Interesting facts about the Japanese Language

The Japanese / Chinese character for "love"

I’ve lived in Japan about half my life or about 28 years at the time of this post. I have been called a good speaker of what is considered one of the most difficult languages in the world. Is there anything easy about Japanese? No verb conjugation! No gender of nouns! No articles (a, the) Number (singular and plural) not important and barely exists! Not hard to learn to pronounce as there are only 48 sounds consisting of 5 vowels … Continue reading →

Fun translating text from Japanese to English

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One of my jobs is doing text translations on PC from Japanese to English. I use Google translate in the process, but only as a double check to make sure I didn’t miss any phrases or words. I found Google does a fairly decent job translating Indo-European languages. I studied Russian and discovered that Google is OK to translate texts such as emails in Russian. An example from Bible text of Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall … Continue reading →

Japanese — a fuzzy language

Route Niigata to Osaka

I had three books I wished to present as a gift to a VIP Japanese friend. I intended to give them as is without any formal wrapping paper to cover them, but my Japanese secretary suggested that they be wrapped together in a bundle with decorative wrapping paper. The secretary had only a couple minutes for the job and it looked rather haphazardly done. “Just tell her you did it!” my secretary suggested. Japanese people always make allowances for foreigners, … Continue reading →

Japanese traditional drink for the new year: Otoso

Otoso

Every year for three days from January 1st, the Japanese drink Otoso as part of their celebration of the new year. It is made of spiced Japanese rice wine. Most Japanese don’t know the root of the meaning of the word Otoso which literally means, “something that was slaughtered and resurrected.” Yes! This name literally has Christian roots! It has to do with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! … Continue reading →