From page 269 to 309

I will group the remaining parts of chapter 5 into a single post because each part was quite short and there was not much vocabulary to search, mainly because those parts are composed of dialogues which are much easier to understand than description.

Things evolve very fast at the end of our chapter, with all protagonists reunited for the first time in the same room. The chapter leaves us with a terrible cliffhanger, and I realise that I was wrong all along with my own suppositions.

Chapter 5 – 3

  • 絞殺・こうさつ strangulation
  • 金目・かねめ monetary value
  • 脳裏・のうり one’s mind
  • 蘇る・よみがえる to be recalled (memories)
  • 没頭・ぼっとう immersing oneself
  • 怪訝・けげん dubious, puzzled, suspicious
  • 罠・わな trap
  • 時折・ときおり sometimes

Chapter 5 – 4

  • 侵害・しんがい infringement, violation
  • 餌・えさ bait
  • 取り調べ・とりしらべ investigation, inquiry, examination
  • 真摯・しんし sincerity, earnestness

Chapter 5 – 5

  • 付け出す・つけだす to add to
  • 警戒・けいかい to be vigilant, to be cautious
  • 無我夢中・むがむちゅう losing oneself in, being absorbed in
  • 予め・あらかじめ beforehand, in advance, previously
  • 合致・がっち agreement, conformance
  • 途端・とたん as soon as, soon after
  • 衝動的・しょうどうてき impulsive
  • 迂闊・うかつ careless, stupid
  • 頸動脈・けいどうみゃく carotid artery
  • 悪戯・いたずら sexual assault, sexual misconduct
  • 逡巡・しゅんじゅん hesitation, indecision
  • 縛る・しばる to tie, to bind

Chapter 5 – 6

  • 狂う・くるう to go mad, to get out of order, to go amiss
  • 歪む・ゆがむ to incline, to be distorted, to be bent
  • ただならぬ unusual, uncommon
  • 懴悔・さんげ repentance, confession, penitence
  • ふざける to joke, to mess around
  • 筆跡・ひっせき handwriting
  • 癒える・いえる to recover, to be healed
  • 関与・かんよ participation, taking part in, being concerned in

Chapter 5 – 7

  • 当てずっぽう・あてずっぽう conjecture, guesswork
  • 的を射る・まとをいる to be to the point, to be pertinent
  • 精悍・せいかん fearless
  • 竹刀・しない bamboo fencing stick (kendo)
  • 面・めん helmet (kendo)
  • 引き金・ひきがね trigger
  • 気まずい・きまずい unpleasant
  • 偽装・ぎそう disguise, camouflage

There is just one chapter left, and we will finally know what actually happened, hehe!

After the JLPT, the JLPT! My study plan to N2

I sat the JLPT on July the 2nd, and I have taken some rest during the whole month of July (meaning, still doing some Japanese regularly but not studying grammar or anything related to the JLPT). And now I realise that there are only four months left before the next test in December 😱

When self-studying, taking the JLPT gives you a straight road to follow when most textbooks leave you in the wild pretty soon

I tried the N2 level in July, but I don’t think that I will pass it and anyway, prepare for N1 in 4 months would be 無理・むり. So, I’ll try N2 once more, but this time I MUST have it! 😤

To pass the test in July, I studied with the So-matome series. I love this series, I recommend it to anyone who is studying Japanese, not only test takers. It was as fun as a textbook can be, with exactly the proper amount of new information in each chapter. I will maybe do a review of this series, but I must say that there was one disadvantage: the series is too easy compared to the JLPT, at least for the N2 series that I used.

So, for the exam of December, I will prepare with the Shin Kanzen Master series! Opening the books is enough to understand that you have left behind you the comfortable and comforting world of the So-matome series to a somewhat more austere material. You will find no funny drawings that help you memorise your words, kanji and grammar, no English translations, and almost no blank space at all!

So let’s study this austere book and get a perfect score in December!

The following is how I plan to work with the Shin Kanzen Master series for the next four months. (I love doing study plans 😊😋)

Material to study

I went rapidly through all 5 books to determine how many lessons I have to study.

