Month: September 2017

Currently reading: 私が彼を殺した by 東野圭吾

Even if I am still reading 舟を編む (progressing very slowly), I couldn’t resist the temptation to start a new novel by Higashino Keigo. I am reading the Kaga series (加賀恭一郎シリーズ) and I bought the 5th novel of the series: 私が彼を殺した. When I started the novel, I really felt comfortable, I think the Japanese word 落ち着く would be appropriate to describe this feeling. Steadily reading the same author has the consequence that you get used to his or her style of writing. I have read 6 novels of Higashino Keigo so far in Japanese and I feel accustomed to his writing. Returning to one of his novels after a long pause felt like returning to a familiar and comfortable place. I have read very comfortably a good third of 私が彼を殺した this weekend and I think that there are three reasons why I can read this novel quite easily: To begin with, Higashino Keigo’s novels are not difficult. If I compare with 舟を編む for example, Higashino Keigo’s books are very straightforward. Everything is said or described plainly and …

Japanese News: France not going to Pyeongchang?

I was very surprised when opening Asahi website this morning to see an article stating that France may not attend the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang if the relationship with North Korea gets worse. Let’s analyse Asahi’s article Link to the article The title is not difficult to understand: フランス、平昌五輪不参加の可能性も 北朝鮮情勢を懸念 The word underlined is Pyeongchang. I am always fascinated with how Japanese use kanji for Korean places and names, when Korean themselves don’t use them anymore (they write everything in hangeul, even Names). For example, Japanese newspaper, when talking about Korea’s actual president, would write 文在寅(ムンジェイン)when Korean do not usually use the kanji and simply write the name in hangeul. That’s interesting because Japanese could use the sole katakana transcription like they do for other foreign names. But given that Koreans do have kanji names, Japanese media prefer to use them. The problem is the pronunciation. I don’t know how 文在寅 or 平昌 would be pronounced in Japanese but it would be different from the Korean pronunciation. That’s why the Korean pronunciation is given in most cases. …

Discover Japan

I guess that “Discover Japan” is a well-known magazine among people interested in Japanese culture, but I discovered it only recently… In fact, I saw an interesting issue in a bookshop last year (September 2016) about Tokyo Olympics and bought the magazine thinking that I would read it later. At the time, I was not able to read in Japanese but I am glad I bought it because I can enjoy reading it now. Discover Japan has a beautiful website which presents each issue of the magazine and even gives access to some articles online. I think that it is possible to buy an old issue via Amazon or other sites and they even offer a wide range of e-versions, but I haven’t tried them. As for the issue I have about Tokyo Olympics (Discover Japan 2016年9月号 Vol.59), it is a very thorough and interesting overview of the different aspects of the games preparation and what it means for the hosting country. There is, for example, a parallel made with the Games of 1964 and …

Daily Study: Listening to Okinawa radio

This weekend, I went to a Japanese restaurant where you could hear the radio of Okinawa. Back home, I checked their website, and they have several programs accessible in streaming. I have always considered the radio to be one of the best ways to improve one’s listening skills. People tend to speak at a natural speed and use expressions they would use in everyday life. I often listen to audiobooks too, but the reading speed of the speaker is much slower than real life conversation. Even if I can understand some audiobooks, I am totally lost when it comes to radio programs or Japanese people talking to each other. If you take a look at the radio of Okinawa and go to the “streaming” page, try the first program “ゴールデンアワー”. They speak so fast!! 😮 Compared to the slow and peaceful stream of an audiobook… I take it as a challenge and a way to get out of my comfort zone in the hope that I will get better at listening to Japanese. I like the …

Korean resources: “Japanese Sentences”

I am currently renewing a strategy I had at the beginning and which consists in listening to a lot of Japanese sentences (almost until I know them by heart), to learn vocabulary and grammar pattern at the same time. At that time, I used a Korean book which is called “Japanese Sentences” and belongs to the “Cakewalk series”. Even if the book has a title in English, it is published in Korea and entirely in Korean (and Japanese of course). Now that I am using this book again, I think it might interest other Japanese learners with an intermediate level, even if you don’t speak Korean. This is a little review of the book. If you want to order it via an Asian bookshop in your region, here is the reference: book title: 일본어 필수 표연 From the series: 무작정 따라하기 Author: 후지이 아사리 Editor: 이지톡 (eztok) ISBN: 9788960472730 How the book is structured It is a small but thick book of 550 pages which contains 990 sentences in Japanese. It is divided into 4 …