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Below are the 19 most recent journal entries recorded in michelle's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, February 24th, 2007
7:29 pm
Nintendo DS and Japanese Studies
ell, I bought a Nintendo DS Lite. I got the "Coral Pink" which is also known as "Noble Pink" (ノーブルピンク) in Japan. Japan currently has the most colors available for DS Lites as of now.

Crystal White, Jet Black, Noble Pink, Ice Blue, and Enamel Navy.

But why get a DS Lite? Well, I'm not really a fan of most of the games out there. Out of the 900 of them, I probably am only interested in 20-30 of them. That's still a lot of games though, especially if some of them are Kanji dictionaries. All DS systems can play all games, save for Chinese games. So any DS Lite can play any Japanese game. In fact, when I first fired up my DS, I chose the main settings to be in Japanese. And unlike the very expensive Japanese electronic dictionaries, you can draw or try to draw the characters on the screen. For example, for 「漢字そのまま DS楽引辞典」, the first page of its site alone gives you a good idea of how convenient it is to be able to write out the characters on the screen.

Samples Pictures and Video Collapse )

The top screen gives you definitions, related words, and examples sentences. It also will give the word and example sentences in English as well. This page shows how you use the game. It's a English learning tool, but it can be used the other way. And if you're linked up with another DS Lite user who also has this game in Picto Chat, you can use it to write back and forth to each other. Unlike normal typing, in order to produce messages with kanji in them, the user must write out the kanji or find it via writing it out with the stylus (ie DS pen). ...So when reading a book it Japanese, if I come across a kanji that I don't know off the top of my head (which is often), I can scribble it down on the DS and it'll tell me what it is. I don't have to try to look up the kanji via radical and/or stroke count.

Along with these Kanji/English games, there are a couple that popped up when I searched for Japanese language on the Japanese Amazon site (Here). And if you don't want to try to buy Japanese DS games from amazon.co.jp, then Play-Asia is another source. The prices are about the same, but it's all in English so it might be easier to navigate through. If you have your heart set on some other color that you can't get outside of Japan in stores maybe you'll want to order your DS or DS Lite from here or some other online site. If not, Newegg.com is pretty good about it's shipping if you want to just order it online. But I'd suggest trying to walk into a Circuit City, Toys'R'Us, Best Buy, or something for it.
Monday, January 8th, 2007
9:02 pm
Attention whore
What is the Japanese equivalent to "attention whore"? You know, someone who acts out in order to be noticed or get a lot of attention.

Current Mood: curious
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2005
12:58 pm
typing kana
Anyone know a program that I could use/download so that I could type in Japanese (e-mails, etc.)? I have Windows XP but I don't have the CD through which I can add Japanese language. I heard there is such a program in one of these Japanese communities, but I don't remember the name of it.
Wednesday, May 18th, 2005
10:10 pm
Quick Question
Konnichi wa!
I do not know very much Japanese, but I will be taking a class over the summer. Anyways, I am going to make a t-shirt that says "Got Rice?" (like in the "Got Milk?" advertisements), and I was wondering if anyone knows how to write "Got Rice?" in Kanji. I used an online translator and got it to be 得られた米か。,but I do not know if that is correct. Domo Arigato!
An alternative for this t-shirt would be "Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto." Does anyone know how to write this as well? Thanks!
Monday, April 4th, 2005
11:58 pm
I was at the bookstore looking through this book called 《ざけんなよ》 and I read about this one word, 「ハマ男」 and its female equivalent 「ハマこ」, which apparently refer to Japanese youth who act black. It said 「ハマ」 comes from 「MC Hammer」 Does anyone know anything about this? I need to start using these words, even though nobody I know knows them, because it perfectly describes SO many people I know, and there isn't really a fitting phrase for them in English. And even if there is, I don't care, 'cause 日本語の方がすごい. Anywho, I know ハマ男 are rampant in the US, but is this the case in 日本 as well? And am I spelling it correctly? ありがとう!

