Month: March 2018

Japanese News: March week 4

I feel more and more at ease with the new format of my “Japanese news” posts. I only focused on internal affairs: Anti-tobacco actions The city of Ikoma (Nara prefecture) has adopted a new regulation against tobacco: 喫煙後45分間 エレベーターの利用禁止 奈良 生駒 I think that the title is quite easy to understand if you know the word 喫煙・きつえん (smoking). The last two words are: 奈良・なら: Nara Prefecture 生駒・いこま: city of Ikoma. According to this new regulations, people will have to wait 45 minutes after smoking if they want to ride the elevator: 「たばこを吸った職員は45分間、エレベーターの利用を禁止」. This regulation concerns all the officials of the city: “市の全職員”. The reason given is that toxic substances keep going out of the body during the 45 minutes after smoking (i feel that my English is horrible, sorry 🙁): “喫煙後も45分間は体内から有害物質が出続ける” 有害物質・ゆうがいぶっしつ: toxic substance. I learnt this word in my JLPT N2 vocabulary book, haha. The burger chain モスバーガー (Mos Burger) will make all its 1300 restaurants across the country “全国1300余りのすべての店舗” non-smoking before the Olympics. As the title suggests, Mos Burger is not the first one to adopt …

Currently reading:「イノセント・デイズ」by 早見和真

Time again to choose a book from my reading challenge list! I hesitated a long time before picking 「イノセント・デイズ」by 早見和真(はやみ・かずまさ) I would like to say a word about why I bought this book when I was in Kyoto last December. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I saw something like this: 【B1F文庫売場】2017年も残りわずか。年末恒例「新潮文庫紅白本合戦」今年も始まりました!男性に売れた本、女性に売れた本のランキングもございます。新刊もロングセラーも、ランクイン!2017年の本の読み納めに、そして2018年の本の読み初めに、1冊いかがでしょう。おめでたい色のオビが目印です! pic.twitter.com/QREhymlsd9 — 丸善名古屋本店 (@MARUZENNAGOYA) December 23, 2017 Of course, it was not the same bookshop, but I haven’t taken my own photos at the time so… Apparently, it is the third edition of a conquest organised by the publisher 新潮文庫 to promote mystery novels. The event is called 紅白本合戦 and as you can see here: やったー❗新潮文庫紅白本合戦…女性に売れた本📕第2位に忍びの国🎉 pic.twitter.com/HAVk4lahPM — じゅんじゅん(′・∀・`)/🍀 (@arf_arashic) December 11, 2017 winners are classified into two categories: 女性に売れた本 et 男性に売れた本. I can’t find official information about how the selection was made. So I have to guess that readers could vote for their favourite book while saying if they are female or male? (I have no idea). The final ranking is divided into: The top 10 books that “were …

Motivation: ups and downs

I was not very productive this weekend concerning both Japanese and English. I haven’t even read much. This made me reflect on the reasons why I sometimes feel demotivated, and I tried to find ways to snap out of it. Japanese is hard I start with this because I think that it is a red herring. It is easy to blame Japanese to justify our quitting learning it. But me, for example, I learned Japanese more efficiently and with a lot more fun than Spanish, although I am French. Our lack of motivation should not be put on Japanese being hard but should be found within ourselves. Low self-esteem The times when I am not productive are these days when I have a bad image of myself or am not happy with what I am. Of course, low self-esteem is not intrinsically linked to Japanese, but it affects my desire to study or to do things in general. I don’t have a magic solution to feel more confident, but I found that these things have helped …