  • Vocabulary: 37 lessons. (Each lesson is composed of a list of words and exercises)
  • Grammar: 26 lessons which contain several grammar points and exercises + 7 lessons that seem to put together already learned grammar + 15 other lessons that appear to focus on how to use the learned grammar in long sentences correctly. A total of 48 lessons.
  • Kanji: There is first a list of 1046 kanji sorted by “sessions”. Then, there are 53 sessions which are composed of exercises using the kanji associated with the session in question.
  • Reading: 15 lessons, each very long + a series of reading training exercises that appear in the JLPT.
  • Listening: 18 lessons mainly composed of listening activities, each focused on improving a particular skill.

Time left

4 months = 120 days

Study plan

Why make a study plan

Making a study plan doesn’t mean stick to it at any cost (well, in fact, you should ), but it helps to study on a daily basis and keep the goal in sight, especially when you are studying for a test. It’s easy to open your book only when you have the time and realise too late that you won’t be able to complete your book before the test.

That’s especially true with the JLPT where you do have a certain amount of words, kanji and grammar to know. If you skip one day, it is easy to skip two and to end up doing nothing for a week without even realising it. But if you write down your study plan on a calendar, it will be easy to see if you are keeping the pace or not. I use my agenda and write what I need to study every day and what I did study.

I sometimes feel bad when I must admit, face to face with my agenda, that I am far behind my study plan, but I also know that I just need to study two lessons per day instead of one, and to do this for one week, to catch up on the days I skipped. Without study plan, I would probably restart my study where I left it and realise one week before the test that I have only gone through the half of each book.

My study plan for N2 in 4 months

I will start on Monday 31st, to have a full week.

Vocabulary: 3 lessons/week, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I don’t think that I can do the exercises the same day that I learnt the vocabulary, I can’t see how this can be effective because you will obviously have to check the new words to complete the exercises. That’s why I will leave a gap of two weeks between the moment when I learn the words of a lesson and the day I do the exercises. Concretely, I will start learning the words of lesson 1 on Monday 31st but I will do the exercises of lesson 1 on Monday 14th, and so on. In other words, from Monday 14th, I will study two lessons per day: the lesson of the day where I just learn the new words, and the exercises of the lesson I learnt two weeks ago.

Grammar: 2 lessons/week, on Tuesday and Thursday. For the grammar, I will do the exercises the same day I learn the grammar because the activities help to understand the grammar point and how or when to use it.

Kanji: learn 10 kanji/day. Here again, I will keep the exercises for later and start them two weeks after. I will make 4 sessions per week, 2 on Tuesday and 2 on Thursday. (I don’t feel like studying vocabulary and kanji on the same day). Concretely, I will start the first two kanji sessions on Tuesday 15th.

Reading/Listening: one lesson every weekend.

End of August

  • Vocabulary: 14 lessons studied (words), but only 8 lessons completed (words and exercises)
  • Grammar: 10 lessons completed
  • Kanji: 320 kanji learned, 12 exercises done.
  • Reading/Listening: 4 lessons each

End of September

  • Vocabulary: 27 lessons studied, 21 lessons completed
  • Grammar: 18 lessons completed
  • Kanji: 620 kanji learned, 20 exercises
  • Reading/Listening: 9 lessons each

End of October

  • Vocabulary: All 37 lessons studied, 34 lessons completed
  • Grammar: 27 lessons completed
  • Kanji: 930 kanji learned, 38 sessions
  • Reading/Listening: 13 lessons each

End of November, and end of the 4 months preparation

  • Vocabulary: All lessons studied and completed!! I will also have most of the month to revise the N2 words and make special study session with Anki.
  • Grammar: only 36 lessons completed… 😬😨 I know I can’t count correctly… 😩 Well, as I will have finished the vocabulary book by the beginning of the month, I will have to use my free Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to complete the Grammar book, too.
  • Kanji: all 1046 kanji learned! The 53 sessions completed!
  • Reading: all 15 lessons completed
  • Listening: only 17 lessons completed, so I will have to make two lessons on the last week-end.

At the end of November, as I will have finished most of the lessons, I will have time to do the mock tests that are at the end of each book.


By making this study plan, I realise that 4 months are very short to go through all the 5 books of the series. I think that I can do it because I already studied for N2, so most of the material will be revisions and not new material to digest. If you are studying for N2 for the first time, I think that 4 months are a little short. But study plans are flexible!

