Meta

RSS

Peter's RSS feed

Peter Backhaus

For Peter Backhaus's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

Don't give up yet on giving and getting in Japanese

Language | BILINGUAL Jun 3, 2019

Don't give up yet on giving and getting in Japanese

One of the first things taught in anthropology classes is that presents exchanged in a given society hardly ever come for free. When someone gives another person something, that always entails some sort of obligation. Acts of giving and receiving are hence highly sensitive ...

Wake up and smell Japan through new vocabulary

Language | BILINGUAL Feb 4, 2019

Wake up and smell Japan through new vocabulary

The world is full of smells. Good smells and bad smells, pleasant and unpleasant smells, fragrant and pungent smells. Though the nose is not our most reliable advisor in perception — eyesight is far more important, as is well known — smells clearly have ...

A hiragana-kanji mix can make reading a lot easier

Language Nov 5, 2018

A hiragana-kanji mix can make reading a lot easier

It's no news that Japanese writing is a complex affair. Apart from the sheer number of characters — 48 each for the hiragana and katakana syllabaries plus an almost open-ended number of kanji — there are also various rules about when to use what.