About Us

Hello Everybody!!
We are Anindya & Pratyay, Japanese Language teachers and translators. Presently we are teaching at a Japanese Language Learning Centre in our hometown, Kolkata-India.

The most interesting part of language learning is experiencing another culture. For, Language does not exist apart from culture, that is, the socially inherited assemblage of practices and beliefs that determines the texture of our life. The study of Japanese language offers unique insights into Japan’s fascinating national culture, which boasts a rich heritage in the fields of native craftsmanship, performance art, visual art, music, film and graphic design. Anyone who can see and feel the beauty of the Japanese Language and culture can improve her/his cultural understanding and international awareness. It also helps one to gain an enhanced perspective of one’s own language and culture.

Through this Blog we would like to offer and share our knowledge and exchange our views & ideas with you all on Japanese language and culture. Let’s expand our possibilities both professionally and personally by learning Japanese.

If you have any query regarding translation or interpretation from Japanese to English or vice versa,
please feel free to contact us.....
letter2anindya@gmail.com or pratyajayaditya@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Best Kanji Dictionary Software for PC?

A good dictionary is absolutely indispensable for learning Japanese language. Whether you are a beginner or your Japanese is at a pretty good level, you must have a standard dictionary at hand. Nowadays many of the famous dictionaries are available in soft form. And you will find that these commercial software dictionaries are cheaper than their book counterparts. Although most of these dictionaries are originally meant for Handheld of Palmtop machines, they are supported through software readers on a wide variety of platforms as well. The power of the electronic dictionary is its instant look-up and ability to accept copied text from computer sources. Kanji is the single hardest part of Japanese to learn. Having to look up kanji in a book dictionary is a pain. By copying and pasting from electronic texts, or using handwriting recognition, we avoid that pain. So, if you are seriously going to study Japanese I strongly urge you to get a Japanese-English Character dictionary software. There is some information on Japanese Dictionaries for translators of Japanese. Hope it would be beneficial.

JWPce is an excellent piece of software created by Glenn Rosenthal. It is probably the most widely used free dictionary software. JWPC is actually meant to be a word processor, but it has a dictionary built in (powered by edict). Although it is built for Windows CE, it can be used on a regular PC too. One of the interesting things about this particular dictionary software is that it supports multiple dictionaries. There's the basic dictionary which covers most words (EDICT). Then there are extra dictionaries for example the medical terms dictionary or the computer terms dictionary. Arguably one of the most useful is the Places and Names dictionary. It's very hard to learn a new language and not be able to tell what is a place or what is a name and how to pronounce them. However, the EDICT dictionary that JWPCE uses is not the greatest dictionary. It has no example sentences and when you are searching English to Japanese you often get too many definitions. It is released for free under the GNU Public Licence. The most recent version is 1.50.


Eijiro is a more comprehensive Japanese-English dictionary than JWPCE. It is a cheap dictionary with a huge amount of entries. In many ways it is the perfect dictionary to complement edict. The dictionary data in Eijiro comes from EDP. Eijiro is actually a suite of dictionaries--the two main ones are Eijiro, which has 1.66 million English-to-Japanese entries, and Waeijiro, which has 1.94 million Japanese-to-English entries (as of ver. 116, June 17, 2008). Eijiro also includes separate dictionaries of example sentences, abbreviations, and acronyms. It was made and continues to be updated by a society for professional translators; as such, it's especially rich in difficult and obscure terms, colloquial expressions, and technical terms. It is free to use online at http://www.alc.co.jp/. You will find here many amusing entries and colloquialisms not found in commercial dictionaries. Eijiro is made for translators, so it assumes you already know basic vocabulary. Sometimes if you search for a fairly basic word, you won't find it--in that case, look in Edict. To use the Eijiro on a desktop/Laptop you need to have a PDA reader software such as Personal Dictionary (PDIC). PDIC is the default dictionary reader for Eijiro.

I find the electronic version of the Kenkyusha dictionary the most useful one. Kenkyusha has a reputation of being the most comprehensive English-Japanese dictionaries around. Like Eijiro, they are basically for native Japanese speaker, but they are equally handy for English speaking Japanese learners.
The middle-size versions of the Kenkyusha dictionaries are free to use here: http://kod.kenkyusha.co.jp/demo/form.jsp

It is a Japanese-Japanese dictionary. The Koujien dictionary is for Japanese people to lookup Japanese words. As such there is little to no English in it. So, for most students they probably don't need the Koujien dictionary in their initial years. But, at some point in your later studies you should probably start using a Japanese dictionary. You can also buy it in book form.

