Seeing as how I’ve been neglecting this blog again for almost a month, I thought I’d just write a few words about what’s going on besides all the neglecting I’ve been doing.
New Updates to the Grammar Guide
In addition to the usual tweaks and fixes, I finally spent some time working on new sections of the grammar guide. Writing this blog helped because I was able to copy parts from my old posts and mold them together with some new stuff.
First, I put together a section about how things are defined or described with 「いう」, a topic I discussed before in several posts. This is a topic I consider to be indispensable for mastering intermediate Japanese.
I also finally finished the first draft of the slang section (about a year late), describing some patterns and general principles of slang in Japanese. I intend to add more material in the future but I’m fairly happy with how it turned out so far, particularly the section about the lack of sentence order.
So do check them out and as always, I welcome any corrections or suggestions.
I tried installing Linux… and failed miserably
I installed Xubuntu and managed to get MP3s to work after hours of googling, experimenting, and bargaining with the devil. Then I uninstalled it after I discovered I could not see the transcripts for my chinesepod mp3s with Amarok. The lyrics button turned out to be a online search for lyrics instead. Lame.
Then I went on vacation
I also took a week off to visit the ol’ USA for the first time in over three years. I was mostly surprised at how little things have changed but it still seemed strange to be back after so long. Some things I noticed:
1. I had forgotten how large the portions of food are. I immediately regained the pot belly I was slowly trying to get rid of. No appetizers or dessert for me, thanks.
2. Even in a large bustling city, things seemed a bit barren and empty. Of course, that’s probably just my bias from living in the most crowded city in the world.
3. Surprisingly, eating out costs just as much or more than Japan. The price just looks cheaper ($5 vs 600円)
4. I hate tipping. Americans are supposed to be so bad at math and yet we’re supposed to multiply the bill by 1.15 in our heads every time we eat out. How does this tradition continue to persist?
5. Service was a lot better than I remembered and when friendly, it was much more sincere than the robot-like, manual-driven politeness in Japan. I think I was just mentally scarred from my time in New York.
Also, I just slacked off
I took the opportunity of being in the states to buy the controversial “GTA: San Andreas” game for $15. (It costs over 5000円 at an import game store here.) Any updates from me in the near future are now highly unlikely.
And I ran out of stuff to write about
Actually, I’ll never run out of stuff to write about when it comes to Japanese but I’m looking at my huge list of unfinished drafts and for some reason, I just don’t feel like finishing any of them, either because it’s too much work or I’m just not excited about the topic. So if you have an interesting topic regarding Japanese you’d like to suggest, please let me know in the comments. Here are a few guidelines for interesting Japanese topics.
1. Don’t suggest things that can be learned by looking at a dictionary and some examples sentences. Examples include topics like, “What does 「に関して」 mean?” or “How do you use 「～限り」?”
2. No lists. I hate lists because you never remember them anyway, especially vocabulary lists. For example, “Can you make a list of the most common giongo and gitaigo?” I could but it would be boring and useless.
3. Don’t worry. Be happy. o(^O^)o