Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Road to JLPT 4


In Australia, JLPT applications opened up a few days ago and I want to get in to sit the JLPT 4 at the end of the year. I know what your thinking “It’s only the JLPT 4, it’s the easiest one! Do the JLPT 3!” by the end it sort of came down to people were asking me “Are you chicken”?

No Offence....

No Offence....

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My 5 Tips For Studying Japanese


There are many different ways of tackling the Japanese language, whatever way you study Japanese, I hope it’s working for you. These are my 5 tips for stuyding Japanese that I use to study and apply what I learn, so far I’ve only been studying for about 7 months, but these are working pretty well for me.

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The Mind of a Japanese Person

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A while ago I was going through Gakuranman’s blog and found out that he’s instructing people to write something about some strange, unusual or crazy about Japan, so I’ve decided to write about how Japanese people think and act that I’ve found out since I began studying Japanese. Now I’m not an expert into how the Japanese think and how their society functions but I have noticed since I began studying some that the Japanese people have different way’s of communicating and doing things to other cultures. And here are some examples.

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Nihongoup (Is More Than You Think)

Recently I discovered that Nihongoup and Jamaipanese have a competition in which I could win a copy of the amazing full version of Nihongoup. Now many people are probably writing post’s in their blogs which basically all follow the same tone of…

“GIVE MEEEEE A COPY OF NIHONGOUP!!!! CAUSE YOU GUYS RULEZ!!!!! XOXOX JAMAIPANESE4LIFE!”

now that would be a waste of space in my blog, so I’m going be informative for my chances of winning.

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If You Have the Speaking Level of a Child, Then Embrace It

Doraemon is made for little kids in Japan, who obviously would not be able to do a lot of things I could not also do, for example, start a philosophical conversion or talk about the hidden meanings or in sci-fi I just saw or teach an advanced physics lecture in Japanese, so I’m learning anyway simple way I can, and I know I can listen to the Doraemon song a million times. Oh and also Musical Memory is in a completely different area of your brain, so even if you get knocked on the head and get amnesia and spend the rest of your life not being able to recall what you ate for breakfast, you’ll still be able to remember those annoying ads from TV.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Learning With Doraemon“, posted with vodpod

Here’s just a list of useful vocab from the video.

夢(ゆめ) – dream
いっぱい – fullness
叶える(かなえる) – to grant
不思議(ふしぎ)- mysterious
自由(じゆう) – freedom
飛ぶ(とぶ) – to fly
とっても – very
大好き(だいすき) – to love

Another song I can listen to a million times is the Totoro Song. If you can memorize this song with all it’s vocab than you might pick up a ton of extra words.

Here’s the link here for the lyrics which are in romaji, if you study it yourself in your own way that also get’s better recall (also I can’t be bothered doing it).

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Japanese Superstitions

Last Wednesday, my beloved cat, Achilles died. And as a sort of tribute to him I took I did a bit of research into the few Japanese superstitions about death.

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The Deadly “4”

The first thing I found while researching was that the number 4 (四) in Japanese and death (死) are both pronounced “shi”, because of the verbal similarities, the number 4 is considered bad luck, it’s taken so seriously that even in some building’s, the elevator’s don’t list the 4th floor as the 4th floor, it just skips it and it becomes the 5th floor. Presenting someone with 4 gifts also is very offensive as the recipient would take it as you mean for them to die.

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also the number 9 (九) is unlucky because it’s pronounced the same as pain (苦) and also the number 13, thanks to Westernized culture.

Chopsticks (箸)

Anything thing that you do that is associated with funerals is considered unlucky. A mistake that people make is sticking their chopsticks straight into a bowl of rice, this would be a very easy mistake to make, and the reason for it being unlucky is because a bowl of rice with chopsticks sticking out of it is placed on an alter at funerals. Also passing food to other people chopstick to chopstick is unlucky because at funerals after the body is done cremating the guests stand around the ashes and pick out the bones with chopsticks and pass them along to everyone, person to person, chopsticks to chopsticks.

Please Don’t Feed the Animals

Basically everywhere, black cat’s are deemed unlucky, because years ago when someone was dead or dying a cat would be nearby, this is just because cat’s love heat, and when a person is dying, they might have a fever, or a blanket resulting in the body being nice and toasty for them to lie on, and basically the color black being associated with death resulted in black cat’s being the most feared.

EEEEEEEEVVVVVVVVVVVVVIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!

EEEEEEEEVVVVVVVVIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!

In Japan, badgers are also deemed unlucky because apparently they wear masks to hide their eyes, they do this because they’re believed to be mischievous, evil and trouble-maker’s.

Other rules to follow

Rule: When a funeral car passes, hide your thumb

Reason: Thumb in Japanese is 親指, which literally translates to “parent finger”,  so hiding your thumb is a way of protecting your parents

Rule: Don’t whistle at night or a snake will come and get you

Reason: The best reason I could find was to just keep kids quiet at night.

Rule: Don’t cut your nails at night because it will cause death, some different versions are, your parents will die, you will die with parents, basically, death.

Reason: Again, the best reason I could find was, parents didn’t want their children handling sharp objects in the dark.

I know there are many more Japanese superstitions, so if you know of the many more that I didn’t include in this post, please leave it as a comment. If you liked it, hated it, or really don’t care I’d love to hear from you, and If you really do like it please share it.

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