Tuesday, October 12, 2010

日本語 with Nintendo DS: Kanken 3 Deluxe

     One good way to improve your Japanese is by using the Nintendo DS as a learning tool. Here is the one that I've gotten the most benefit from, Kanken DS 3 Deluxe. The game takes you through the different levels of the Japanese Kanji Aptitude Test or Kanken. This takes you through the same path of Kanji learning that an average student in Japan would go through, starting at level 10 (1st grade) and moving all the way up to level 1, which even most Japanese people aren't able pass. I've probably put around 70 hours into the game since I started about 1 month ago and just recently finished level 7 (4th grade). This game has really kept me motivated because I can always see how much I've progressed from when I first started. It always feels good to go from miserably failing at the beginning of a new level to getting a near perfect score after enough reviewing.

     The main feature you will want to use is the challenge, which gives you a 45 or 60 minute time limit to take a quiz exactly like you would see on the actual test. Early in the game you will just be either writing the hiragana for certain words, or be given hiragana and have to write the kanji that would fit in the context. The game has a great Kanji recognition system and you can view the proper stroke order if you miss a question. You can also mark any questions you are unsure of and add them to your My Kanken checklist, and review it later.

     The game is completely in Japanese but most of the menu's and test questions are self explanatory, and here is a walkthrough explaining them and how the game works. The first few levels are fairly easy and cover basic kanji, stroke numbers, and some hiragana and katakana, but once you reach around level 7 the difficulty increases and you will learn more things like antonyms, onyomi and kunyomi, and you really have to go back and review the words you don't know. I wouldn't recommend the game for a complete beginner to Japanese, you should at least have a basic understanding of some of the language and maybe go through Heisig's or kanjidicks method of learning the Kanji first (check out Chi-chan's blog for some good tips on this).

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Nico Moonrunes Part 2

Here's some more words and abbreviations used on nicovideo, continued from my older post.

(gdgd) – An abbreviation for “guda guda” (ぐだぐだ), meaning something is messy or nonsense.
184 – Anonymous
(wktk) – An abbreviation for “wakuteka” (ワクテカ) which is, often ironically, used to express the fact that one “just can’t wait” for something to happen.
Wakotsu (わこつ or 枠乙 or 枠おつ) – Roughly means “Thank you for starting the broadcast,” usually said upon entry.
Upu (うp) – Upload; when you watch a video you can comment うpおつ, that means thanks for uploading.
Totsu Machi (凸待ち) – Waiting for a caller.
Shokunin (職人) – Comment artist.
Dokyun (DQN) – Term used in derogatory context describing individuals and groups with lower educational status. Someone who is lacking common sense or seen as violent/unruly.
Fudanshi (腐男子) - When a male likes yaoi.
Rom (ROM or ロム) – Looking at the broadcast without commenting, “Lurker”.
Niya Niya (2828 or ニヤニヤ) – Grinning/smiling.
Ikemen(イケメン) - Handsome, good looking.
Kotehan (コテハン) - Handle or screen name.
Kopipe (コピペ) – copypasta
Natsu Chuu (夏厨) – Someone who appears in the summer break and makes ridiculous posts.
Kuwashiku (kwsk or 詳しく) – give more detail.
Gaki (ガキ) - kid, brat.
Koe Mane (声真似) – Imitating a famous person’s voice.
Uta Waku (歌枠) – Singing broadcast.
Jichou (自重) – To respect oneself.
Hiwai (ひy or 卑猥) – Something (talk, acting of, etc.) sexual.
Pugyaa (m9 or プギャー) – An image of someone pointing a finger at you, the “9″ is the index finger, the “m” is the rest of the fingers, means “Look at yourself!”.
(KY) – An abbreviation for “kuuki yome” (空気読め), meaning ”read the atmosphere”.
Bouyomi-chan (棒読みちゃん) – Software that helps broadcaster to listen the comments without watching them.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

El Shaddai - 大丈夫だ。問題ない。


     Over the past few weeks nicovideo has been filled with these parodies of this trailer from E3 for El Shaddai. I wasn't really aware of the game until I started seeing these so I decided to see what exactly the game is about. The game is based around the Book of Enoch and follows an angel known by 72 names, but for now it's Enoch. The first thing that stands out is the beautiful art style, and it's being designed by Takeyasu Sawaki who was responsible for the art in Okami and Devil May Cry. The game also will have a mix of gameplay styles, with the majority being third person exploring and battles and the rest being side scrolling sequences. I'm still not completely sold on the game based on the trailer, but it's definitely unique and something different from the typical shootershootershooter games rehashed every year. Even if it turns out horrible at least I've gotten a laugh from all these videos.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Shugo Tokumaru ゆっくりしていってね

     Here's one of my favorite Japanese musicians, Shugo Tokumaru. His music has a real childish feel to it, with simple, whimsical melodies and diverse use of instruments.  This guy is basically a one man band, he plays nearly every instrument you hear on his albums. He writes all of his music by himself, and records and mixes it from his computer. The most amazing thing is all of the sounds he can create, using over 100 instruments, from a traditional acoustic guitar to various kitchen utensils. Most of his lyrics and videos are based on a dream diary he keeps. Take it easy and have a listen.