This is actually an all free reading program. It is available for Windows only. It has been in short development with no update since the end of 2006, but is still workable enough. What this program will let you do is copy a passage of Japanese text into it and have furigana as well as the English meaning of words written in between the lines. You will be able to make sense of long passages extremely quickly this way and find the sections which are relevant. At the bottom of the text processing area (not the toolbar above) there is a button marked “Dictionary”. Click on this and the currently positioned word will have its dictionary search displayed in full. You can also search here in Japanese and English, it will even accept conjugated typed words. The best part of the dictionary is that some of the words will have example sentences (check the “Examples” button below the dictionary area). This is incredibly useful for understanding new word usage. Wakan uses the free “edict” dictionary by Jim Breen of Monash University for its translations.


JISHOP is yet another Windows based dictionary software designed by Vadim Smolensky. It presently includes around 4300 entries and has a plan to increase it to 6355 single kanji from the computer set JIS X 0208-1990. It boasts about its original look-up system which indeed is quite attractive and useful. Its unique features include kanji drill, search by traditional keys, magnifying kanji, codes, indexes and keys. JISHOP also contains a phonetic dictionary. It stores jukugo (compound words) used in kanji dictionary entries, to illustrate the usage of characters. The phonetic dictionary can be also used independently to find compounds by their kanji writing, reading or meaning. JISHOP database amalgamate the best of Japanese-English lexicography. Numerous paper sources and resources from the Internet were used to fill it up. The main emphasis of dictionary entries is on the actual practical usage of kanji in modern Japanese. If you are serious about learning kanji, this program is invaluable.

As for me, Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary (新和英大辞典version) is the best. Which one is your favorite?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Nihongo Chuukyuu II: Audio


Nihongo Chuukyuu II: This is the Audio version of the Japanese Language text book, “ú–{Œê’†‹‰“ñ, Published by Bonjinsha. It was recorded by Mr. Hideaki Ueno, Our Japanese Language teacher at Jadavpur University. The sound quality is quite poor, a lot of background noise is there, and editing is also not so great. But I think it would be helpful for those who wish to read the book on their own.
Please download and unrar the files:
[A simple thank is enough]

Thursday, October 9, 2008

How to use the Japanese Input Method Editor?

After you have installed the IME you should see this Icon in the task bar

Or alternatively, you'll see the floating Language Bar somewhere on your screen like this:

It's where you can choose Japanese or English input modes. Click on "EN" and you should be able to pick "Japanese".

The Language bar will change to this:

Right click it and pick "Minimize"

It should go into the taskbar like this:

Or like this:

You can switch between Japanese and English input modes by clicking the JP/EN button.

You can also pick "Show the Language bar" to get the big version back

Entering Japanese:
Note that the language settings are PER PROGRAM!! That means if you are in English, run two programs, in one program we go to the language bar and pick Japanese when you switch back to the other program it would still be in English input mode. Another thing, unless some program is active that accepts text input some of the settings will not be available. So, if this has not worked make sure that a Unicode enabled text box has the input focus - that is it is ready to be typed into (i.e. the cursor is active and flashing in the text box).]
Now, the most basic thing you need to know. The 4th button in the language bar switches between several different sub input modes

They are in order from top to bottom, Hiragana, Full Width Katakana, Full Width English, Half Width Katakana, Half Width English, Direct Input.
The only 2 you really care about are Hiragana and Direct Input. Direct Input is English (by default). You type, you get English just like Windows was before you did all this stuff. Set it to Hiragana and you can type romanji like "toru" and you'll see とる instead. Also notice the sequence is underlined with a dashed line. This means that the sequence is active for conversion to kanji and the Input Method Editor (IME), the thing that does this is waiting for the user to decide what he/she wants to do with those characters. If you press ENTER they will be entered as is, If you press space once the IME will turn them into the most common thing they could be OR the last thing you told it to change them too. Press space again and you'll get a list of things it could be. For example on the second press you can get this for とる

