Thursday, August 19, 2010

Moon: Living Abroad in Japan

Today I bought myself a copy of the book Moon: Living Abroad in Japan by Ruthy Kanagy. I had first seen this book at Fully Booked last week and was about to buy it at Php958, but then I decided to check out other bookstores first. I am so glad that I did, because I found it at National Bookstore priced at Php785... and with a 50% discount because they're on sale! So I spent only Php392.50 instead of Php958. I'm so happy! I can't wait to get started on reading it.

"Engaging, honest, and packed with information... the Moon Living Abroad series provides well-rounded insight into the country and its culture, and then gives you the real scoop on how to make the best move." - Transitions Abroad

Monday, August 9, 2010

Local Cuisine of Hokkaido, Japan

Seafood
Hokkaido has a rich variety of fresh fish and seafood such as crab, scallops, sea urchins, salmon roe, salmon, herring, flounder, cod, arabesque greenlings, squid, octopus, shrimp, abalone, surf clams and kelp which are harvested from the northern seas of Japan and are rated among the best of their type for their exquisite taste and flavor. The crab in particular is exceptional.


Ishikari-nabe
Ishikari-nabe is a typical dish of Hokkaido made from chunks of salmon which are stewed with vegetables, tofu and konnyaku (devil's tongue) in kelp stock flavored with miso. Locally produced potatoes and cabbage are also added to the delicious flavor of this hearty dish which utilizes fresh salmon from head to tail.



Genghis Khan nabe
The Genghis Khan nabe, a dish in which thinly sliced mutton and vegetables (bean sprouts, cabbage and pumpkin) are basted and roasted, is renowned for its hearty taste and unique rustic flavor. Many restaurants around Hokkaido specialize in Genghis Khan nabe. The dish is also very popular in large beer parlors.



Photos courtesy of Japan National Tourism Organization.

Moerenuma Park in Sapporo, Hokkaido

These are the major facilities at Moerenuma Park in Sapporo, Hokkaido. Photos, from top to bottom, are:

  • Forest of Cherry Trees
  • Moere Beach
  • Play Mountain
  • Tetra Mound
  • Music Shell 
  • Aqua Plaza
  • Sea Fountain 
  • Glass Pyramid "Hidamari"
  • Mt. Moere 


Photos courtesy of Moerenuma Park.

Forest of Cherry Trees












Moere Beach
Play Mountain
Tetra Mound
Music Shell
Aqua Plaza
Sea Fountain
Glass Pyramid "Hidamari"
Mt. Moere



Sunday, August 8, 2010

Useful Videos of Japan

Stay at a Japanese inn


Enjoy the foods of the Edo era


Arrival in Tokyo


Wander around Akihabara

Inspiring Videos of Japan

Beautiful Japan


Cool Japan


Delightful Japan


Soulful Japan

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pimsleur Japanese Level 1 - Lesson 4 Notes

New Vocabulary:
  • konnichi wa - hello (used in the afternoon)
  • hanashimasu - speak
  • jozu ni - well / skillful (when referring to "speak")
  • Ueno - a name of a place in Japan
  • Shinjuku - a name of a place in Japan
  • eki - station
  • doko - where?
  • koko - here
  • koen - park
  • asoko - over there

New Grammar Concepts:
  • none

New Sentences:
  • Sukoshi hanashimasu. - I speak a little.
  • Jozu ni hanashimasu. - You speak well.
  • Jozu ni hanashimasu ne. - You speak well, don't you?
  • Mada jozu ja arimasen. - I'm not skilled yet.
  • Ueno eki wa doko desu ka. - Where is Ueno Station?
  • Sumimasen, Ueno eki wa doko desu ka. - Excuse me, where is Ueno Station?
  • Koko desu. - It's here.
  • Koko ja arimasen. - It's not here.
  • Shinjuku eki wa doko desu ka. - Where is Shinjuku Station?
  • Ueno koen wa doko desu ka. - Where is Ueno Park?
  • Ueno koen wa. - And Ueno Park?
  • Sumimasen, Shinjuku eki wa doko desu ka. - Excuse me, where is Shinjuku Station?
  • Koko desu ka. - Is it here?
  • Hai, koko desu. - Yes, it's here.
  • Iie, koko ja arimasen. - No, it's not here.
  • Koko ja arimasen. - It's not here.
  • Asoko desu. - It's over there.
  • Asoko ja arimasen. - It's not over there.
  • Ueno eki wa koko desu. - Ueno Station is here.
  • Shinjuku eki wa koko ja arimasen. - Shinjuku Station is not here.

