Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Passion of Youth

How did you spend your youth? Or is it just the springtime of your life right now?

*Japanese Word of the Day*
/amazuppai seishun no omoide/
Sour-sweet memories of one's adolescent(young) days

In Japanese, we often describe memories(思い出) of adolescent days(青春) as sour-sweet(甘酸っぱい). Literally, 青春/seishun/ means blue-spring.

Last month I went to see a 青春映画, a teen film, in Taiwan.

You may notice that they speak mostly in Japanese in this film. This story is about an underdog baseball team comprised of three ethnic groups when Taiwan was a colony of Japan.

I do LOVE this film!! It was a blast!! XD

It reminds me of my 青春...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Struggle To Speak Foreign Language

About a year ago, I moved to Taipei.
I started to learn Chinese at that time, but the pronunciation of it was really hard (actually, it IS still hard for me) and I couldn't say what I want to say, even an easy sentence.

I remember clearly about the two day one night trip for the first time.
I went to a famous hot spring resort. It took 1.5 hours by bus from Taipei city.

Yeah, it was really fun. I struggled to speak Chinese as much as I could.
But, you know, I didn't know even the easy words like "a towel" in Chinese.

I tried to buy a one hour ticket to take a hot spring bath.
The woman who sold tickets asked me whether I brought my own towels.
But I couldn't understand what she was saying about, so I asked her back.
"Towels. Do you bring your own towels? Or wanna buy some? (in Chinese)", she replied. "What does TOWELS mean? (in Chinese)" I asked again. And she said, "TOWELS! Towels!! *sigh* Towels!! (in Chinese)". She was really irritated, and I was worried. Finally she grabbed some towels and show it to me, and I understood.

Maybe I would never forget the word "towels" in Chinese.

Last weekend, I went to the same place for the first time in a year.
This time, I could understand all what she said. Maybe she was that woman I met last year. Wow, I have progressed a little in this one year.

You may be already know about this web site;

Benny, who is the owner of this website, says that we need to get out of our comfort zone in order to learn foreign languages efficiently. I do agree to this idea.

Why my English hasn't progressed though I studied it for a looong time, is just because I hesitate to leave from my comfort zone! Aghhh, wimpy!!

*Japanese Word of the Day*
/dakara, taoru tte itteru desho!/
I mean, I said TOWELS!!

/nankai ittara wakaru wake?!/
How many times do I have to tell you?!

*~(だ)から : It's usually used like A(だ)からB. It means that A is the reason of B.

-> I bring an umbrella because it seems to start raining.

-> You oversleep because you stay up late at night.

But if your girlfriend say だから emphatically at the beginning of the sentence, she might get irritated or angry. Be careful.

Obviously he or she is irritated. でしょ sounds feminine, and だろ sounds manly.

*何回 : how many times

This is a spoken word to ask someone something.

-> Do you go steady with her?
It sounds a little complaining or surprised about it.

-> Are YOU serious?

Have you experienced being embarrassed to speak a foreign language?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ponderous Pandas

I went to the zoo to see a baby giant panda! Aww, she was so cute!

She was sleeping at the top of the tree most of the time, but woke up once when I walked past by her room. :D Yatta!

She lives with her mom in the same room. The mommy panda reminded me of my mother.
The daddy panda lives next door. He was walking around.

I am sure there was a man inside the panda. A middle-aged man, probably. When the panda looked down at the small pond, he looked like a man who has a hangover.

*のっそ のっそ (the onomatopoeic word) It expresses something or someone is moving ponderously/sluggishly.

*オエエェェ (the voice of vomiting)

*ぼり ぼり (the onomatopoeic word) The sound of scratching or crunching.

*The Japanese Word of the Day*
/ojisan ni shika mienai/
It just looks like a middle-aged man to me.

*~しか only, just
*見えない cannot see

Aにしか見えない It just looks like A. (It can't be seen as B, C, or D etc..)
This is an emphasized sentence, compared to Aに見える (It looks A / It looks like A)
It would be a little confusing, so I show you some more examples.

It looks like a middle-aged man.

It doesn't look like a middle-aged man.

(3)If I say おじさんにしか見えない, then it really looks like a middle-aged man, and it doesn't look like other things.

Got it?

Friday, March 7, 2014

Moths fly into the fire

Aww, it's been raining everyday!! I hope it'll be fine this weekend. :(

Yesterday, I bought a book about Taiwanese proverbs. It's really interesting to me.
Since I have to leave Taiwan within this year, I really wanna learn much more things during my stay in Taiwan. Now I'm very interested in Taiwanese language.

Okay, today I'm gonna introduce a Japanese proverb(ことわざ)!

/tonde hi ni iru natsu no mushi/
Moths fly into the fire
(I don't know why but I like this. It's euphonious!)

Well, this song's title is a bit different.
Do you know what does it mean? This is one of the songs of Japanese rock band RADWIMPS. I used to listen to their songs when I was a student. It's 懐(なつ)かしい to me!

It's not Summer yet, and you don't have many chances to use this proverb,
but I just came up with it. Haha

Monday, March 3, 2014

Left On The Shelf

It's March 3rd! Do you know what today is? :3

When I was small, my family used to prepare the dolls every spring.
It is said that the girl will get marry later in life if her dolls weren't put away for a long time. So in the past, people prepare the dolls in the end of February, and put them away right after the dolls festival.

My parents always leave them until the April, so I was worrying about my marriage. I complained to my parents, then they said the dolls festival in our city is held on April 3rd. I didn't believe it because I thought they were just lazy, but I found some areas in Japan (especially cold, and snowy areas) celebrate this festival on April 3rd.

Who's this cute girl? Yes! It's me! XD
I'm often told "You WERE cute" by my family. Huh, what do they mean? :(

*Japanese Word of the Day*
/hina-ningyou wo dashippanashi ni shitara, konki ga okure-chau yo/
If you leave the dolls sitting, you'll be left on the shelf.

*ひな人形 is the special dolls for the dolls festival in Japan

*出しっぱなし to leave something as it is after taking it out or turning it on.
服(ふく)を脱(ぬ)ぎっぱなしにする = to leave cloths out after taking them off.
My husband always does, though.
You see, ~っぱなしにする means "to leave something".
出しっぱなし = 出す + ~っぱなしにする
脱ぎっぱなし = 脱ぐ + ~っぱなしにする

*婚期(こんき) literally means "the marriageable age" or "nubility"

Many working ladies are afraid of 婚期を逃(のが)す. (= to miss out on getting married, to be past the marriageable age) So nowadays 婚活(こんかつ) (= marriage hunting activities) are popular in Japan!

Let me explain about these Kanji characters. (こん) of 婚期(こんき) is from 結(けっこん), which means "marriage". And the character (き) of 婚期 express the meaning of "period" or "time".

Do you know the difference between 遅れちゃう and 遅れる?
We often add ~しちゃう to verbs which implies we don't want it happens, or it's not good to happen.

そんなことしたら、私(わたし)泣(な)いちゃう = I will cry if you do like that.
泣いちゃう = 泣く + ~しちゃう

By the way, "left on the shelf" is interesting phrase, isn't it?
I learned it today for the first time.

That's all for today!! Thank you for reading! Bye :D