Guide to Keigo Fluency: 敬語の指針

In the previous article I introduced 敬語 and its importance, I also talked about its structure and the latest findings that 敬語の指針 presents. but before I delve into the details I want to first explain some of the basic cultural concepts that you will need to better understand 敬語. the most important one is its close relationship with the hierarchical system that the Japanese cherish. as a general rule of thumb you need to use 敬語 with people older than you even if it’s just one year. this is probably the minimum requirement of using 敬語. so let’s see what other important aspects are there to learn about.  Continue reading “Guide to Keigo Fluency: 敬語の指針”

Guide to Keigo Fluency: Introduction

Japanese has many unique and special characteristics, one of which is what’s known as “Polite language”, “Honorifics”, “Formal Language”, “Business Japanese” and 敬語. I will use the name 敬語 in this article, because I like to use the original Japanese name. apparently, Every Japanese learner has the notion that 敬語 is notorious of being extremely difficult and complex, which I’m not going to say that it’s wrong, not at all. it took me a long time to be able to use 敬語 with confidence, and in an effort to make it a little bit easier for other learners like myself, I would like to write a guide to help you understand 敬語better and hopefully get you closer to 敬語fluency. Continue reading “Guide to Keigo Fluency: Introduction”

Souseki’s international essay contest

On the 100th anniversary of the death of Natsume Soseki (1867-1916), The Asahi Shimbun and three other organizations will jointly hold an international essay contest on the influential Japanese author Natume Souseki.

He is best known for his novels Kokoro, Botchan, I Am a Cat and his unfinished work Light and Darkness. He was also a scholar of British literature and composer of haiku, kanshi, and fairy tales. From 1984 until 2004, his portrait appeared on the front of the Japanese 1000 yen note. In Japan, he is often considered the greatest writer in modern Japanese history. Continue reading “Souseki’s international essay contest”

Yamato‐kotoba: The beauty of Japanese

Japan Is indeed a beautiful country with many beautiful places to visit and rich culture. Mountain Fuji and the Sakura are one of the first things that pops up in mind when thinking about what is beautiful in Japan. However, I think that Japanese language is not in any way inferior to represent Japan’s beauty. One of the reasons that make Japanese so beautiful is its richness of expressions. in this article I want to introduce Yamatokotoba (大和言葉)and how it makes Japanese beautiful. Continue reading “Yamato‐kotoba: The beauty of Japanese”

Japanese doesn’t need a subject because the elephant’s nose is long

As an active Japanese learner I extensively studied grammar among other things to get to this point now. And when I tried to learn Japanese at first I learned that sentence construction in Japanese is SOV (Subject-Object-Verb) as opposed to the English structure SVO (Subject-Verb-Object). Continue reading “Japanese doesn’t need a subject because the elephant’s nose is long”

Japanese writing system is vibrant

Japanese writing system is difficult, no one would disagree with that. There is a lot of aspects that make it difficult other than having a couple of thousand characters and various different readings for each one. I want to shed some light on another aspect here, Kanji as we know now has a long history before it was established in Japan, Continue reading “Japanese writing system is vibrant”

Another 10 Basic writing tips

In the previous article I talked about the importance of having a clear structure to base your writing on, today I want to elaborate more on writing techniques and tips. I will continue writing about how to write better in Japanese as an ongoing series starting from 10 Basic writing tips

Continue reading “Another 10 Basic writing tips”

10 Basic writing tips

Every Japanese learner at some point need to improve their writing skills, I had this experience being able to fluently speak, but when it comes to writing things get a little bit difficult.

The hard part isn’t about writing itself nor grammar knowledge or vocabulary, actually it’s all about writing conventions and style.

I see fellow Japanese learners make mistakes not in using the language, but for instance, their choice of words in certain situations, or using the wrong collocation, or even using correct grammar.

To overcome this you need a high level of mastery, which takes time and a lot of experience. So I want to share some of my limited experience in working in a Japanese company and reading and writing tens of emails on a daily basis.

Continue reading “10 Basic writing tips”