Japanese Conversation:

Man: Sumimasen. Anata wa nihon-jin desu ka.
Woman: Hai, watashi wa nihon-jin desu. Anata wa.
Man: Watashi wa amerika-jin desu.
Woman: Demo nihongo ga yoku wakarimasu ne.
Man: Ee, sukoshi. Demo mada jozu ja arimasen.
Woman: Iie, jozu desu.
Man: Arigato gozaimasu.


English Translation:

Man: Excuse me. Are you Japanese?
Woman: Yes, I'm Japanese. And you?
Man: I'm American.
Woman: But you understand Japanese well, don't you?
Man: Yes, a little. But I'm not good at it yet.
Woman: No, you're good.
Man: Thank you.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Pimsleur Japanese Level 1 - Lesson 3 Notes

New Vocabulary:
  • demo - but
  • mada - yet
  • yoku - well (in knowledge and skill, not health)
  • iyana - bad (weather)
  • domo - indeed / very much
  • konnichi wa - good afternoon
  • nihon - Japan

New Grammar Concepts:
  • none

New Sentences:
  • Demo mada jozu ja arimasen. - But I'm not good at it yet.
  • Yoku wakarimasu. - I understand well.
  • Yoku wakarimasen. - I don't understand well.
  • Iyana otenki desu ne. - It's bad weather, isn't it?
  • Domo arigato gozaimasu. - Thank you very much. (polite)
  • Konnichi wa. - Good afternoon.
  • Watashi wa nihon-jin desu. - I am Japanese.
  • Watashi wa nihon-jin ja arimasen. - I am not Japanese.
  • Watashi wa amerika-jin ja arimasen. - I am not American.
  • Anata wa? - And you?
  • Anata wa nihon-jin desu ka. - Are you Japanese?
  • Anata wa amerika-jin desu ka. - Are you American?
  • Nihongo ga yoku wakarimasen. - I don't understand Japanese well.
  • Nihongo ga yoku wakarimasu. - I understand Japanese well.
  • Eigo ga yoku wakarimasen. - I don't understand English well.
  • Eigo ga yoku wakarimasu. - I understand English well.

Japanese Conversation:

Man: Ohayo gozaimasu.
Woman: Ohayo gozaimasu.
Man: Ii otenki desu ne.
Woman: Ah, nihongo ga wakarimasu ne.
Man: Hai, sukoshi. Demo mada jozu ja arimasen.
Woman: Anata wa amerika-jin desu ka.
Man: Hai.
Woman: Demo nihongo ga yoku wakarimasu ne.

Does anybody want to take a shot at translating the Japanese conversation above into English?

Pimsleur Japanese Level 1 - Lesson 2 Notes

New Vocabulary:
  • ohayo - good morning
  • ii - good / nice
  • otenki - weather
  • ja mata - see you / goodbye
  • arigato - thanks
  • jozu - very good / skilled
  • jozu ja arimasen - not good / not skilled

New Grammar Concepts:
  • gozaimasu - added to ohayo and arigato for politeness
  • ne - roughly equivalent to the English "don't you?", "isn't it?", "aren't you?", "don't you think?" (used when you fully expect the person you are conversing with to agree with you)

