Tag Archives: Japanese


Why are Japanese so Bad at English? (5 Reasons)

Everyone knows Japanese people aren’t exactly Masters of the Universe when it comes to speaking English, despite receiving six years of English education.  Six years?  Are you kidding?  You could build yourself a Great Pyramid in less time.  I’m pretty sure.  Just chop up some limestone and stack it up.  Probably take you a couple...
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How to be Popular in Japan

I’m the most popular guy in town.  And given that about a million people live in my town, that’s quite a distinction, seriously.  So recently I bought a jump rope.  Look, it’s not easy keeping in shape in Japan.  Like I’d just gotten home last Thursday night when I got a call from this old...
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The Skill of Speaking Fluent Japanese

Speaking fluent Japanese is easy.  You only need three things: 1. A bunch of words 2. A bit of grammar 3. To think in Japanese While the first two points get a lot of attention, the third point is equally, if not more, important. Knowledge Versus Skill Thinking in Japanese is not just about knowledge. ...
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Why You Must Learn Kanji

For a lot of people, kanji is about on par with natto.   A huge sticky mess, difficult to consume, and not nearly as tasty as it is troublesome.  Plus it makes your breath smell like the wrong end of a dog, which is rarely a good thing.  I mean natto, that is.  Kanji does nothing...
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Anki: Best Software Ever, or Thing from Hell

I’ve used Anki for more years than I can remember.  It’s a great piece of software.  You just stuff your soul into an envelope and mail it off to the Devil, and in about four to six weeks Japanese ability arrives in your mailbox.  It’s convenient like that. In case you’ve been studying Japanese under...
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Two Japanese Life Skills You Must Master

If you want to be a success in Japan, there are only two things you really need to nail.  The unfortunate small problem is, they’re opposites.  But perhaps a colorful story will help to illustrate. So I was in a “standing bar” a couple of weeks ago, which is like a normal bar, or really...
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How to Bow Like a Japanese

What could be more typically Japanese than bowing?  Every other book about Japan has something to say on the subject, so it must be important, right?  Certainly a lot of foreigners come to Japan and start bowing like crazy, so maybe they all read the same book. It’s common knowledge, if not entirely correct, that...
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New Years in Japan

I hate the cold, so don’t ask me why I went to the snowiest possible place for New Years. New Years in Japan is like Christmas in the U.S., only without all the presents and with better food. So I went to Hokkaido, where there was a ton of snow and we mostly stayed inside...
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I am a Japanese Farmer

Did you know that when you get a coffee from a convenience store in Japan, it comes in a can, not a styrofoam cup? For real, it does. My favorite brand is Black Boss, just because it sounds hilarious. For some odd reason, Tommy Lee Jones is the spokes-model for the coffee. They have his...
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Back on the Chrome Horse

Thanks to the Swine Flu, I now own a bicycle. If that Pig Influenza hadn’t sidelined me in bed for a week, I would have surely blown another paycheck on yet one more all-you-can-drink karaoke session. But as it happened, once my fever broke, my wallet contained a spare hundred bucks worth of yen, so...
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