In Other News: Why does this place say 「michelle's Journal」?

Current Mood: 日本人
Sunday, March 27th, 2005
11:40 pm


Current Mood: creative
Friday, October 15th, 2004
1:06 am
Just joined. Hope to learn alot. I'm not posting in Nihongo yet because I don't want to butcher the language. I took JAPN 101 & 102 in college so I do know something. Mostly just how to read. (not much Kanji either)

Current Mood: sleepy
Friday, October 8th, 2004
12:08 pm


Can anyone understand what I wrote? Do you see any major errors?
Friday, August 20th, 2004
3:06 am

i am not a native nor do i speak japanese fluently so expect some mistakes in that...lol feel free to IM me or comment in my journal i will be more than happy to talk to you! see ya! nice to meet you all and this is a great place!


Current Mood: awake
Friday, August 13th, 2004
9:07 pm



Monday, November 10th, 2003
7:48 pm
私は眠いです。でも、たくさん宿題があります。明日、広告と日本語のしけんがあります。いま、たいだです。毎日、いそがしです。私はETSU の大学野日本語のクラブのしょきです。私も四年生です。

Current Mood: curious
Saturday, November 23rd, 2002
2:04 am
Lesson 3
Erk.. not doing very good with this "once a week" thing... much less the "more than once a week" thing. Maybe when term papers are finished (in 4 weeks...) then I'll have more time to dedicate to this. :/


This week we'll be doing KanjiSteps Part 3 (MA, YA, RA, and the remaining kana -- this week is 4 sets, totalling 16 characters.)

You'll note that there are only 3 Y- kana: YA, YU, and YO. There is no 'ye' or 'yi' in modern Japanese.

Note the difference between WA, RE, and NE. They all begin the same way, but they end with different tails. RE curls out, WA curls in, and NE loops around.

I should also point out that NU and ME are very similar (from last week's kana), once again differing only by the end stroke. Pay attention to RU and RO as well, because (once again) the kana differ only by their end stroke.

KanjiSteps says the pronunciation of 'WO' is similar to that of 'oil' (ie; the same as 'O'). WO can also be pronounced with the overt W -- similar to "Woah". I think it sounds more literary when the W is pronounced. You'll hear WO pronounced with the 'W' in songs, too. HOWEVER, for our purposes here, you will -never- need to pronounce the WO as "Woah". In modern Japanese, O and WO sound the same, but WO is used as a direct object particle (woo! grammar!) and is not in words

(For those wondering, there used to be WE and WI kana in Japanese, but they were depriciated in the early 20th century. this link has pictures of them.)

with any luck i'll have review materials online for this last week and this week shortly... hopefully... but as it stands, think 1 more lesson for the kana... and then we can leave KanjiSteps behind and actually begin working on grammar, which will be the 'real' start of the Japanese lessons!
Monday, November 11th, 2002
9:14 am
Lesson 002
Oops. Was supposed to post this last week....


Okay, ideally, everyone's at least a little familiar with A, I, U, E, O, KA, KI, KU, KE, KO, SA, SHI, SU, SE, and SO.

First off, a little review work on these last handful of kana..


For now, I won't be posting encoded characters, for several reasons. Instead, we'll stick to using graphics for the images.

With that being said, here is a list of 12 words that cover the characters we learned last week:
12 words

Spend a minute or two, copying these terms down on paper and trying to figure out how you pronounce them.

Please don't just click the answer list below until you've actually tried to get the answers. Once you think you have them all, click here for the answers.

Did you get them right? If not, look to see which characters you didn't get right, and copy each of them 10 more times, pronouncing it each time. In order to learn Japanese, it's important that you can fluently read the kana. It's also important for the upcoming lessons, because as soon as we start learning grammar I'm going to stop using romaji (the alphabet).

Okay, now onto the lesson...
Kana: TA, NA, HA

This lesson introduces 15 more characters: TA, CHI, TSU, TE, TO, NA, NI, NU, NE, NO, HA, HI, FU, HE, HO.

