This blog is 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 28, 2018
Friday, December 21, 2018
Friday, December 14, 2018
Zさん："Ever notice how deeply engrained "Pachelbel's Canon" is in the Japanese musical psyche? It is heard in loudspeakers of almost all department stores and train stations. Innumerable J-POP songs pilfered the chord progression, and layered it with lovelorn lyrics. The funny thing is, most Japanese people realize this and don't seem to mind! I guess if you find something that works, don't reinvent the wheel of fifths."
Friday, December 7, 2018
Friday, November 30, 2018
Friday, November 23, 2018
Friday, November 16, 2018
Friday, November 9, 2018
Friday, November 2, 2018
Friday, October 26, 2018
Friday, October 19, 2018
Friday, October 12, 2018
Friday, October 5, 2018
Friday, September 28, 2018
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Thursday, September 13, 2018
Zさん："Ok, so, let me see if I understand this. Endō is the name of the wrestler. Ikimasu is the verb ‘to go’, and, oh!, the imperative form of ikimasu is ‘ike’. Likewise the verb ganbaremasu means ‘to do one’s best’, and the imperative form of that is ‘ganbare’. So altogether, that would be, Mr. Endō, go and go and do your best!”
Aさん：「... you’re not a sports guy are you?」
Saturday, September 8, 2018
Friday, August 31, 2018
Friday, August 24, 2018
Zさん："I read that recently scientists performed an experiment, and they successfully used an enzyme to change type A, B, and AB blood into type O." *
Aさん：「Wow! That's incredible!」
Zさん："Yeah, and in a related experiment they were able to turn Pisces, Tauri, and Gemini into Leos."
*Seriously! Click here.
Friday, August 17, 2018
Friday, August 10, 2018
Friday, August 3, 2018
Friday, July 27, 2018
Friday, July 20, 2018
Friday, July 13, 2018
Friday, July 6, 2018
Zさん："Hey, in this Japanese article, what are the little ひらがな above the 漢字？"
Aさん：「That's what's known as ふりがな。It is a pronunciation guide for difficult 漢字。」
Zさん："Oh, I get it! Like, hurry up, you're gonna read it."
Aさん：「... a way to remember... a way to remember... Nice!」
Friday, June 29, 2018
Friday, June 22, 2018
Zさん: “Wait... why are you guys talking about rice?”
Aさん:「No, you misunderstand. The word ごはん means both ‘meal’ and ‘rice’. It’s because rice has been an important part of Japanese meals for a long time.」
Zさん: “Oh! I get it. So, the American equivalent would be ‘Have you eaten burger yet?’ ‘No. I haven’t eaten burger yet. Have you?’ “
ミスタースパーコル:「Mmm... ubiquitous dietary staples.」
Friday, June 15, 2018
Friday, June 8, 2018
Zさん:”Being bilingual can be tricky. For example, take the word カラオケ。If you pronounce it ‘kala-o-k’, Americans will think you are a pompous jerk. If you pronounce it ‘Carry-Okee’ Japanese people will think you are an inarticulate clod.”
Aさん:「You can’t win, dude, just shut up and sing.」
Friday, June 1, 2018
Friday, May 25, 2018
Zさん："Would you like to hear a riddle?"
Aさん：「You do realize these are bad puns and not riddles... but ok.」
Zさん："What do you call a Japanese person who makes a mess eating cake?”
Aさん：「I don't know, what?」
Zさん："クラムジー. Get it? With an 'r'? "
Aさん：「No, no, yeah, I got it.」
Saturday, May 19, 2018
Zさん："... so anyway, I was thinking that, as far as US presidents go so far, Barack Obama is the second to last, making him the... the... なんでしょうか。。。"
Aさん：「Congratulations! You are an English speaker, and you could not remember an English term, and you expressed that fact using a Japanese phrase. You are officially bilingual! ... and the word you are thinking of, by the way, is 'penultimate'.」
Zさん："... um... なるほど。"
Aさん：「You did it again!」
Friday, May 11, 2018
Friday, May 4, 2018
Friday, April 27, 2018
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Friday, April 13, 2018
僕 - boku - I
君- kimi - you
男 - otoko - man
女 - onna - woman
心 - kokoro - heart
胸 - mune - chest
ため息 - tame-iki - sigh
夢 - yume - dream
涙 - namida - tears
声 - koe - voice
愛 - ai - love
恋 - koi - also love... but more selfish
花束 - hanataba - bouquet of flowers
Zさん："Don't be intimidated by the kanji in Japanese karaoke song lyrics. You'd be surprised how often J-POP lyrics repeat. If you learn these few kanji here, you are 90% of the way there."
Friday, April 6, 2018
Friday, March 30, 2018
Friday, March 23, 2018
Aさん：「Hey, you must be the new guy. I'm A, and these are X and Z.」
Tom："Nice to meet you. My name is Tom Aneggi."
Aさん：「*snicker* So, can I put you in a salad, or maybe in French soup.」
Xさん：「Or, could I deep fry rings of you, or maybe saute you over a steak.」
Tom："Yeah, yeah, I've heard them all before."
Zさん："Oh, oh... I got one. If I cut you, will I cry?"
Aさん：「。。。Dude, don't be weird。」
Tom："... It's actually pretty clever..."
Friday, March 16, 2018
Saturday, March 10, 2018
トルーパー："Lord Vader, sorry to interrupt your... fight with your son..., but the shield around the Death Star has been turned off. It appears that a bunch of furry stone age beings on Endor somehow over-powered our imperial troops."
ダース・ベイダー："<mechanical respiration> So... 言い訳はEwok, eh?"
トルーパー："... my lord?"
ダース・ベイダー："Soon, you will appreciate the humor, of the dark side..."
Friday, March 2, 2018
Zさん："You know, I never quite understood why Japanese people use the verb 'to drink' to describe ingesting medicine in pill form. It doesn't make sense to me."
Aさん：「Is English that much better, i.e. to 'take' medicine. What, like to prom?」
Zさん："... ha!... that's a funny mental image... an aspirin in a formal gown."
Aさん：「。。。well, if you'll excuse me, I have to get my grandma to drink a pill.」
Friday, February 23, 2018
Zさん："Sometimes in American high schools and colleges, Japanese language instructors say that the measure of the ability to read the Japanese language, is the aptitude for reading 日本の新聞。I respectfully disagree. In my opinion, a more accurate measure of the ability to read the Japanese language, is the aptitude for reading カラオケ・スクリーン。Seriously. Especially after a few ビール"
Friday, February 16, 2018
Saturday, February 10, 2018
Friday, February 2, 2018
Saturday, January 27, 2018
Friday, January 19, 2018
Friday, January 12, 2018
Zさん："So, the Japanese phrase for football, American not soccer, is アメフト, and the Japanese phrase for 'It's raining' is あめふる。Very similar, right? Well, if you think about it, the financial juggernaut that is the National Football League definitely 'Makes it rain' for many wealthy investors. Is that a coincidence?"