Category Archives: Language

Pride Comes Before The Fall

At a famous, old castle in Syria called the Crac de Chevaliers is a famous inscription in Latin (photo here): SIT TIBI COPIA SIT SAPIENTIA FORMAQUE DETUR INQUINAT OMNIA SOLA SUPERBIA SI COMITETUR One translation is: Grace, wisdom and beauty … Continue reading

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Dune in Japanese 砂の惑星

「ここにあるのはあんたに使う新しいもの、ゴム・ジャバール。これは動物のみ殺すのだよ。」誇りがポウルの恐怖にうちなった。「公爵の息子が動物だというのか?」「まああんたは人間かもしれねぬということにしておこう。。。静かに!」 “…here’s a new one for you: the gom jabbar. It kills only animals.” Pride overcame Paul’s fear. “You dare suggest a Duke’s son is an animal?” he demanded. “Let us say, I suggest you may be human,” she said, … Continue reading

Posted in Dune, Japanese, Language, Literature, Zelazny | 1 Comment

Pacman, Ghosts and Japanese

Remember Pac-Man? I know most readers have heard of Pac-man, and most have probably played it too. Pac-Man is more than 30 years old, and is still a classic. I remember seeing Pac-man for the first time when I was … Continue reading

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Learning to Count in Japanese, the Hard Way

In my last post, I mentioned a great comedy show in Japanese called めちゃ×2イケてるッ! (mecha mecha iketeru). This is a sketch comedy show that has remained popular over the years. Another popular sketch they did was to pretend to be … Continue reading

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Japanese “Buddhist” Comedy

Years ago, when my wife and I were first married, we used to watch a famous sketch-comedy show on Japanese TV called めちゃ×2イケてるッ! (mecha mecha iketeru). It features a well-known comedy group, Ninety-nine, starring Okamura Takashi and Yabe Hiroyuki, and … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japanese, Language, Religion | 5 Comments

Was The JLPT Worth It?

Recently, I had a good conversation with a new blog reader about the JLPT (日本語能力試験). Long-time readers might remember that I studied (and passed) the JLPT N4 (formerly called the JLPT3) many years ago, then the N3 and finally the … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Language | 4 Comments

How To Really Learn a Language

An old article from AJATT (I forget which one), reminded me of this scene from the movie The 13th Warrior: In this scene, from the movie The 13th Warrior, the Arab character Ahmad ibn Fadlan (based on the real historical … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Language | 2 Comments

Breadth versus Depth

I like to keep myself busy, as readers probably noticed. :) But since Little Guy was born, I’ve been even more busy, so I’ve been trying to manage my time better. So, I started writing down all my little hobbies, … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Japanese, Korean, Language, Literature, Religion, Technology, Zelazny | 6 Comments

Knowing Enough Kanji

Recently my wife shared some interesting advice. My daughter’s Japanese teacher explained that if you learn enough Japanese kanji (Chinese characters) to reach a third-grade level, you can read 70% of the words in a regular book or magazine. You … Continue reading

Posted in Japanese, Language | 3 Comments

Meiji-Era Dictionary: a look back 105 years ago

When I first married my wife in 2004, we visited Japan in 2005 to my wife’s home (実家, jikka) and I remember my father-in-law giving me a really old book. He knew that I liked history and such, so he … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Japanese, Language, Literature, Politics | 5 Comments