Archive | Japanese Vocab and Grammar

The Zodiac Signs in Japanese: Discover the Animal Within!

zodiac signs in japanese

Did you know that the word “zodiac,” in its original etymology, translates to “circle of little animals?”

It’s a cute image to imagine, but what’s the real deal with all that zodiac business around the end of the year?

If …

Creepy Crawlies and Culture: 21 Insects in Japanese and How to Talk About Them

insects in japanese

“Wow, that’s huge!”

I remember thinking this when I saw a cicada for the first time in the countryside of Japan. It was a hot summer day in the mountains of Nagano, and I was poking this dead cicada to …

Celebrate Japanese Christmas! Fun Facts and Essential Vocab for a Meri Kurisumasu

merry christmas in japanese

The holidays are finally here! Gather around the Christmas tree for some Kentucky Fried Chicken and cake!

Wait a minute… KFC and cake?

That’s right, Christmas in Japan is a bit different than what you may be used to.

There …

Asking for Directions in Japanese: Find Your Way to Fluency with These 35+ Words and Phrases

directions in japanese

It was a cold night in Hiroshima and I was lost.

I had embarked on my first international trip by myself at the green age of 19 a few days prior.

Now, I was on the wrong bus in the …

Spring into Fluency with the 4 Seasons in Japanese

seasons in japanese

Summer has hit Japan and I can feel my insides boiling already.

The summers here (especially in Kyushu, the southernmost island) are famously humid. They’re uncomfortable, to say the least.

But, they’re also helpful. Let me show you why!

“Happy Birthday” in Japanese: Your Guide to Celebrating Like a Native

happy birthday in Japanese

It’s celebration time!

Put on your party hat and go wish someone a happy birthday—in Japanese!

…But wait a minute, are you sure you know how to?

Japanese is a language that places emphasis on relationships and politeness.

That …

To Each Their Own! Your One-stop Guide to Nanori in Japanese


Remember the guy who changed his legal name to Captain Awesome?

Or the little girl with the name “Moxie CrimeFighter?”

Those are pretty bizarre names.

…But guess what?

 漢字(かんじ) — kanji can form extraordinary names, too!

And …