisvroman.com/downloads/_karenda2013.pdf Enjoy!
Phase 2: Kana
“Kana”, collectively ひらがな(hiragana) and カタカナ(katakana) are what I consider the mortar which holds the Japanese language together. More importantly, they are what makes learning Japanese beyond simply speaking possible. After all, why learn a language at all if you’re going to remain illiterate? Before I dive too deep into that discussion, let’s take a moment and go over what kana are, and why they are so important. There are two types of kana, which are: ひらがな (hiragana) Hiragana is one of two Japanese “syllabaries” used in everyday writing. Each “symbol” represents a sound, or syllable of Japanese. These can then be strung together to form words. If you take a quick look at the kana tables, you’ll see that there are two sections – one for ひらがな (hiragana) and one for カタカナ (katakana). You’ll notice each of these have a […]
Sentences Series 6: How to Know When You’ve Truly Learned a Sentence
So you think you’ve learned a sentence. You can look at your SRS card and read it perfectly every time without hesitation. However, have you really learned it – completely? More importantly, do you understand it? In many cases, probably not. Allow me to explain. There are some criteria that come to mind when stating a sentence has been fully learned. For starters, you should be able to: Read the sentence out loud from the card, without hesitation (for the most part). Easy peasy. Write the sentence correctly the first time while looking at the card. Speak the sentence from memory without needing to look up part of it. Write the sentence in its entirety from memory without having to look up any part of it (including kanji!). The last two are the real test. If you have gotten this far, that’s awesome. […]
When I first launched this site, I had prepaid the hosting through January of next year (2013). However, it was not long after this that I realized the err of my ways as the host I was on wasn’t exactly speedy or reliable. So, being that said hosting is due to expire soon, I took the initiative and moved the site early. As some of you may have noticed, there were some hiccups. However, these should all be resolved now. I’m also taking this opportunity to streamline and clean up some things around the server. If anyone spots anything that looks off, I encourage you to leave it in the comments below and I’ll address it.
Japanese Should Be Fun, Not Work
Occasionally, I need to remind myself that learning Japanese isn’t work – or at least it shouldn’t be. If it is, then something has gone terribly wrong. Japanese should be more like that super-addicting MMO that people want to play 24x7x365 (or 366 this year). It should be like that book that you don’t ever want to put down because it’s that good. Learning Japanese should be as fun (if not more-so than your favorite hobby. If it’s not, it’s going to be difficult to stick with. You might wind up falling off the wagon. So what, then, can be done to remedy this situation of boredom? How can we take Japanese and make it into something fun? Here are a few suggestions: Do it in small chunks – maybe 2-5 minutes each. Maybe 3 Kanji reviews, or learn a sentence at a […]
After a break from updating allnihongo (but not a break from Japanese, mind you!), I have returned a happily married man. However, that being said, I have spent much of the time I have been back catching up on things which have been neglected during the time I was away. I’ve got some new articles brewing, but they aren’t all shiny-like and polished just yet. However, I can say that they will be coming out soon, probably next week. Stay tuned!
That’s right, you heard me. 私は結婚しています (わたしわけっこんしています/I’m getting married)! And yes, it explains the few-and-far-between updates as of late. So very very busy. I’m probably not going to be able to update again until sometime in November. However, I will have much to discuss when I come back! I’m even setting some new goals for myself, and going over previous ones I have met (or not met) thus far. So, see you on the flip side, and thanks for waiting up for me!
お盆 (おぼん/obon) is a festival held by the Japanese in the summer in honor of one’s ancestors. Traditionally, it is held over a three-day period in the summer. The event is intended to be celebratory as well as solemn. It generally includes dances by men, women and children called 盆踊り (ぼん おどり/bon odori) folk dancing on a platform known as a やぐら (yagura). The one here includes drumming by 浮腫太鼓 (ふしゅ・だいこ/fushu daiko) as well. On the last night, it is believed that the ancestors depart for the otherworld. These departures are typically marked by illuminated paper lanterns adorned with the names of ancestors, as well as farewell messages. There is one held (somewhat) near me annually at the Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens. The one here took place about 2 weeks ago. The photos in this post are from this year and last year’s festival. […]
Sentences Series 5: Using SRS Effectively
Alright, so it’s been a while since I have update the sentences series – and there is good reason why. I’ve mentioned MCDs in the past, and how I am deciding on what works better for learning. The truth is that it really depends on the person. I have found what I think is a combination of the two (leaning ever so slightly toward the MCD direction). I’ve been using Tae Kim’s Complete Guide to Japanese for a while now, and recently discovered there is an Anki deck that corresponds with it. The deck is called “Tae Kim’s Guide to Japanese Grammar” – it can be searched for in the shared decks available. It contains cloze-deletions, which is fantastic. Search for it and use it as a base when considering the rest of this article. Alright, so as far […]
Introduction to the Japanese Writing System
Note: I originally intended this all to be one post, but it was becoming far, far too long. So, I’m splitting this up into a series. This is the first article in the “Japanese Writing System” series. To the untrained eye, Japanese writing looks like chaos. A friend of mine (who speaks fluent Japanese ^^) once told me her father refers to written Japanese as “chicken feet”, or the marks they’d make on a page if dipped in ink and turned loose. All of these symbols are mixed up all over the place in a seemingly random fashion (to the untrained eye, anyway). To top it off, there are no spaces between words! How is anyone ever supposed to learn that? I answer that question with another question: How did anyone learn English? It’s complex, too! Sure, there are only […]