Author Archive | danbornstein

How to Tell Apart Similar Kanji, Plus 20 Examples


Remember what kanji looked like before you knew any Japanese?

A pile of practically identical shapes, right?

After learning the basics of the language, you probably started seeing some differences—but it can still be incredibly easy to be fooled …

11 Top-notch Audiobooks by Famous Japanese Writers


If there was a contest for “the most challenging written language in the world,” Japanese would easily win it.

It has three scripts, thousands of characters and infinite spelling variations that frustrate the best efforts of would-be readers.

Being …

The Best 3 Japanese Radio Stations and Their Top Talk Radio Programs


How many times have you listened to awkward, artificial Japanese dialogues starring robotic office workers, stereotypical gaijin and deep-voiced, authoritarian narrators?

If you’re a typical learner of Japanese, by now you’ve been through a few years of forced listening.

And …

15 Japanese Kanji Synonym Pairs + How to Learn Characters with Similar Meanings


One thing that nobody has ever said about kanji is that there are too few of them.

The jōyō kanji list, with its 2,136 characters, could have been made half as long and still pose a serious challenge for