All about Christmas – Must Know Japanese Vocabulary

Posted on 17. Dec, 2014 by in Culture, Grammar

Hi everyone,

Christmas is already coming up next week. Are you ready for Christmas? This might be the busiest time of the year for some of you, getting your presents ready for everyone, shipping them out to friends & family, also perhaps, getting your house ready to welcome some guests?  I know I am pretty busy around this time of the year, and heavy traffic does not help at all outside. I guess everyone is going through the same thing at the same time!

In today’s blog, I would like to introduce you to Must Know Japanese Vocabulary related to Christmas. Read on!


Photo from kevin dooley


Christmas – クリスマス (Kurisumasu)

Santa – サンタ (Santa)

Mr. Santa – サンタさん (Santa-san)

Wreath – リース (ri-su)

Christmas Wreath – クリスマス リース (Kurisumasu ri-su)

Christmas Carol – クリスマス キャロル (Kurisumasu kyaroru)

Present – プレゼント (Puresento)

Christmas Tree – クリスマス ツリー (Kurisumasu tsuri-)

Ornament – オーナメント (O-namento)

Decoration – かざり (飾り) (Kazari)

To decorate – かざる (飾る) (Kazaru)

To decorate ornaments – オーナメントを飾る(オーナメントをかざる)-(Ornament o Kazaru)

Rain Deer – トナカイ (Tonakai)

Candle – ろうそく (Rousoku)

Bell -ベル  (beru)

Holiday – きゅうじつ(休日)(Kyu-jitsu)

Party – パーティー(Pa-ti-)

Christmas Party – クリスマス パーティ (Kurisumasu Pa-ti-)

Frosty – しおのおりた、(霜の降りた)とても寒い (とてもさむい) (Shimono orita) (Totemo samui)

Snowman – ゆきだるま (雪だるま)(Yukidaruma)

Snow – ゆき (雪)(Yuki)

Merry – ようきな (陽気な) (Yo-kina)

Family – かぞく (家族)(Kazoku)

Greeting – あいさつ (挨拶)(Aisatsu)

Family Gathering – かぞくのあつまり (家族の集まり)(Kazokuno atsumari)

Christmas Dinner – クリスマスのゆうしょく (クリスマスの夕食)(kurisumasu no yu-shoku)

Christmas Lights – クリスマスの明かり(ライト)(Kurisumasu no akari (raito))

Christmas Recital – クリスマス リサイタル (Kurisumasu risaital)


photo from kevin dooley

You probably noticed that there are many words that use Katakana. This is because these words are originally foreign words (English etc) that we adapted in Japanese culture. Many of the foreign words (almost 99%) are expressed in Katakana in Japanese.

For that matter, I am sure these words are easy to memorize in Japanese. You just have to pronounce them in Japanese way! :)  Most of the time, people would know what you are trying to say by trying to pronounce these words slowly even though you don’t pronounce them exactly as what’s mentioned in transliteration above.



Learn Japanese by Listening to an Old Folk Tale

Posted on 07. Dec, 2014 by in Culture, Grammar

Here is another popular Japanese Old Folk Tale series this month.  These stories are short, simple, and easy to understand so it’s perfect for learning Japanese especially for novice learners. Try following the story without looking at the translation or transliteration the first time. If you have problem following the story then, take a look at the translation or transliteration to get better understanding. Enjoy!

猫の名(ねこのな)- Name of a Cat

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Original Story 















Kodomotachi ga atsumatte oshaberi o shiteimasu.

“Kono aida, neko o morattakedo, namaega mada  nainda.”

Hokano nekoni makenaiyouna tsuyoi namae o tsukeyouto omoundakedo,

Nante iu namaega iidarou?

“Sorya, aozora to tsukeruto iiyyo. Aozora wa ookikute kimochiga iikarane.”

“Iyaiya, aozora wa kumoniwa kanawanaiyo. dakara kumoto tsukenayo.”

