Archive for May, 2012

A Linguistic Head-scratcher – English Assimilation

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

As long as any given language is significantly exposed to some foreign language, there is a possibility it may be influenced by that foreign language. Any English speaker should be well aware of this phenomenon, as several non-English words are a part of our daily vernacular. Have you committed a faux pas recently, or voted to maintain the status quo the last time you were at the poles? Hmmm? Well, foreign words have made their way into the common Japanese dialogue as well, and some them have done so in an interesting way beyond the usual conversion to katakana pronunciation. Let me give you a taste.

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The Japanese “May Disease”

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

For most students, and anyone else that maintains a steady Monday through Friday schedule, Monday tends to suck more often than not. Should you disagree, then feel free to correct me on Monday morning before you head out the door to your weekly grind. Anyway, the Japanese average school and business schedule also maintains the Monday through Friday trend; with its own little variations here and there of course. Though I have been here for just about three years, I have yet to hear of some phrase to describe the weekly dread of facing the beginning of the business week. Fortunately, a student of mine made me aware of a similar gem just a few days ago. It is called 五月病 (ごがつびゅう / go-gatsu-byou), which basically means “May disease” or “May sickness.” The reason that this has anything to do with “the Mondays” is that the phrase reflects the dread of getting back to work after an extended period of time off.

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Asian Pacific American Heritage Month: Week 1

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

Happy May, y’all! May is my favorite month for reasons aside from it being my birth month, and one of those reasons is celebrating my Asian-American heritage. Let’s appreciate some of the awesome Japanese-Americans that have graced the world with their talent and wisdom!

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パチンコ – Gambling in Japan

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

Gambling is a world-wide phenomena, there’s no doubt about that. It’s existed for centuries, where modern games such as roulette evolved from a game played in old Europe. Even to this day, where you can gamble online, people still find themselves attracted to physical gambling machines. Particularly in Japan, everybody’s crazy for Pachinko (パチンコ).

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合コン – Dating in Japan

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

A significant majority of people would agree with the sentiment that, at least every once in a while, they feel like they would like to have that special person in their life. We all go about finding that person in our own, yet familiar way to others. Some methods like the date at a restaurant or café are more commonplace while others like to try comparatively unconventional methods such as Internet or speed dating. The Japanese also have their own particular methods of finding the right catch. A lot of them resemble our own, but one of their more commonplace methods may not be so commonplace to you. This method is referred to as the Goukon (合コン, ごうこん).

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