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Japanese and Chinese

learnchineseeveryday

The concept of a daily vocabulary word is not new. There are a plethora of websites that share a Chinese or Japanese character daily. However, Learn Chinese Everyday is one of the few I actually visit fairly regularly.

It has a consistent layout with the character at the top, with 2-3 words that contain the character below the character, and then 2-3 sentences that contain the vocabulary word.

I don’t normally listen to the vocabulary words, but it’s nice that the option to listen to the sentences are there. I like that the sentences have the pinyin on top of the characters, and the other vocabulary is on the side.

AND it’s totally free .

There are also some bloggers on wordpress that have this theme that I also like to look at:
Thinking Thru Languages does one with traditional Chinese characters. He uses bopomofo instead of pinyin, and he also does some words that contain the featured character.

That Japan Addict has a frequent sentence of the day blog. They are good sentences, and useful vocabulary.
 

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The spring semester is finally over! Which means…. summer semester has started. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was taking the program’s hardest class in the spring, and they weren’t kidding! This semester is looking to be really fun, though!

I was on a tangent earlier this week, I found a delicious looking recipe when I tried to use google translate for the ingredients. When it got to the meat part it said “beef peach,” I was like, “uh huh.” and tried to find a beef chart for Japanese. Halfway through translating the Japanese beef chart, I found an alternative one where almost none of the labels were the same as the one I had been using >.< . This being said, I would like to issue a disclaimer: I am not an expert in beef parts, and there are probably many ways of saying the different cuts of beef in all three languages. I have listed the different cuts in the chart below.

English 汉字 拼音 日本語 kana romaji
neck 颈部肉 Jǐng bù ròu ネック nekku
Chuck 脖肉 Bó ròu 肩ロース かたロース Kata rousu
Highrib 上脑 Shàng nǎo リブロース riburousu
sparerib 常骨腹肉 Cháng gǔ fù ròu
Shoulder 肩肉 Jiān ròu かた kata
Point End Brisket 前胸肉 Qián xiōng ròu 肩パラ かたぱら katapara
Navel End Brisket 后胸肉 Hòu xiōng ròu ともパラ tomopara
Shinleg 腱子肉 Jiànzi ròu すね sune
Ribeye 眼肉 Yǎn ròu
Striploin 外脊
Wài jí
セーロイン seiroin
Fillet 里脊 Lǐjí フィレ fuire
Rump 臀肉 Tún ròu ランプ ranpu
Topside 米龙 Mǐ lóng 外もも そともも Soto momo
Thickflank 和尚头 Héshangtóu 内もも うちもも Uchimomo
Silverside 黄瓜条 Huángguā tiáo しんたま shintama

English Cuts

Chinese Cuts

Japanese Cuts

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I JUST discovered this amazing magazine! Apparently It’s been around since the 90s.

Here are the first 30 volumes for free:

http://www.thespectrum.net/features/mangajin/

They show a page of manga (japanese cartoons for those who aren’t familiar with the term.)  Then they spend a page translating the manga page that was shown. There are also cultural tips interspersed throughout the magazine.  I think, in the near future, I’m going to have to track down the entire collection and buy it!

I discovered this magazine series through a tangent that took me to: http://japanese.about.com/ .

Which, today was the first time I have ever been on that website, but it also looks like a great resource for learning Japanese.

Then I tried to go to chinese.about.com, but apparently it doesn’t exist! I was redirected to the http://www.chineseculture.about.com. I didn’t notice that I was redirected, so I was a bit angry that the Japanese.about page gets cool language learning resources, and the Chinese page just gets some lame culture links. (OK, they MIGHT not be totally lame, I didn’t exactly click on anything) I think it’s not right that about has a Japanese language page and not a Chinese language page!  It just occurred to me to check, and there is a french.about.com and a german.about.com.

I’ve always thought that manga is a great way to learn Japanese. When I went to Japan I found a store called ‘Book Off.’ It sells used books for fifty cents to a dollar. I broke three out of four of my suitcases trying to get all of the books I bought back from Japan.

When I was in China, I would sometimes buy Chinese comic books and work my way through them. I think I will have to try to find some online Chinese comics to share on this blog.

So, what do you think of using comics to learn a language? Have you been able to find any online resources?

 

 

 

I think that one of the most important aspects of language learning is simply organizing yourself, and keeping track of the words that have been learned.

I like physical flashcards, but I’m always afraid that I’m going to lose a word! It is also impractical after learning a few hundred words of a foreign language.

I have tried some free online flashcards, but the ones that I like the best are from BKYI.com. BYKI stands for Before You Know It. The flashcard system that they use tests users on several different levels (review, recognize, know, produce, own) it give you the ones that you got wrong more often then the ones you get right. I also find it very motivational that when you clear a level it plays victory music!

The company offers BYKI lite, which is fully functional with 90+ lists, the only feature disabled is the ability to add your own stack of flashcards until you’ve purchased it. I like the premade stacks, because they are organized by topic! It’s a great free product for beginners, and definitely worth it to buy it once you are at an intermediate to advanced level.

I would like to ask how other language learners are keeping track of their words. Do you use an electronic flashcard system? excel spreadsheet? a diary?

There are certain words and phrases that exist in both Chinese and Japanese that are exactly the same. However, for the most part, the characters retain the same English meaning, but are used in widely different situations.

This is the first post on this topic so I would like to propose a cheers!

English Meaning: proposing a toast.

Chinese Simplified: 干杯

Chinese Traditional: 乾杯

Japanese: 乾杯

Pronunciation: Chinese- Gānbēi , Japanese – Kanpai

There are sites out there that will tell you more in detail this ‘cheers’ tradition. However, it is important to note that if you actually say Gānbēi or Kanpai you need to drain your glass dry and then show the other person your empty cup.