Category Archives: JAPANESE

WISH I MAY, WISH I MIGHT: Tanabata Festival in Japan

Wishes, dreams and hopes- almost every people around the globe share this universal idea that we all have dreams to fulfill. In this sense, Japan has a festival solely for making wishes come true! Let us find out more about this lovely Summer festival.
It’s that time of the year for long, hot and humid days! Despite the scorching heat of the summer, Japan holds amazing, interesting and colorful summer festivals, but there is one that is particularly near and dear to many: Tanabata Matsuri (七夕まつり) – the Star Festival.

So, What Really is Tanabata?

Also called the Star Festival, its legend has been told throughout Japan for generations. The story dates back to more than 2,000 years ago.
According to the tale, once there was Orihime (the Weaver Princess, the star Vega) and Hikoboshi (a Cow Herder, the star Altair), who fell madly in love with one another. They played so much that they began to neglect their work which made the king very angry. As a punishment, the king separated the lovers. Orihime and Hikoboshi were place on opposite ends of the Amanogawa River aka the Milky Way. But, the king took pity on them, and allowed Orihime and Hikoboshi to see each other once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month, and only if the skies are clear and the bridge out of magpies is built across the Amanogawa River. Tanabata literally means the night of the seventh. The Japanese believe that Orihime and Hikoboshi can’t see each other if it is rainy, so prayers are sent for a good weather.

When is Tanabata?

Generally July 7th. However, since Tanabata festival used to be held based on the lunar calendar, the date varies from region to region. Nowadays Tanabata festival is held on either July 7th or around August …continue reading


Connecting with masu-stem抽象的なテクスチャ

「よく遊びよく学べ 」だよ!

= “Yoku asobi yoku manabe” dayo!
= “Play hard and study hard”, OK?

Hi everyone!

I am your guest teacher, Ren!

Today I’m going to answer one of the most frequently asked questions:

“How do you connect verbs with the masu-stem?”

Many of you know how to connect verbs with te-form, right?

Just in case, let’s review.

to do A and do B

A: 書く ( = kaku) to write

B: 消す ( = kesu ) to erase

You change the first verb 書く ( = kaku) to the te-form →書いて ( = kaite)

* 自分の名前を書いて消す。

= Jibun no namae wo kaite kesu.

= Write one’s name and erase it.

past tense: You make the second (the last) verb, 消す( = kesu = to erase) past tense.

* 自分の名前を書いて消した。

= Jibun no namae wo kaite keshita.

= I wrote my name and erased it.

You can also connect verbs using the masu-stem.


How to form:

書く = かく= kaku

→ masu form: 書きます = かきます = kakimasu

→ Make a masu stem: delete ます ( = masu) 書き = かき = kaki

* 自分の名前を書き、消す。

= jibun no namae wo kak, kesu.

= to write one’s name and erase it.

Past tense: Just change the last verb to the past tense.

* 自分の名前を書き、消した。

= Jibun no namae wo kaki, keshita.

= I wrote my name and erased it.

It is more common to use te-form or if the masu-stem is one mora such as,

* 来る= kuru = to come→来ます= きます= kimasu

→masu-stem 来 = き= ki X

→you use (te-form) 来て = きて= kite

* 出る = deru= to leave, to come out →出ます= でます= demasu

→masu-stem 出= で= de X

→you use (te-form) 出て = でて= dete

* 見る = miru = to see, watch, look→見ます=みます= mimasu

→masu-stem 見 = み = mi …continue reading


10 Great Free Apps for Studying Japanese

Source: Gaijin Pot
Japanese Study Apps

Smartphones are almost a necessity in modern life and a divisive one at that. With constant notifications, we are so easily dragged out of present surroundings and into that welcoming pixelated glow. Distractions aside—and I’m speaking as a chronic social media addict—there are some very helpful apps for studying Japanese.

Best of all, these magical tools won’t cost you a single yen. This is particularly great considering how much it costs to have a smartphone in Japan. So let’s check out the options.

1. Learn From Day One: LingoDeer

For people who like to make studying fun.

LingoDeer will have you speaking Japanese and raising your fluency level from day one. It follows a fun building-block approach that feels more like a game. Each lesson applies grammar and vocabulary that you learned from the previous one using several methods of testing.

Unlike other apps that have you memorizing Japanese vocabulary and phrases without context, LingoDeer features audio from native Japanese speakers and integrates words, sentences, and culture naturally that you can use in real life. You can even slow down the speaker’s voice to be as accurate as possible in your pronunciation—indispensable to learning the language. Other awesome features include the ability to turn on furigana so you can study kanji, and learn the meaning and context of a particle with a simple tap.

