Short Words/Numbers | mylanguages

A handy reference for those who need it.


Finally uploading my Hiragana and Katakana Charts! Yay!

Just to give you a quick explanation, hiragana and katakana are both Japanese alphabets, used with Kanji (Chinese Characters).

Originally, Japan didn’t have a writing system and when they found the need for one they borrowed the Chinese writing system. Because Chinese and Japanese are such different languages, hiragana was created to fill in the gaps (you will find out more about this as you learn more Japanese).

Katakana was later created to translate English words, and some other foreign words, that had no equivalent word in Japanese. Katakana is used for foreign names including the names of countries, the names of people, etc. It can also be used to emphasis Japanese words.

Well, history lesson over! Let’s start learning how to write in Japanese!! Feel free to print out my Hiragana and Katakana Charts.

While you are here, check out my Facebook Page!


the Ohio/ohayo pun probably dates back to an incident in 1945 where U.S. Marines deployed on occupation duty were greeted with Ohayo, wherupon the Marines began to yell out the names of U.S. States



Guide to Self-Studying Japanese

A large proportion of Japanese learners self-study. Finding places to learn Japanese in a classroom environment can be difficult and expensive. Here’s a guide on how you can learn Japanese for free and from the comfort of your sofa.

When learning Japanese, the most important step is to learn Hiragana and Katakana, the writing alphabets of Japanese.

The best way I’ve found to do that is to make flashcards. Make sure you practice writing as well as recognizing them, this will not only be a great skill to have but will also reinforce the shapes in your mind.


[Hiragana 42], the best guide I’ve found to learn the Hiragana (in a day!)
[Hiranana and Katakana Quiz Site]
[Kana Invaders Game]
[Anki] An amazing program that will make sure you never forget any Kana….

The next step is to start learning vocabulary. Where can you find what to learn? Use a site like Memrise to find word lists (for example, there is a word list for all the vocabulary in starter textbooks like Genki), and use the amazing interface to learn them and keep them in your long term memory.


[Memrise] as mentioned above to find and learn vocabulary lists.
[Most Common Words List]
[Anki] An amazing program that will make sure you never forget any Vocabulary….

While encountering vocabulary, you’re likely to be coming across super-complicated-looking Kanji. You can learn Kanji through Memrise as above, but there are some other websites that may be of interest.


[Kanji Damage] A great site where you can learn Kanji through mnemonics.
[WaniKani] by the same people who make TextFugu can help you learn Kanji from scratch.
[Anki] An amazing program that will make sure you never forget any Kanji….

The next step is to apply that new vocabulary to grammar points and start making sentences.

If you can’t get your hands on textbooks like Genki, don’t fear! There are a lot of great online grammar resources.


[TextFugu] a highly rated ‘online textbook’ which will guide you right from the beginning of learning Japanese.
[Guide to Japanese] another online textbook with a lot of grammar points and excellent explanations.

So you probably started to learn Japanese because you have some interest in Japanese media. Time to start using it to your advantage!

Aside from the obvious watching Anime, J-dramas and films, why not try Reading Japanese News? Watching Japanese TV? Just make sure you are making these activities productive - note down new vocabulary, add them to Anki, and keep learning! It’s much easier to learn things you’re interested in.

The most important but difficult part of self-studying Japanese is getting your own compositions checked. Utilize all that grammar and vocabulary and write a short piece, it could be a diary entry or a short essay. Get it recorded for you by a native on RhinoSpike, and checked for grammar and consistencies on Lang-8.These sites also give you the chance to connect with Japanese natives, and perhaps start up some language exchanges!

For more resources, take a look at my Ultimate Resources List


Any more tips? Please submit them here!



Nine Wonderful Words About Words from 25 things you had no idea there were words for


ATP & Respiration



Mushrooms have an extraordinary ability to control the weather, scientists have learned.
By altering the moisture of the air around them, they whip up winds that blow away their spores and help them disperse.
Plants use a variety of methods to spread seeds, including gravity, forceful ejection, wind, water and animals. Mushrooms have long been thought of as passive seed spreaders, releasing their spores and then relying on air currents to carry them.
But new research has shown that mushrooms are able to disperse their spores over a wide area even when there is not a breath of wind - by creating their own weather.
Scientists in the US used high-speed filming techniques and mathematical modelling to show how oyster and Shitake mushrooms release water vapour that cools the air around them, creating convection currents. This in turn generates miniature winds that lift their spores into the air.

i for one welcome our fungal overlords

Art history meme (x) - 1/5 centuries or movements - Pre-raphaelites


Best of 2013!













via thenewenlightenmentage

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