Month: November 2017

Book review: 嘘をもうひとつだけ by 東野圭吾

「嘘をもうひとつだけ」is the 6th book of the Kaga series 加賀恭一郎シリーズ by Higashino Keigo. If you are not familiar with this series, it features detective 加賀恭一郎 Kaga Kyoichiro and is composed of 10 books. The first novel of the series was one of the first novels written by Higashino Keigo (「卒業」was published in 1989*) and the last one 「祈りの幕が下りる時」is very recent since it was published in 2016. Why I love this series I really like detective Kaga because he is very different from other contemporary detectives that all seem to share the same flaws: bad temper, tobacco or alcohol problem (if not worse), a haunting past, very disagreeable manners and tone, conflicting relation with hierarchy, impossible personality and so on. Kaga Kyoichiro is, on the contrary, described as a very polite person, always using the most beautiful honorific language. To be honest, as every Japanese learner maybe, I have always been unwilling to learn the honorific verbs and expressions. But, reading several books featuring Kaga somewhat made me see the honorific language as something cool and something I …

Things I want to do after the JLPT and planning for next year!

These last months have been almost entirely devoted to preparing for N2. I am very happy that I did it because it helped me improve my vocabulary and grammar knowledge with the result that I can read books in Japanese more comfortably now than I could this summer. I also worked a lot on improving my listening skills because the listening part of the test that I took on July (JLPT N2) made me aware that listening was my weak point. But now, I am very glad that all of this is almost over. I don’t plan to study that much this week because I feel that it won’t change anything anymore. Instead, I am more focused on what I will do after the JLPT. I won’t try N1 because I really want to do something else than preparing for a test. I think that sometimes, I just don’t know what to study next and feel like I don’t have any concrete goals. At these moments, deciding to sit the JLPT is a great booster …

Japanese News:

Today, I will study an article published on NHK News Web about the Zama 座間市 murder case in which Shiraishi Takahiro 白石隆浩 killed 9 people. In fact, I heard this report this morning, on the site NHK Radio News (report from the 24th November, 9:00 to 9:05). It appears that what the journalist said on the broadcast is the exact same contents than this article. I tried to understand as much as possible by only listening before reading the article. Link to the article I find this article easy to understand, even by only listening to it. It talks about the youngest victim of  Shiraishi Takahiro 白石隆浩, a high-school student of only 15. The article explains how the police could retrace her last known movements. We know that she bought a new tee-shirt, entered a station and probably changed to her newly bought black tee-shirt in the toilet while throwing her belongings (phone and IC card) away. It seems that she was told to do so by Shiraishi Takahiro to prevent the police from finding her …

Currently reading: 噓をもうひとつだけ by 東野圭吾

Even if I am still struggling with Mishima’s Temple of the Golden Pavillon 「金閣寺」 that I am reading in Japanese, I just couldn’t resist the temptation to start a new book by Higashino Keigo. I was missing Higashino’s universe, and I was eager to read the next novel of the Kaga series 加賀恭一郎シリーズ. Also, I wanted to read something easy and relaxing. In the Temple of the Golden Pavillon, the protagonist has befriended Kashiwagi, who is a real stumbling block to me. Kashiwagi’s long and cynical speeches are leaving me behind and I felt a little demotivated to read this book lately. Anyway, I had to order 「噓をもうひとつだけ」, the 6th book of the Kaga series, because I couldn’t find it in any bookshop. I was afraid this might mean that this book was not very popular. I finally received it, and as far as I can tell, it is by far the easiest book I have read in Japanese so far (excluding books for children or manga). 「噓をもうひとつだけ」 is not a novel but a collection of 5 …

Some last listening exercises before the JLPT

The Korean publisher Darakwon has an interesting series to practice the listening part of the JLPT. It is called 新일본어 능력시험 청해 콕콕 찍어주마. It exists for every level, but N4 and N5 are grouped in the same series. I only have the N2 book for listening, which is called: 新일본어 능력시험 청해 콕콕 찍어주마 -N2 대비-, this is the book I will present in this post. Two weeks before the JLPT, I am mainly revising grammar points and doing practice tests. Even if the grammar is my weakest point, I am most worried about the listening part. I think that, concerning grammar and vocabulary, I will either know the answer or not. It’s more about knowledge than performance. But to me, listening is all about performance. There are almost no unknown words in the listening scripts of N2 to me, but sometimes, or even often, I just don’t recognise things that I know. As a consequence, I feel like I need to do some extra practice concerning the listening part. This is where the Darakwon …

Japanese News: Tokyo Olympics countdown in Ginza

This is an article published on Asahi website yesterday evening about the Tokyo Olympics countdown clock. Link to the article I don’t know why the clock was unveiled yesterday, that is, 981 days before Tokyo Olympics. The article does not say whether this date was strategic or not. Anyway, let’s see what words I can learn from this article! The countdown clock カウントダウンクロック made its appearance 登場・とうじょう on November 16th. The clock that is 3 meters high was designed and built by the brand Omega. Omega is the official 公式・こうしき timekeeper タイムキーパー of the Olympics. The clock represents the Japanese flag 日の丸・ひのまる and can be seen before the Omega shop 店舗・てんぽ in Ginza, Tokyo. The unveiling お披露目・おひろめ ceremony セレモニー featured Chad le Clos, London Olympics Gold medalist in the swimming race 競泳・きょうえい and the actress Nanao who said: 2020年へのカウントダウンが始まってわくわくしている。皆さんが素晴らしい結果を出してくれるよう祈っています source I am excited that the countdown for 2020 has started. I am praying for everyone to get fantastic results.  (I wonder if the presence of くれる allows us to translate that she is speaking of Japanese participants …

Book review: 日本語能力試験、模試と対策 by ASK Publishing

If you are learning Japanese, you may have come across ASK Publishing’s books more than once. They have published a lot of material to study Japanese, with some really good methods to take the JLPT. Their most famous series is certainly the So-matome series, which prepare test takers for any level. They also published 多読ライブラリー, which a fantastic series to start reading Japanese, even at a beginner level. Today, I would like to present two books, which are 日本語能力試験、模試と対策, volume 1 and volume 2. Each volume is composed of two complete tests, so if you buy the two books, you have 4 practice exams to do. Structure of the book First, each book comes with a “how to use this book” section. I don’t know why, but I really appreciate this kind of introduction. It makes me feel that the authors of the book really had a progression course in mind and want you to use their book as it was intended to. The explanations are available in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean. Understanding the JLPT Then, each …