What's worth getting excited about in 2015?

| Jan 19, 2015

What's worth getting excited about in 2015?

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A general sentiment of self-restraint, bukkadaka (物価高, the high cost of living) and enyasu (円安, the weak yen) culminated in an Oshōgatsuyasumi (お正月休み, New Year’s holiday) where more people stayed put and fewer traveled to exotic overseas destinations. According to Internet research company Do ...

Buzzwords of 2014: from killer drugs to robotic refusals

| Dec 15, 2014

Buzzwords of 2014: from killer drugs to robotic refusals

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Once again, the massive reference book 「現代用語の基礎知識」(“Gendai Yōgo no Kiso Chishiki,” “The Encyclopedia of Contemporary Words”) is on sale. This annual publication that tracks additions to, and changes in, the Japanese language and various world developments over the previous year is a whopper — ...

| Nov 17, 2014

Double up on your kanji to avoid homonym mixups

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Although the Japanese and Chinese languages differ considerably in their syntax and pronunciation, one characteristic they share, along with use of kanji, is lots of homonyms. Mathews’ Chinese-English Dictionary, for example, lists 70 characters with the pronunciation shih (or shi, when transcribed in hanyu ...