     One more thing, I've seen some of the posts about the recent decline in postings and I just wanted to say I hope everyone continues. Even though some of you say your blogs are uninteresting, I've found almost everyone's to be worth reading so just relax and post freely.

Fighto! /jp/!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Nico Nico Live ニコニコ生放送

     Still not sure what exactly my main focus on this blog is going to be, I guess just anything Japan/general, maybe some Japanese learning resources. But anyways recently I've been wasting time on Nico Nico Live, the live broadcast service on Nico video. There's a lot of interesting people to be found, such as this guy feeding ojii-san some curry or this trap. I've been using this to improve my Japanese, and following the conversations between the broadcaster and the people commenting has really helped. One thing that can be difficult to understand is some of the internet slang and abbreviations used here, so here's a short list of some of the most common phrases used during broadcasts.
Tsuri (釣り) – Trolling; a calque of “trolling” as a method of fishing.
Shoken (初見 or しょけん) – A first-time viewer to the broadcast or chat.
Jitaku Keibi In (自宅警備員 or JK) – Home Security Guard, a term that hikikomori prefer to call themselves.
Nico Nama Cruise (ニコ生クルーズ) – An official broadcast that runs 24/7 and takes viewers to a random channel in the “凸待ち” category.
Oriru (降りる)- To get off, usually said when someone leaves Nico Nama Cruise to join a broadcast.
Nihongo de OK (日本語でおk) – Only talk in Japanese.
Otsu (おつ or 乙) – abbreviation for “otsukaresama”(お疲れ様), usually said at the end of a broadcast to thank the broadcaster.
8888 or パチパチ or 拍手 – clapping; used to express applause or praise when someone does something well.
Riajyu (リア充) – Someone who is satisfied in real life. Probably the equivalent of "normalfag"
tmt – abbreviation for “tomata” (止まった). Used when the broadcast has unexpectedly stopped.
Wara Wara (www or 笑) – the equivalent to "lol"
Arashi (荒らし) – A troll.
He (ヘ) - An image of a bent arm usually signifying “no.”
Oya Fura (親フラ) – A combination of the words Oya (親) and Flag (フラグ). Used by younger broadcasters when parents enter the room. 
Enchou (延長) - Extension, used by broadcasters  in reserved time slots to add 30 minutes or when voted to extent on Nico Nama Cruise.
Eroipu (エロイプ) – Dirty talk on skype
JK – an abbreviation of Jyoshi Koukousei (女子高校生) High School girl.
JC – An abbreviation of  Jyoshi Chuugakusei (女子中学生) Middle School girl. 
Nuko (ぬこ) – Another way of saying cat.
Nushi (主) – The broadcaster. 
Pizza (ピザ) – they say “pizza” to call someone fat.

Might add some more later if anyone's interested.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It can't be helped.

    So how was everyone's day? Taking it easy? Today was my dreaded weekly venture outside of the house. I woke up around 3pm, went to my only on campus class a few hours later. Turns out we have to do a ten minute presentation in a few weeks, definitely taking all online next semester. After that I went to the store and finally picked up Deathsmiles, they actually had the limited edition in stock so I've got a nice loli faceplate for my 360.  Now I'm just playing trying to 1CC with everyone. I'm usually shitty at shmups but so far it's been pretty easy.. Also, Casper is delicious.

Have some Louise クンカクンカ

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vocaloid -The Golden Dancer 黄金の踊り子

Here's an original Vocaloid song covered by this masked gentleman, who I think really brings the song to life. It's about a dancing slave girl in Egypt. Not sure how this nicovideo embed thing works. You may have to have an account, sometimes it takes a while to load..

Oh man that voice... that guitar slappin'...

And here is the original song with english translation.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

チューチューロケット! ChuChu Rocket!

So here's some Chu-Chu Rocket ¥2800 安い!


Friday, September 24, 2010

しりとり Shiritori

One day on the train, I overheard a child next to me having a
conversation with his mother. He said to her, "oka -
san, shiritori
shiyo -
(Mom, let's do "shiritori"!) and, I wondered, "What?
'shiri (one's back side) and tori (take).' Butt-grabbing!?"
As I was trying to guess what this meant, the child said, "usagi
(rabbit)." Then, the mother said, "gi...ginkou (bank)." Then, the child
said, "uchi (house)," and the mother said, "chi...chi... chizu (map),"
and so on. They kept doing it until
the train stopped at the next
station. I wondered what they were doing.

shiritori is a Japanese word game in which players
must say a word beginning with the last sound of the
previous word, for example, "u-sa-gi → gi-n-ko-u → uchi
→ chi-zu...." The first player to say a word ending
with "N" loses the game. For example, "su-i-ka
(watermelon) → ka-gi (key) → ki-ri-n (giraffe)."
(In the first example, ginko - is pronounced ginkou in
Japanese. Therefore, the last syllable is "u.")