The left window is a list of all the things the IME thinks it could change とる into. Use the cursor keys to select one. Generally the last thing on the list is katakana, in this case トル, that's why you never need to use the special Katakana input modes since you can just press space twice to get there. Also the list wraps so if you are at the top, press the up key and you'll go to the bottom. Plus, if you type something that would normally be katakana like てれび on the first space press it will become the most common thing which is テレビ.
On the right window are all the various homonym definitions for toru with examples. The first one for example is 取る as in to take a note, take a fee. The 3rd one is 撮る as in take a picture. Very useful, even many Japanese often forget which one is correct, especially the less common ones.
Once you have what you want press ENTER to complete it.
TIP: switching between Hiragana input mode and Direct Input mode through the language bar is tedious. Instead you can switch by pressing Alt-Tilde. So, need to type Japanese, press Alt-Tilde, start typing. When you are done press Alt-Tilde again to switch back to English.

A more complex example:
Let's say you want to enter 今締める so you type いましめる. When you press space you'll get this 戒める. Pressing space again will not give you the completion you want. That's because the IME is trying to make a word out of all 5 characters. To tell it to use less, hold shift and press the left arrow. Each time you do less of characters will be highlighted. Press it 3 times until you get this いましめる then press space again. This time the IME will only look up the first two characters. Most likely this time it will become this 今 しめる. Notice the gap between 今 and しめる. This means the IME is considering those two words separately. Also the underline under 今 is thicker than the one under しめる indicating that 今 is the current thing the IME is concentrating on. To complete the second word, press the right arrow. The underline under しめる will get thicker and you can press space to complete it and choose 締める.

English shortcut:
Sometimes you want to enter one English word in the middle of a Japanese sentence. Instead of switching to Direct Input mode you can just type and ignore what you see on the screen. For example type "handwritten" and you'll get "はんdwりってn" but then press F8 to convert it to half-width English and you'll get "handwritten". Keep pressing F8 and it will cycle through all uppercase, all lowercase, etc. Press F9 and you'll get full width English. Note that you can't press space since that would start completion so this is only useful for entering single words at a time.

Handwritten kanji input: the IME Pad
From the language bar click the 6th button (IME パッド). The IME Pad button will bring up a list of other ways to enter stuff which includes a soft-keyboard that allows direct input of hiragana and katakana. The top one is handwriting.

Once you pick it you'll get this window

You can use your mouse or a pen if you have one to enter kanji. I've highlighted the most important buttons. The 2 on the right: "Undo stroke" backs up one stroke. "Erase" clears the writing area.
The ones on the left are just shortcuts for the options that were on the menu that brought you here. The most interesting are probably "by stroke count" which lets you lookup kanji by number of strokes and "by part" which lets you look them up by a particular part. They should be pretty obvious. In all of them the area on the right shows possible kanji. Click one to enter it in the IME. Press enter to add it to your document.
Again, it's important to remember these modes are PER PROGRAM. If you are in one program and select handwritten mode if you switch to a different program you will no longer be in handwritten mode.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


私は映画を見ることがすきです。 外国の映画のなかでとくに日本のえいが大好きです。映画かんとくとしてくろさわかんとくのなまえは 世界じゅうにしられているのです。私は映画祭のおかげでいくつかの映画をみたことがあります。
くろさわさんのえいがの 中で 侍がよくわだいになっています。 この世名映画を見ながら昔の日本がのぞけます。くろさわさんのおわりごろに作られた映画もたいへん面白かったと思ういます。

千九百五十一年にベニスでくろさわさんの「ろしょうもん、」という映画からベニス映画祭でガーランドピーリークス(Grand Prix) をえたのです。私は映画祭で見たくろさわの映画の中で「生きる」が一番好きです。「生きる」のじゅじんこうはがんにかかってもかんしみやくるしみをものともせずにたにんの事をだいぃにして自分のきむをはたしました。くろさわかんとくにつくられた映画それぞれとくちょうがあると思ういます。すべての人間の忍苦をしめしています。くろさわかんとくのに思い出に感謝を伝えながらこの作文を終わらせたいと思ういます。

Installing Microsoft's Japanese IME for windows XP

日本 のIME

What is an IME:

The IME (Input Management Editor) is a Windows add-on provided by Microsoft that allows users of English (and other) versions of Windows to type complex East Asian scripts. The IME and the East Asian fonts are provided as standard as part of these operating systems. They are however not installed by default.

How to install:

Here are instructions for installing the IME under Windows XP.
(Users of Windows XP do not need to download the IME - it comes on the XP installation CD and just need to be manually installed.)