Please note that there are some variances in pronunciation now! I should also note that in some romanizing systems, you will see CHI romanized as TI, TSU as TU and FU as HU. This does -not- change their pronunciation:

The 'T + I" sound is pronounced "Chi" (as in "Cheese"). It is not pronounced like the drink "tea".
The 'T + U" sound is pronounced "Tsu" (The "TS" sound is the same as in "its"). It is not pronounced like the number "two".
The 'H + A' sound is pronounced "Ha", like "Hawk" or "Hall" when it's part of a word ("HANE", "HATA") but it can also be pronounced as "WA" ("Water", "Washington") when used as a particle in sentences. When used in words (which we'll review next lesson) it is pronounced "HA".
The 'H + U' sound is pronounced "Fu", but with a soft F.
The 'H + E' sound is pronounced as "He" as in "Headache", but it can also be pronounced "E" (like the hiragana "E" from before) when used as a particle in sentences.

Everyone should read and listen to the KanjiSteps explanation and sounds for each of these characters. Also, like last time, KanjiSteps has practice sheets for writing these characters. I suggest (again) writing the characters 10 times each. Go here for KanjiSteps, part 2, and read the next three pages, the TA, NA, and HA rows.

See ya next time!

Current Mood: indescribable
Tuesday, November 5th, 2002
7:54 pm
I'm doing some studying now (Japanese language), and I looked up the word haku, "to throw up", for the heck of it on my favourite online Japanese-English-Japanese dictionary. Here's what it came up with...

Current Mood: amused
Monday, November 4th, 2002
8:34 pm
Japanese Lesson 1
Okay folks, I promised Japanese lessons, and here they begin.. I'll try to do another one of these later this week -- It shouldn't take more than 2 weeks to cover the basics of Hiragana, or so I should hope...


Japanese has 5 vowels and 13-15 consonants (depending on your counting method). Historically it had more, but modern Japanese (that we will be studying here) is very phonetically simple. As such, here are some basic phonetic guidelines:

"A" is pronounced as 'ah', such as in 'father' or 'awl'. 'a' is a soft sound that forms in the back of the throat. It is not the hard 'a' that is heard in 'april' or 'ant', which occurs towards the front of the mouth.

"I" is pronounced as 'ee', such as in 'see' or 'free'. it is not pronounced 'eye' as the English vowel is often pronounced.

"U" is pronounced as 'oo', such as in 'moon' or 'noon'.

"E" is pronounced as 'eh', such as in 'enter' or 'eventual'. it is not the hard 'e' found in 'evil'.

"O" is pronounced as 'oh', such as in 'oh no!' or if you're sounding out letters such as 'OVA'.

Japanese phonetics typically _do not change_, regardless of what other sounds are around them. "AI" (love) is pronounced 'ah-ee'. slurring sounds is okay, too, which results in a sound very close to 'eye'.

"AI" = "eye"
"AU" = "out" without the t
"EI" = "A" (as in the alphabet letter)
"EU" = "you"
"OU" = "oh!" (but a little extended)
"UO" = "woah" (without the 'w' at the beginning)

Adding consonants to the mix is pretty simple.. just add the consonant at the beginning!
"K-" sounds like the K in "key", for example. The first exception to these basic phonetic combinations is "SI", which is oftentimes romanized as "SHI", and sounds the same as "she". There are other exceptions, but for now let's concentrate on the first 3 rows of kana, the K and S (or K-dan and S-dan) rows.

Japanese has two tones, a "high" tone and a "low" tone. These tones do NOT determine interpretation. Thus, you can say "kaWAII" or "KAwaii" and it doesn't change the meaning ("cute").