I will try to hold on to this 4 months plan and get a perfect score at the next JLPT.

preparing for JLPT


This is the ending song of Howl’s moving castle. The song is sung by 倍賞千恵子・ばいしょうちえこ Baisho Chieko who is a Japanese actress and singer. She also gave her voice to Sophie in the film and interprets both young and old Sophie (two different actresses made the English version). That’s funny because it never occurred to me that the singer who sings the ending song was the actress who gave her voice to Sophie. To me, she has a very different voice when she speaks and when she sings.

Howl’s moving castle is far from being my favourite Ghibli film but it has a fantastic music. I find the ending song very sad, it leaves me with the same melancholy than the ending song of Spirited Away and From up on Poppy Hill.


  • 涙・なみだ tears
  • 奥・おく inside, interior
  • ゆらぐ to swing, to sway
  • ほほえみ・微笑み smile (the verb is 微笑む・ほほえむ to smile)
  • 約束・やくそく promise


  • 生まれ・うまれ birth (the verb “to be born” is 生まれる・うまれる)
  • きらめくto glitter, to glisten
  • Noun+のように means “like”, “similar to”


  • 想い出・おもいで memories
  • うち inside
  • そよかぜ・そよかぜ gentle breeze, soft wind
  • I am not sure about “~となる” but I guess it is used together to say “to become”, instead of “~になる”.
  • 頬・ほほ cheek
  • 触れる・ふれる to touch. It is used with the grammar ~てくる which indicates a direction: the gentle breeze comes and touches the cheek.


  • 木漏れ日・こもれび sunlight filtering through the trees.
  • 別れ・わかれ parting, separation, farewell
  • 決して・けっして never, by no means
  • 終わる・おわる to end. Here in the negative form 終わらない・おわらない


  • 限りない・かぎりない endless, boundless, unlimited
  • 教える・おしえる means “to teach”, it is used with the grammar ~てくれる which means that the action made was made for the speaker, I don’t think that it can be translated directly into English.
  • ひそむ to be hidden, to lie dormant
  • 優しい・やさしい means “kind”, “gentle”. By replacing the ending い by さ it transforms the adjective into a noun: the kindness.


  • せせらぎ small stream
  • 香り・かおり aroma, fragrance
  • いつまでも forever, eternally
  • 生きて・いきて this grammar form is an imperative form but I wonder if it’s not better to understand it as 生きている with the grammar ~ている that describes a state.


聲の形・こえのかたち, by 大今良時・おおいまよしとき, translated into English as “A Silent Voice”.

As I haven’t yet seen the film adaptation of 聲の形・こえのかたち I decided to have a look at the manga. I am not a big manga reader, and I do not usually like this kind of story but I did enjoy reading the first two volumes. I mainly appreciated the fact that the manga gives a good insight into Japanese school bullying while the focalisation is made on the bully, the boy Shoya. I am also curious to see if Shoya will regain the reader’s approbation. Striving to get closer to the girl he bullied in elementary school, Shoya is also evolving in the reader’s mind, becoming more likeable.

I like the characters of the manga, except for the female protagonist, Shoko, who I find very annoying. Being deaf should not prevent her from expressing her feelings or her way of thinking but she remains (at least in the first two volumes) impenetrable. Is it a characteristic of manga female protagonists?

I will probably stop after the third volume (I just bought the first three volumes – out of 7) but I recommend this manga to anyone looking for something relatively easy to read in Japanese. I like to have some relaxing things to read in Japanese when I don’t feel like reading a novel, and this manga is a perfect choice. The story is easy to follow, so I don’t bother to look out for words I don’t know.

I will probably watch the film, too!

The Korean film Battleship Island in the Japanese news

Today, I have read an article on the NHK News Web about the Korean film untitled Battleship Island who came out today (July 26th) in Korea.

Read the article

Battleship Island is a way to call Hashima Island, an uninhabited island in the prefecture of Nagasaki where Koreans were used as forced labourers by Mitsubishi from the 1930’s until the end of World War II. The island is now inscribed as a World Unesco Heritage site and photos of the remaining concrete buildings are quite impressive.

To understand the first two paragraphs of the article, we need to know some advanced vocabulary:

  • 炭鉱・たんこう coal mine (which were situated on the island)
  • 徴用・ちょうよう requisition, impressment. The term  徴用工・ちょうようこう is used to describe the Korean forced labourers.
  • ~をめぐって concerning, in regard to

… and some grammar like the causative-passive form: 働かされた・はたらかされた which is the shortened form of 働かせられた and means something like “were made to work”.

