Tag Archives: Language learning


How to Learn Kanji, in 10 Steps

I don’t go to a lot of cocktail parties. But somehow when I do, I always meet people studying Japanese. Maybe it’s just me. Or more precisely, people who’ll eventually stop studying, only they don’t know it yet. Here’s how the conversation goes: “Ken! I’m studying Japanese! I’m stoked! And I’m completely serious about improving....
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How to Stop Learning Japanese

“Ken Seeroi, you should write a book.” People always say that. Well, like six people, but that’s still a lot. After my fabulous career as English-teacher-in-Japan, I’m counting on book sales to provide for retirement. I assume each person will buy at least ten thousand copies. Of course, I could write lots of books if...
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Why no one Helps you Learn Japanese

I have a lot of great ideas. Really, just a ton. Oh sure, to the untrained eye, I’m kicking it on the balcony drinking Asahi beer and watching sardine trains packed with commuters ride into the sunset, but really, I’m thinking. Hard. Like about my tiny Japanese apartment, and how to make it more livable....
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How to Teach English

One of the things I like best about English class in Japan is how much Japanese I learn. Like the other day, I was in Nakamura Sensei’s class. He’s the English teacher in my middle school, and his English is arguably better than mine, since he actually knows stuff like what “a pronoun” is. I...
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Why do Classes Suck?

Well the excellent folks at The Language Dojo were kind enough to ask me to write an article for their site, on one condition. “Anything you want to write about is fine,” they said, “but could you not mention Mama, or trains, or trucks, or prison, or getting drunk?” “But that’s all I write about,”...
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Does Fluency Matter?

I had a dream . . . that one day I would rise up from my nori-thin futon and speak fluent Japanese.  I had a dream . . . that I would one day live in a nation where little children would judge me not by the color of my skin, but by the breadth...
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