HOWEVER, there are preferred pronunciations. Here's a trio of English words (and sentences) that showcase the difference in placement of emphasis:
"Our schedules conflict -- we can't find a common time" versus "The conflict in the Middle East" (conFLICT versus CONflict)
"Pick up that object" versus "I object to the proposal!" (OBject versus obJECT)
"They're rebelling against the empire!" versus "We captured a rebel spy!" (reBEL versus REbel)

Thus, if you make a mistake in tones, it'll sound as if the above sentences were mispronounced. They're still understandable, but a little unnatural-sounding. There's no easy way to teach tones (that I've found) short of practice.. but without sound here, it's difficult to really show the differences between intonations in Japanese.

I'll see about getting a

Writing, Part 1

It's a real shame, I had all this work done for lettering and such, and animated graphics for the first few rows ... and then I found this website:

Hiragana Steps

Hiragana Steps has a better layout and nicer graphics than what I produced... which really defeats the purpose of my first few lessons.

Instead, I'll ask that everyone who's working from the beginning do the following:
1. Go to Hiragana Steps
2. Read over the 1st 3 pages (A, KA, SA), print out the practice sheets
3. Write each kana (A, I, U, E, O, KA, KI, KU, KE, KO, SA, SHI, SU, SE, SO) at least 10 times. Hiragana Steps provides practice sheets (click "practice" at the top of each page, if you have a printer. If you do not, a regular sheet of paper is okay -- just make sure you write each character 10 times. ;)

I also suggest listening to the sounds, which are in MP3 format. If you need an MP3 player, I suggest Windows Media Player (part of Windows) or WinAmp (http://www.winamp.com).

I'll probably do the next lesson on Thursday or Friday, so if you're reading this, you have ~2-3 days to print out the practice sheets and do the first 15 characters.

It sounds kinda silly, but don't go beyond these character yet.. Instead, just make sure you've got these characters totally 100% memorized. I will *only* be providing sentences in Japanese (in JIS-encoded text as well as graphical) and will *NOT* be using romaji.

Current Mood: hungry
Friday, October 18th, 2002
3:10 am
japanese test
$B$3$l$O(JJIS$B$G$9!#(J <-- JIS, written by JWP
�ޤ������ܸ��Υڡ����⤢���ޤ� <-- EUC, ripped off of the J-E server

The first line is "JIS" encoded Japanese
The second line is "EUC" encoded Japanese.

I can write both without too much difficulty. I can also write unicode, but it's difficult to do so, and I'd prefer not having to, unless it's absolutely necessary.

if you can see japanese characters, great! let me know which line you can see (or both). if you see dollar signs, digits, letters, and squares, then let me know which line you can't see. if you can't see either line, then let me know. (do we see a pattern?)

i _need_ a show of hands (or comments) to decide how i'm going to display what we're doing from lesson to lesson.

If neither of the lines are readable to anyone, then i will use graphics instead. graphics aren't as good as the actual encoded text, but they're a reasonable alternative.. better than unicode at any rate.


A few things about my intended teaching style:

1. I will post between 1 and 3 lessons per week, depending on my own personal schedule. Each lesson will contain between 30 and 45 minutes-worth of exercises. If you're serious about studying Japanese, then you will find time to study this information. Early study of Japanese takes a LOT of rote memorization. If I say "Write each character 10 times" then I certainly hope someone writes the characters 10 times apiece.

2. I will -not- be teaching in romaji, except when it benefits the lesson somehow. You may use romaji, but I strongly suggest hunting down a program called JWP ("Japanese word processor") or getting the Microsoft IME for writing Japanese.

3. explanations will be in english, and all examples will include english translations.

4. i will provide printable graphics that can (and should) be used for practice. I expect everyone has access to a printer and will be able to print a document or two of exercises. i also expect everyone to attempt to do these exercises.

5. I'm not a teacher, I'm a college student (just like you!). This means you probably _won't_ get the same quality education that you would receive, if you went to a real university to study the language. I also cannot teach you the sounds or the tone of Japanese. I will attempt to find reasonable sources online that can offer this sort of suppliment, but I can't guarantee I'll find anything.

6. I'm not a native speaker of Japanese. I'm an American with a background in French and Spanish. I've studied Japanese for 4 years, but that doesn't mean I'm flawless. If you catch me making a mistake, PLEASE point it out. I'm not a professional translator by any means yet.

