Tag Archives: language

Dokodemo: Anywhere You Are

何処でも(どこでも) Dokodemo (anywhere) is a kindred spirit of itsudemo, a companion that frequently appears in similar contexts. The “doko” represents “What place?” and the “demo” represents “regardless,” so it means regardless of location. That is, anywhere.

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Itsuka: Someday, Maybe Far Away

何時か(いつか) Just like I mentioned with nanika, the “ka” in “itsuka” demonstrates uncertainty. That’s because it’s part of a word, not a particle at the end of a sentence. In a way, “ka” always projects uncertainty; we just usually interpret it … Continue reading

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Itsudemo: Anytime, But Not Anywhere

Itsu demo (いつでも) The Japanese word “itsu demo” (いつでも) has two very distinct parts. Itsu (何時、いつ) is represented by kanji that literally read, “what time”. Dictionaries say “demo” means but or however, but that is not how it is applied here. … Continue reading

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Social Graces in Japan: A Quick Lesson

The Situations This is an exchange between different characters of the Japan-produced video game, Tales of Rebirth, which sadly never made it to America. These are loose translations I am providing to illustrate the situations, both involving a newly joined … Continue reading

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Deshou as Interjection: Making a Statement

Two schoolgirls talking about Sean Penn. Schoolgirl #1: “Sean Penn is so cool!” Schoolgirl #2: “He sure is!” Two Japanese schoolgirls talking about Sean Penn. Schoolgirl #1: “Sean Penn wa kakkou ii yo ne!” Schoolgirl #2: “Deshou!” What Just Happened … Continue reading

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Using Sushi to Teach Japanese

A Matter of Taste Last Tuesday, I was finally able to implement a plan for a Japanese lesson I’d had my heart set on: using sushi to teach Japanese vocabulary. It was a strong success. Somehow, people just remember things … Continue reading

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Teaching Japanese Verbs Well

A Successful Experiment For someone not intending to mess with the written  Japanese language, verbs,  or doushi (動詞), are one of the largest hurdles to forming one’s own sentences in Japanese.  Forming sentences is a major positive step for the … Continue reading

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Japanese and One Word Statements

A friend commented on my previous post on “ureshii” about how one-word statements are hard on early Japanese learners. He blamed his inability to “think in Japanese.” Well, how about I show you a small part of how to do … Continue reading

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Ureshii (Adjective: Happy)

Happy Faces The Japanese adjective ureshii (嬉しい、うれしい) stands for “happy”. This is an “i-adjective” that conveys joy, contentment, and fulfillment. In a case like this, it’s easier to convey using pictures.

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Identity: The Group and the Self

A Difference In Perspective Culturally and linguistically, Japan and the West come from different starting points, even though the people on both sides often talk about the exact same things. In the West, when you are selfish, you prioritize yourself … Continue reading

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