Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
OK, I wasn’t too sure about putting this video up here, but I guess you want to be prepared as to what you *could* get if you order real sushi in Japan! (Replay the first 5 seconds again!)
After the “How to say I like/I love…” in Japanese“, Alexis wrote in to ask:
How to explain that I like or love to *do* something?
The textbooks usually give you the phrase …..ことが好き ( …. koto ga suki)
For example, 食べる (taberu) means “to eat” so 食べることが好き means “I like to eat.”
But … as usual with textbook Japanese, it can sound a little “textbooky”
So a much more common phrase would be:
…. のが好き！ (….. no ga suki!)
For example 踊る (odoru) means “to dance” so 踊るのが好き！ means you like to dance.
Pretty easy, yeah?
You can check out a few more “action words” (what the textbooks call “verbs”) to add in to this sentence in the game here:
Q: Hi there Richard!
Maybe you’ve already answered this… but I’m really hoping to get to Japan whether this year or the next.
I really don’t know any Japanese at all, but I’ve always been drawn to the Japanese culture for some reason. Mainly the old ways/traditions (today’s stuff is cool too)… reason why I’m planning to head straightly to Kyoto.
Was wondering if Fall would be a good season… planning getting there sometime near August? That way I might have around 6 months to buy a somewhat cheap flight. Flights are not cheap whatever your departure city is… that’s why I’m looking to buy the ticket way ahead of time.
I’m getting there from Mexico =)
Also if there could be any piece of advice for a total noob like me in getting there, it will be highly appreciate it!!
I also thought of getting there near April to see the Cherry Blossoms (Sakuras if I’m not mistaken), but I decided to ask you since I’m pretty sure you’ve had plenty of experience in Japan.
Arigato gosaimasu! – Edgar
A: Hi Edgar,
Yep, fall (autumn) is a great time to visit Japan!
But ….. August isn’t fall! August is super, super far too hot and unbelievably sticky.
Fall starts mid October and runs for a couple of weeks.
It is a really great time to visit temperature wise, and there are also lots of festivals going on.
Springtime is also really good, but it can be really difficult to plan your trip to conincide with the Sakura Cherry Blossoms as they are only out for a few days and those days vary so much each year. For example last this year looks like a whole week’s difference to last year!
Sakura is beautiful, but if you want to play it safe then fall probably is the best!
P.S. Do check out the “Get Fluent” material – you’ve got plenty of time to get the nihongo up to scratch!
Last year we had a calendar for May 5th, Children’s Day, and this year it’s the turn of May 4th, Greenery Day.
Japanese gardens that pay for entry are very often free on this day. But apart from that it is usually just seen as one day of the “Golden Week” holidays. The weather is fantastic so everyone in the country is on the move.
If you want to visit from overseas, come the week *after* golden week. You still get the gorgeous weather (before the June rainy season) but you don’t have to put up with the ultra crazy prices or standing room only Bullet Trains!
P.S. I’m actually on tour in Thailand at the moment so please do pin or share this page if you like it on Facebook or Pinterest – thanks!
Q: 안녕하세요! Now I may be a little different as I am actually learning Korean…not Japanese (good job on GenkiKorean by the way), but I feel that this question may apply to anyone learning any language.
I mainly have a problem with pronouncing these words in a way that seems…well…decent. Doesn’t matter what language I try. It was the same with French and Japanese–No matter how much I tried, I always sounded the same.
It may be a self-esteem issue (my self-esteem isn’t that good, I admit) but after a while, this problem makes me lose all motivation in trying. Doesn’t matter which learning method I use (Michel Thomas, Pimsleur, lots of TV).
Is this a problem you’ve ever had? Do I just have bad self esteem? – Richard
A: Hi Richard!
Working on self esteem is *always* something that’s worthwhile, and something we’ve all felt at some point. But luckily working on this is by far the single biggest investment you’ll make and well worth grabbing the bull by the horns and just going for it!
So how do we do this with languages?
The trick is to go totally, totally, totally over the top with your accent.