  • 軍艦島・ぐんかんじま Battleship Island. (another name of Hashima Island, and title of the Korean film)
  • 長崎市・ながさきし Nagasaki
  • 端島炭鉱・はしまたんこう. The first two characters are Hashima, and the last two mean “coal mine”.
  • 過酷な・かこくな cruel, harsh
  • 坑内・こうない within a mine shaft
  • 閉じ込める・とじこめる to lock up, to shut up
  • 爆殺・ばくさつ killing in a bombing
  • 察知する・さっちする to sense (danger)
  • 脱出・だっしゅつ escape

To summarise the first two paragraphs of the article, the Korean film Battleship Island takes as subject 題材・だいざい the Korean forced labourers 徴用工 who were “made to work” in the Japanese coal mines 炭鉱. At the end of the war 終戦・しゅうせん the Japanese army, in order to hide the existence of these labourers, plans to lock them up 閉じ込める in the mine shaft 坑内 and kill them by explosion 爆殺. Sensing danger 察知, the labourers try to escape 脱出.

The article then says that starring big Korean stars, the film promises 見込み・みこみ to become a blockbuster ヒット作.  Among the spectators of the first day, were a girl in her twenties who said that things that occurred on the island were not all made public yet: 明らかになる・あきらかになる means “to become clear”, “to be made public”. A man in his fifties said that Japan had to make apologies 謝罪・しゃざい.

Koreans who were forced-labourers in Japanese industry at that time or their bereaved families 遺族・いぞく keep taking action against 相手取る・あいてどる Japanese enterprises to ask for compensation 賠償・ばいしょう for the damage 損害・そんがい. The article then concludes that the film will raise a negative 否定的・ひていてき public opinion 世論・よろん about Japan’s past history.

That’s it for the article! The release of Battleship Island seems to be quite an issue in Japan as I saw many articles on the subject. It certainly won’t help appeasing the relationship between Japan and Korea…

If you are interested in the film, which does feature Korean drama’s stars, here are the two trailers:


I don’t make any progress 😕

When learning a foreign language, it is easy to get demotivated and give up, especially when one is self-studying. One of the most common causes of demotivation is the belief that we don’t make any progress.

I think that there are two reasons why language learners can have this feeling:

  1. if you don’t study, you are not making measurable progress
  2. if progress means “getting closer to an unreachable goal”, the journey will last forever.

These are some ideas to stay motivated when you feel like you are treading water.

First of all: are you studying?

Before lamenting that your Japanese is not improving and so on, ask yourself if you are really studying. Sometimes, I think “I am fed up with studying because I don’t make any progress anyway”, when the truth is, that I am not making progress because I am not studying.

I wish that I could become fluent by just watching films and reading books but, even if it does help improving one’s reading and listening skills, it’s not enough to take the next step. Reading crime novels will improve my capacity to read crime novels but not my capacity to read the politics section of a newspaper. This requires a new field of vocabulary, difficult grammar, a good knowledge of the current state of affairs and so on.

So, first of all, if you feel demotivated because you don’t feel like you are improving, ask yourself if you are making it happen.

Forget about being fluent, set little goals and enjoy the learning process

If you are studying, you are making progress. But measuring them is hard. If you accept that “being fluent” will take time and in the meanwhile, set little goals easy to reach, you won’t feel like you are far away from your ultimate goal: “being fluent in Japanese”. I think that one should set aside fluency and concentrate on reachable goals. These goals could be “finish the next chapter of my book” or “watch a Japanese film”.

I personally use a notebook where I write down dozens of little goals I want to achieve. Even if measuring one’s progress is hard, it is easy to keep track of achieved goals. A multitude of achievable goals also allows you to feel rewarded often. A feeling that helps to stay motivated.

To go a little further, you should not only see those goals as mere means or intermediate steps to reach “fluency” but enjoy these goals for themselves. I enjoy watching a Japanese film, and I am happy when I can understand a little of what is said. I enjoy reading a book for itself, without asking myself how much reading this book will allow me to improve my Japanese.

To avoid feeling demotivated, surround yourself with personal, meaningful and realistic goals.

Focus on one skill at a time

When you study a language, you certainly make progress, but you are not necessarily improving all your skills at the same pace. To take a personal example, I only focus on reading, and even if I do make progress when reading books, I still feel discouraged every time I listen to the radio in Japanese and don’t understand what is said. After months of learning passive vocabulary and reading books, I think: “I can’t even understand this anime without subtitles, I don’t make any progress!”.

