Monday, May 26, 2014

Etymology of Sasuga

流石 (Sasuga)
The word represents the feeling you have when a person whom you expect to perform well does, in fact, perform well, and you feel a sense of awe all over again at their amazing feat.

To learners of the language, sasuga is a little frustrating in that it's one of those ridiculous ateji words whose reading and kanji characters don't match. But there's a cute little story about why sasuga is written this way today:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Etymology of Arigato

The word "arigato" (有難う), or "thank you" in Japanese, finds its roots in the word arigatashi (有り難し), an archaic adjective describing rarity.

Friday, May 02, 2014

Words to Express Condolences in Japanese

A quick translation from an all-around useful site on Japanese funerals.

When you want to express condolences to a Japanese friend or acquaintance over his or her loss of a loved one, the appropriate phrases are:

Saturday, February 01, 2014

TP#9: 英作文:京都大学2006前期

子供の頃にわたしが毎週欠かさず観たあるテレビ番組があった。 その主役はどこにでもいそうな犬で、そいつがある町にふらりとやってきては、そこで起こった事件の解決に協力し、人間からほめられる前に姿を消して、また次の町に向かって旅をつづけるのだ。わたしをとりこにしたのは、一つの場所に安住せずに、たえず動きつづける、その姿だったに違いない。

Friday, January 31, 2014

TP#8: 英作文:京都大学2006前期

ものの見方や好みは人さまざまである。たとえば、駅前のハンバーガー店は、人々にとってどのような意味を持つだろうか。 多くの人にとっては、ハンバーガーを味わう場であろう。しかし、肉が苦手な私にとっては、ハンバーガーを楽しむというよりは、仕事帰りにちょっと立ち寄り、コーヒー一杯で一日の疲れをいやす、くつろぎの場である。本を持ち込み、書斎代わりに使うことも少なくない。

Thursday, January 30, 2014

TP#7: 英作文:京都大学2007前期


When I think about what education is, always comes to mind the face of my favorite grade school teacher. He taught us to labor in earnest. That teaching has formed the philosophy of my life. Thinking back now, it is certainly because of my teacher's sincere character that (I respected him and) his lesson resonated with me so profoundly. Thus, in education not only the content of a lesson but the nature of the teacher must be taken into account.

Translation Notes:
恩師 former teacher, old teacher
取り組む tackle, engage in, work on
→ 物事に真剣に取り組む to labor in earnest, to toil in earnest, to tackle our responsibilities seriously
指針(ししん) guiding principle, guideline, philosophy
誠実な人柄(せいじつなひとがら) sincere character, straightforward personality
考慮(こうりょ) take into account/consideration
人間性 humanity, [perhaps] personality


Wednesday, January 29, 2014

TP#6: 英作文:京都大学2007前期


Sunday, January 26, 2014

TP#5: 自由英作文:東京大学2011前期

(Nishikawa) Kiyoshi: Have you read today's newspaper? Apparently, in England, it's illegal to sell pets--even goldfish!--to children under the age of sixteen because they may not be able to take proper care of them. Offenders can be put in prison for one year.
Helen: Wow! (1) ________________________________
Kiyoshi: Yes, that's true. But (2) ________________________________
Helen: I guess you're right.

Monday, January 20, 2014

TP#4: 自由英作文:東京大学2011前期

ただし,understand と pain は,一度しか用いてはならない。
It is not possible to understand other people's pain.

Monday, January 13, 2014

TP#3: 英作文:京都大学2005前期


Monday, November 25, 2013

Pain Medication in Japan

So, recently I talked a little about the big pharmacy chains in Japan. But if you're like me, even after you find and walk inside a Japanese pharmacy, you have a bit of difficulty identifying and choosing what you want to buy. Part of this is simple brand unfamiliarity, and part of it is the language barrier--and I'm sorry to say that in my experience, it doesn't get much better with time. Even after I learned Japanese to a tolerable degree, I found that it is a skill of conscious effort. It is still very easy for me to just "tune out" Japanese characters when I'm presented with advertisements, billboards, and product packaging. If I want to know what they say, I have to stop and think about it.

So, anyway, let's get to the point: You've got a headache, you're in Japan, and you want something OTC to take care of it. Here are some of your options:

Friday, November 22, 2013

Off Brand Medications in Japan

Getting over the counter (OTC) drugs in Japan can be an expensive proposition. The Japanese drug market is heavily protected from foreign competition and large pharmacies and drug companies still have a cartel-like lock on the market, even after the liberalization of online drug sales. If you are looking to by in bulk it is actually sometimes cheaper to go to the doctor and get a prescription as prescription drugs are heavily price controlled.