Friday, August 26, 2016

fujoshi 腐女子

In the anime fandom, a fujoshi 腐女子 is a fan-girl that fantasizes about male characters in homosexual relationships, or real people. In other words, she's into gay shipping, gay fanfics, lemons (pornographic fanfics), gay manga, anime, and so on.

A fujoshi.
Anime: Outbreak Company (Episode 4)
Monday, August 22, 2016

Watashi, Ore, Boku & Others - 私, 俺, 僕

Watashi 私, ore 俺, and boku 僕 are all words that mean "I" in Japanese. They are "first person pronouns," ichinin-shou 一人称.

But why are there so many ways to say "I" in Japanese? What's the difference between them? How does it work?
Friday, August 12, 2016

Love - Suki, Ai, Koi 好き, 愛, 恋

To say "I love you" in Japanese it's easy: just say aishiteru 愛してる... or was it aishiteiru 愛している? I mean, "love" in Japanese is ai 愛, right? Or was it koi 恋? Wait. What's the difference between ai and koi? What about the word suki 好き? You can say you like someone in Japanese with that word too, right? What's the meaning of all this?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

romaji ローマ字

If you've ever started learning Japanese or dealt with any Japanese words you might have heard about the mysterious romaji ローマ字. That thing which is... something. Some people can only read romaji, others don't like romaji, and you can't say you know Japanese if all you know is romaji. But what is romaji exactly?
Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Atsui, Atatakai, Samui, Tsumetai - Meaning in Japanese

Temperature often changes in anime. One day it's freezing cold, another it's burning hot. And everyone knows "cold" is samui 寒い in Japanese, right? Or was it tsumetai 冷たい? Anyway, "warm" is atsui 暑い... I mean, atatakai 温かい... I mean atsui 熱い, or was it atatakai 暖かい? What's the difference between these words in Japanese?

Hayai, Hayai, and Osoi 速い, 早い, 遅い

Two words that show up a lot in battle anime and manga are hayai 早い, hayai 速い, and osoi 遅い... wait, what? There are three of them! Let me say it again, this time without the kanji: hayai and osoi. These words are usually related to the characters' speed, but their meanings are more than just that.

Monday, August 8, 2016

dame 駄目, ダメ, だめ

In Japanese, dame ダメ, also spelled dame 駄目, dame だめ, means a bunch of bad things. It can mean something is "bad," that it's "no good," "inadequate," "poor," "unfit;" that it's become "ruined," "spoiled;" that doing it is bad, that you shouldn't, "no;" that someone is bad at something, that their skills "suck;" that someone is a "failure," they're "useless;" and so on.

An example of dame in Japanese.
Manga: Mahou Sensei Negima! 魔法先生ネギま! (chapter 2)
Saturday, August 6, 2016

Sharingan, Byakugan, Rinnegan 写輪眼, 白眼, 輪廻眼

If you have ever watched Naruto ナルト in your life or Naruto: Shippuden ナルト疾風伝, or if you've ever spoken to another anime fan in your life, chances are you know about characters with special eyes sharingan 写輪眼, byakugan 白眼 and rinnegan 輪廻眼 eyes. But what do these words mean in Japanese, exactly?

Well, prepare to be disappointed. As all names in Japanese, they sound cool when they are in a language you don't understand and lame otherwise.

anime アニメ

We all love anime アニメ, right? Anime is the best. Truly the greatest of all modern arts. Both you and me know this. If you don't, then, well, I don't know what you're doing in this blog. Anime is good and all, but... what does the word anime mean in Japanese? Is it really the anime we know and love? Well, not really.

The Japanese Alphabet

In Japanese, there's no such thing as an "alphabet," but there's something—actually two things—very similar to it, plus another thing that's completely different. I'm talking about kana (that's hiragana and katakana), plus the kanji.

Diagram of the Japanese alphabets: hiragana, katakana, kanji, with romaji, furigana, and okurigana.
  • anime ga suki da
    アニメが好きだ
    Anime is liked. (literally.)
    [I] like anime.

In this article, I'm going to explain how this Japanese "alphabet" works, that is: how are words written in Japanese and how to read Japanese.
Thursday, August 4, 2016

senpai 先輩

In Japanese, senpai 先輩, means somebody's "senior." That is, someone who has been in an organization for longer than you have. This organization can be a school, a workplace, a school club, etc. Sometimes it can refer to someone who has been doing an activity, like a sport, for longer than you have.

The opposite of senpai would be kouhai 後輩, "junior." For every senpai, there's a kouhai, and vice-versa. Someone who is neither a junior nor a senior is a douhai 同輩. These words are also romanized sempai, kōhai, and dōhai.