Inevitably, I feel discouraged because I associate two things that are not related. I am used to thinking:

hours and hours spent to learn Japanese = not even able to understand an anime

But the right equation is:

hours spent to train my reading skills = able to read some novels  didn’t study listening = don’t understand the radio, films, anime, etc.

I guess we all make this kind of misappreciation from time to time. It’s a shame to get demotivated because we fail to appreciate our progress.

To avoid being demotivated, we should define our goal and measure our progress concerning this goal. To come back to my own experience, after having been overwhelmed with joy and pride when I first read a Japanese novel from the first page to the last page, I continued reading novels and learning vocabulary. Then I realised that I could not even follow the news on the radio. I felt demotivated because I thought that I was making progress and then I realised (falsely) that I didn’t make any. But the thing is, that I can’t improve my listening skills while making only reading exercises.

Now, I concentrate on listening, and I am already able to measure some progress, not much, but still.

So if you currently feel that you don’t make progress, choose one skill to improve and work on it. Of course, one could say that learning a language implies to feel at ease in every skill, but I am talking here about how to get out of a demotivation phase. It is better to have a disbalance in your skills than to give up.

Vocabulary is an endless road

I personally think that vocabulary is the most discouraging thing when learning a language. You will soon learn all the useful grammar points, but vocabulary never ends. You feel like you know a lot of words, but you are still puzzled by most writing materials, you know 6000 words but still can’t read the newspaper, etc.

Well, there is no miracle: if you want to know enough vocabulary to be able to understand anything, you will have to learn it. I think that it is useless to learn too many words at the same time because there is some kind of “daily potential” concerning vocabulary. You should not exceed this potential, but you should not waste it neither by not using it. Every day spent without learning new words is a day that does not bring you closer to your goal. I think that we all can learn 5 to 10 new words a day, but even 1 or 2 is better than nothing.

Of course, with only 5 new words a day, reading newspaper will take time. But we have to accept that learning a language takes time.

To avoid feeling discouraged, choose material that suits your current vocabulary level and go back to easier material from time to time to enjoy your progress and see how easy this book, this audio, etc. is to you now. You can choose books for children or go for the series called Japanese Graded Reader. I used this series a lot and watched several times some Ghibli films that allowed me to understand dialogues here and there: Whisper of the heart (耳をすませば) is a very easy one. Even a beginner can catch familiar expressions and phrases from time to time, and you can even find the script online (with some research) if you don’t have the Japanese subtitles.

Prepare for the JLPT

A good way to realise that you are indeed making progress is to prepare for the JLPT.

Even if you don’t need to get the JLPT because you are studying Japanese just to be able to watch anime or read manga, sitting the test is a good way to stay motivated and to know where to go next, especially if you are learning on your own.

I will make a comparison with running. When running alone, I can hardly run longer than 10 km. After 10 km I feel that I would die on the spot if I were to continue. But then I participated in a 16km race, and I finished it without difficulty. I was baffled. After that, I heard other people say that running a marathon gives an energy you don’t have when running alone. I feel the same energy when preparing for the JLPT. Even if I am not taking any preparatory class, feeling that hundred of thousands of other Japanese learners are also preparing for the same test boosts my motivation.


I am sure that there are many other ways to measure one’s progress and stay motivated. I just listed some tips that I am applying myself and that work for me. But anyway, don’t forget that “I don’t make any progress” is sometimes an excuse for not studying when not studying is the reason for not making progress. 😛



From page 256 to 269.

Some pages with Detective Kaga! In this part, Kaga and Yasumasa take a drink and allow themselves to talk about other things than the case. Some words are said about Kaga being a famous kendoka, a topic which is covered in more details in the first book of the series: 卒業・そつぎょう

This part’s vocabulary:

