"There's Some Ginger." One gaijin's attempt to learn Japanese through mnemonics, puns, and general linguistic absurdity.
Looking for Fractalsmith Games? Sorry, but Ed Siewert, the creative force behind Fractalsmith has decided to focus his efforts on making cheesy Japanese puns instead of cheesy computer games.
Friday, December 23, 2016
Friday, December 16, 2016
Zさん："I have a Japanese language question for you."
Zさん："It is about the suffixes for counting. It's so confusing. ほん is used for long narrow objects, まい for flat things, ひき for small animals, だい for large equipment, かい for floors of a building, and こ for whatever else. So hard to remember, you know. There's nothing that arbitrarily difficult in English for groups of things."
Aさん：「Seriously? A gaggle of geese, a pride of lions, a clowder of cats, a school of fish, a den of snakes, a tower of giraffes, a murder of crows...」
Zさん："... and, um, a plethora of apologies..."
Friday, December 9, 2016
Aさん：「Yes, actually. I am going to South Florida and spending some time in the Florida Keys.」
Zさん："Are you going to get some Key Lime Pie? Not a big fan myself. I like to say 'You can't spell Key Lime Pie without きらい。"
Aさん：「Ha! ... although I actually love Key Lime Pie and plan on enjoying some.」
Friday, December 2, 2016
Friday, November 11, 2016
Friday, November 4, 2016
Friday, October 28, 2016
Zさん："So... the Japanese word for 'wine glass' is ワイングラス, right? But the Japanese word for 'glass window pane' is 窓ガラス. What gives?"
Aさん：「Well... just think of it this way: wine is グッド。」
Zさん："Huh... ok... I'll drink to that."
Friday, October 21, 2016
Friday, October 14, 2016
Saturday, October 8, 2016
Friday, September 30, 2016
Zさん："...? You slept like you were dead? That seems a bit morbid."
Bさん：「Hmm. I never thought about it before, but that Japanese phrase could be considered a bit morbid. But it is more accurate that the English phrase 'slept like a baby'. Babies wake up 5 or 6 times a night crying and screaming.」
Zさん："... true... true... but at the end of the day I think I'd rather be a baby than dead."
Bさん：「"Death has a dignity all its own."」
Zさん："Well, I guess we, with our respective similes, can agree to disagree."
Bさん：「... and neither babies nor the dead can do either.」
Friday, September 23, 2016
Friday, September 16, 2016
Zさん："Hi, I'm Mr. Z."
April: "Mr. Z? That's an interesting name. Nice to meet you, my name is April."
Zさん："Hi April. You know, if you translated your name into Japanese, you would be known as 四月."
Zさん："Yes, that is the literal translation of 'Month #4'. The names of the months in Japanese are of the form 'Month N' where N is a number between 1 and 12, inclusive. It is actually a rather practical and logical system..."
April: "Um... I gotta go... away..."
Zさん："... Wait, I didn't get a chance to explain how the Japanese words for the number 4 and death are homophones..."
Friday, September 9, 2016
Friday, September 2, 2016
Zさん："Remember that old American anime, Mighty Mouse?"
Aさん：「Yeah, I do!」
Zさん："... and the theme song? 'Here I come to save the day! That means that Mighty Mouse ... 参ります...'. "
Aさん：「。。。Ha! I see what you did there. Clever mnemonic device, although it is not exactly grammatically correct, and unlike the original lyrics, it does not rhyme. 'A' for effort though.」
Friday, August 26, 2016
Zさん："Going somewhere on vacation?"
Aさん：「Yes, I am going to 九州。I hear they have a wide variety of beautiful species of sponges in the waters just off shore, that I would like to see.」
Zさん："Is that why they call it 吸収? ... because of the sponges...?"
Friday, August 19, 2016
Zさん："You know detective Ken George?"
Aさん：「Sure, what about him?」
Zさん："I heard that at the police station he has a large cage with a bulletin board inside it. On the bulletin board is a single post that simply has his initials on it. Know what that means?"
Aさん：「。。。that would be 刑事のケージの掲示のKG。」
Friday, August 12, 2016
Zさん："You're a baseball fan, right?"
Zさん："Ever notice that after a pitcher throws the ball, as part of the follow-through, his leg swings forward, and the toe of his shoe slams into the pitcher's mound?"
Zさん："Is that why the Japanese word for pitcher is 投手?"
