Changed in ONLY 3 days; Amazing Japan

Summer on a beach

I guess everyone might in their summer holiday now.  * student*

Do everyone have fun and enjoy in your holiday time?!! I wish everyone do. Like what people always say, “work hard & play hard“. And I thought I will be in a board holiday ever because I got no plan for my holiday, but I WASN’T I never thought that the camp i went last week could fill and grow me up in only 3days! What an amazing Japan I love so much!


I just came back from the 3days 2night camp in Nagoya. 本当に最高だったよ!

In camp, there are not only games but also some bible study lesson in different way! However, I love the way they have and I guess everyone do think so too. Because at the last day of camp, almost every of them who I first met, they told me that 3days are too short and they promise that they will be coming for the next year camp too! Wow, I feel so happy that everyone do enjoy. Is like, people give you a such respond that show directly from their heart with happiness. And, this remind me of what my dad always say, Different always create mystical =]


THIS!! Sounds like studio right? We have music time before and after study lesson thought.

This is the place where we having our lesson and 2 of them who stand in the front are our ‘teacher’ and translator. There are 2 languages all the time, english and japanese. And I think that is great to have 2 languages. The reason is there are some people who don’t understand english or japanese, like me =O   BUT, whenever I listen to these 2 languages for a long time, my listening and speaking skills in both languages has improve so much! What the…… great…!! But, I do have ‘sick in language’ this recently too. I might often speak in the wrong language to the wrong person… now.. LOL  I believe I will recover soon….

By the way, I feel good to have this lesson is because I think that everyone likes freedom. The best i think is people can study in the relax position according to what they want or what they can do. I feel so free at the time when I can sit with my new friends in any free space with different way I can fold my legs or etc etc. Awesome!

Thank you.


Japanese Advice

A typical denshijisho

A typical denshijisho

Now a third-year University student, I have been studying Japanese since I was in middle school with only a one-year break during my senior year of high school. While I do not pretend to be the perfect student, I feel that other Japanese language students could potentially learn from the numerous experiences I have attained over the years.. Here are three tips for all of you studying Japanese out there:

1. Buy a “Denshijisho” (electronic dictionary)

Despite having studied Japanese since middle school, I did not purchase an electronic Japanese-English dictionary until this year. Now, I could not imagine studying Japanese without it. Where before I would spend time searching through paper dictionaries or even looking up kanji in the thick Nelson dictionary I was required to purchase for my University, I can now just type in words to my denshijisho or draw kanji on its electronic pad. While I admire those who have mastered the use of the Nelson and other Japanese-English dictionaries, I much prefer the instant results I get from my denshijisho.

One downside of  denshijishos is their cost, and this is what kept me from buying one over the years. A new one runs from $200-$300, and they are constantly being updated with new dictionaries and features. I bought one from Sharp’s last generation for around $160 and it works just fine. After finally pulling the trigger on this expensive piece of equipment, I am only mad that I didn’t buy one earlier

Some of my friends have told me that they get the same or better capabilities as my denshijisho from cheap apps on their smartphones or ipads, and one even purchased a denshijisho game cartridge for his Nintendo DS. If you already possess a smartphone, ipad, or DS, these devices, you could save a lot of money by pursuing one of these options.

2. Make Kanji Flashcards/Use Anki

I used to study kanji in list form, with the characters, furigana, and English definitions arranged in rows. While I could quickly memorize a fair amount of kanji, I found that I was only memorizing them in a specific order, and I was unable to identify them when they were taken out of this list format. From that point on, I began making my own kanji flashcards. It takes a fair amount of time to make the cards themselves, but to me it has been worth it as I can study kanji anytime, anywhere, and I can easily review kanji i learned in the past.

Kanji flashcards

Kanji flashcards

Recently, electronic solutions have made studying kanji flashcards even easier. For one thing, you don’t have to spend all that time making the flashcards. More importantly, you don’t have to make the hairy decisions on whether you are ready to put a flashcard to in the “completed” pile and move on to new ones. Instead, you can just press a button ranging from “easy” to “difficult” and the program will decide when to show you that flashcard again.

The most popular flashcard app among my ryugakusei friends is Anki. Anki allows you to either choose your own flashcard lists or download other people’s lists from the internet. While I am still running through physical flashcards I created long ago, I intend to make the switch to Anki once I finish studying them.

3. Talk to Japanese People

Out of the exchange students I know who did not speak any Japanese prior to coming here, there is a clear-cut difference in skill between those who have sought out Japanese conversations and those who have been too nervous to try. I urge those who are coming here to take every opportunity to practice their spoken Japanese, as I find it to be both more fun and more instantly gratifying than classroom learning. It is not a replacement for studying, as casual conversation cannot teach you proper grammar or kanji, but what it can do is increase your vocabulary immensely as well as your speaking and listening skills. Plus, it is a great feeling to converse with Japanese friends in their native language!

Japanese People

Japanese people

I hope you find my tips helpful. Nihongo no benkyou wo Ganbare!

Japanese advice n°5 – Sound words

Sound words are a very characteristic feature of speaking Japanese. They’re classified in 擬音語 giongo and 擬態語 gitaigo. Giongo are onomatopoeic words, that is, words that imitate a sound, whereas gitaigo are words that give a sound to something that doesn’t actually make a sound. The difference is hard to explain, but it’s not really important to understand that well. However, you must know the meaning of many of these sound words since they’re used in daily conversation more often than one would expect.

So, here’s a list of some common and useful sound words! Good thing about sound words is that they usually have no kanji, so it’s easy to write them quickly (at least this is a good thing for me).

1. ぺらぺら – Fluent

英語がぺらぺらだね! You’re fluent in English!

2. ぺこぺこ – Hungry

おなかがぺこぺこ。 I’m starving

ぺこぺこ is supposed to be the sound of a growling, hungry stomach. Saying this is actually considered cute.

3. いらいら – Irritated

あんな人と話したら、いらいらする。 I get irritated when I talk to people like him/her.

4. どきどき – Excited

彼女に会うと、どきどきする! I get excited when I see her.

どきどき describes the sound of an accelerated heartbeat.

5. にこにこ – Smiling

I really wonder who came up with a sound for the act of smiling, but it’s just adorable.

6. キラキラ – Shining

It doesn’t sound very useful, but it’s used quite often.

7. べたべた、ぬるぬる、ねばねば - Sticky

30分で散歩してから、汗をかいてべたべたする。 After walking for 30 minutes I got sweaty and sticky.

The humid Japanese summer is a perfect time to put these words into use.

8. どんどん、だんだん – Gradually

どんどん英語になるはずだ。You are supposed to become better at Japanese gradually.

9. わくわく – Happily

Another cute one. Make sure to have some わくわく time while in Japan.

10. おろおろ – Nervous

I say this word quite often and always get some funny reactions. I wonder why.


All in all, there are so many giongo and gitaigo it’s difficult to come up with with a short list. However, try to use this one as an introduction only and then find more on your own.


Eduardo H.