MA in Education, International Development, and Social Justice. Polyglot with experience in Japan, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Tanzania, the US, and UK.
Whether you’re simply building your own language skills or doing professional translation work, picking the best Japanese translator can be tricky. Which ones are the most accurate? Which ones have the specialized vocabulary you need? And how reliable are AI and automatic translators?
I’ve worked in Japanese translation in so many different contexts over the years, both in Japan and the US. Professionally, I’ve dabbled in a variety of works, including translating and interpreting TV shows and...
Do you think Japanese cartoons are just for children? Think again!
In Japan, cartoons are called “anime” (アニメ), which is short for the Japan-ized word for animation, (animeshon, アニメーション).
In English, “anime” refers to cartoons made in Japan or in the Japanese style. But in Japan, “anime” refers to any kind of animated cartoon. So the Japanese even call American cartoons “anime”, although they’re definitely not as popular as Japanese cartoons!
In the West, cartoons are usually produced for chi...
The basic way to say “thank you” in Spanish is “gracias,” and like in English, there are many other ways to express gratitude.
In fact, gracias is one of the most common words in Spanish, so it’s an important one to master! And if you want to avoid being thought of as a rude person, you’ll absolutely need to learn how to say “thank you” in Spanish!
As for me, I’m a globe-trotting American who has spent most of my adult life overseas. I’m a language teacher and writer, and I’ve spent over 5 ye...
Ever wonder how to tell the time in Spanish? This is super important because Spanish-speaking cultures often operate on very different schedules than the rest of the world – think taking a long siesta over lunch break and dinner starting at 9 or 10 pm!
So make no assumptions about time in Spanish-speaking countries. Before you do anything, make sure you clearly understand what time things happent. Luckily, I’m here to help you as both your language and cultural guide.
In this article, I’ll te...
If you’re studying Spanish, you’re in luck: the Spanish alphabet uses the same Latin alphabet as English and is very simple!
Spanish is an incredibly phonetic language, meaning that it is pronounced exactly as it is written. This makes it much easier than English, which often has a lot of spelling and pronunciation rules and exceptions. Let me tell you all about it
Table of contents
The Spanish Alphabet
Letter (Spanish Name)
How to Pronounce Spanish C
How to ...
“Merry Christmas” in Japanese — How the Japanese Celebrate a “Merii Kurisumasu” and Other Winter Holidays
Do you hope to have a merry Christmas in Japan? Or do you have Japanese friends that you’d like to wish happy holidays to? In this article, I’ll teach you all about Japanese words, phrases, culture, and customs around the winter holidays, including Christmas and New Year’s. Now buckle up in your Santa sleigh–more than one thing about Christmas in Japan might surprise you in this article!
Table of contents
Christmas in Japan
How to Wish a “Merry Christmas” in Japanese
Merry Christmas in Japane...
It’s not enough to be able to talk about people in Japanese – we need to learn how to talk about animals, too! What animals are you likely going to find in Japan? What do animals sound like in Japanese – in other words, what are some animal-related onomatopoeia? And how are animals connected to Japanese culture? Keep reading to find out!
First of all, in Japanese, the word for “animal” or “animals” is 動物 (doubutsu).
You’ll run into all sorts of animals – in person or in conversation! In citie...
If you’re learning Japanese, odds are you have considered working in translation. After all, there were 45 Japanese companies on the Forbes Fortune 500 list as of 2022, and many of them–and their suppliers, clients, and other stakeholders–need bilingual employees!
So what’s it like working at a Japanese company as a translator? I’ll share with you my experience and also how it compared to the translation work I did as a CIR on JET.
Why Japanese Companies Abroad Need Translators
For about a ye...
If you go abroad, you may inevitably find yourself in a long-distance relationship, also commonly known as an “LDR.” Loving in different cultures is an exciting experience. But you might believe that long-distance relationships do not work because they are difficult. And it can be true–sometimes they do not work. However, sometimes they do.
I myself have been in long-distance relationships multiple times in my adult life. I also have several friends who were successful in their LDRs. So how d...
Many people are surprised when I tell them that I know six languages: English, Japanese, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, Bengali, and Swahili. (I’m also working on my seventh, Korean.) This is especially so since none of my languages are in the same language family (like Spanish, French, and Italian would be). Plus, they’re some of the hardest languages to learn for native English speakers, according to the US government’s Foreign Service Institute!
There’s no doubt that these languages were gener...
In a previous article, we learned how to do basic counting and introduced the concept of “counters.” Remember that counters are like what differentiates a “piece” of cake from a “whole” cake in English, and Japanese has a lot of them. I also introduced the general counter ending in -つ (-tsu) in the previous article.
If you’re ready to build your counting vocabulary, keep reading! In this article, I’d like to teach you how to use some of the most common specific counters.
Note that while I’m u...
If you are looking to travel in Japan, you have many options for finding the best deals. This of course applies to flying to Japan from another country and flying between cities in Japan. Google Flights, Skyscanner, and Kayak are three of the most popular search engines for flights, and I have used all of them. They all have strong and weak points. In fact, my favorite among the three has recently changed.
So which one is best? Well, it depends on what your needs are. Stay with me: I’ll go th...
If you’re going abroad, you should consider staying with a host family. Or perhaps you’re interested in being a host family and letting someone from abroad into your home.
There are many advantages to living with a host family as a language learner: quicker integration to a new culture, extra language practice, and an automatic support network (to only mention a few).
As a host family, you can also learn about a new culture or language from the comfort of your own home!
Of course, there are m...
If you are learning Bengali, you’ll definitely want to know about how to talk about time and dates! Learning about the unique Bengali calendar is a must.
Some aspects may be familiar to you. For example, there are seven days in a Bengali week, just like in English. But did you know there are not four, but six seasons in the Bengali calendar?
Bengalis use both the Western calendar and their own twelve-month calendar, but they don’t match each other. Keep reading to learn all about them!
If you’re going to Japan for study or travel, you may want to consider staying with a Japanese host family. Staying with a host family can be a wonderfully immersive way to learn more about Japanese culture and share your own. However, it might not be for everyone. Having lived with three host families before, including one in Japan, here are my two core questions to consider before deciding to live with a host family. I’ll also share with you my essential two tips for having a smooth host fa...