Japanese language

Why Does Engrish Happen in Japan? – Breakfast buffet edition

Is there a better way to start your day than with a nice plate of Italian wind salad and “near the broil with salt?”

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Scotto-sensei’s easy cheesy five-minute Japanese-y: Learn the first five hiragana【Manga #1】

If you’ve ever wanted to learn Japanese through horribly-drawn manga, then today’s your lucky day!

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Why does Japanese writing need three different sets of characters? (Part 2)

We’re back and ready to take on the third, and most puzzling, type of Japanese text: katakana.

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Say sayonara to “sayonara” – 70% of Japanese people don’t use this word for goodbye anymore

But if the word for “goodbye” is dying, how do we say goodbye to it?

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Wagyu vs. kokusangyu – The difference between the two types of “Japanese beef”

Before you order that Japanese steak, make sure you know what you’re getting.

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Why does Japanese writing need three different sets of characters? (Part 1)

No, it’s not because the Japanese language hates you.

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Pizza Hut Japan asks customers “Don’t you hungry?” 【Why does Engrish happen in Japan?】

Sure, Pizza Hut, but do you English?

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This is why no one should actually be “reading” their pornography mags.

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Textbook for learners of Japanese with boy who can’t stop eating roses may be the weirdest ever

Offbeat learning aid has Japanese travelers cracking up even before the aliens makes their appearance.

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Gorgeous Japanese hiragana script accessories return with new words plus necklaces and bracelets

Language can be a very beautiful thing.

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5 cultural tips for taking photos in Japan

Believe it or not, there’s a Japanese Way of taking photos. We’ve compiled some cultural guidelines as well as language tips to help you take happy snappies on your next trip to Japan!

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Mr. God? See which unusual names win Japan’s “Best of Family Names 2015” award

Net users voted, and now Japan’s favorite last names of 2015 have been revealed!

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“Kawaigari”: Learn this depressing sumo jargon while enjoying photos of wrestlers with cats!

Learn about this sad sumo jargon while enjoying a few photos of sumo wrestlers petting cats!

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Does the experience of living in Japan make you a better person? The good, bad and ugly

We asked expats living in Japan if they thought that simply living here has made them a better person. Find out the results: the good, the bad and the ugly!

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Seven mistakes foreigners make when speaking Japanese—and how to fix them

Master these and you can convince anyone you’re a native Japanese speaker…over the phone anyway.

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The four new classes of modern otaku

Which otaku quadrant do you fall into?

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Should the Paris terrorism tragedy be called a “kamikaze” attack?

In the days following the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, people in Japan have expressed virtually universal sympathy for France and its residents. What has them more divided, though, is the frequent use of the word “kamikaze” in describing the incident.

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Video claims that if you can read a certain font, you are probably not Japanese【Video】

English language proficiency is a tricky subject with Japanese people. There’s always an excuse about why they can’t understand it, from, “I’ll never use English,” and “It’s not interesting,” to the catch-all, “It’s too hard.” Well, it’s a good thing the Ministry of Education isn’t looking to adopt any new fonts for their textbooks as a little-known computer font developed back in 1998 is gaining some notoriety for being absolutely impossible to read by native Japanese. You might be able to read it, but can your Japanese friends?

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Don’t call it Boys’ Love! Japanese fujoshi finds a new term for her favorite anime trope

The international anime fan community has adopted a number of Japanese loanwords for concepts that originated in Japan and don’t have succinct, ideal vocabulary equivalents in other languages. English-language discussions between foreign fans are peppered with terms like otaku (fans whose enthusiasm for their hobby is so strong it affects their life balance), tsundere (a person whose expressions of emotion towards an object of affection run hot and cold), and moe (a feeling of devotion and protectiveness, often in response to a display of innocence or purity), just to name a few.

Now, though, the shoe’s on the other foot, as one woman in Japan with a soft spot for anime showing deep, emotional bonds between male characters is calling for the popularization of an English loanword to help her avoid being mistaken for a fan of homoerotic anime and fan fiction.

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Sweet high-school anime shows how learning kanji can be the key to getting a girlfriend【Videos】

Kanji characters are one of the most fascinating, but also the most troublesome, aspects of the Japanese language—and that goes not just for foreign learners but also for Japanese natives. The Kanji Kentei is a standardized test that you can take to prove your kanji knowledge, but after being drilled on the kanji throughout their school lives Japanese people might not be taken by the idea of sitting for even more exams on the subject.

That’s why the Kanji Kentei administrators, in an effort to encourage people to give up their free time to study kanji and take their exams, has fallen back on the failsafe go-to of Japanese advertising: cute, nostalgic anime.

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