How to Pronounce Japanese

This entry is part 5 of 12 in the series Secrets of Speaking

This entry is part 5 of 12 in the series Secrets of SpeakingUpdate [2008/9/22]: I’ve finally found the original source/basis for the advice I’m giving here — the very article I read. It was this paper from UC Berkeley quoted by a Tom Hodgers in this thread of the Wakan Project forum. The key points…

No Speak English

When you first set out to learn a language, it’s an act, a game. A game whereby you acquire a habit of writing symbols and making sounds in a certain way, a way that is called [insert name of language]. Unfortunately the word, “game”, carries with it a negative connotation, one implying a lack of…

Great Starter Dictionary

Looking to start going to Japanese-Japanese only, but having trouble with the dictionary entries. Well, it turns out that the Sanseido Dictionary is really good because it’s a “concise” dictionary. The entries are short and to the point, rather than long and encyclopedic. Which makes it great for a learner. Japanese text can be intimidating…

Language is Like a Video Game

Specifically, fighting games. You know, Mortal Kombat, Tekken(鉄拳), Soul Calibur — the good ones. Anyone who’s played these before has seen (or experienced first-hand) complete beginners defeat advanced players. Just yesterday a make-up-wearing non-video-gaming girrrrrl ripped me to shreds in Tekken 5 on a friend’s PlayStation 3. I told her it was because the “X”…

Not Yet?

This is the story of a fictional boy, his fictional laptop and the fictional operating system “Mado QG”, a piece of software (in the most liberal sense of that word) that takes its sweet time starting up. It’s all a thinly veiled jab at Microsoft Windows, with the added benefit of being a fun way…

Kenya-chan, Wake Up!

In the pattern of Dick and Jane, here is another short “children’s story” in Japanese, about a boy called Kenya (yes, that is a Japanese name) who hates waking up. Explanations are at the bottom. Note: many words have multiple meanings, but it would be too overwhelming to cover them all, so only one meaning…