Anonymous asked:

This may sound stupid, but do you see a lot of people using bentos in Japan? Especially in schools? I was wondering ever since I saw the picture of the school lunch meals.

It depends on the school!

Elementary School children and Junior High School children are a mixed bunch. Sometimes they have school lunch provided that they have to eat, other times, they eat homemade bentos. it all depends on the district in which the child lives.

High School students, however, are free to do whatever they would like for lunch.

Today is graduation and my graduating delinquents showed up in their punk, Yankee clothes to apologize for the various stunts they pulled this year. (Like, beating up a rival gang, cracking a McDonald’s table, throwing rocks at the first years, putting snow in all the shoe cubbies…)

These embroidered jackets and pants can cost anywhere from $700-$3000 dollars and possibly more depending on designer, location, fabric, and embroidery.

Since they won’t go to college,or high school in most cases, most of mine say “S******u middle school family” on the back. (Censored for privacy)

Faces covered for student protection under Japan’s minors law. Uncovered are faculty.

News from Japan: Windows XP support will discontinue April 9th. Japanese Businesses reluctant to upgrade.

image

VERY FALSE Translation:
"Don’t worry, only Widnows XP is in trouble. You should be fine.

Although Microsoft made the announcement a year ago, many companies have still not upgraded their Windows operating systems. According to a local research institute, when Microsoft made the announcement last April, about 33% (or approximately 77 million computers) of all computers in Japan were using Windows XP. Of those, 40% were in business use. Currently, Microsoft estimates that roughly 20% of all PCs in Japan still use XP. Company officials say that businesses have been hesitant to upgrade to avoid the cost of replacing computers.

As for individuals, although it is much easier for them to update their PCs cost-wise, they do not seem to see any advantage in it other than stronger security, said Microsoft. However, the company warns that an upgrade is crucial as most of them use mainly web browsers and emails which are vulnerable to recent cyberattacks. 

[read more from JapanToday.com]

Workplace Storytime: Burgers

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For a power point on food vocabulary, I just Googled pictures of hamburgers.
The lady next to me peeks over and with concern whispers, 

Are you homesick?

onoiv asked:

What is more popular in Japan; owning a computer or a television? I can assume that they have popular sitcoms,dramas, and anime shows. But overall I am little confused on what kind of technology they use in their daily lives.

For Japanese people, a home just isn’t a home without a television. Granted, the majority of the population doesn’t have cable TV, it’s by far more common in a household than a computer.

I am often told “Japanese are so technologically advanced!” but this is so far from the truth you’d need binoculars to see it. In fact, most people who own a home PC or laptop rarely use it for much in Japan. At least in my school, when I was a kid, we had computer classes every week and sometimes every day in any given school year. Here’s a story about Japan:

[[MORE]]

First a background: My school is a typical public school in semi-rural Japan. We have 700 students and 38 faculty members.


I found a room storage closet full of computers. Prior to that, I hadn’t seen any semblance of a computer lab in the whole school.The tops of the computers and screens were caked in dust. I asked a teacher about it and she said, as she took a chair from a pile in the back corner,

"This is the computer lab!"
"HERE?!"
"Yes!"
"Well, they haven’t used them in a while…" blowing off a patch of dust.
"Ah, yes because computer classes are not until the summer semester."
"They only use computers for ONE SEMESTER?"
"Yes!" she says cheerfully. 

They don’t get a good background in using computers so they 1) don’t like computers and 2) don’t trust computers. Honestly, kids in middle school still go to the library for information from books in Japan. When faced with the daunting task of Googling something, most kids would rather piss and moan and play phone games or inform me that all the information on the internet is untrustworthy and often plain lies (classic internet paranoia). 

Speaking of phones, Japanese technology used to be ahead of the curve on cell phone tech (think 2000-2007).  However, now that they are using the same smartphones as most Americans, they’ve gone back to ??? at most technology. (90% of my students have never seen an iPad or other tablet before and 60% still don’t understand how to use an MP3 player.)

I actually voiced my concerns about that to a Japanese friend once and her response was simple:

"Well, at least they still play outside unlike Americans. We don’t get fat."
"Fat people still contribute to society. Jump rope skills don’t translate the to 21st century office."
"But we don’t use the computer very much in the office. I do most of my work on paper."
"Don’t you work at a bank?"
"Yeah :)"

Japan has some of the longest living people in the world, and part of that translates to who runs companies in Japan. In America, passion, gender, and ability often play into who runs a company but in Japan it’s a waiting game. You have to build up to it over time meaning that most CEOs in Japan are grandfathers (notice I don’t say grandmothers here, but that’s a whole other issue.) Thus, the tech is gravely behind and speaking up from the bottom rung is a quick way to find yourself being kicked off a ladder.

The misconception that Japan is ahead of the curve actually stems from the 80s when Japans economy was in a bubble and they had more money than they knew what to do with. At that time, they upgraded their country with all sorts of cutting edge technology and were seen as some sort of Jetson’s era metropolis. However, since that time they haven’t upgraded much of anything— their family register was only recently transferred to computers (before, if there was a fire at the records house, you might cease existing) and some places still haven’t switched to this system. 

image
"You’re neither a book, nor a cell phone. What use could you possibly have?!"


Okay, but there is some cool tech in Japanese homes and life. Like rice cookers that can make bread, air conditioners that double as heaters, chargeable lipstick sized phone batteries for charging on the go, heated toilets, video screen ordering at select restaurants, etc. (My favorite is that they have shelves that lower for short people— I can put up a video of that later.) But in general, most of the tech you see from Japan is only at trade shows or in factories but is not common in Japanese daily life.

So, TV yes, Computers No. And no robots, basically.

Disclaimer: Blanket statements aside, of course there are some people in Japan who are gifted with technology, but it’s far less common here in the general population than you experience back in the states.

iemasa
nadinenihongo:

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.
Resources:
[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 Vocabulary….

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.
Resources:
[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 Kanji….

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.
Resources:
[Kanji Damage] A great site where you can learn Kanji through Mnemonics.[WaniKani] by the same people ho make TextFugu (below) 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.
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.

The Fun Parts: Using Japanese Online Media
So you probably have learnt Japanese because you have some interest in Japanese media. Time to start using it to your learning 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. Try translating Japanese songs, etc.

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? Comment below!

nadinenihongo:

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.

Resources:

[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 Vocabulary….

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.

Resources:

[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 Kanji….

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.

Resources:

[Kanji Damage] A great site where you can learn Kanji through Mnemonics.[WaniKani] by the same people ho make TextFugu (below) 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.

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.

The Fun Parts: Using Japanese Online Media

So you probably have learnt Japanese because you have some interest in Japanese media. Time to start using it to your learning 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. Try translating Japanese songs, etc.

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

http://nadinenihongo.tumblr.com/post/47984748297/ultimate-japanese-resources-list

Any more tips? Comment below!

Sorry I was having an issue with tumblr notifications so suddenly 7 asks have, simultaneously, decided to show up in the box. However, I am about to head to bed and I have to go on the 2nd years school trip tomorrow so I may not get to them for a bit…

Thank you for you patience and understanding!!