Aさん：「That's a bit of a stretch.」
Friday, August 5, 2016
Friday, July 29, 2016
Friday, July 22, 2016
Friday, July 15, 2016
Friday, July 8, 2016
Friday, July 1, 2016
Friday, June 24, 2016
Friday, June 17, 2016
Friday, June 10, 2016
Friday, June 3, 2016
Friday, May 27, 2016
Friday, May 20, 2016
Friday, May 13, 2016
アナウンサー：「... and here we are for the championship of the Iron Chef tournament. Let's meet our two contestants: カッコイさん and 怒りさん。」
カッコイ：「May the best chef win.」
アナウンサー：「All that is left is to reveal the secret ingredient... and that is... Soy Sauce!」
怒り：「Ha! I'll show you 醤油 優勝!」
Friday, May 6, 2016
Aさん：「Hey, Zさん, can you help me move?」
Zさん："Oh, gee, I'd like to, but I'm busy. You see, um, I met Brent Spiner the other day. You know, Commander Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation. And he invited me to go to an exclusive ramen restaurant, that serves the best ramen in the world, and the only reservation we could get was for today, so..."
Aさん：「Data? Ramen? でたらめをいう。。。」
Zさん："...Ok... I'll help you move."
Friday, April 29, 2016
Friday, April 22, 2016
Aさん：「Ok, are you ready to go?」
Zさん："Yup, I'm all set."
Aさん：「Oh no! It started raining and we don't have umbrellas.」
Zさん："Hmm... not a problem. I know how to make it stop raining. Whenever I eat delicious candy, rain stops and the sun comes out."
Aさん：「。。。really? Eating candy stops rain?」
... Zさん eats candy ... five minutes pass ...
Aさん：「Wow, that actually worked! How did you know?」
Zさん："Simple really ... 飴Yum雨止む."
Friday, April 15, 2016
Friday, April 8, 2016
Aさん：「I have some terrible news. The secret to time travel that we have protected so well, has been stolen. We thought we were prepared, but it happened before we knew it.」
Aさん：「Exactly. Our arch enemy, Dr. Monica Akuma, stole the secret and immediately used a temporal bridge to jump to some other era in time. We don't know when, maybe the Jurassic Period, maybe the Stone Age, maybe the future.」
Aさん：「Indeed. Well, let's go find her and bring her to justice. いくぞ！」
Friday, April 1, 2016
Friday, March 25, 2016
Zさん："Depending on the amount of 砂."
Friday, March 18, 2016
Zさん："Aさん, you're a trivia buff, right? I have some trivia questions for you."
Zさん："If you have a bunch of old junk you don't need, you put it in... what?"
Zさん："What do you call a large funnel-shaped twister storm?"
Zさん："What is the capital of California?"
Aさん：「Sacrament. ... ah... I get it... very well, I have some trivia questions for you as well. What do you call singing along to pre-recorded pop songs in a bar?」
Aさん：「What do you call ritualistic Japanese suicide?」
Aさん：「What do you call Japanese open-hand martial arts?」
Zさん："Ka Rah Tee... ok, ok, I see your point. Touché."
Aさん：「Hmm, you know, I bet we'd both struggle with フランス語。」
Friday, March 11, 2016
Friday, March 4, 2016
Friday, February 26, 2016
Friday, February 19, 2016
Zくん："Are you familiar with the TV show ちびまる子ちゃん?"
Aくん：「Yes, I am.」
Zくん："And in that show, you know the classmate of まる子ちゃん named はなわくん?"
Aくん：「Sure, what about him?」
Zくん："I don't know if it is the weird flying-wave haircut, or the vast wealth, but I think はなわくん may be a long lost son of Donald Trump."
Aくん：「You know, that makes sense... although はなわくん is an exceedingly kind, big-hearted, well-mannered young man.」
Zくん："Hmm. Maybe that skips a generation."
Friday, February 12, 2016
Zさん："Do Japanese people celebrate Valentine's Day?"
Aさん：「Sure! On Feb. 14, Japanese women give gifts of candy to Japanese men they are interested in romantically. Then exactly one month later, on what is known as 'White Day', Japanese men reciprocate and likewise give candy to Japanese women.」
Zさん："Declarations of romantic intent through gifts of candy and celebrating the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter, all on one day? White Day is awesome!"
Friday, February 5, 2016
Friday, January 29, 2016
Aさん：「So how's single life treating you?」
Zさん："Not bad. I think the biggest adjustment is learning to cook for myself."
Zさん："Well, I came up with this one dish. It is a single serving of a kind of seasoned stew with various meats and vegetables."
Aさん：「Sounds good, what do you call it?」
Friday, January 22, 2016
Zさん："Dude, whoa! What the hell! Are you making fun of a girl with acne? That is totally uncool!"
Aさん：「Huh? Oh! You don't understand, it's not like that. That's my friend Nicole Braxqivicz. We call her Nicki B. for short.」
Zさん："...oh...well... ok then."
Aさん：「Interestingly enough, she has beautiful, clean, smooth skin and appreciates the irony of her nickname.」
Friday, January 15, 2016
Friday, January 8, 2016
アナウンサー："... and it's fourth and goal at the one yard line for the Packers, and it looks like they're bringing in fullback John Kuhn to try and punch this one in..."
アナウンサー："... and listen to those Packer fans cheering him on..."