New Sentences:
  • Ohayo gozaimasu. - Good morning. (polite)
  • Ii otenki desu. - It's good weather. / It's nice weather.
  • Ii otenki desu ne. - It's good weather, isn't it? / It's nice weather, isn't it?
  • So desu ne. - It is, isn't it? (used when agreeing with someone)
  • Ja mata. - See you.
  • Aa, nihongo ga wakarimasu ne. - Ah, you understand Japanese, don't you?
  • Arigato gozaimasu. - Thank you. (polite)
  • Watashi wa nihongo ga wakarimasu. - I understand Japanese. (emphatic)
  • Watashi wa nihongo ga sukoshi wakarimasu. - I understand Japanese a little. (emphatic)
  • Jozu desu. - You are very good. / You are very skilled.
  • Jozu desu ne. - You are very good, aren't you? / You are skilled, aren't you?
  • Jozu ja arimasen. - I am not very good. / I am not skilled.
  • Nihongo ga jozu desu ne. - You are good in Japanese, aren't you? / You are skilled in Japanese, aren't you?
  • Eigo ga jozu desu ne. - You are good in English, aren't you? / You are skilled in English, aren't you?
  • Watashi wa jozu ja arimasen. - I am not very good. / I am not skilled. (emphatic)

Japanese Conversation:

Woman: Sumimasen, nihongo ga wakarimasu ka.
Man: Hai, sukoshi.
Woman: Anata wa amerika-jin desu ka.
Man: Hai, watashi wa amerika-jin desu. Eigo ga wakarimasu ka.
Woman: Iie, wakarimasen.

Does anybody want to take a shot at translating the Japanese conversation above into English?

Pimsleur Japanese Level 1 - Lesson 1 Notes

New Vocabulary:
  • sumimasen - excuse me
  • wakarimasu - understand
  • wakarimasen - don't understand
  • eigo - English (language)
  • iie - no
  • nihongo - Japanese (language)
  • sukoshi - a little
  • amerika-jin - American (nationality)
  • anata - yo
  • desu - am / are
  • watashi - I
  • hai - yes

New Grammar Concepts:
  • ga - added to eigo and nihongo when used in a sentence
  • ka - (particle) used at the end of a sentence to form a question
  • wa - (particle) added to anata and watashi when used in a sentence

New Sentences:
  • Sumimasen. - Excuse me.
  • Wakarimasu ka. - Do you understand?
  • Eigo ga wakarimasu ka. - Do you understand English?
  • Wakarimasu. - I understand.
  • Eigo ga wakarimasu. - I understand English.
  • Wakarimasen. - I don't understand.
  • Iie, wakarimasen. - No, I don't understand.
  • Eigo ga wakarimasen. - I don't understand English.
  • Nihongo ga wakarimasu. - I understand Japanese.
  • Nihongo ga wakarimasen. - I don't understand Japanese.
  • Nihongo ga wakarimasu ka. - Do you understand Japanese?
  • Sukoshi wakarimasu. - I understand a little.
  • Nihongo ga sukoshi wakarimasu. - I understand Japanese a little.
  • Anata wa amerika-jin desu. - You are American.
  • Anata wa amerika-jin desu ka. - Are you American?
  • Watashi wa amerika-jin desu. - I am American.
  • Hai, sukoshi. - Yes, a little.


Japanese Conversation:

Man: Sumimasen, eigo ga wakarimasu ka.
Woman: Iie, wakarimasen. Nihongo ga wakarimasu ka.
Man: Hai, sukoshi wakarimasu.
Woman: Anata wa amerika-jin desu ka.
Man: Hai, watashi wa amerika-jin desu.

Does anybody want to take a shot at translating the Japanese conversation above into English?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pimsleur Japanese Level 1 Description

The following is a description of Simon and Schuster's Pimsleur Japanese Comprehensive Level I program as stated in their website:


Comprehensive Japanese I includes 30 lessons of essential grammar and vocabulary -- 16 hours of real-life spoken practice sessions -- plus a Culture Booklet.

Upon completion of this Level I program, you will have functional spoken proficiency with the most-frequently-used vocabulary and grammatical structures. You will be able to:

  • initiate and maintain face-to-face conversations
  • deal with every day situations -- ask for information, directions, and give basic information about yourself and family
  • communicate basic information on informal topics and participate in casual conversations
  • avoid basic cultural errors and handle minimum courtesy and travel requirements
  • satisfy personal needs and limited social demands
  • establish rapport with strangers in foreign countries

 Anybody want to learn Japanese with me? :)