Japanese News: March week 3

Usually, I study a news article every Friday. But last week, I decided to change my routine and try to keep an eye on the NHK News website every day. I hope I managed to extract the news of importance, but I certainly missed a lot of information. Anyway, this is an attempt at giving an overview of the week in Japan (internal affairs only). Moritomo Gakuen The Moritomo Gakuen scandal is still in the headlines. On Monday, an NHK article said that popular protest still spread before the Diet building: “森友問題 国会前では抗議活動続く“. 抗議・こうぎ: protest, protestation The people assembled in the protest were yelling in chorus: 「文書の改ざん徹底糾弾」, asking for a thorough investigation to find who gave the order to falsify the documents. 改ざん・かいざん, as I learned last week, means “falsification”. 徹底・てってい: thoroughness 糾弾・きゅうだん: censure, denunciation, condemnation. On Tuesday, the ruling party finally accepted the request of the opposition: Sagawa will testify in the Diet on March 27th. Sagawa was a high official in the Ministry of Finance at the time of the sale. One article’s title on …

Book Review: 「ぶたぶたラジオ」by 矢崎存美

When I was doing my book haul in Kyoto last December, I took this book only because the cover design was cute:   I also fancied that it would be easy to read, and I was right. It took me a week to read it, and I haven’t even had time to post about it in my “currently reading” category. It definitely was the recreational title of my 2018 reading challenge! Let’s have a closer look! The series The author 矢崎存美 (やざき・ありみ) has written a whole series of stories around ぶたぶたさん. As far as I can tell, there are 21 books and 「ぶたぶたラジオ」is the newest one. There are titles like 「ぶたぶたカフェ」、「ぶたぶた図書館」、「学校のぶたぶた」or 「居酒屋ぶたぶた」. As the author tells the reader in her afterword, our book 「ぶたぶたラジオ」follows a previous one called 「ぶたぶたの本屋さん」, something easily guessed given that ぶたぶた works in a bookshop when our story opens. However, you don’t need to have read the bookshop title to understand the radio one. The book A brief word about the story The cover design and the fact that the main character of …

Bullet Journal, 5 months later

In October of last year, I started a bullet journal for the first time. It was dedicated to studying Japanese. I promised that I would come back some months after to see if this method worked for me or not. Though I am not strictly bullet journalling anymore, it did immensely improve the way I organise myself. The daily log: the greatest improvement of all times The main feature of the bullet journal is to create daily lists of tasks with bullets. This is called the daily log, but if we get rid of fancy terms, it really is just a to-do list. Although I never have been able to stick to any to-do list, going through the whole bullet journal system and create a “daily log” allowed me to plan my day and stick to my plan for the first time in my life. I have started numerous systems to have my tasks done, mostly with apps, but would do it for a week or two at most before giving up. I would systematically …

Japanese News: an overview of the week (an attempt)

Today, instead of studying one article, I would like to have an overview of the topical issues of the week. I think that it would be more interesting to look at a wide range of topics and vocabulary, instead of going deeply into one subject. The problem is that I don’t have a paying subscription to access a digital newspaper that would provide headlines. Instead, I use websites like NHK news or Asahi, but the continuous flow of articles makes it daunting to look for main information. The only solution would be to check the news every day and bookmark articles that I want to review. I am far from reading the news every day in Japanese, but this is something I would like to do (instead of “reading”, I should say looking blankly at articles’ titles and having no idea what they are talking about). Unfortunately, I have not been thorough in my reading the news resolution. I just isolated two main topics, but I don’t pretend to really do an overview of the …

I finished reading「彼女がその名を知らない鳥たち」by 沼田まほかる

I have finished reading 沼田まほかる’s novel 「彼女がその名を知らない鳥たち」. Reading this book took me a long time, but even though I struggled to go through some parts of it, I enjoyed reading it. I know that some passages were above my level, and even if I could follow the story and most of the dialogues without problems, I may have had a partial understanding of some narrative parts. As a consequence, I don’t feel qualified to write a review of this book. I think I missed some of its subtilities. I will, instead, write about how I read this novel. The story turns around Towako, a young woman, and her relationship with men. Three male characters shape her life: Jinji, with whom she lives, Kurosaki, her former lover, and Mizushima, a salesman she meets in the course of the story. Right from the beginning, though, we feel that something will happen, or maybe has happened, that we, and Towako, still don’t know. To be honest, I read the first half of the novel more with a sense of …