Learn Kansai-ben With Cats ①

Ever wanted to learn more about the infamous Kansai dialect of Japan? From a Japanese person? Through the medium of cats? Well now you can learn Kansai-ben with cats!!! 関西弁にゃんこ (Kansai-ben Nyanko) is a fantastic book by Maki, a Japanese illustrator and writer from Kyoto. 絵がすごくかわいいですよ!!! Her art is so cute!!! And following her on twitter is great Japanese practice! If you have LINE you can buy her Kansai-ben Kitten stickers here! This book is currently unavailable in English but I got special permission to translate parts of it for Japanese Talk Online readers! This isn’t a very long book… Read More…

Anime & Manga Japanese Greetings

“Tadaima~ I’m Home~” You may have noticed how certain phrases crop up a lot in anime, but do you know what they’re saying and do you know exactly what they mean? This post looks at these common phrases used in anime and explains their etymology, hopefully shedding some light on where they came from and their cultural relevance. These are some some the core phrases used in everyday Japanese language and therefore in anime. Understanding the meaning of the words being used can help you remember the words and spread light on aspects of Japanese culture that you might not… Read More…

Restaurant Japanese – Essential Japanese for Visiting Japan

When you go visit Japan you are most likely to eat out in a restaurant at least once at some point during your visit. So here are some tips on ordering, understanding the server and some general restaurant vocabulary that you might find useful. All the vocabulary and phrases are being added to a new Memrise course on the JTalkOnline Memrise page! There’s also a general course that has the basics on restaurants along with a variety of other topics: Essential Japanese for Visiting Japan Last week’s post: Different types of Japanese restaurants and what to expect  — Getting a Table The… Read More…

Christmas and New Year in Japan

Only a week left until Christmas and two weeks until 2014! This means the next 2 weeks won’t have any updates, but today’s will be a special one covering Christmas and the New Year in Japan. Customs mixed with some phrases and words to add to your vocabulary. Christmas クリスマス As you may or may have not guessed, Christmas is not celebrated in Japan the same way it is celebrated in the west. Although missionaries first took the idea of Christmas to Japan in the 1550s it never caught on, partially because Christianity was illegal from 1612 (although secret masses were… Read More…

Emails and Letters in Japanese

Have a penpal, Japanese friend, old host family or co-worker you want to e-mail in Japanese? This guide should be a great reference to impress your Japanese friends. That is, at first at least, but you can also use it to build up your studying to help towards fluency (at least when it comes to messaging). I find that having a reference to is invaluable, especially because most e-mails, letters and messages you receive from Japanese people are written with lots of complicated kanji. So this guide is written with all that kanji. Don’t panic! Even if you’re not an… Read More…

Essential Japanese for Visiting Japan

“I’m going to Japan but I don’t know much Japanese”   This is great Japanese for if you’re studying in Japan and/or doing homestay. Well first thing’s first, try and learn the hiragana and katakana. I try to have all my posts in hiragana and katakana (not kanji for beginners posts) so that you can practice reading it. There are so many sites that just use romaji (western characters) and it hurts my head. Learning the alphabets are useful if you’re going to visit anyway (for things like menus and to help with pronunciation of words so people can understand… Read More…