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The Definition of a “Weeb” ― Revealed

If you’re an anime or gaming fan and you’ve been on the internet for any period of time, you’ve probably heard the word “weeb”. Weeb is the result of many different variations of internet slang evolving into a brand-new term, and they aren’t all flattering! Let’s get to know the origins, the meaning, and the …

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Dogeza — Meaning, Context & Usage

Let’s take a look at one of the more distinctive physical acts many people recognize from Japanese culture: dogeza. While the term itself is probably unfamiliar, you’re probably at least passingly familiar with its meaning, that of prostrating yourself on the ground, in an extreme form of bowing. In this article, we’ll cover the full …

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Rocket Languages Japanese — Full Review (2021)

Next in our long line of reviews of Japanese learning materials is Rocket Languages. If you’ve spent time (like me) furiously googling around for answers to your various questions about Japanese, no doubt you’ve stumbled on some of their stuff before. What a lot of people don’t immediately realize about them is that they actually …

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Daisuki (大好き) — Here’s What It Really Means

Let’s look at a word that it seems like everyone loves to use in Japan. Tread carefully, however, this word (like, it seems, all words in Japanese) carries more nuance than you might at first expect. Those pitfalls are pretty easy to overcome, though, and in this article I’ll be guiding you on how to …

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“Kawaii desu” ― Meaning, Usage & Examples

Ramen. Sushi. Sake. Some Japanese words are immediately recognizable, even if you don’t speak the language at all. Others are still heavily used in non-Japanese media but aren’t quite as easy to understand. Let’s look at the Japanese phrase “kawaii desu.”   What does “kawaii desu” mean in Japanese? The phrase “kawaii desu” (可愛いです) means …

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The Meaning of Naisu (ナイス) — Revealed!

Japanese has a reputation as an insular language, and beginners are often convinced it’s earned. but regular readers of the Linguaholic blog won’t be surprised that its chock full of words borrowed from other languages. Some of these, like 天ぷら (tempura), have been around in Japanese for so long they masquerade as native Japanese words. …

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Padoru (Meme): Meaning & What It Has to Do With Christmas!

Like countries the world over, Japan has a robust group of subcultures. The obvious example is anime and video game fans, known in Japan as otaku. These people have many traditions, jokes and cultural references that will make literally zero sense to your average Japanese person. It goes without saying that there are thriving communities …

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The Meaning of “Kokujin” (黒人) in Japanese

Some Japanese words are complicated to use, but easy to understand. Others are simple to use but have complicated contexts. In this post, we’ll look at one of the latter, the word 黒人 (kokujin).   What does the word 黒人 (kokujin) mean in Japanese? The word 黒人 (kokujin) means a person with black skin. It …

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“Mononoke” (in Princess Mononoke) – A Linguistic Note

Anyone who’s a fan of animation is probably a fan of Studio Ghibli films, and anyone who’s a fan of Studio Ghibli films has heard the name “Princess Mononoke.” It’s one of the most popular animated films of all time. Heck, it’s one of the few Japanese animated films that Roger Ebert truly loved. But …

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7 Ways to Say “Oh My God” in Japanese

Expressions like “Oh my god!” might seem universal, but actually they’re tied to culturally specific things we often take for granted. The use of “God,” for example, assumes that everyone ascribes to a monotheistic religion like Christianity. In Japan, that’s certainly not the case. A 2015 survey from Statista found that only 1.5% of the …

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“Masaka” in Japanese: Meaning, Grammar & Usage

We’ve got another one for all the anime and j-drama fans out there in this article. And, even better, it’s also a reasonably common word in real life. But if you watch anime or J-dramas even occasionally then you definitely have heard the word we’re covering: masaka. Almost always said with a dramatic thousand-yard-stare off-camera, …

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“Boku no”: Meaning, Usage & Examples

We’re going to tackle boku-no in this article and come to understand it through and through. To do this we’ll learn a little vocabulary, a little grammar, and a little history. Step one: Let’s give the simple, straight-forward answer.   What does boku-no mean? Boku means “me” or “I.” No is a particle indicating possession …

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Omae: Meaning, Usage & Examples

Let’s talk omae today. This is a contentious and often misunderstood word in Japanese. Is it rude? Offensive? Friendly? Intimate? Just something said in anime and dramas? This word shares good company with other pronouns in Japanese. They’re hard to truly grok, and so, today, instead of overwhelming you with a discussion of a ton …

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“Talk no Jutsu” (from Naruto) in a Nutshell

Let’s talk about the rather niche topic of “Talk no Jutsu,” which comes out of the English speaking community of fans around the anime Naruto. To anyone even passingly familiar with the phrase it’s just a simple, somewhat silly meme. But I’m going to take it seriously here, discussing the word as it’s understood in …

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“Sugoi dekai” in a Nutshell

Let’s investigate the expression sugoi dekai in this article, finding out what it means and where it comes from. For those who just want a straight answer, however…   What does “sugoi dekai” mean? Sugoi dekai means “amazingly huge,” and could also mean something is “amazingly good,” although this second meaning seems to be less …

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“No Waifu No Laifu”: Here’s What it Really Means

Here’s a fun one today! To answer this question we’ll need to dive into a bit of English grammar, Japanese linguistics, and otaku culture. Before we begin, let’s lay out a few caveats! While I enjoy the occasional anime and video game, I’m far from being a part of the culture which birthed this very …

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Ni (に) vs. niwa (には): Here’s The Difference

What the difference between ni and niha (niwa)? Well, it could be a big difference, or a small one, depending on what you mean. Since Japanese has so many homophones it can be especially difficult to figure out the answer to this. Most likely, if you’re asking this specific question, then you want to know …

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4 & 7 and the Numerous Ways to Say Them in Japanese

How do you choose between yon and shi for 4, or nana and shichi for 7 in Japanese. Why are there two different ways to say these numbers? Is there any significance? Even people who aren’t fans of Japanese culture might have heard about the fact that in Japan the number 4 is bad luck. …

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