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Mar 26, 2020study
Phrases for the Office
The road to effective Japanese fluency is a long one, and while there are no shortcuts to real mastery, a few targeted phrases can not only help you communicate more...
Mar 2, 2020study
Wasei-eigo: False Friends in Japanese

When you live in Japan, from time to time you will encounter words or expressions dropped here and there in casual conversation that might seem familiar, but which you don’t quite understand. These are wasei-eigo (和製英語 — literally "English made in Japan"): pseudo-English words and phrases used in the Japanese language that can actually be quite confusing for native English speakers.

Feb 10, 2020study
Quirks of Japanese: Contractions and Abbreviations

Welcome to a new series, where I’ll be walking you through some of the stranger twists and turns of the Japanese language. As languages go, it’s probably the most reasonable one I speak (certainly makes more sense than English), but it’s different enough from most other languages that there are still lots of things to trip over for a potential student.

Jan 27, 2020study
Language Lessons from Oyaji Gags: the Dad Jokes of Japan

Picture this: a typical Japanese junior high school class is suddenly interrupted by the entrance through an open window of a large bee which swooping low and erratically over the heads of the students causes them to duck and squeal creating quite a commotion. Their teacher, a gentleman in his early 50's, beams at the class and announces:

Dec 30, 2019study
Tools for Listening Practice
Living and working in Japan will give you plenty of opportunities to hear natural Japanese spoken, but it’s always a good idea to do some focused study work to build...
Dec 16, 2019study
How to Prepare for the JLPT

Despite its critics, and some alternatives, the JLPT is still a major milestone for most Japanese learners.

Dec 2, 2019study
Business Japanese: Answering the Phone – Part 2

This is the second part of our step-by-step guide to answering a business phone call in Japanese. In Part 1 we looked at appropriate greetings, how to ask the caller’s name, and how to confirm the caller’s details. In Part 2 we will introduce the language you need to put a caller on hold, how to pass the call on to a colleague, and what you should say if your colleague is unavailable.

Nov 18, 2019study
Business Japanese: Answering the Phone - Part 1

If you work in a Japanese company, at some point a telephone is going to ring in your vicinity. Being able to answer it in a professional and competent manner will both impress your colleagues and help you feel like one of the team.

Nov 4, 2019study
How Japanese leaves out the subject in conversation

Japanese conversation has the added benefit of making it difficult to eavesdrop on peoples’ conversations and understand immediately what they’re talking about. Japanese people can listen to a conversation, but without the background knowledge, even they might struggle to work out what it’s about if the speakers are being careful not to mention the subject of their conversation.