Top 10 Buzzwords of 2011 in Japan: 1

Publisher Jiyu Kokuminsha just released the year’s top 10 buzzwords. Selected by a panel of judges, they encapsulate the major trends throughout 2011. You can view the full list of 60 that were candidates here on and read more about the top 10 below. Naturally, as a Japanese lesson! (more…)

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150,000 Free Japanese-English Sentences

Have you ever heard of the Tanaka Corpus? If you’ve been using Jim Breen’s fantastic free online Japanese-English dictionary JDIC, you may have unwittingly encountered it. The Tanaka Corpus is a collection of over 150,000 sentence pairs ideal for students learning Japanese. Perfect for repetitions in your favourite SRS software! (more…)

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Intelligentsia – インテリ

This word, インテリ, is an abbreviated version of インテリゲンチャ, (the intelligentsia) meaning ‘intellectual’, referring to a person or class of people who have a tendency for intellectual prowess as opposed to physical strength or ability. (more…)

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ASCII Art Omitted – AA略

You might see this term used online among Japanese netizens. The term AA is an abbreviation of ASCII Art – American Standard Code for Information Interchange – referring to those weird and wonderful faces made up of electronic characters. (more…)

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Twitter Lingo – なう

Those of you who are Twitter users will have undoubtedly comes across the slang term なう, which evolved on the social network in response to the ‘What are you doing now?’ tagline. Let’s take a brief look at the term! (more…)

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Changes to the Alien Registration System in Japan

A bit of an unusual update today. You have heard that the residence management system in Japan will be undergoing some rather big changes from July 2012. The current alien registration system will be abolished, and foreign nationals will be given a new ‘residence card’. They will also for the first time be able to […]

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Typhoon Evacuation Warnings

As you no doubt heard, recently Typhoon Roke caused a bit of a mess in central Japan, with extensive flooding and damage due to strong winds and heavy rain. There are a lot of terms that are useful to know when typhoons are approaching, so today I’d like to introduce a few of them, including […]

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