Like imagine no one is looking and you are trying to do the worst possible impression of your favourite JPop/KPop, JDrama/KDrama/Samurai/Ninja star.
Start off with saying a phrase in English with your regular accent.
Then say it with this crazy, crazy over the top accent. Outloud. (Remember no one is looking so it’s OK!)
Now say the phrase in Korean or Japanese with your “regular” accent. Doesn’t that sound rubbish?
So now say it over and over again in the crazy stereotypical accent. Make yourself into that movie star or samurai!!
And whenever you are alone start saying the language in this crazy over the top accent.
You really can’t go too far, just push and push because what you think is over the top is probably just right for the person listening!
Having the courage to do this will certainly improve your self esteem.
And it will also push you to really go for it with the accent.
I did this with French and Japanese and on the phone now people don’t know I’m English until I say my name.
Good luck and remember Genki English Rule Number One: You can do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Q: Hi I was wondering do Japanese have to get special keyboards like one for hiragana and the other for katakana? – Claire
A: Well, here is a picture of my computer’s keyboard:
As you can see there are hiragana marks on all the keys. But no one uses those these days.
Instead we just type out in roman letters e.g. “ga” and the computer changes it into が for you.
The most important key is the one on the top left, that is the one that changes the keyboard from Japanese into regular English i.e. it stops the automatic translation of the letters. You *really* need this key if you do any work in Japanese, which means you can really only buy computers from Japan which are always more expensive!
You can also use the other keys near the space bar to do a similar thing. Japanese space bars are really small!
Q: I’m sending this e-mail to ask if you had any tips to help me stay focused while learning Japanese. I tend to study hard for 2-3 days and then I put it off for a month then when I go back and learn it I have to re-learn everything again. I really want to learn Japanese and I wish to travel Japan when I’m older, if you have any tips that would be fantastic. – Lauren
A: Ah, yes indeed this happens to all of us! 2 or 3 days and then something else creeps in and nothing gets done.
You can do all the usual tricks of writing days on a calendar, setting aside 20 minutes each day etc. but what I’ve found the best is to have an outside reminder of when to study. So that’s why I really like the Genki Japan email course, so you get a regular email every week with one lesson. So that would be tip, sign up for the emails (they’re free!) and just work through each lesson as you receive it. That way you have no stress about how much you are studying, just leave it up to me!
The sign up for is on this page: http://GenkiJapan.net
Q: Another question would be do you recommend any textbooks that would also help with learning Grammar, Verbs etc. which are also easy to understand for a beginner. Thank you for all you’re help and have a good day.
A: First of all I wouldn’t go for any books, they aren’t the way to learn a language. (Unless you don’t care about speaking it of course.) The best way for grammar is to do lots of listening of real Japanese. Start with the Genki Japan songs and then move on to real Japanese videos etc. on Youtube. That is by far the best way to learn grammar and verbs. Remember it’s always learn, not study!
Q: Dear Mr. Richard,
Your web site is amazing, as a middle school student I wish all my classes where taught like that.
I am really interested in Japanese language and culture and I was wondering if you have ever been to the Disney world in Tokyo?
Thank you for reading, - Lauren
A: Hi Lauren and thank you for the nice words!
Yes indeed, I’ve been to Tokyo Disneyland many times – it’s fantastic! And actually we have two here, the regular Disneyland Tokyo and also Tokyo Disney Sea which is a whole other Disneyland right next door. Together they are known as Tokyo Disney Resort.
As you’ve probably guessed Disney is *hugely* popular in Japan. There are Disney Stores everywhere and whenever people visit Disneyland they leave with huge, huge bags of presents to give to friends.
It’s also not just for kids, people of all ages go there and many of my friends go at least once a year!
I’m sure you will love it!
One question I get every year is:
Is 桜 – Sakura – cherry blossom – pink or white?
Seeing as the cherry blossoms are so beautiful, I figured I’d do a video to show you – it is pretty cool!
Do like or share the post if you’d like me to film the cherry blossoms light up this week!