Ex. 1) Questions

1. たけしさんは金曜日にてがみをきましたか。

いいえ、いえでおんがくをききました。

2. たけしさんは土曜日にどこでアルバイトをしましたか。

スーパーでアルバイトをしました。

3. たけしさんはいつおんがくをききましたか。

金曜日でおんがくをききました。

4. たけしさんは日曜日になにをしましたか。

たけしさんはまちに日曜日でメアリさんとえいがをみました。

5. あなたは、じゅうまつ、なにをしましたか。

金曜日でわたしは日本ごをべんきょうしました。土曜日と日曜日でとわたしはもだちとえいがをみました。

 

Ex. 2) Translation exercise

1. ゆみさんぜんぜんしゃしんをとりまさんでした。

Yumi did not take pictures at all.

2. こどもときわたしはよくハンバーガーをたべました。

 I often ate hamburgers when I was a child.

3. こうこうときでたけしさんはあまりべんきょうしませんでした。

Takeshi did not study much when he was in high school.

The following text was written by another penpal for me introducing her hometown; Chiba. A small(er) town near Japan’s capital Tokyo.  The writer her name is Kaori and I wish to thank her for allowing me to share this text with everyone. This text is once more filled with kanji I have yet to learn, but Kaori was so friendly to add their hiragana readings in her mail for me. I still cannot read it fluently, but it does make me feel as if I’m getting better at reading Japanese. We must keep doing our best!

 

私は日本の首都東京の近の千葉県柏市に住んでいます。

東京に比べたら田舎ですが、千葉県にはディズニーランドがありますね!

柏市は東京の渋谷に似ていると言われていますが、私は個人的に全然似ていないと思います。

柏には路地裏に多くのブティックがあり、レストランや居酒屋、美味しいラーメン屋も多いです。

散策すると面白いですよ。

 

I live in Chiba at Kashiwa near capital Tokyo. Chiba is rural compared to Tokyo, but Disney Land is there. It’s said that Kashiwa resembles Shibuya in Tokyo. Personally, I don’t think Chiba resembles Shibuya at all. There are a lot of clothing shops, restaurants, izakaya, delicious ramen shops at the back alley in Kashiwa. It’s interesting to go strolling in there.

This translation was offered by Kaori herself, with only a minor spelling check by myself.

オレンテス

The following text was written by my penpal Yoshi to introduce his hometown Osaka. He has given me permission to share this simple text for which I wish to thank him. Please enjoy this small mesage.

私の実家は大阪市です。
近くに大阪城があり、繁華街も近いです。
私はよく繁華街で買い物をしたり、飲みに行きます。
多くの公共施設、病院、自然があります。
私はこの街が大好きです。

This is a simple translation that took a lot of liberties. The Japanese and English express the same ideas, but may express them a bit differently, please forgive these liberties.

My hometown is Osaka in Osaka prefecture. Osaka castle is nearby, a place of historical importance and so is downtown. I often go there to shop and sometimes I have a drink as well. There are many public facilities here such as hospitals and nature. I love this town.

オレンテス

Ex. 1) Answering Questions

1. 日本ごの本はどこですか。

日本ごの本はしんぶんの下です。

2. メアリーさんのかさはどこですか。

メアリーさんのかさはつくえの上です。

3. スーさんのじしょはどこですか。

スーさんのじしょはかばんの中です。

4. としょかんはどこですか。

としょかんはゆうびんきょくのうしろです。

5. ぎんこうはどこですか。

ぎんこうはゆうびんきょくのひだりです。

Ex 2.) Translation exercise

1. わたしのじてんしゃは三万円でした。

My bicycle was 30 000 yen.

2. きのうは日曜日でした。

Yesterday was Sunday.

3. やましたせんせいは日本だいがくのがくせいじゃなかったです。

Professor Yamashita was not a Nihon University student.

