Tuesday, August 29, 2017

ecchi エッチ

Some manga and anime out there are classified as ecchi エッチ. These usually contain frequent erotic or adult imagery, including nudes, panty shots, etc., but aren't actually considered to be pornographic. But does the word ecchi have the same meaning when used in Japan? What does ecchi mean in Japanese?
Monday, August 28, 2017

uso 嘘

In Japanese, uso 嘘 means a "lie," although it's often translated in other ways.

It's also spelled uso うそ and uso ウソ.

ウソだーーっ!!!! どーん わっはっはっはっはっはっはっはっはっは!!!
Character: Usopp ウソップ
Manga: One Piece (Chapter 23, 〝キャプテン・ウソップ登場〟)
Sunday, August 27, 2017

Why is ha は pronounced wa? Particles he へ as e, wo を as o?

One huge question people tend to have about Japanese is: why is the particle wa pronounced wa わ despite the wa particle being written as ha は? And while we're at it, why is the particle e pronounced e え despite being written as he へ? And the particle wo which sounds like o お anyway?! Why are these particles pronounced differently from what you'd expect?!

Why Japan? Why??? Is the particle wa は pronounced wa わ but written as ha は. The particle e へ pronounced e え but written as he へ. And the particle o を pronounced o お but written as wo を?

Yonkoma 四コマ - 4-koma

If you look up what an anime was based on, sometimes you'll learn it was based on a manga, other times you`ll learn it`s based on a yonkoma series. But what is a yonkoma 四コマ? What does the word yonkoma mean in Japanese? And what's the difference between a yonkoma and a manga?

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Desu です - Meaning in Japanese

If you have watched anime in Japanese, like, ever, then there is no way you haven't heard the word desu です at least once. But what does desu mean in Japanese? What about the words da だ, deshita でした, datta だった, janai じゃない, and desu ka ですか? What is the meaning of these words that appear in a lot of Japanese phrases?

In this article I put together the basics of how they work for people who don't know a bit of Japanese, plus differences and nuances of words such as dearu, dearimasu, degozaimasu, and so on for people who already know a bit of Japanese, in order to answer most doubts you could probably have about them.

Friday, August 11, 2017


Singular and plural are grammar concepts that exist in every language. In singular you have one "thing" and in plural you have two or more "things." What changes between languages is how you express the plurality in words. In English we often use an "s" suffix, but how do we make a word plural in Japanese?
Tuesday, August 8, 2017

-Tachi ~たち, ~達 - Meaning in Japanese - Pluralizing Suffix

If you watch anime, you might have noticed the word tachi たち, sometimes written with kanji, tachi 達, being used around. This word usually shows up in a phrase containing the words "we" or "they." How does tachi work? And what's the difference between tachi 達 and ra 等, another similar suffix?
Sunday, August 6, 2017

Anata, Omae, Temee, Kimi, Kisama あなた, お前, てめぇ, 君, 貴様

If you have watched anime once in your life, you may have heard one of these words: anata 貴方, omae お前, temee 手前, kimi 君 and kisama 貴様. And if you have watched anime enough, you may have figured out that they all mean "you" in Japanese. Is this even possible?! Are there differences between the meanings of these words?

Saturday, August 5, 2017

ahegao アヘ顔

In manga and anime, ahegao アヘ顔 means a certain iconic panting facial expression, an "O-face." It's a recurring trope in drawn pornography, in non-drawn pornography, and even in non-pornography. So ahegao is pretty much a meme at this point. It looks like this:

Kuroki Tomoko 黒木智子, example of ahegao アヘ顔. This image was a single frame Easter egg hidden in the ED of the 5th episode.
Anime: Watashi ga Motenai no wa Dou Kangaetemo Omaera ga Warui! 私がモテないのはどう考えてもお前らが悪い! (Episode 5)

Do not confuse ahegao アヘ顔 with ahoge アホ毛. Although they sound similar they're not the same thing at all.
Friday, August 4, 2017

rendaku 連濁

In Japanese, rendaku 連濁 is a change in pronunciation where the first syllable of a suffix gets a dakuten 濁点 diacritic. In other words, it changes ka, sa, ta, ha かさたは, to ga, za, da, ba がざばだ and so on.

For example: hito, "person," reduplicated becomes hitobito ひとと (人), "people." The morphemes "nose," hana はな, and "blood," chi ち, merge into hanadi はな (鼻血), "nosebleed," and kami かみ, "god," suffixed to death becomes shinigami しにみ (死神), "god of death."
Thursday, August 3, 2017

The, An, A

How do you say "a," "an," and "the" in Japanese is a common question by learners who already know English.

After all, those are the definite and indefinite articles, used everywhere in English grammar to determine the definiteness of nouns: "a" cat and "the" cat mean different things.

However, in Japanese, such articles do not exist. You read that right: Japanese does not have articles, at all.

Example of definite and indefinite article ambiguity in Japanese: monstaa ga arawareta モンスターがあらわれた can mean either "a monster appeared" or "the monster appeared" in Japanese. Phrase extracted from the anime Mahoujin Guru Guru 魔法陣グルグル
Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Simple Sentences in Japanese - Subject, Object & Verb Grammar

The simplest sentences you can make in any language are those that have one subject, one verb and one object, which is why I think learning to understand and form those sentences is one of the first steps to learn Japanese. If you can't say "the cat eats the rat" or understand it when something like that is said, you won't be able to understand anything more complex than that, so in this article I'll explain how such simple sentences work in Japanese.