Category Archives: JAPANESE

10 minute-a-day Japanese Lesson -1 -10 Recap

Today’s topic is all about the recap on the past 10 minute-a-day Japanese Lesson series 1 through 10.

Photo from reggiepen on

I started this series back in January 2017 and definitely wanted to do a recap, summary blog to summarize the first 10 lessons so you can just visit this page and look back the first 10 lessons for review.

Below, I have provided the link and summary for each page. If you have any particular site you want to go back to revisit, feel free to do so from here. I also noticed that one thing I need to make changes for future lessons is that by looking at each title, it’s not easy to tell what the lesson is all about. Sorry about that.. I need to somehow make it clear for everyone to figure out what the lesson is all about just be reading the title from here on.

If you have some time to spare, please look at the site below for review. Perhaps you might want to revisit each page and relearn what you have already learned in the last few months.


10 minute-a-day Japanese Lesson -1

Talking about New Year’s resolution. What are you going to do this year?

10 minute-a-day Japanese Lesson -2

Talking about weather in Japanese. Such a common topic to start an easy conversation with anyone!

10 minute-a-day Japanese Lesson -3

What a busy life we have? Some common Japanese expressions related to our busy life.

10 minute-a-day Japanese Lesson -4

Birthday wishes in Japanese. How would you say “Happy Birthday” in Japanese??

10 minute-a-day Japanese Lesson -5

How to say No in Japanese nicely. Great learning lessons here if you want to say no to someone by politely rejecting the offer in Japanese.

10 minute-a-day Japanese Lesson -6

How to …continue reading


Japanese Language: Saying sorry over and over

Japanese Language: Saying sorry over and over。

Remember your first impression of the Japanese, packed in tourist buses and racing through Europe in a cloud of ‘Sorry, sorry, so sorry!’?

Now that you’ve come to Japan, you can observe first-hand the national pastime of making constant apologies for no reason at all. You might find it strange to apologize in situations where fault is not an issue.

Smooth interaction in Japan, however, requires constant affirmation of indebtedness and appreciation of kindness or favors. In this society ‘Thanks’ is sometimes more conveniently expressed as ‘I’m sorry for having troubled you’, but the meaning is the same.

Sumimasen (‘I’m sorry’) is used in every situation imaginable, even in every day greetings and interactions, where it can mean ‘Excuse me’, ‘Thank you’, or ‘Here you are’. You can use it to get a shop clerk’s attention, when passing in front of someone, or when giving thanks for a favor, in which case you would use the past tense, Sumimasen deshita. Another form of apology is gomen nasai.

More informal than Sumimasen, it is used less in business situations and more among friends, when it’s sometimes shortened to just Gomen.

When you really have something to be sorry for, then you can use Moshiwake arimasen (or the past tense, Moshiwake arimasen deshita). It means ‘There’s no excuse for what I did!’


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Japanese Language Of Words and Women

Japanese Language Of Words and Women.

Much has been written in praise of the Kyoto woman: her beauty, her grace, her charming and distinctive speech. Indeed, throughout Japan the Kyoto woman’s way of speaking has long been considered the embodiment of femininity.

Today, however, the young Kyoto woman speaks in much the same way as her sisters in the rest of Kansai (the name for the Kobe-Osaka-Kyoto region). The alluring tones of genuine Kyoto dialect are now most likely heard from the lips of aged grandmothers, or in the entertainment districts, where geisha and maiko, many of whom are not native Kyoto-ites, have worked hard to acquire them.

Still, some remnants of old Kyoto speech, used by both men and women, linger on in daily life. A well-known example is oki-ni (pronounced oh-KEE-nee). Used by old and young alike, it is the Kyoto word for ‘thank you’. Another example is the way old people often address others as anta-han, anta being a familiar form of the standard anata (you), while han is probably derived from the formal title san. The effect is polite and familiar at the same time. You may also hear an elderly person refer to O-cha (‘honorable’ tea) as O-bu.

Though true dialect may be disappearing, the Kyoto accent still softens modern-day speech. This can sometimes cause problems for the Kyoto businessman, who, when he ventures to Tokyo, often finds it hard to strike the accepted masculine tone.

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Japanese to go: Language translation apps to help you in Japan

Living in a Japan isn’t always easy, especially when you don’t speak the language, and the culture and practices aren’t quite comprehensible. Aside from Chinese, the Japanese language perhaps bears little similarity to the native tongue of many expats in Japan. Fortunately in today’s world, technology can help us overcome some of these difficulties, particularly the language issue. A simple search for ‘translation apps’ and you will be hit with a vast selection, with their respective strengths (and weaknesses), to help you translate the from Japanese into something, well, more familiar.In deciding which of the myriad Japanese translation apps we should be downloading, perhaps we should first manage our expectations on what the apps can actually offer.Apps were initially developed as games and libraries. A translation app works in the same way. The interface connects you to their library of languages and reverts to the best one that satisfies your inquiry. It will help compensate for any immediate language gaps but you would also require users to employ their own judgement as to the accuracy of the translation and how the app can actually help to advance linguistic ability. Hence, one cannot blindly rely on the app to handle all communications. It is after all just an app, not quite a program with AI.So if you think you need the app to assume the role of a teacher (but not entirely), perhaps you might want to consider the paid apps, with tutorial functions, higher degrees of accuracy, no ads and the ability to respond offline.Why Free Japanese Translation Apps?Granted, paid translation apps have more functions and are more reliable. However, we may often overlook the real reasons why we need these things. For example, you are in a supermarket and are confronted with a helpless old …continue reading


Learning Negative Imperative Sentences in Japanese


When you want to just tell someone, “Don’t talk so loud, please”, how would you say that in Japanese? As a mom, I feel like I use the negative imperative forms all the time with my kids. I know it’s not good to talk to them so negatively, but some days, I just can’t help it! So, in my blog post today, I would like to cover some of the examples of negative imperatives in Japanese.

photo from subtle_3106 on

Don’t come here!

1) Kocchini konaide! こっちに来ないで!こっちに こないで!

2) Kocchini kuruna! こっちに来るな! こっちにくるな!

Just like the way I explained the imperative sentences the other day in my post (here), there are two ways of saying in negative imperative sentences as well.

The first one is pretty standard way of saying it. The second expression is much more manly and more authoritative. Most of the ladies will not use the second expression as they would be using the first expression.

Don’t be so loud!

1) Urusaku shinaide! うるさくしないで!

2) Urusaku suruna! うるさくするな!

Don’t run!

1) Hashiranai de! 走らないで!はしらないで!Hashiranai! はしらない!

2) Hashiruna!  走るな!

Moms will often tell children, “Don’t run!”, but this one will be translated as Hashiranai de! 走らないで!はしらないで! in Japanese. …continue reading