September’s Japan Matusri is here (finally)!


For my portion, let’s quickly discuss the phrase I just used to give you an idea of how Japanese grammar is like onion filled with layers of teary-eyed, nutritious, and flavorful goodness. The phrase 「お待ちかね」 is used to express something that you’ve been waiting for a long time. The first grammar here is the use of 「かねる」 attached to the stem of the verb. You can read more about it here but it’s used when you can’t do something. So if you can do it, you have to actually use the negative 「かねない」 in a weird and confusing double negative fashion. So 「待ちかねる」 means you can’t wait for it. Now, you just drop the 「る」 off the verb 「かねる」 for the verb stem and make it a noun. Finally, all you need for the cherry on top is the honorific 「お」 to give it that special and oh-so-tasty honorific flavor. And there you have it! Your long awaited September Matsuri.


No time for commentaries so I’ll just give you the links and add them later!
Update: My smart-alec commentaries are up.

Peter wrote about Reading Japanese for Fun.
Hey Peter, for Rule 0, there’s another grammar resource out there that I think might be useful. (Hint: look at the address bar in your browser)

Glowing Face Man wrote about conditionals in English and Japanese and some stuff about Buddhism.
Some of the Japanese examples are a bit awkward but it’s still interesting to think of conditionals in English being more than just using the word “if”. As for the second post, a lot of very interesting stuff there. In my opinion, Japanese HAS a future tense and the present tense is very often misunderstood. Good luck with Chinese, it’s a real pain in the ass!

Shane wrote about handy kanji for travelers.
Might wanna mention that 人 can be deceptively similar to 入 for those unfamiliar with Kanji!

Liv wrote about the daily struggles of trying to learn the seemingly impenetrable language of the country you live in.
I can speak Japanese but I still pretended I couldn’t when the NHK guy came knocking by.
Girlfriend: “Hey Hunny, it’s the NHK guy.”
Me: “Just tell him we have no idea what he’s saying.”

Andrew wrote about Heisig’s Remembering the Kanji (ugh).
Andrew, you get a Tae Kim “ugh” (TM) for sending me the link while knowing Heisig and I are mortal enemies.
But seriously, I agree with component analysis and imaginative memory though not necessary the way Heisig recommends. I still hate flash cards with a passion and don’t recall Heisig ever mentioning them either.

Tony wrote about the changes in Japanese recently.
What, you don’t like words like カンニング, Tony? All we have to do is recycle the Japanese version back into English like “Pokemon” in a vicious cycle! Yeah! Did you cunning on the test, Billy?

Nick wrote about foreign names in Japanese.
Hey Nick, at least you didn’t have to deal with a Korean name converted to English converted to Japanese!

Jamaipanese wrote a entry called Learning Japanese is complicated but not difficult.
Whatever works man… whatever works.

Mizuumi wrote a bilingual Polish/English entry on techniques for learning Kanji.
When I can’t remember a kanji for the 100th time, I do a dance of rage and frustration. I don’t know if it helps.

Ken wrote about poorly-understood job titles.
What the hell does a fellow do? I don’t understand the English!

Deas wrote about “PC” in Japan.
I move to create a new word for wives that go out all the time and spend all your money: 家外, ironically the same reading as 加害. What? Not “PC” enough?

Thanks everybody for the great submissions!

Deas at Rocking in Hakata is apparently hosting next month’s Matsuri.

26 thoughts on “September’s Japan Matusri is here (finally)!

  1. The link for Poorly Understood Job Titles doesn’t work, but that’s due to a problem on his end. It loads the page banner and a Google ad and that’s it.

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  3. Great list! I enjoyed reading them all, especially the first link, “Reading Japanese for fun”.

    Liv and Shane’s links are the same, though…

  4. Is it really necessary to throw in an (ugh) when a post about Heisig pops up? If you don’t like Heisig, that’s fine. But I don’t understand why people have to express their disapproval every time his name pops up. It’s like that guy that comes into the forum thread about Heisig just to say “Heisig is a waste of time.” Get over it already.

  5. Thank you for posting my link, Tae, and for organizing the whole thing this month. I can’t wait to go through the posts!

  6. … the Kanji (ugh).” 爆!!

    それに役に立つ文法も入っている! 有難う!

  7. 爆発じゃなくて爆笑だよ! ^_^


    爆 【ばく】 (int) exclamation; burst of laughter

    だからLOLは日本語で[爆!]と思った。taekk さんは間違いと思いますか?

  8. あ、そう。いや、多分いいんだ。俺、インターネットの言葉にあんまり詳しくないもんで・・・。

  9. Some good stuff there.

    A “fellow”, incidentally, is (in the context of job titles) a type of university professor. The exact details of what separates a fellow from any other professor vary from school to school. In general, colleges have a number of job titles you don’t see in the business world: Fellow, Dean, Provost, Controller, Resident Advisor, …

  10. (爆) sounds イタい and オタク臭い for me.
    I think this feeling is shared by a certain generation and group.
    About ten years ago, there was a famous content in the site, Coyote, which satires Otakus’ clothes and behaviors. It was named オタク専門学校(a.k.a.オタ専) and
    (爆) was one of the targets in her satires.

  11. Thanks for hosting this! I really wanted to write for it, but ran short on time. But the entries you got are really good.

  12. The guy who said he had so much trouble with his foreign name in Japan doesn’t make any sense to me, unless he can’t read????!!!

    I never had trouble and I never had to open up a dozen bank accounts because I did it wrong that many times.

    If you didn’t know…most Japanese people go by their last name. So, it’s strange to me that you could not write your last name first, your first name next and your middle name last.

    However, one rule of thumb for a person with an English name, when the application, or whatever it is, that you’re filling out does not specify the place where you write your first name, middle name and last name, and has one long box for you to put your name in; just write your full name as you would in English. That goes: first name, middle name and then last name and put dots in between to distinguish where each name ends and the next begins.

    Also, when in doubt, please ask the bank teller, or store attendant, or whoever it is that is giving you the application!!!! They will kindly tell you what to do. Don’t be shy!!

    As a foreigner, you will feel like an idiot most of the time anyways, so JUST ASK!!!

  13. It’s definitely confusing because most forms ask for only your last and first name in kanji and kana.

    So people with names that have no kanji and with a middle names are apt to be confused.

    I was additionally confused because I had kanji I could technically use but wasn’t sure because it wasn’t part of any official US paperwork like my passport.

    The key I think is to just stick with your passport and be as consistent as possible.

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