“Soredemo kumowa kazeniwa kanawanaiyo. kazeni fukitobasarete shimauyo.”

“Soreja, kaze to tsukeyouka?”

“Iya,dameda. kazewa ieno kabeniwa kanawanaiyo. ieno kabewa kazeo to-sanaimono.”

“Hontodane. dewa Kabe to tsukeyou.”

“Iya, kabemo nezumini kajirarete anaga akuyo.”

“Snnara, nezumi ni shiyou.”

“Iyaiya, nezumi mo nekoni wa kanawanai.”

“Naruhodo. issonokoto,Neko to yuu nani shiteokou”

“Soudane, sorega iiyo”


English Translation

Many children are gathered together and chatting about something.

“The other day, I was given a cat but the cat does not have a name yet. I want to give the cat a name that implies a toughness that is superior to other cats. What do you guys think will be the best name?

“Of course, it will be a good idea to name the cat “Blue Sky.” Blue sky is huge, and it feels good to have it.”

“No no  Clouds will beat the blue sky. So, you should name the cat “Cloud”.”

“I know, but wind will beat the clouds. Clouds will be blown off by the wind.”

“Then, should I name him, “Wind”?”

“No, that’s not good. Wind cannot beat the wall in the house.Wall in the house will not let the wind go through.”

“That’s true. Then, I will name him “Wall”.”

“No, wall will have a hole if a mouse gnaws it.”

“Then, let’s name him “Mouse”.”

“No no, mouse cannot beat cats!”

“That’s right. I better name him “Cats” then.”

“Yes, that will be the best!”



Japanese Quiz Challenge

Posted on 30. Nov, 2014 by in Grammar

It is the end of the November now, and we are fixing to go into December. I can’t believe 2014 is almost over with just one month left. Are you guys ready to start a new year? I know I am not ready at all. I feel like this year just flew by and feel like I had so much going on in such a short amount of time!


photo from albertogp123 on

In this blog today, I would like you to challenge these Japanese quizzes to see how many of these you might know!



When do you say, Oyasuminasai  “おやすみなさい”?

a: Morning

b: Afternoon

c: Lunch time

d: Before going to sleep



You are hungry and would like to ask your friend where is the good place to eat lunch around where you are. What question will be the best one to use?

a: Kono atarini honya wa arimasuka? このあたりに ほんやは ありますか?

b: Kono atarini resutoran wa arimasuka? このあたりに レストランは ありますか?

c: Kono atarini kusuriya wa arimasuka? このあたりに くすりやは ありますか?



Which word contains Katakana?

a: じてんしゃ

b: カード





Which one of these words should be written in Katakana rather than Hiragana? (*Hint~ foreign origin words are most often written in Katakana)

a: piano

b: mountain

c: river




Based on the following Japanese sentences, which sentence will be correct?

わたしは、きょうのあさ ジョッギングをしました。そのあと、テニスをして、ゆうがたには、サッカーをたのしみました。

Watashiwa kyouno asa jogingu wo shimashita. Sonoato, tenisu wo shite yu-gataniwa sakka-wo


a: This person likes cooking.

b: This person likes teaching.

c: This person likes sports.

d: This person likes studying.



How did you do? Hope you understood most of these questions. Here are the answers!


Answer: d

おやすみなさい= “good night” is used right before you go to sleep.


Answer:b: Kono atarini resutoran wa arimasuka? このあたりに レストランは ありますか?

Konoatari means around here.


Answer: b: カード

is written in Katakana



Answer: a: piano

Piano is a foreign word, thus it is written in Katakana.



Answer: c: This person likes sports.

わたしは、きょうのあさ ジョッギングをしました。そのあと、テニスをして、ゆうがたには、サッカーをたのしみました。Watashiwa kyouno asa jogingu wo shimashita. Sonoato, tenisu wo shite yu-gataniwa sakka-wo tanoshimimashita.

English Translation

This morning, I went jogging. After that, I played tennis and later in the evening, I enjoyed soccer.