Tag Archives: Japanese Language

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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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.

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?




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 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?

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.