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

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Studying Japanese as an Overseas student

In keeping with the spirit of the commemoration of the India-Japan Friendship year, new opportunities are turning up for Indian students wishing to study in Japan. Mrs Noriko Kurihara, Director, Principal of Japan Tokyo International School and Miss Mari Honda, Manager of the said organisation met Japanese language learners at the Sakura Academy, Barasat on 26th April, this year. Noriko Sensei had been running a Japanese language school for the last 24 years. Students after undergoing a two years years course have been doing well in Japan, either as university students or by working in Japanese companies.
She discussed in details with students of Sakura Academy regarding immigration rules and also about prospects of studying in Japan. For those who are interested to study in Japan Noriko Sensei's message is, "Study Japanese till the day you reach Tokyo" .
For further details visit : http://www.nihongo-ac.jp/

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Why does 'WA' suddenly become 'HA'?

Why does 'wa' suddenly become 'ha'? Is that just the way it is? Or is there a reason behind it? The particle “e” (for to go) also changes to "he."

The story behind the wa/ha difference is something along the following lines:

In ancient Japanese, the 'ha' sound used to be very common, but for whatever reason, people dropped the 'ha' sound in favour of the 'wa' sound in many words. (eg 'kawa' used to be pronounced 'kaha' ). The spelling however was not updated to reflect this fact until they finally decided to implement writing reforms about 50 years ago. So now all words are spelled in a logical manner... except for the particles は、へ、を, which still reflect the old pronunciations that nobody uses anymore (why they didn't update them, I don't know).

So basically, 'wa' used to be pronounced as 'ha' and as such it is spelled as 'ha'. The same thing goes for 'e' which used to be pronounced 'he', and 'o' which used to be pronounced 'wo'

Similar reasons exist behind other inconsistant spellings, such as why king is 'ousama' and big is 'ookii', and not 'oosama' or 'oukii'. It's actually a little bit more complicated than that, but that's the gist of it. From my reading it seems that the reason for this is that 'ou' is an on reading and 'ookii' is a native Japanese word. Chinese approximated long vowels go ei and ou, while native Japanese words with elongated vowels are written 'ee' and 'oo'. This is evident with the sentence final 'nee'.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Essential Japanese I

Suppose you are having a physical ailment while staying in Japan, how would you convey it to a doctor?
Here are a list of Japanese vocabulary that you need to learn in time of emergency. Let's first begin with Japanese words for various parts of the body . These are as follows:
  • karada body
  • atama head
  • kami hair
  • kao face
  • me eye
  • hana nose
  • mimi ear
  • kuchi mouth
  • ha teeth
  • shita tongue
  • te hand
  • ashi leg

There are many more......
How will you explain a problem as having a headache to the physician ?

Following are a set of phrases that you need to know if you are to explain your problem in Japanese.

  • Atamaga itai 頭が痛い         Having a headache 
  • Haga itai   歯が痛い           Having a toothache
  • Netsuga aru 熱がある           Having  fever  
  • Shokuyoku ga nai 食欲がない      Loss of appetite
  • Kaze wo hiku   風邪をひく       To catch cold

Many more examples can be sighted, next we will learn about the Japanese names of various diseases-

  • Geri 下痢               Diarrhea
  • Hakike 吐き気            Nausea
  • Hasshin 発疹             Rash
  • Haien 肺炎              Pneumonia

Again a visit to the physician is followed by a number of instructions that we have to pay heed to . Now we will come across Japanese form of such expressions.

  • 口をあけなさい            Please open your mouth
  • 息を 吐きなさい            Please exhale your breath
  • 息を 吸いなさい           Please  inhale
  • 服を脱がせなさい           Please take off one's clothes
  • 後ろを向きなさい            Please turn round