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  • Kakatte Koi
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    The Meaning & Usage of “kakatte koi” in Japanese

    We’re covering a really fun expression in Japanese in this article: kakatte koi. Anyone who enjoys Japanese media has probably heard this more than a few times, and you might even have a rough idea of what it means, just from the context and emphatic nature of the expression. But in the next few hundred […] More

  • Good Job in Japanese
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    How to Say “Good Job” in Japanese

    Translation is an art, rather than a science, and in some cases there isn’t an exact duplicate of a word or phrase in other languages. This is especially true for Japanese and English, two languages with very different origins and two very different approaches to grammar and meaning. As an example, let’s consider the English […] More

  • Sarcasm in Japanese
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    Sarcasm in Japanese: Here’s How It Works

    Japanese people have a reputation for being unfailingly polite, pragmatic, honorable, and so on. That reputation is partially based in Japan’s guest culture. However, it also has to do with racist stereotypes of Japan and Japanese people that have been given free reign in newspapers, movies and other cultural institutions in Europe and America for […] More

  • I don't know in Japanese
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    How to Say “I don’t know” in Japanese

    One useful trick for language-learning is to make a point of figuring out how to ask for help early on. If you’re visiting a traditional Japanese inn and the front desk staff just asked you a question, your trip is going to go a lot more smoothly if you can clue them in to the […] More

  • Japanese Prepositions
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    Japanese Prepositions in a Nutshell

    Today’s topic is a uniquely challenging one: prepositions in Japanese. We’re going to have to get familiar with flipping concepts around from how we generally understand them in English. I won’t lie: It’s a huge challenge at first, but after a handful of practice, without even noticing it, this new way of engaging with language […] More

  • How to Say Please in Japanese
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    How to Say “Please” in Japanese

    Japanese thrives on context. Although it has a reputation for being unusual in that regard, in fact context is important in nearly all languages. In addition to the linguistic context of a specific sentence, many languages also have special rules for specific social or cultural contexts. In English, for example, the way you speak to […] More

  • Have in Japanese
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    “Have” in Japanese: Here’s What You Need to Know

    English has a few different words that can mean “have,” like possess, own or keep. Japanese is the same way, with a few different words that can mean slightly different things in different contexts. In this article, we’ll look at Japanese words you can use to mean “have.”   How do you say “have” in […] More

  • Everything in Japanese
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    7+ Ways to Say “Everything” in Japanese

    Language is full of nuance. That’s part of what makes it so interesting to learn. In this post, we’ll examine the many possibilities for “everything” in Japanese and explore some of the subtle differences between them.   How do you say “everything” in Japanese? The best translation for “everything” in most contexts is likely to […] More

  • Question Marks in Japanese
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    Question Marks in Japanese: Here’s What You Need to Know

    If you’ve read even a single blog post on this website before, you probably know that a lot of language comes down to context. One great example is the difference between questions and statements. Even in English, there are clues like the inversion of word order in a statement like “You are eating.” and a […] More

  • How to Say What's up in Japanese
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    10+ Ways to Say “What’s Up” in Japanese

    “What’s up?” is such a common-place and casual greeting, but it can be surprisingly hard to translate into other languages. The literal translation in Japanese would be 上に何がある? (ue ni nani ga aru?), which would make no sense to Japanese speakers. They would probably just look up at the sky confused! It’s interesting how the […] More

  • Are there spaces in Japanese
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    Spaces in Japanese: Here’s What You Need to Know

    Orthography is the study of a given language’s writing conventions. In English, for example, orthography deals not just with spelling and grammar, but also with punctuation marks like the period or exclamation mark and the use of spaces. Of course, every language has its own conventions. Japanese orthography in particular has to contend with three […] More

  • The Meaning of Nandayo
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    “Nandayo”: Here’s What It Means

    Phrases don’t always translate to exactly the same thing across languages, and sometimes a sentence is more than the words it contains. The Japanese phrase 何だよ (nandayo) is a great example of this.   What does 何だよ (nandayo) mean? The expression 何だよ (nandayo) literally means “what is [it].” 何 (usually なに but pronounced なん here) is […] More

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