Building BridgesThis blog and this author seek to build cultural bridges with Japan and the people in it across geographic and linguistic barriers alike. By creating bonds, we can build a brighter future for everyone.
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Tag Archives: nihongo
話がある “Hanashi” is the root for the verb “hanasu” (話す、はなす), or “to talk”. Hanashi is “a” talk, more specifically. It is speech; it can also be taken as conversation, though we’d use “kaiwa” for conversation per se, and “soudan” for … Continue reading
Small Words. Big Trouble. Sometimes it’s simpler for me to point something out in anime and, in so doing, give it context. Today’s subjects are the words “kata” (型) and “kei” (系). When playing second fiddle in a compound word, … Continue reading
Japanese Expression of Fractions Although there are other ways of expressing certain kinds of fractions, like hanbun (半分、はんぶん) for 1/2 or 50%, 2/3 would be expressed as “san bun no ni” (三分の二, さんぶんのに). That is, “of three parts, two“. Actually, … Continue reading
桜前線 （さくらぜんせん) “Sakura” (cherry blossom) is a word many people know well. Sakura viewing is “hanami” (花見、はなみ), or lit. flower viewing. Outside of a weather context, “zensen” (前線、ぜんせん) would mean “front” in the sense of WWII’s Eastern Front or Western Front … Continue reading
実と術 (じつとじゅつ) The word jitsu stands for reality and truth, often as part of the word shinjitsu (objective truth, an intangible thing). The word jutsu stands mostly for technique, in the sense of an art, a method, or even a spell. The words majutsu (for … Continue reading
そろそろ There are actually two distinct uses for sorosoro (そろそろ). The first is as an adverb representing softly, leisurely, gently, gradually, etc. The second is the one to really watch out for: that something will be done soon, in the … Continue reading
むしろ “Mushiro” is one of those words that isn’t in everyone’s speaking style, but it’s really good to know what it means and how it’s used. The English output differs because different words fit different sentence situations. The word itself … Continue reading
I’ve read the phrase “ni no mai wa gomen da” before (二の舞はごめんだ). This hails from the Japanese expression, “ni no mai o enjiru” (二の舞を演じる), which basically reads “dancing the same dance twice” and means “making the same mistake twice”. So, … Continue reading
凄く速い Most casual viewers of anime and learners of Japanese are familiar with the word sugoi (すごい), roughly equivalent to “tremendous”. However, as a matter of grammar, it’s not good to write “sugoi hayai”. That’s hayai (速い) for the adjective “fast”. The … Continue reading
何時も（いつも） While “itsudemo” was about something happening “anytime”, “itsumo” is all about something being always true, being the norm, and so forth. Again, I’ll use a brief example from a video game just to help absorb the usage.