Japanese Reading & Listening Practice and Translations
One of the best ways to learn a language is to listen to a native speaker while you read along with a transcript. Polyglots who speak ten or more languages all recommend this, indeed multilingualist Steve Kaufmann’s Linq platform is based almost wholly this concept. So our materials are based on that concept.
But if you’re going to learn a language, then you may as well learn the culture. Otherwise, what’s the point? So we search out the deep stuff, texts that show what is happening in japan today, where Japan has come from, what is actually important. Then we record, transcribe and translate into English. We post a new translation a week. Sources come from anywhere – Japanese books, social media posts, poems, lyrics, signage, letters, official documents, speeches, interviews, manifestos etc.
If you’re like us, on the endless path of learning Japanese, looking for Japanese reading practice or Japanese listening practice, and you want materials that go beyond cherry blossoms and samurai swords to provide a genuine insite into lived culture, then please subscribe to the podcast and Youtube channel or click on individual articles below.
A translation into English of the opening theme song from Midnight Diner Tokyo Stories (Shinya Shokudo) soundtrack, Omoide, by Tsunekichi Suzuki. I give a background on the songwriter, translate the lyrics, present the song in Japanese and English, and give a commentary on the translation.
But first thing’s first…
Kiyoshiro Imawano, King of Japanese Rock Many musicians have been appointed as rulers of a given musical domain. Sinatra was the chairman, Elvis was the King, Bowie was the Duke, Springteen the boss, and there have been many more fathers and godfathers than there have been mothers and godmothers similarly anointed to go around. Well, other countries have their own musical monarchs too. Japan may be lorded over by an Emperor, but realm of rhythm is ruled by a King of Rock. His name is Kiyoshiro Imawano and he inhabits are persona somewhere between Mick Jagger, John Lennon and Van
We’ve translated some Japanese media and social media about recent moves for the Women’s Universities in Japan to welcome transgender women as students. There are a group of Women’s Universities in Japan that have recently come out to say that they will soon start accepting transgender women. This is, of course, a major change in the country and has been covered in several major news outlets and provoked a lot of discussion, of a more or less civil nature, across social media. Today we’ve translated some excerpts from Asahi News, The Huffington Post Japan, and a selection of tweets from twitter to
Japanese Reading Difficulty 4/12 Could be read and understood by 4th grade level student in Japan Themes Partitioning of Korea Text Type Songs In Translation Lyrics イムジン河水清く とうとうと流る水鳥自由にむらがり 飛び交うよ我が祖国南の地 想いははるかイムジン河水清く とうとうと流る 北の大地から 南の空へ飛び行く鳥よ 自由の使者よ誰が祖国を二つに 分けてしまったの誰が祖国を 分けてしまったの イムジン河空遠く 虹よかかっておくれ河よ 想いを伝えておくれふるさとをいつまでも 忘れはしないイムジン河水清く とうとうと流る The imjin river flows so clear It flows so strong, it flows so deep oh yes my dear And the water fowl form flocks and fly To and fro to and fro My heart lies in the south My hope lays at rivers mouth And the imjin river flows so clear It flows so strong it flows so deep oh yes my dear From the northern continental planes The
we translate an article from the Shukan Bunshun that outlines how Hana Kimura’s mother, Kyoko Kimura, is petitioning Japan’s broadcasting watchdog to examine how the show Terrace House was set up in a way that ultimately led to Hana’s demise.
Along with the text, we read the article in Japanese, then in English, then sentence by sentence in both languages.
I introduce the new Japanese indie music platform Minna Kikeru, which is an amazing treasure trove of alternative music from Japan.
I translate some of the band bios and play some of the songs by tenniscoats, Yuko Ikema and My Pal Foot Foot.
A complete translation of a 1997 interview between Nigo and James Lavelle.
You probably know something about the anti-war folk music of the United States in the 1960s. But do you know much about the parallel movements in Japan?
Today I’m taking a look at one of the most representative songs of the time, Wataru Takada’s 自衛隊に入ろう Jietai in hairou or, as I’ve translated it, “Why don’t you join the army?”
How have people been talking about Black Lives Matter in Japan? We translate language from various discussions on social media and other areas from Japanese into English, with a special focus on the amazing, brave work of Cocoa Lizzy and other Black Japanese commentators.
Who said which quote?! Samurai or CEO?! 誰がどの名言を言ったか？！!侍か社長 ？！
We’ve translated quotes of famous CEOs and Samurai leaders from hundreds of years ago and mixed them up. Can you tell which said which?
Spoken in English and Japanese.
What does it mean to be “busu” 「ブス」or “minikui” in Japan?
In a world that worships at the altar of kawaii 「可愛い」, at saucer sized eyes and at double skinned eyelids. What is it like to feel like you don’t live up? And how can you live a life so that it doesn’t overwhelm you.
Twitter writer and Youtuber “Todoron” painfully, graphically and courageously lays bear her experiences of this situation for all to see on Twitter, and later Youtube. Her first tweet was a single Hiragana character. Her third tweet got 150,000 likes and 30,000 retweets.
She seems to having something that resonates with contemporary online Japanese society. She mixes simple-truth observations of the state of the world, and her own inner state. Topics she tackles include her history of cosmetic surgery, concepts of beauty and mental health.
Today I want to have a look at the language she uses around the issues.
Japanese Reading Difficulty 9/12 Could be read by 5th grade level student in Japan Themes Poetry, Death, Mortality, nature. Text Type Poem, Haiku About Japanese Death Poems Here is our second installment on Japanese death poems, this time we’re looking at a poem by Onitsura. These poems are messages from people writing on, or close to, their death beds.I first came across these through a book Japanese death poems by Yoel Hoffman. I thought I’d try my own hand at some translations. Death Poem byHiroshi Kuroshiki Yoel Hoffman Book on CD Japan 鬼貫 Oni-tsura Died 2nd August 1738, aged 78
For over a thousand years Japanese people have had a tradition of writing poems on their death bed. These poems provide an intriguing window into the most intimate thoughts of people far removed from us by time and geography. And yet they voice thoughts that are timeless and universal.
Here we take a lot a poem by Chirin from 1794, translate the poem, analyse the language and provide some correlations with English texts.
Language Learning Program Reviews
My personal experience of using Pimsleur Japanese. Screen shots, things I noticed and liked or didn’t like. Where to buy Pimsleur cheap, if it’s your thing, and alternate language programs if it’s not.