Category Archives: EDUCATION

World Cup Words: Talking about Football in Japanese

Source: Gaijin Pot
World Cup Words: Talking about Football in Japanese

Following the Japan team’s fantastic performance against Belgium, even after elimination my Japanese colleagues are still going crazy for the World Cup. For foreign people living here, this can be a great chance to get your coworkers to open up as even people who don’t know a defender from a striker will be quite happy to discuss at great length Japan’s second goal against Columbia, whether they should have beaten their Senegalese opponents in the second match or the infamous last 10 minutes of the game with Poland.

While there is no shortage of people who are willing to talk about football, one of the tricky things for Japanese learners is mastering some of the terms associated with the sport. Some of it is decidedly English, but some of the language uses uniquely Japanese concepts.

Fortunately, as the sport has British origins, a lot of the terms are taken from the English language. While “football-is-football” stalwarts like myself may not like the fact the sport is called サッカー (soccer) over here (or in Canada and the United States), the British influence is clearly seen in words like ゴール (goal), シュート (shoot), フェイント (feint), オウンゴール (own goal) and many other terms.

Similarly, the names for the positions are also taken from English. A チーム (team) usually consists of フォワード or ストライカー (forwards or strikers), ディフェンダー (defenders), ゴールキーパー or キーパー (goalkeeper) and ミッドフィールダー (midfielders).

While the names of most positions are pretty straightforward, one of the strange 和製英語(わせいえいご), or quasi-English, words that took me by surprise was the abbreviation スタメン. What’s confusing about this word is that it doesn’t describe the star players (サッカースター or スタープレイヤー) but instead the starting line-up of the squad. For the longest time, whenever I heard スタメン, I assumed that there must be 11 star players …continue reading


How to use 〜に対して ( = ~ ni taishite)


= Saikin, watashi ni taishite no aijou hyougen ga tarinain janai no?

= I feel the way you express your affections towards me is not enough.


= Oyatsu fuyashite ne.

= Increase the amount of snack, OK?

Hi everyone!

I am your guest teacher, ( = Ukko). はじめまして = Hajimemashite = Nice to meet you!

I am going to teach you how to use ( 〜に) 対して ( = taishite) today.

Here we go!!


First let’s look at the usage of = たい = tai

= たい = tai = versus, ratio, as opposed to

Ex. ワールドカップ決勝 日本アメリカ

= Waarudo kappu kesshou Nihon tai Amerika

= World Cup Final Japan vs. the U.S.

Ex. 1で勝った。

= San tai ichi de katta.

= We won 3 to 1.

Ex. 今、何何?

= Ima, nan tai nani?

= What’s the score now?

Ex. 試合は、44で引き分けになった。

= Shiai wa yon tai yon de hikiwake ni natta.

= The game was tied 4-4.

Ex. 「昨日の合コン何人きたの?」

Kinou no goukon nannin kita no?

= How many people came to the Singles Mixers (party) yesterday?


= Yon tai yon datta.

= 4 men and 4 women.

1) ~に対して ( = ni taishite ): against/ towards / to

* How to form:

noun + ( = ni ) + 対して ( = taishite ) ~

* to have some feelings + over / towards / on + something /someone

* one’s attitude + towards / against / to + something /someone

OK, let’s compare the following two sentences.

Haven’t you been a little cold towards him lately?

→A: 最近、ちょっと彼に冷たいんじゃない?

= Saikin, chotto kare ni tsumetain janai?

→B: 最近、ちょっと彼に対して冷たいんじゃない?

= Saikin, chotto kare ni taishite tsumetain janai?

They mean the same but when you focus on who/what your action/ attitude/ feelings are directed to you use 対して ( = taishite)

Ex. マギー先生は宿題をやらない生徒に対していつも厳しい。

= Sensei wa …continue reading


The Japanese Summer as an ALT without Aircon

Source: Gaijin Pot

Being an assistant language teacher (ALT) in Japan is pretty amazing story-wise. It’s like being on an episode of The Office (the British or American version) in Japan and being surrounded not only by the quintessential characters you’d find in an office, but also a ton of kids to make it all that much more hilarious and fun.

One thing that isn’t fun, though, is how Japan hates air conditioning — even in the dead of summer, even in a facility that houses the young. With Japan’s ganbatte attitude (a utilitarian version of Nike’s “Just Do It!”), no one really gets used to 98 percent humidity in 32-degree Celsius (90-degree Fahrenheit) temperatures in the summers in much of the country, but you learn to live with it. For spoiled Americans like me, it’s a pill a bit harder to swallow when your entire body is wet, clothes soaked, it’s only 9 a.m. and you gotta put on a happy face and get out there and teach ’em and reach ’em.

I’ve heard legends of some schools being located close to Narita International Airport so that they have to have the windows closed (because of the noise of the planes) and therefore must have air conditioning throughout the entire school. But this is a luxury mostly for the rich or for the… lucky. Most public schools will not have air conditioning in the general areas like hallways, bathrooms and gyms but may have it either in the classrooms (no lower than a steaming 27 or 26 degrees Celsius) or in the teachers’ office — usually not both. Perhaps you could not rightfully claim you are ganbatte-ing (fighting) if too much of the building is cool enough to form coherent thoughts.

Either way, ALTs learn a sweaty and resilient piece of Japanese culture through being …continue reading


Culture Shock pt. 2: Getting through It

A Typical, Cheap Work Lunch

So if you didn’t read my first post about how I experienced culture shock, here’s the run down: I’m an intern in Tokyo and I experienced culture shock, which surprised me.

As the second part of reflections on the topic, this post is going to be about getting over culture shock. Sometimes, culture shock can be an actual shock, over in 7 minutes. Other times, it can take months. Whatever the case, there’s always a light at the end of the shorter-than-you-think tunnel. So, before you go anywhere, learn a few ways to deal with the shock. Here’s how I did:

Step One: Recognition

Culture shock will most likely hit you in the first place where you really start realizing you’re not “home”, and that may not be some new and exciting place. If you’re in an internship, it most likely will be at your workplace Or at least it was for me: the first day of work was really when it hit me. I’m interning in a company where 98% of the employees are Japanese. For my first day, it felt like there were hours where the only sounds I heard were people typing. People tell you that no one talks on trains here, similar to many other countries (not the US, as many of you reading may know). What no one tells you, though, is that the “be quiet” rule extends beyond trains.

I’m not saying that Tokyo is this eerily stark-silent city. It’s just so quiet compared to other cities I’ve lived in like Philly and London. I spent the night after my first day on the job and half of the next day trying to figure out why I suddenly wish I wasn’t there, why I felt this pang in my chest if I thought about …continue reading


Goodbye Zooming Japan: Hiatus notification

Hello to anyone who’s still reading “Zooming Japan”. I know this blog has struggled with regular updates for the longest time now. And there’s a reason for that. I’ve been putting this off for quite some time now, but it needs to be done. The original purpose of “Zooming Japan” You know, I started […]

The post Goodbye Zooming Japan: Hiatus notification appeared first on Zooming Japan.

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