Japanese Proverb: A skilled hawk hides its talons

By Greg Beck Today’s Topic: 諺 / ことわざ / Proverb Kanji: 能ある鷹爪隠す」 Kana: のうあるたかつめかくす Translation: A skilled hawk hides its talons. This Japanese proverb actually does come up in conversations from time to time, because it is so true and can be applied to so many situations. Just like not giving away your hand in poker, by staying modest you […]

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Japanese Music for the non-J-POP Fan

If you are like me, J-POP will not satiate your musical hunger. I have an eclectic taste in music and I enjoy many genres, but Top 40 Pop is not one of them. The bands I discuss here are not hugely popular here in Japan or overseas. These are simply bands that I enjoy listening to and, hopefully, some of them will become bands that you enjoy listening to as well. And, hey, maybe it will help you with your Japanese listening skills.

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Language Learning Tool Reviews: Read Real Japanese Essays

Having come to Japan with the admittedly vague goal of one day being able to read Japanese literature, I still find it difficult to find relevant-seeming texts written at or near my Japanese ability level. Adding to that the often daunting chore of looking up all the unfamiliar kanji and vocabulary in the dictionary as I read, more often than not, I find that I am talking myself out of practicing reading the few interesting Japanese texts that I do find. One remedy I have found is reading online with the aid of Rikaichan (previously reviewed). But for longer trips away from the computer, or when I would just prefer not to stare at a monitor, one solution I’ve found is Kodansha’s Read Real Japanese Essays collection.

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Language Learning Tool Reviews: Flashcards – That Ubiquitous Mid-Tech Stepping Stone

Flashcards are a fantastic device, particularly for those students who find themselves in the tactile/kinesthetic spectrum of learning styles. And the basic structure of flashcards—decks and stacks of linked information— is not only useful for learning, it is also a very efficient, mid-tech model of data organization, which finds expression in much more complex systems like the Internet

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