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 – 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, 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 that somehow convinced people I would be a decent roommate. Use at your own risk:


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.