Japanese StudentThe first thing I ever used in my quest to learn Japanese was the website YesJapan.com. YesJapan offers visitors an online, interactive way to learn Japanese backed up by a vibrant community eager to welcome new students and help those in need along the way. The website owner is George Trombley; and along with his wife Yukari Takenaka, he created the website and wrote the book series, Japanese from Zero!, based on their experiences as Japanese language teachers in Las Vegas, Nevada.

What does YesJapan.com offer? First they offer 6 online course teaching students Japanese at a very reasonable pace. The lessons are given in a progressive way. This means that in course 1 during the span of 12 lessons the Hiragana alphabet gradually is taught, 5 to 10; in course 2 the same is done for Katakana and from course 3 onwards Kanji is taught. During course 1 and 2, sounds which are represented by hiragana/katakana that was not yet taught will be written using romaji until the hiragana/katakana is learned. The lessons teach grammar, writing and the various language skills to the student, accompanied by enough examples, all accompanied by audio examples.

However, that is not everything YesJapan has to offer. YesJapan also streams various shows of which YesJapan Daily, EigoEgg and Ask-A-Teacher are the most actively promoted shows. George Trombley, himself is the host in these shows.  He actively tries to teach students Japanese in a funny, yet highly educational manner. Both shows are highly interactive, for they are always held in cooperation with the YesJapan.com chatrooms where students constantly stream there thoughts and George actively picks up topics from these suggestions. Unfortunately due to time differences, I have only been able to attend once these shows live. Though for those who wish to watch a show, do not despair for YesJapan also has a Youtube channel on which all shows are uploaded. I certainly recommend checking these out since some of them ccontain wonderful information about the language country and its people. (YesJapan.com YouTube channel)

However, what really is the main selling point for this website is its community, a feature of YesJapan George actively encourages. The three main communty tools are: Ask-A-Student; the forums and its chatroom. Its Ask-A-Student tool allows students to ask their fellow students. Believe me when I tell you that this is actively used and there enough students more than willing to share a word of wisdom with you. Of course, not everything can be put on Ask-A-Student, but do not fear for forums are there. On these forums, students, enthusiasts and George actively discuss not only the language, but also the Japanese current events, culture, the books, shows and website. In all this madness I can honestly say I have yet to read unpleasant or spiteful posts. Truly, something I recommend. But, my main love is its chatroom where all enthusiast gather to share a few words. Here often students type Japanese to practice the skills they have honed, but also to get feedback to correct mistakes if they are made. Even some Japanese frequent these forums and help correct our mistakes in return we aid their English. (Wanted: YesJapan chatroom needs more Japanese; go here).

Now do I use all features that YesJapan.com offer? No, I do not. The teaching style of YesJapan.com is not a style I personally like. However, some students do enjoy this. It is purely a matter of personal preferences and I suggest that you try it out and decide for yourself. However, I do actively frequent the forums and its chatroom, which I not only find helpful, but a wonderful place to spend some time.

I give YesJapan.com 4 stars out of 5!

All images and materials are owned by YesJapan.com

With the Kanji I learned this week, I can write a lot of time references in Kanji: the weekdays, the day of the month, the months and time. However, some of them are hard to remember especially the days of the Month! So I thought I would type them all in one place and every day just read them out loud, until I can wake up and instantly say: 七月五日です。きょうは木曜日です。

I need to pay attention to various days of the month in Japanese, since these do not have a very regular patern for the first ten days of the month and each day of the month that contains ’4′. I put them in bold to make sure I pay special attention to them.

While they are difficult to pronounce, to write them is actually very easy. You just need to know your math and kanji. However, in nowadays Japanese the Kanji numerals are replaced by Arabic numerals!