While LingoDeer isn’t entirely free, you can learn all the basics such as hiragana and katakana, more than 1,000 essential Japanese phrases, and enjoy a deep dive into the first modules. Afterward, you can pay a small fee for the premium version, which includes …continue reading


Japanese Birthday Party Phrases

Ohayō gozaimasu! Kyoo wa ichinichi-juu ame desu.
Good morning! It will be rain all day today.

Today’s YT Live lesson topic is “Japanese Birthday Party Phrases”
Have you attended Japanese birthday party before?
Japanese birthday celebration is a bit different style from other countries.

Let’s check it out!

*YouTube Japanese Live Lessons: Every Mon & Wed 9am~ JST

Here are the phrases introduced in the lesson:

How to ask someone’s birthday and invite people for a party?
  • お誕生日はいつですか。 Otanjoobi wa itsu desu ka? When is your birthday?
  • お誕生日は何月何日ですか。 Otanjoobi wa nan-gatsu nan-nichi desu ka? When (what month what day) is your birthday?
  • さとうさんの誕生日パーティーをします。ぜひ来てください。Sato-san no tanjoobi paatii o shimasu. Zehi kite kudasai. We’ll have Sato-san’s birthday party. Please come.
  • 来週、佐藤さんの誕生日ですよ。 Raishuu, Sato-san no tanjoobi desu yo. Next week is Sato-san’s birthday. (~yo. is telling you ~. casual ending particle)
  • サプライズパーティーをします。Sapuraizu paatii o shimasu. We’ll hold a surprise party.
How to congratulate on a special day?
  • おめでとう Omedetō Congratulations!
  • 〇〇おめでとう! Congratulatios on 〇〇!
  • たんじょうび、おめでとう。 Happy Birthday.
  • おたんじょうび、おめでとうございます。 Happy Birthday. (formal)
  • ご入学(にゅうがく)おめでとう! Congratulations on starting school!
  • ご卒業(そつぎょう)おめでとう! Congratulations on graduation!
  • ご結婚(けっこん)おめでとう! Congratulations on your marriage!
Example phrases when giving a present
  •   これ、誕生日プレゼント。Kore, tanjoobi purezento. This is my birthday present to you.
  • あけてもいい? Akete mo ii? Can I open it?
  •   開けてみて! Akete mite! Please open it! (literally: Try to open!)
  • うわー、すてき!ありがとう。 uwaa, suteki! arigatoo! Wah, so nice! Thank you!
  • こんなのが、ほしかったんです。konna no ga hoshikatta n desu. I wanted to have like this.
  • すっごいうれしい。suggoi ureshii. I’m extremely happy.
  •   よかった。 Yokatta. I’m glad to like it. (literally: Good)
  •   気にいってくれて、わたしもうれしいです。 kiniitte kurete, watashimo ureshii desu. I’m so happy as you like it.
Sample birthday messages on Social Media

Phrases For Dating In Japan

Image courtesy of, CCO

Did you meet a Japanese girl or guy but have no idea what to say to them in Japanese? I have come to rescue you. Here are a few basic Japanese dating phrases that you can use for that special someone.

Good afternoon (こんにちは).

When starting a conversation with that cute Japanese person across the room, you’ll need to first introduce yourself. You can start that by first saying, “good afternoon”, “good evening”, or, if leaving at night, “good night”. “Konnichiwa” (こんにちは) is a word that generally means “good afternoon”, but it can also be used at other times of the day. If you are meeting your potential dating partner specifically in the evening, you can use “Konbanwa” (こんばんは). You’d use these words like you would in English. For example, “Good evening, I’m Phil” would be translated to, “こんばんは、僕はフィルです).

My name is … (私のなめは …)

Let’s break the grammar down for this one, because understanding this sentence is really important because you are going to use this sentence a lot.

There are several ways to say “I” in Japanese, and “watashi” is probably the most neutral and polite way to do so. It is used by both men and women and is commonly used in formal situations. If you are a girl, you’ll probably be using this or the variant “Atashi” (あたし) quite a lot. If you are a guy, you have two additional options for the word “I”: “boku” (僕) or “ore” (俺). “Ore” is considered rougher and more informal (also more manly), while “boku” is more childish, polite, and demurring. Great, so “I” is covered. Next in the sentence, you’ll add the “no” (の) particle which is a possessive particle. This, when combined with “I”, essentially makes the word “my”. The next word, “namae” (名前) literally translates …continue reading