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Tag: Japanese

Kana Kinyobi: Hiragana い (“i”)

Hooray, it’s kinyobi (Friday)! That means it’s time to look at another kana from the Japanese alphabets. Today we’re looking at い (pronounced “i” as in “Nintendo Wii“).


Just pretend there’s two little circles on top of the lines and you have what looks like the letter “i” twice.  That makes it twice as easy to remember, right?

Here’s my attempt to illustrate this idea below (P.S. I TRIED REALLY HARD):


Are you an い master now? Awesome! Come back for next week’s Kana Kinyobi when we’ll take a look at the next hiragana: う (“u”).

Kana Kinyobi: Hiragana あ (“a”)

Hooray, it’s kinyobi (Friday)! That means it’s time to do something that alliterates with kinyobi and learn some Japanese kana!

Even though I’ve retired my Learn Japanese through Ridiculous Manga series on RocketNews24, I still had a lot of fun making the kana mnemonic pictures, and I’d like to keep posting them here until I’ve completed all of the hiragana and katakana.

Hiragana and katakana are the two Japanese alphabets (or “syllabaries” if you want to be technical, and we always want to be technical here). Once you’ve learned to read them you’ll find that you can read a surprising amount of things in Japanese.

So to start, let’s take a look at the first hiragana: あ (pronounced “a” as in “father”)


This guy is easy to remember because there’s an actual “A” inside of it. It’s like those ancient Japanese scribes wanted to give us English speakers a break. Take a look at my horrible attempt to illustrate this idea below:


Got it? Awesome! You’ve taken your first step to learning how to read Japanese. Come back for next week’s Kana Kinyobi when we’ll take a look at the next hiragana: い (“i”).

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 most perfectly translated Pokémon names 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five most perfectly translated Pokémon names. I always like it when I can write about translation, since there are surprisingly few articles out there about the topic. When it comes to gaming in particular, there are tons of articles and videos on game design, graphics, user interface, and everything else, but translation is one aspect that’s always lacking.

When you think about it, that’s kind of crazy since translation is one of the most important steps when it comes to introducing media to a new country. You could have the best book, movie, or video game ever, but if it’s translated/localized poorly into the new language/culture, then it’s going to flop.

All throughout my time in college, I was interested in historic translation. Yeah sure, learning about the politics and economics of the West coming to Japan and China for the first time was fine, but I wanted to know who was doing the translation between the languages, and even more importantly, how on Earth were they doing it? My professors never had satisfactory answers, and my own research never led anywhere, but I’m still hopeful that someday I can bring to light these important translators.

But for now, I’ll settle for just showing off how awesome the translators for the original Pokémon games were, because they were a huge part in how successful the franchise still is even today.

Read the article here.

W.T.F. Japan: Top 5 myths about learning Japanese 【Weird Top Five】

This week for my RocketNews24 W.T.F. Japan article, I wrote about the top five myths about learning Japanese. Even if you’ve never studied Japanese before and have no intention of ever studying the language, you probably still have some ideas about Japanese that are (dun dun dun!) wrong.

Having taught Japanese as a tutor for several years, I’ve encountered a lot of students coming into learning the language with a lot of preconceived notions, many of which are not true at all, and I wanted to dispel as many of them as I could with this article. The main inspiration for writing it was the #1 item, but all of them are just as prevalent and are in desperate need of being tidied up and disposed of.

Read the article here.