The Japanese weekdays

  • 月曜日 – げつようび – Monday
  • 火曜日 – かようび – Tuesday
  • 水曜日 – すいようび – Wednesday
  • 木曜日 – もくようび – Thursday
  • 金曜日 – きんようび – Friday
  • 土曜日 – どようび – Saturday
  • 日曜日 – にちようび – Sunday

The Japanese days of the Month

  • 一日 – ついたち – 1
  • 二日 – ふいか – 2
  • 三日 – みっか – 3
  • 四日 – よっか – 4
  • 五日 – いつか – 5
  • 六日 – むいか – 6
  • 七日 – なのか – 7
  • 八日 – ようか – 8
  • 九日 – ここのか – 9
  • 十日 – よおか – 10
  • 十一日 – じゅういちにち – 11
  • 十二日 – じゅうににち – 12
  • 十三日 – じゅうさんにち – 13
  • 十四日 – じゅうよっか – 14
  • 十五日 – じゅうごにち – 15
  • 十六日 – じゅうろくにち – 16
  • 十七日 – じゅうしちにち – 17
  • 十八日 – じゅうはちにち – 18
  • 十九日 – じゅうくにち – 19
  • 二十日 – はつか – 20
  • 二十一日 – にじゅういちにち – 21
  • 二十二日 – にじゅうににち – 22
  • 二十三日 – にじゅうさんにち – 23
  • 二十四日 – にじゅうよっか – 24
  • 二十五日 – にじゅうごにち – 25
  • 二十六日 – にじゅうろくにち – 26
  • 二十七日 – にじゅうしちにち – 27
  • 二十八日 – にじゅうはちにち – 28
  • 二十九日 – にじゅうくにち – 29
  • 三十日 – さんじゅうにち – 30
  • 三十一日 – さんじゅういちにち – 31

The Japanese Months

  • 一月 – いちがつ – January
  • 二月 – にがつ – February
  • 三月 – さんがつ – March
  • 四月 – しがつ – April
  • 五月 – ごがつ – May
  • 六月 – ろくがつ – June
  • 七月 – しちがつ – July
  • 八月 – はちがつ – August
  • 九月 – くがつ – September
  • 十月 – じゅうがつ – October
  • 十一月 – じゅういちがつ – November
  • 十二月 – じゅうにがつ – December

Bento. Everyone who has ever read some mangas or watched some anime series will no doubt have seen them. What is a bento? In simple wordings, a bento is a single portion home-made or takeout meal that is most often associated with Japan. Traditionally, a bento meal consists of rice, fish or meat and one or more cooked or pickled vegetables put together in a box-shaped container. These bento boxes sometimes can have elaborate designs and are made from a wide range of materials. although bentos are home-made, they also can be bought as takeout meals at in a large variety of place such as train stations, convenience stores and department stores. There even are bento shops (弁当屋).

As many things, the creation of bento has become a form of art for some.  The food in bentos can be arranged in complex, yet beautiful designs. A particular branch of these bento are often called “kyaraben” or character bento. Most often the design matches popular manga or video games. Though another popular style is “oekakiben” or picture bento. These bento are designed in such a way to represent famous monuments, animals, scenery and many other things. For these types of bento contests are even organized.

I personally bought a bento box. However, whenever I try to make one I always utterly fail. Perhaps I just can’t cook. However, if you want to get into the bento culture, a culture that is steadily gaining popularity across the globe, I can give you some places that you might want to visit.

JUST-BENTO_bookcover160.jpgThe first place I really recommend is JustBento, a food blog owned by Makikoh Itoh (also own JustHungry). This website is filled, not only with wonderful recipes and how-tos to make your own delicious bento. This website also comes with a vibrant bento community with gorgeous pictures of prepared bento that will bring water to your mouth! JustBento even has its own cook book known as “The JustBento Cookbook”. If you are interested what this about, why don’t pay a visit to Makikoh’s introduction post, by just clicking on the picture!

Where do you buy your bento equipment? There are various places on the intenet where you can buy some bento boxes, but I bought my own bento box at CasaBento. This lovely website, is easy to use and clear on prices and additional costs for shipment. Experience learned me this shop takes its customers serious responding to every mail you sent to them and informing you if any problem arises, giving proper recompensations when needed. A webshop to be trusted and if I were to buy other bento boxes I will certainly do it with CasaBento!

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