Japanese Language Blog

Archive for 'Vocabulary'

The Dictionary as a Mirror of Time Posted by on Oct 16, 2021

One of the largest Japanese dictionaries (辞書 jisho) is published from Sanseido. It is the most popular one.  It was first published in 1960, and it has been edited periodically to add or delete words.  The dictionary was updated this year after 8 years. Language is alive and it is changing all the time whether…

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LINE – An Iconic Scene in Japan Posted by on May 7, 2021

What’s an iconic (象徴的  shochoteki) scene in Japan?  I would definitely say “a LINE” (行列  gyoretu). People line up without any hesitation to get a popular pastry, to eat at a popular restaurant, and so on.  There was even a Japanese TV episode, like Twilight Zone, in Japan about this “line” up trait (特性 tokusei). In the…

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Slow Digitization in the Pandemic Japan Posted by on Apr 24, 2021

When is your last time to send or receive something via fax? I would say it was well over 10 years ago? But the facsimile culture (文化 bunka) is very much alive in Japan.   This Twitter tweet describes the core of the problem why Japan has been moving so slowly when it comes to the…

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Japan – A County of Low-Tech Posted by on Apr 6, 2021

When you hear “Japan,” what do you think first?  Anime?  Sushi? Some may think of  “high tech” (ハイテクhaiteku) first.  But sadly, the Fukushima incident and COVID-19 have revealed that Japan was a pretty low-tech (ローテクro-teku) country. Japan has been famous for (〜で有名な de yuumeina) robots for factory automation and entertainment (娯楽goraku).  But none of their technologies worked when the…

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Be careful not to be ディスられる by trying to be hip Posted by on Mar 24, 2021

In the last blog (Flattening Accents), I wrote about the trend of flattening accents.  I am going to list more language trends (トレンドtorendo) among Japanese young people in this blog. Combine English words+ suffix ru  バズる   (buzz + ru) = to go viral ディスるor disる (disrespect + ru) = to disrespect ググる  (google + ru) = to…

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Japan’s Unchanging Gender Gap Posted by on Mar 5, 2021

March is Women’s History Month (女性史月間 joseishi gekkan).  The equality issue was widely discussed when Yoshiro Mori, the former Chair of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, made discriminatory (差別的 sabetsuteki) remarks about women (see my blog “How Not to Apologize – Mori of Tokyo Olympics.) Every newspaper and every TV news talked how outdated (時代遅れ jidaiokure) our society was. …

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How not to apologize – Mori of Tokyo Olympics Posted by on Feb 21, 2021

Official Emblems

About 80% of Japan thinks that there should not be an Olympics in 2021.  During that low supporting environment, “Yoshiro Mori, an 83-year-old former prime minister (総理大臣sori daijin) with a record of insensitive (無神経なmushinkeina) and sexist pronouncements, had tried to justify the lack of women at a senior level in the Japanese Olympic Committee by…

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