Month: January 2018

Daily Study - working on input

Daily Study: working on input

The concept of “input” may be familiar to a lot of language learners, but I didn’t know the word “input” until I discovered the website Antimoon. Antimoon gives advice to English learner, but of course, they can be applied to any other language. The authors of Antimoon stress the importance of input through several enlightening articles that I recommend any language learner to read. Even if I didn’t call it “input”, I knew that a lot of exposure to a language was essential to learn it, but the Antimoon method gives detailed and concrete advice to increase the quantity of input and learn how to use it to integrate new language patterns. When describing what input is, the author says: This is the only difference between a learner and a native speaker — the amount of input. This gives the encouraging feeling that reaching a native level in a foreign language is possible. After all, there are people who can speak a second language at a native level. It might take many years to reach this level …

Japanese News: Moon Jae-in and the comfort women agreement.

Several articles on NHK News Web (main source) discuss South Korea President Moon Jae-in’s press conference that took place on January 10th. 記者会見・きしゃかいけん: press conference Of course, Japan media were closely watching what Moon Jae-in would say about the Japan-Korea agreement on the comfort women issue that was signed in 2015 by the two governments. This agreement is referred to in Japanese as: 日韓合意: Simply, the Japan-Korea agreement 日韓両政府の合意: Similarly, the agreement between the two governments of Japan and Korea 慰安婦問題をめぐる合意: The agreement concerning the comfort women issue 慰安婦問題をめぐる日韓合意: Japan-Korea agreement concerning the comfort women issue. 慰安婦問題の「最終的かつ不可逆的な解決」を確認した2015年12月の日韓両政府の合意: The agreement between the two governments of Japan and Korea from December 2015 that confirmed the “final and irreversible settlement” of the comfort women issue. Korea had already announced, through its Foreign Minister, that it would not ask for re-negotiation of the agreement. However, Korea Foreign Minister reiterated Korea’s wish for Japanese apologies. 再交渉・ざいこうしょう: Re-negotiation. The word 交渉・こうしょう means “negotiation”. The verb used to say “asking for re-negotiation” is 求める・もとめる which means “to request”, “to solicit for”, “to ask …

Reading notes: 舟を編む, part 5 and Review

Finally, the last chapter of 舟を編む! As I haven’t taken many notes for this chapter, I will also write my review of the novel in the same post. Reading Notes 血潮が凍る The missing word on the fourth galley proof is 血潮・ちしお which means both “spurting blood” and “hot blood” or “hot-bloodedness”. Hence Majime’s joke 「血潮が凍る事態です」 p. 312 The monk Xuanzang There is a reference to the Chinese story of monk Xuanzang (in Japanese: 玄奘三蔵・げんじょうさんぞう) who travelled to India (called 天竺・てんじく at the time) to bring sacred books (経典・きょうてん) of Buddhism to China. The story of the monk Xuanzang has inspired the famous Chinese novel Journey to the West. p. 312  Zenkai There is also a reference to the priest Zenkai 禅海和尚・ぜんかいおしょう (和尚・おしょう means “a senior Buddhist priest”). I never heard this name before, so I had to check the Wikipedia page. Zenkai lived during the Edo period. One day, after visiting a temple, he saw that people and horses had to use a dangerous kind of bridge or path, going along the cliff, to reach …

Daily Log and Willpower

Bullet Journal: daily log or how to spare willpower

Even if I have a lot of things I want to do, I often end up spending most of my time wondering what to do next,  overwhelmed by the multitude of materials to study. Every time that I have time to study Japanese, I think that I should make the best of it but I don’t know what to pick. If I read a novel, I feel like I haven’t studied at all, but if I don’t read, I feel that I am not on the main track anymore (my main goal for 2018 being to read one novel in Japanese per month). I end up doing a little of everything without really progressing in any field. At the end of the day, I feel both guilty and frustrated because I had time to study Japanese but didn’t use it properly. This is where the bullet journal helps me, but I understood its real benefit only recently when I associated it with what I learned through the book 「自分を操る超集中力」by メンタリストDaiGo. Having to make choice consumes our …

Japanese News: Webで見る2017

I found this page on NHK about the news that received the most attention in Japan in 2017. I have decided to go through the 10 first results and see if I can understand what it is about. This implies to understand the titles in Japanese but also, to have followed the news in Japan last year, which I haven’t done regularly. Reading news in Japanese on a weekly basis is part of my 2018 study plan, so I should have no problem looking back at 2018 next year! Let’s go through the 10 most viewed (アクセスランキング) news in 2017: 眞子さま 同級生とご婚約へ: The only difficulty here is the name: 眞子・まこ, that is Princess Mako, grandchild of Emperor Akihito. She announced her engagement with Komuro Kei (小室圭), a former classmate. As Komuro Kei is a commoner, Princess Mako will lose her royal status when she marries him. 「ICBM2回目の発射成功」: Here again, no difficulty as the title uses the term ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) instead of the Japanese word 大陸間弾道ミサイル. 発射・はっしゃ (launch) is a word I didn’t know before …

Reading Notes: 舟を編む, part 4

Still reading 舟を編む! Part 4 is told from the point of view of a new character and we know that a lot of time has passed since the end of part 3. I don’t really like when many years are skipped in a novel, I like to feel close to the characters, feeling that I know them. If they spend 10 years or more of their life between two chapters, I feel a little… not happy. But given that part 4 opens with a new character who meets Majime and the others for the first time, the transition is relatively smooth. We don’t know what happened during all these years, but neither does the new character. Also, I feel somewhat less ashamed to have left this book unread for so long, as a lot of time has passed in the novel as well 🤭 Characters 岸辺みどり・きしべみどり Kishibe Midori has been working for Genbu publishers for 3 years when she is transferred to the dictionary department. She used to work in the publication of a women …