开源节流 an interesting Chinese idiom I came across this morning.
Kāiyuánjiéliú – Open (income) sources and reduce expenditures.

When I used google translate for the Japanese equivalent of 开源节流, I came across コスト削減.

コストさくげん – Kosuto sakugen – which is not an idiom. More like a phrase that means cost reduction. Which, if you read the post I reblogged, is really what his post was about anyway.

Japanese picture that confirms the phrase コスト削減
Japanese picture that confirms the phrase コスト削減
What are some budgeting idioms or phrases you’ve come across while learning languages?

Finance 4 U and Me

Hi all,

Its the first time I’m posting on my personal finance blog. I grew up with a strong insurance background and got myself certified as with Capital Markets and Financial Advisory Services (CMFAS) Module 5 (Rules and Regulations for Financial Advisory Service) and Module 9 (Life Insurance and Investment-linked Policies), as well as a Certificate in Health Insurance. However, I have not worked as an insurance agent before.

I’ve feel that i’m quite late in terms personal finance, especially in  terms of investing. I’ve read a lot of blogs on investments and I think I should try to pen down some of my personal finance thoughts into a blog. Its also a way for me to improve my writing skills as well. 🙂

Topic for my first post for this blog will be about 开源节流 (broaden sources of income and reduce expenditure)

开源节流 (Broadening income sources and reducing expenditure)

The Chinese idiom 开源节流 translated into…

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I am just way too busy this semester to participate, but I’m planning on participating in the one in *August. I have unread Japanese Harry Potter books just laying around my house that are begging to be read!

Good luck every one that IS participating this round!

*I originally said September, but it turns out that the next one is in August.

Read More or Die

The contest is now fully underway globally (ok, I may be close to a day late). I just want to wish all you the participants good luck achieving your reading goals for this month!

P.S.: I’m working on some small changes so if the sever goes down, thats whats going on. I’ll let you guys know what they were when I finish 🙂

P.P.S: I don’t want to have to erase any zeroes this round so everybody read!

P.P.P.S : everyone is invited to join us in our irc channel #ajatt on

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I was just browsing wordpress’ Japanese section when I came across a post about how the download had been fixed for this game.

(I’m copying and pasting the following paragraph from the site

Outlandish Move is a free visual novel written for Japanese students of English. The players character takes an unexpected journey in which they are forced to use English, in many ways their survival depends on it. With twenty possible outcomes, the story will flow based on the decisions of the player.

After clicking on a few links, I was able to actually find the download page:

All I had to do was download it, and unzip it!

It’s focus is an English learning game, but so far the majority of it is in Japanese. Since there are only one our two sentences at a time, it is not frustrating if you have to translate it.The sentences are basic enough that if you’ve studied Japanese for a little bit it will probably be mostly a review.

All you have to do is press the Enter key after you have read text, and the story will go on. When you have a choice a few different red buttons as options to click. If you choose wrong the characters will tell you why you are wrong, but then keep on going. I have to admit it’s been fun clicking on the wrong English phrases.

According to the blog, there are 20 different outcomes. I think the characters actually speak, and there is background music. However, I have only played it on mute so far.

I have to admit that one of the reasons that I want to start a language learning website is because I keep hearing about really cool Japanese learning English games! I think it is only fair that other languages get fun games too!


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

Here are the first 30 volumes for free:

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: .

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, but apparently it doesn’t exist! I was redirected to the 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 and a

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?




It has been my goal since getting home from China almost two years ago to develop language learning games. It has now gotten to the point that I have learned enough computer languages that I feel more comfortable in creating games for consumption by the public.

I have actually made two games, within the span of two weeks, in late January. After starting this blog, I was feeling guilty saying that I want to develop language learning games, but have not actually produced anything. The first game is a ‘one of these things is not like the other’ game – you have to find the one 汉字 that is not like the others in the grid. The other game is a matching game, which takes advantage of html5 drag and drop elements.

I am also taking an Iphone App development course right now!

My goal is to form an LLC, publish a website with some games, and publish some apps by the end of this summer. I am hoping that by starting with simple games, the business can build a good reputation.

Right now, it’s frustrating because the strategy and implementation is mostly still in my head. I will also not be able to make much progress until I finish this semester. I am taking the supposedly hardest class of my program, Distributed Information Systems, at the moment.



I’m behind the times on this one. I just tried to go onto Translationzilla for the purpose of writing this blog entry, they had a pretty fun game for learning Chinese and Japanese. However, when I went to go to their website just now, I saw the message that they’ve decided to close.

I’ve known about it for a year, and I was just on it last month.

This blog describes in detail Translationzilla in its glory days.

One one hand, I was always a bit skeptical of people paying for their service since the game was fully functional for free. On the other hand, I was hoping this would inspire others to  make other games that were also fun. I believe there needs to be MORE games for language learners. It shouldn’t just be flashcards and pod casts.

Here is another word that is practically the same in Chinese and Japanese:

Simplified Chinese: 可爱 Kě’ài (keh-eye)

Tradistional Chinese: 可愛 Kě’ài (keh-eye)

Japanese: 可愛い kawaii (kah-why-E)

可 is a very common hanzi used in Chinese, it means ‘able to/can’ so cute is ‘can love’

好可爱! Hǎo kě’ài! (How-keh-eye)  = very cute in Chinese

很可爱!Hěn kě’ài (hen-keh-eye) = very cute in Chinese

可愛いすぎる! kawaiisugiru (kah-why-E-sue-gi (like the taekwando uniform) – ruh) = too cute! – In Japanese.