To install the Japanese IME, start by opening the Control Panel (Click the "Start Menu" and chose the "Control Panel"). Then click the "Regional and Language Options" icon.

You should then see the "Regional and Language Options" dialog box as shown below.
Go to the “Languages” tab.

Two things need to be done here:
1. Click on the "Install files for East Asian Languages" check box under “Supplemental Language Support”. (This ensures that the correct fonts are installed).
2. Then click the "Details" button. You should then see the "Text Services and Input Languages" dialog box.

In "Text Services and Input Languages" dialog box we need to add the Japanese IME and the Japanese Keyboard components under the “Installed services”.
Click the "Add..." button.

You should now see the "Add Input Language" dialog box.
Chose "Japanese" in the "Input language" combo box as illustrated below.

Then, in the "Keyboard layout/IME" combo box and chose "Microsoft IME Standard 2002 ver. 8.1".

Finally click the "OK" button.
You should end up with a "Japanese" entry under "Installed Services".Be sure that there is also a keyboard entry under "Japanese" and that it is the "Microsoft IME Standard 2002 ver. 8.1" and NOT just Japanese".

Finally click the "OK" button.
You may be asked to put your Windows XP CD-ROM in the CD drive so that the relevant files can be copied across to your hard drive. NOTE: You cannot install the IME without the CD
That's it. After rebooting you should now see the IME icon in your task bar

That has a Japanese option when it is clicked... like this..

Translation Sevices & Our Time

In an era of globalisation and international exchanges between nations the role of translation, interpretation has become one of the prime necessities of our life. With more and more people emigrating or temporarily settling from one part of the globe to another, this need for communication has increased. Though English is spoken or at least understood in many places all over the world, there are countries where people who are not still conversant with the said language. For instance, in some African countries like Algeria, which are earst while French colonies, French is more appreciated than English. Hence to initiate business in such places one needs the help of language experts. Similar is the situation in South East Asia. Thus ours is the time of polyglots or multilingual persons. We hope with the advancement of business and technology in India, more opportunities will flourish in the mentioned field.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Haiku Workshop 2007

JLPT Level III Grammar

Seven Samurai

This is a compilation of useful grammatical points.
Simply download and unzip the file. We would appreciate your comments an suggestions.

Women talk more than men, true

Do women talk more than men? Proverbs and sayings in many languages express the view that women are always talking. There is an English proverb that says:
Women’s tongues are like lambs’ tails – they are never still
Women say it’s just a rumor. Women don't talk more than men. But I find women definitely talk a lot more than men. I really don't think it has anything to do with bias. Women are just more communicative.
While women talk, men are silent patient listeners. For example, in our family my father usually listens to my mother more. When she is talking he lets her do all the talking and then says few words about what he think about the subject. I think that same is true in many other families also. Men always listen to what women will say and women do all the talking.
And now, it is scientifically proved also. According to a female researcher, women speak 20,000 words per day on an average, while men speak only 7,000 words per day. Not only do women talk three times more than men, they like the sound of their own voice.
Now, the question is why women are more talkative than men? I think it’s just their nature, they can’t change it. There is a Japanese proverb that says:
Where there are women and geese there’s noise.
Women simply cannot keep their mouth shut. Psychiatrists suggest that women have a different brain structure than men. They speak more quickly and devote more brainpower to conversation. they only talk more than men because they are more expressive than men. I guess women have deeper feelings (not always though) and they tend to express their feelings more than men. They are more open, more emotional and have fun talking. And they could manage it efficiently because they can do more than one things at the same time. Women can chat in the phone while they are ironing or cooking or watching television. Men can't do two things at the same time.
But what on earth they talk about all the time? I think talkative women are basically saying nothing when they speak. They talk a lot about unimportant things most of the time or talk we are not particularly interested in hearing. They talking all the time about another people and there's an infinite number of people to talk about. They get a relief talking about their problems or other things. Most of my female friends go on talking about nothing for hours if you give them a chance. If you tell your girlfriend or wife something that she shouldn’t tell anybody, she will definitely tell it to her friends, who will promptly distribute it to the whole planet.
Yet men prefer women who talk a lot and carry on the conversation even if it is not really the most enlightening or interesting one. After all, if women didn't talk, this world would be such a quiet, boring place!

Keep on talking ladies!

Japanese Stories: Tenguno Kakuremino & Ishino Koyashi

Source: Ruma Sensei