How to Japanese Podcast – S02E12 – かもしれない and 食中毒

かもしれない (kamoshirenai, may/might) has subtle nuances, and it can be easy to overuse. I talk about a time when I did, and how many years later that mistake allowed me to become an advice columnist very briefly. And in Japanese, I go into my unfortunate history with 食中毒 (shokuchūdoku, food poisoning) in Japan.

How to Japanese Podcast – S02E11 – Brian Epstein – Patent Law, Working with Japanese Clients, Japanese Emails

Brian Epstein is a patent attorney with Modal Law who has been working with Japanese clients and patent attorneys for his 14-year career. He started his own practice in 2019 and plans to visit Japan again shortly after the borders reopen.

How to Japanese Podcast – S02E10 – 車検 and 人生初めてのカラオケ

The dreaded 車検 (shaken, car inspection) is an expat’s worst nightmare, but it’s not a reason to not get a car. Driving in the Japanese countryside is absolutely the best way to get around and make some great memories. I talk about my experience with 車検. I also reminisce in Japanese about the very first time I sang karaoke.

The article I mention about 演歌 (enka) can be found here – lots of good songs to study.

How to Japanese Podcast – S02E09 – Morgan Giles – Reading Japanese, Translation, MEXT Scholarship

Morgan Giles is a Japanese translator based in London. She’s translated a number of different writers, including Kanehara Hitomi, Furukawa Hideo, and the National Book Award-winning Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri. Find Morgan on Twitter here.

How to Japanese Podcast – S02E08 – Roomshare.jp and のり弁

Living with Japanese roommates in Tokyo was the highlight of my time in Japan. I found those roommates on the website Roomshare.jp, a great site that I introduce this week. And in Japanese I talk about how I ate のり弁 for nearly an entire year and how I think it’s a useful metaphor for Japanese study.

As promised, here’s the message I posted on Roomshare.jp that somehow convinced people I would be a decent roommate. Use at your own risk:

どうも、こんにちは。ダニエルです。26歳。アメリカ人、ニューオーリ
ンズ出身。大学で日本文学専攻。
7月から東京に住むことになりました。3年間福島県の田舎で国際交流員と
して働いてきて、一人暮らしで住んでいるので、今回ルームシェアしようか
と思います。僕はいくつかのメリットがあります:
メリット1:日本語ができるので、決して周りの人に依存しません。
メリット2:HDテレビ、任天堂Wii持っています。日曜日マリオカート
Wiiを買いました。いい意味でやばいです。
メリット3:料理も少しできます。
メリット4:日本の経験が比較的長い。2002年初めてきて、全部で4
.5年間ぐらい住んだ経験で、特にカルチャーショックはありません。(しか
し田舎分離不安は、すこしなるかもw)
メリット5:大学4年間ずっとルームシェアしていたので、ルームメート
とのやりとりとか、掃除とか経験あります。
とりあえず、西東京にしましたが、実はどこでもいいです。千葉でも埼玉
でも。家賃4万円~8万円ぐらいのところだったら、大丈夫です。仕事が新橋
なので、通勤が複雑じゃないところがだといいですが。
ぜひルームメート募集の人、ご連絡ください。よろしくお願いします。

And extra bonus content: Check out this blog post to see more about the Rainy Season Yamanote-sen Pub Crawl I mentioned.

How to Japanese Podcast – S02E07 – Jason Coskrey – Immersion, Sports Writing in Japan

Jason Coskrey is a sports writer for The Japan Times. He previously worked at the Birmingham Post Herald and the Marietta Daily Journal before moving to Japan in 2007. We spoke about learning Japanese (and how to do sports writing) through immersion.

How to Japanese Podcast – S02E06 – Performative Adjectives and 系

Adjectives in Japanese are not always what they appear to be! I think part of this is because they function as what I call “performative adjectives.” One of my sixth-grade students helped me finally understand what かわいそう meant. And in Japanese I discuss 系 and how it helped me explain myself.

At the top of the pod I took a minute to thank a few folks for helping me with background for my article for The Japan Times about Jim Breen’s JMDict. That article is here.

How to Japanese Podcast – S02E05 – Paul Snowden – Higher Education Jobs in Japan, The Green Goddess

Paul Snowden worked for over 40 years in universities in Japan. He taught at Tsukuba University, took a tenure faculty position at Waseda University, later served as the Dean of the School of International Liberal Studies at Waseda, and most recently was Vice-President of Kyorin University. He is also one of the three editors-in-chief of the Fifth Edition of Kenkyusha’s New Japanese-English Dictionary, affectionately known as the Green Goddess.

  • Studying Japanese
    • Experience studying other languages
    • Immersion and translation at Tsukuba
    • Using new idioms
  • Arriving in Japan by train via Russia
  • When the language started to click
  • Higher Education in Japan
    • Access to tenure for foreigners in Japan
    • Being determined to communicate in Japanese with colleagues
  •  Waseda School of International Liberal Studies
    • Teaching in a multilingual classroom
    • Reading strategies for foreign languages
  •  The Green Goddess – Kenkyusha’s New Japanese-English Dictionary
    • Dictionary of English Collocations (英和活用大辞典)
    • Fourth Edition
    • Roman alphabet order vs kana order 
    • Revision process
    • “Reverse authenticity”
    • Online version and electronic dictionaries
    • Adding new entries and updating existing entries
    • COVID-19 and Language
    • New paper edition?
  • Karaoke Songs

How to Japanese Podcast – S02E04 – Tourist Mindset and ノーダメージ

You don’t have to go very far to be a tourist, and looking at the world with that mindset can also be helpful for language study. In this week’s episode, I reminisce about when my parents visited Tokyo and talk about ノーダメージクリア (nōdamēji kuria, completing games without taking any damage).

The book I mention in the episode is Sumiko Enbutsu’s “A Flower Lover’s Guide to Tokyo: 40 Walks for All Seasons.”

How to Japanese Podcast – S02E03 – Jenn O’Donnell – Mindful Study, Translating/Localizing, Job Hunting in Japan

Jenn O’Donnell is a Japanese to English translator and project manager based in Osaka. By day she works as a Localization Director for a video game company and by night she blogs about translation on J-ENTranslations and studying Japanese on Japanese Talk Online. She also hosts the podcast Recommendations from My Otaku Spouse.