Monday, November 24, 2014

Shikoku Island in Japan

Have you ever been to 四国 /Shikoku/ island in Japan?

Some of you might have been to Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto. But you know, Japan consists of four main islands, and these three biggest cities are all located in 本州 /Honshu/.

So, I'll ask you another question. Have you ever been to the islands other than 本州 /Honshu/? I don't know why but people in Taiwan seem to love 北海道 /Hokkaido/. Maybe they have a longing for the big snow? I guess so. Actually, the Snow Festival there is amazing. I've seen it once.

Well, I had been to the all islands except 四国 /Shikoku/. I just didn't have a chance to visit this nice region before, but fortunately, I could finally go. :D Yatta!

四国 /Shikoku/ consists of four prefectures as it's name. You see, means "four" and is "country". I visited 2 prefectures of them this time; 香川 /Kagawa/ and 愛媛 /Ehime/.

One of my friends lives in 香川 /Kagawa/, so I asked her to take me to the best Udon restaurant. It was super delicious! XD You know, 香川 /Kagawa/ is famous for its Udon culture(!?). So that's why it's called うどんの国 (The country of Udon). Haha

And I went to the spa resorts in 愛媛 /Ehime/. They have a long history of hot springs, and it's said that many Japanese famous writers had also visited and stayed there.

This building is the symbol of the town, an old bathhouse. Do you know "Spirited Away", Japanese animated film by Hayao Miyazaki? The main building in the movie was modeled on it. If you like this film, then why don't you come for a visit? :) You can take a bath here!

By the way, I found an interesting thing. Can you guess what it is?

It's a kind of paper bag (like an envelope) for wooden chopsticks. It usually has a name of the restaurant or something on it, but I found the one on which the explanation of how to use the chopsticks was written.

Haha, have a try!! ;)

*Japanese Word of the Day*
/are, hidari-kiki nano?/
Hey, are you a lefty?

*左利き /hidari-kiki/ a left-handed person ⇔ 右利き /migi-kiki/
By the way, one's dominant hand/arm is called 利(き)き手(て)/腕(うで).

Which is your 利き手?:)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

What Japanese People Think of Foreigners

I found an interesting video on Youtube! Let me share it with you guys. =)

Has your country been mentioned in this video?

*Japanese Word of the Day*
(3:45~) The girl was asked what country she wants to go to, and she said:
/rakuda ni noritai kara/
Because I want to ride a camel...

*乗(の)る /noru/ to ride, to get on

*V + たい/tai/ to want to do something
泳ぐ(to swim) → 泳ぎたい(want to swim)
食べる(to eat) → 食べたい(want to eat)

*~から /kara/ because, since (to show the reason)
It also can be used to express the starting point. >> Check *Japanese Word of the Day* in this post to see more examples! <<

The boy was surprised and repeated what the girl said, but he just heard it wrong.
/rakuda ni naritai/
Wanna BE a camel?

*なる /naru/ to be, to become, to get


Thursday, November 6, 2014

の = of ?

How do you "output" your target language? Do you have a language exchange partner? Do you go to a conversation class and have speaking activities? It's great if you have a chance of speaking your target language!

Writing is also good for output. I practice writing Chinese (Mandarin) and Farsi (Persian) on lang-8. I can get many corrections and advice from native speakers, and in return, I check my friend's entries in Japanese. It's very interesting, don't you think so? =)
(How to type Japanese on your laptop)

Today I'm going to tell you about a common mistake in Japanese, which I found through correcting my friend's entries. And it's about one of the Japanese particles! (The particles, AGAIN!)

Here it is, NO! No? No, no, it's the particle の/no/ !! It's mainly used to show possession.

/chichi no kutsushita wa kusai/
My father's socks are stinky.

/kono kusai kutsushita wa chichi no da/
This stinky socks are my father's.

/rouka ni ochitetan dakedo, dareno pantsu/
I found it in the corridor, but who's underpants are these?

In this case, can be directly translated into in Mandarin Chinese.

父             靴下

father         's              socks

爸爸            的             襪子

If you're mother tongue is Mandarin, you have to mind that can't be always translated into in Japanese. in Mandarin is inserted between the adjective and the noun, but it's different from Japanese grammar.

臭い             靴下

stinky                          socks

很臭            的             襪子

You see, 臭い靴下 is wrong. By the way, if it's na-adjective, you should put な before the noun.

完ぺき          靴下

perfect                       socks

很完美          的          襪子

I wonder, how do your language connect the adjective and the noun? Simply putting them together like English, or put particles between them like Chinese? Or, is the noun come before the adjective like Persian? =D

Anyway, here're some other functions of Japanese particle !!

(1) Preposition
/basu no naka ni keitai wo wasurete shimatta/
I left my mobile on a bus.

/toshokan no yoko ni oishii raamen-ya ga aru/
There's a nice ramen shop beside the library.

(2) The one
/kami ga nagai no ga watashi no imouto desu/
The one who has long hair is my younger sister.

/motto chiisai no ga hoshii desu/
I want the one which is smaller.

/sakki naite ita no ha dare desuka/
Who's the one that was crying a short time ago?

(3) Ending particle
It makes the sentence sound soft. It sounds kinda womanish if you use it too much times!

Okay, let's call it a day! Thank you all for reading my blog, and thank you Hirou, for suggesting me to write this post. =) See you again!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Where are you now?

I found an interesting blog!! XD
Lindsay Does Languages
Lindsay made many languages videos and they're very nice! Now she's also learning Japanese, so her recent posts would be very useful for you guys!!


Last week my Taiwanese friend took me to a short trip. She's really good at speaking Japanese, so I don't have any chance to show her my brilliant Chinese skill. ...Yup, I'm kidding!!My Chinese level is still far from brilliant. Anyway, we had a nice trip.

On our way home, I got a mail from my husband. By the way, we bought our mobiles in Taiwan last year, which were very cheep but old fashioned, and we can't type Japanese letters with it. My husband can't speak Chinese, to say nothing of typing it. So he always types in Romaji (Japanese in Roman alphabet).

I also replied to it in Romaji, like the picture below.

― ima densha

My friend saw this message and asked me what it means. How about you? Did you get its meaning immediately, or you don't have any ideas what it says?

If I could type in Japanese, I would write:

You got it now? =) 今/ima/ means "now", and 電車/densha/ is "train". Literally, it says "now train"!! And what I wanted to say was "I'm on the train now."
Does it sound strange or incomplete to you? But we really often speak like this.
Trust me, we do.

Where are you now?
I'm out right now.

When we talk with friends, we never say 今あなたはどこにいますか? First, we rarely say あなた (you). Second, it sounds too standoffish to use です/ます form when we talk to friends.

I'll say it again. We usually omit the subject of the sentence if it's obvious. The subject of the sentences could be "I" "you" "he" or "it". It depends.

For example, I often asked my classmate what page we're on. (Um.. yeah, I wasn't a kind of good student.) It's also 今どこ? in Japanese. It can be translated as "where are we?" or "where is it?".

I've written about several rules about Japanese particles, and it might confuse you a bit, but you don't have to care too much on them when you speak! Thank goodness!!

私はステーキが好きです (I like stakes) is a perfect sentence, but 私ステーキ好き is also fine. It doesn't sound strange to me unless it's in a formal situation or on the test. In the same way, "I student" is grammatically wrong in English, but it's not in Japanese. 私、学生(がくせい) isn't unnatural. Well, did I write it before?

Do you like anime?
Yes, I do!

See, it's very simple! Take it easy!! =)

*Japanese Word of the Day*
/sugu iku/
I'm coming!!