  • ぼそぼそ whispering
  • 摑む・つかむ to seize, to catch, to grasp
  • 嚙む・かむ another way to write 噛む to bite.
  • 暗躍・あんやく secret manoeuvring
  • たまたま casually, unexpectedly, accidentally, by chance
  • にやにや grinning, broad grin
  • 尾行・びこう shadow, tail, follow
  • 下心・したごころ secret intention, ulterior motive
  • 割り勘・わりかん splitting the cost
  • ぼちぼち little by little, gradually, slowly
  • 光栄・こうえい honour
  • 誇り・ほこり pride, boast
  • 引け目を感じる・ひきめをかんじる to feel inferior, to feel small
  • 真摯・しんし sincerity, earnestness
  • 殆ど・ほとんど nearly, almost
  • 下戸・げこ someone who can’t drink, non-drinker
  • 窪む・くぼむ to cave in
  • 眼窩・がんか eye socket, orbit
  • 張り込み・はりこみ stakeout
  • 気障な・きざな affected, pompous, conceited
  • 悪戯・いたずら mischief (not used to see this word written with kanji)
  • 芽生える・めばえる to bud, to sprout
  • 厄介・やっかい trouble, nuisance, bother
  • 咄嗟・とっさ moment, instant


いのちのなまえ is the vocal version of the famous theme あの夏へ・あのなつへ from Spirited Away. Composed by Joe Hisaishi, the vocal version is sung by 平原綾香・ひらはらあやか Hirahara Ayaka. Music takes such an important place in Miyasaki’s film and Joe Hisaishi’s compositions confer to the story its emotional colours that make every film unique and so full of affecting echoes.


ずっとどこまでも ずっと続いてく

  • 青空・あおぞら blue sky
  • 線・せん line
  • 引く・ひく which first sense is “to pull” also means “to draw” (a line).
  • 飛行機・ひこうき here written in hiragana is “a plane”
  • 雲・くも cloud
  • 白さ・しろさ comes from the adjective 白い. By replacing the い ending by さ, the adjective is nominalized: the whiteness.
  • ずっと means “continuously for a long distance”, “throughout”, “all along”.
  • 続く・つづく means “to continue” and is here in the form “ていく”, the い being omitted: it continues and goes away.
  • 明日・あす note that she uses the other pronunciation of あした.
  • 知っていた・しっていた simply here the form “ている” which means “to be doing sth”, “to be in a state of” in the past tense.
  • みたい like, similar to, as if.

熱い頬 さました風も おぼえてる

  • 胸・むね chest, breast
  • 浅く・あさく comes from the adjective 浅い・あさい which means “shallow”. By replacing the い ending by く you change the adjective into an adverb.
  • 息をする・いきをする to breathe. Here again, the grammar ている which means “to be doing sth” in the past tense. The い is omitted, it should be: していた
  • 頬・ほお cheek
  • 冷ます・さます to cool, to let cool, to dampen. Past tense: the wind that cooled my hot cheeks.
  • 覚える・おぼえる means “to memorise” but in the form ている, it means “to be in the state of having memorised” i.e: to remember. Here again, the い is omitted. The ending “て” is just the form to say “and”, I think.

叫びたいほど なつかしいのは
あなたの肩に 揺れていた木漏れ日

  • 未来・みらい the future
  • すくむ to cower, to be cramped
  • 手足・てあし hands and feet
  • ほどく means “to unfasten”, “to untie”. ほどかれる is the passive form of the verb ほどく: to be unfastened. The subject that is unfastened is “the hands and feet that were cramped, tied, bound” and they are unfastened by (に) a calm voice.
  • 叫ぶ・さけぶ means “to shout”, “to cry” and is here in the form masu-たい which means “to want to”.
  • ほど means “extend”, “to the extent”. Here it means that sth is so… that…/to the extent that…, and more precisely: it is so missed and desired that I want to cry.
  • 懐かしい・なつかしい desired, missed, it is used to express the nostalgy felt when thinking of the past.
  • ひとつ “one” when counting things
  • 命・いのち life
  • 真夏・まなつ Midsummer
  • 肩・かた shoulder
  • 揺れる・ゆれる to shake, to sway. Here again, the form ている in the past tense.
  • 木漏れ日・こもれび sunlight filtering through trees.

ふたつを浮かべて 見えない川は

  • つぶれる to be smashed, to become useless
  • 散らす・ちらす to scatter, to disperse, to spread
  • 花びら・はなびら flower petals
  • ふたつ “two” when counting things
  • 浮かべる・うかべる to float
  • 見える・みえる to be seen, to be in sight, here in the negative form.
  • 川・かわ river
  • 歌う・うたう means “to sing” and is here in the form “masu+ながら” which means “while”, meaning that two actions are done at the same time.
  • 流れる・ながれる means “to stream”, “to flow”. The form ていく with the い omitted conveys the idea that it flows away.

