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Latest Posts

  • Which is the best Wordtank to get? (Answer:None of them! :))


    Tori wrote in to ask: Hi Richard, could you please advise how to choose which Wordtank to get? I can’t find any information in English to determine the features or how to operate one when I do get one. I’m looking at S series and A series for my budget as a beginner. Thank you. […]

  • How to memorise a list of Japanese words for a test?

    Francis wrote in to ask: If you have to memories a certain amount of japanese say for a test what steps or method would you use to efficiently memorise? This only works for tests (not for speaking as such) but this is how I used to ace all my exams. It’s very simple, just write […]

  • Why does “konnichiwa” end up with “は” and not with “わ” ?

    Mansouri wrote in to ask: konnichiwa! please , can you tell me why is the word “konnichiwa” end up with “は” and not with “わ” It’s just because it’s the particle “wa” i.e. the wa that tells you what the sentence is about. So we’re actually saying  “this day, what about it?” or “this day […]

  • Could you eat live prawns?

    Whilst most food in Japan is totally gorgeous, it is of course the weird stuff that gets the headlines!  Live squid?  Yep.  Live sashimi? Yep.  Live little fish that wriggle around as you eat them?  Yep. And one of the toughest ones is eating live tiger prawns. So naturally, I took a video for you! […]

  • When do you use “doushite” and when “naze” and why? :)

    Jim wrote in to ask: When do you use “doushite” and when “naze” and why? When speaking you can pretty much use either interchangeably, although I must admit I tend to hear “doushite” more than “naze” these days – not sure why though!

  • Japanese Summer Soba Noodles

    Summer is the time for summer soba noodles.  They’re cold, but very nice! Or if you’re really adventurous you can try soumen like this!

  • Can I use hiragana and katakana in the same word and sentence?

    Q: Can I use hiragana and katakana in the same word and sentence? – questionier Same sentence, yes. Most sentences use a mix. Same word, no. Most words are set at one or the other, or sometimes you can change say a kanji word to katakana for emphasis, but you can’t mix katakana and hiragana in […]

  • Learn Japanese “shi te” and “imasu”

    Q: Great web site and very helpful. I am currently using rosetta stone which I feel is pretty good but lacking in some areas such as translation. Can you clarify for me the meaning of “shite” at the end of a verb such as “unten”. From what I can deduce is that unten is somewhat […]

  • What to do after Pimsleur?

    Q: I have a question. I’ve been doing the pimsleur japanese and getting near to the end. Sometimes it drags but its been a great intro to Japanese. One thing though, what to do next??? – Russell Hi Russell, First of all congratulations on getting through the pimsleur, I was often in need of caffeine […]

  • Japan Calendar for June

    I’m on tour in China at the moment, with not very good net access. So … I sort of cheated and went with last year’s calendar design for June – the rainy season, but of course updated all the dates for this year! Hope you’ll forgive me and please do help to share it on […]

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