7. I can't force anyone to *do* Japanese. This is unfortunate, because Japanese is a language that requires MANY hours of study and practice to learn. It's not like spanish or french, where you can easily converse with native speakers after one or two years. In a real Japanese class, you would speak and hear Japanese, you probably would have a native speaker for a teacher, and you definately would be able to interact and USE the japanese you've learned for skits, short speeches and essays, etc.

With these 7 points in mind, I expect one year's worth of study here (at 2 lessons per week) to be roughly equal to (or slightly less than) 1 semester (1/2 year) of study in a typical US college.

Online, you can't hear the words. You can't perform a skit. You can't interact with your peers in a 'real' environment. as such, your speaking skills will *not* be as good as your writing, reading and undestanding skills. How do I know 1 year of study in this manner is about 1/2 year? Because this is what I did when I was young and tried to learn Japanese. :p

so, that's my thoughts on the matter. if you're still reading, I would LIKE to start November 4th (a monday) but we'll see how it goes....
Wednesday, October 16th, 2002
4:26 pm
japanese lessons anyone?
this is just a generic note indicating that I will be doing some japanese lessons here in the future, unless someone cares otherwise.

we'll begin with the basics and move up as far as we can.. ideally, i'd like this to continue for at least half a year, maybe longer depending on how fast we move, and how much information we need to cover.

i just need to prepare some stuff first, so i actually can post things at a regular pace.. like, maybe once or twice a week.. we'll see how THAT goes. heh. :p

lessons will begin with kana and simple writing practice and exercises... and we'll work up towards more complex things like -te forms, things to help you remember structure, etc. Most of this information will be coming from myself, which means most of it's going to be centered around formal college student life.

i won't be so bold as to include audio of myself speaking the lines (well... maybe the basic vowels) since my accent is *not* that of a typical Japanese person.. nor is any gaijin's.

i'll try to throw in some word-movement and slang, whenever it's appropriate to do so.

if anyone else has a lot of experience with japanese, feel free to contact me and we can plan lessons together, or prepare examples or whatever. if everyone here already knows their kana and basic structure, we can skip to do more interesting things. :)

i also don't claim to be the end-all of japanese knowledge. i'm just an american with an active interest in promoting all things Japanese, from the language to the history and culture.

a bit about myself: i'm a 4th year student of Japanese, and am en route to graduate with a degree in the language in 2003-2004. I'm also a 2nd year student of linguistic theory, and can tie in modern linguistic thought (Chomsky's Minimalist Theory, anyway) into logically showing how Japanese 'works' internally. i'm currently studying japanese dialects (including online speech, primarily with stuff from 2ch.net) and comparing how japanese slang works in comparison to standard japanese.

thanks. i hope to start this soon.. but we'll see how things go.
Sunday, October 13th, 2002
12:52 am
(Quite possibly) The stupidest question I've ever asked:

Would it a bad idea for me (someone who speaks about twenty words of Japanese, speaks none, thank my lack of free time and ability to take classes until college) to participate in a foreign exchange program? I'm 16 and I only really want to visit Tokyo for as short as possible right now. Please, don't hesitate to shoot me down.

If not (trust me, I'll be shocked if this would be a good idea at all), think you (the reader) could give me some info on programs? I still have to get my parents to approve, but it'd be nice to bring something to the table when negotiations begin.


Current Mood: sleepy
Friday, September 6th, 2002
12:37 pm
I'm new
Minna san, Konnichiwa (Hope I say it correctly) :) Sorry If I'm wrong.
I just join this community because I have great interest in japan, japanese people, japanese language, sushi, well almost everything about Japan.

I learn japanese for about 6 months during high school but only basic japanese, and now, it has been about 4 years, that I've never practiced so I guess I've forget most about it.

Anyway, I'm hoping I could share/contribute things here about Japan or anything interesting.

Current Mood: excited
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