宇宙が生んだ神さまの 子供たち

  • 秘密・ひみつ secret
  • 嘘・うそ lie
  • 喜び・よろこび joy
  • 宇宙・うちゅう universe, the cosmos
  • 生む・うむ to give birth, to produce
  • 神さま・かみさま god

叫びたいほど いとおしいのは
わたしの指に 消えない夏の日

  • いつか sometime, someday, one day
  • 思い出す・おもいだす to recall, to remember
  • いとおしい sweet, precious, lovely
  • 帰り着く・かえりつく to arrive home, to return
  • 場所・ばしょ place, location
  • 指・ゆび finger
  • 消える・きえる to vanish, to disappear

How to add an audiobook (mp3) to your iBooks library

I said some days ago, that I wanted to buy an audiobook in Japanese and have it available on my phone to listen to it often. Well, I bought an audiobook on the site febe.jp, which is a site that sells Japanese audiobooks. I bought 世界から猫が消えたなら and I am very satisfied with it. The narrator speaks in a clear voice, other characters’ voices are made by different actors and the overall quality is really good. I will certainly make a review of it in some time.

But then, I encountered a problem: I could not listen to this audiobook on my iPhone. It took me some time to figure out how to do it, so I thought it might help other people too if I explained the procedure.

When you buy an audiobook on the site febe.jp, you can download it in mp3, which is a good thing because you can easily listen to it on any music player. If you are using iTunes, just import the file into your iTunes library and you can listen to your audiobook on your computer, with iTunes. So far, so good, but it won’t synchronise with your phone. Your iTunes library will tell you that it cannot send your audiobook in the cloud. I don’t know why, but it is so. What you have to do is go to “edit the information” of your audiobook (where you can change the title and so on) and choose “option”. You can tell iTunes that this file is not “music” but “audiobook”. If you do so, it will disappear from your music section and appear in your audiobook section. There, you can send it to the cloud. BUT, it still won’t synchronise with your iPhone, certainly because it is a mp3 and iTunes’ audiobook files are all m4b. BUT you don’t need to convert your file, just connect your iPhone to your computer and synchronise manually (go to the audiobook section of your iPhone on iTunes and choose “synchronise”). On your iPhone, you won’t be able to listen to your audiobook on iTunes, it will be in your app iBooks (which is much better because it remembers where you stopped the last time you listened to an audiobook, and starts from there).

It is very easy to do really, once one knows how to do it. Until now, I had audiobooks in iTunes on my computer but I hadn’t them on my phone and, as a consequence, was not listening to them often (except for those that I bought directly through the app iBooks but, as I am not using the Japanese store, there isn’t much choice).

Anyway, transferring an audiobook in mp3 in your library iBooks is simple and quick! No excuses to not listen to Japanese now!


From page 73 to 79.

In this story, Mai is having a hard time and talks about those little wounds people inflict carelessly to others.

  • ため息・ためいき sigh

Mai is saying (quoting someone to be exact) that: “ため息一つで幸せもひとつ逃げる” which I translate literally as: “with one sigh, one happiness runs away” or, less literally “each sigh makes your happiness run away from you”. It seems to be a very well known saying, even if I couldn’t find who said it for the first time. Anyway, it’s frightening, I think.

  • 窒息・ちっそく suffocation

As Mai says, the only way to go through it is to tell oneself that everybody is experiencing stress, that suffering from stress is normal. That’s even more frightening.

  • うんざり being fed up with. This is a word I learnt with my JLPT N2 study, I always feel rewarding to encounter a word learnt recently
  • 正解・せいかい correct, right
  • 宅配・たくはい home delivery

Her male colleague and superior is telling Mai that she has a rough skin. 肌荒れ・はだあれ means dry, rough, bad skin. The colleague said that casually without the intention to hurt her. Some people are eager to comment openly on others and inflict wounds unconcerned and unaware of the other’s feeling. For those who don’t have the courage or cannot respond, it only mutilates their confidence.

  • なにげない casual, unconcerned, nonchalant
  • 青春・せいしゅん youth, springtime of life
  • ニキビ pimple, acne
  • 片寄る・かたよる to be one-sided. When talking about meals, it means unbalanced. Another word learnt from my N2 vocabulary book!
  • 梅雨・つゆ rainy season