Learn Kansai-ben from Daichen

Learn Kansaiben the Daichen style! (チンピラ?)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWMqdmXSeS0

In order to, “add value,” I have provided the Japanese text of the Kansai-ben.

Starting from 0:41 in the video

だまれってゆっとるやろが!
ああ?われら何様のつもりや
大人なめとったら痛い目あうぞ
あぁ!ほんましばくぞ、われ。ほっんとに!
Other guy: やめてください。落ち着いて下さい。
おい、今なんの時間や
おい、質問聞いとんねや
答えろや
今なんの時間や?遊びの時間か?
ちゃうやろ、英語の時間じゃ
英語の時間なにするんや?英語勉強するんや
ったく、ほんまに。
おい、そこの三人
われら三人が一番うるさかったんや
ちょっとケジメ付け
これでケジメ付けろや
これでな、わしの目の前でな、指つめ
(eating – おいしいですね)

If anyone want’s to do a hiragana only or romaji version feel free to throw it in the comments.

Here is another quick Daichen video introducing AKAN.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOQA5-EUpTc&NR=1

If you love Kansai-ben, be sure to check out our Kansai-ben teaching iPhone App.

You might also like these other Kansai-ben related posts!

Tottara Akan Yo! Song.

Kansai-ben Converter – convert your standard Japanese into Kansai-ben!

Kansai-ben Speaking Vending Machine

Mameshima, the Kansai-ben speaking Bean

Kansai-ben Lesson 1 from yours truly.

There are more Kansai-ben related things on this blog, just hit the search.

– Harvey

Don't mess with Daichen.

An Interview with an upcoming JET CIR

Hello JapanNewbies! Today we’ve got another interview for you. A “getting to Japan” success story if you will. Akeem has been accepted to work in Japan as a CIR in the JET program and will be arriving in Japan on July 27th. Which is like, tomorrow, pretty much.

Akeem first contacted me long ago, in JUNE 2008(!!!) when the possibility of working in Japan was just an idea he had. Through a lot of hard work he has finally worked it out and he’s heading for Japan. That’s two years man! If this isn’t proof that persistence pays off, or something, I don’t know what is.

Heading for Japan

I hope this interview serves as an inspiration to those who want to work in Japan some day, and also as sort of a roadmap for people who want to know the possible avenues they should consider to make it to Japan. Here we go!

Thanks Akeem. So to start off, could you tell us when your interest in Japan started, and specifically when you started seriously considering moving to Japan to work full time?

My interest in Japan started when I was young. I used to watch this funny TV show that taught you how to count in Japanese in song form. In high school I got addicted to Japanese music and anime. It was only until I got into college that I could take formal classes. I applied to be an exchange student and Keio University and was accepted. That year changed my life. Since returning from Japan in 2006, I’ve been trying to get back. While holding down a corporate desk job.

Your story is surprisingly like mine! I started studying in high school, got hooked on anime and Japanese music, and studied abroad at Nanzan University in Nagoya… that year changed my life as well.

Was the exchange program you went on part of a larger program? Or simply a school provided opportunity?

The exchange to Keio was part of an exchange program through my university. If you are at the University of Washington, please visit this site about the exchange program to learn more.

Moving on, what was the most difficult aspect of making the final decision to move to Japan for you?

Since I’m following my dreams, the decision was not so difficult. Perhaps the logistics are the most concerning part. Trying to throw away your current life, car, motorcycle, and general junk you accumulate through living can be tough.

Do you already speak Japanese? If not, are you worried that this might be a problem when you arrive?

Yes, I already speak Japanese fairly well. However, I’m most concerned with specific details that a CIR has to perform like interpretation and translation. I know I’ll be sweating bullets when they ask me to interpret on the topic of something like environmental issues.

Sounds like your Japanese is solid already. Good stuff. Are there any books or online resources you recommend for people trying to push their Japanese to the next level?

Essential.

Personally, I prefer to listen to and speak Japanese more than reading and writing. I think that every learner should have the Kodansha Kanji Learner’s Dictionary for Kanji lookup. If you are into reading more advanced Japanese, I really enjoy Read Real Japanese which contains many short stories by contemporary writers.

Akeem Approved.

For speaking and listening, I love to watch dramas. jdorama.com has some great resources for seeing what’s out there in the Japanese drama scene. I prefer the dramas because they contain more natural speech and give you a better context for how language is used compared to anime. I’ll often spend time repeating certain phrases to make my Japanese sound more natural. I’ll also keep track of a bunch of YouTubers who speak Japanese to get some varied types of input. I love to watch 大笑い shows to learn a bit more about Japanese humor.

How long did you actively work on this big move?

This process started back in September of 2009. The JET application process is long and rigorous. There are dozens of pages to fill out, transcripts to get and letters of recommendation. Then there is the interview, an FBI check, a ton of waiting to hear the result of each step and finally getting rid of all of your stuff to make the big move.

I had no idea there was an FBI check. Geesh.

What options did you initially consider regarding your move to Japan? Could you describe your success with each of them? Any in particular that you would recommend, or others that you would advise others to avoid?

I’ve looked at and considered a bunch of options. I looked at trying to get a job directly with contracting agencies in Japan. I’ve put out resumes and made calls to discuss my skill set and probabilities of getting a job. I’ve worked with contracting agencies in America that specialize in finding work for people that are J/E bilingual. I’ve had a couple of interviews through them but nothing panned out. I even flew to the Boston Career Forum looking for a job to no avail. I also interviewed in China for a bilingual job, got an offer and had to turn it down.

I would recommend looking at all of these avenues. I went into each of them with the mindset of furthering my Japanese. I’ve had to write resumes and go through interviews in Japanese. They have all really helped me understand my deficiencies in the language and what employers are really looking for.

This is a big question, but could you tell us anything about the entire CIR application process that you think would be hard to find out otherwise? I know lots of people would love to apply to the JET program.

The information about the program and application process is bountiful on the internet. Don’t be afraid of the interview. Go into it with the mindset of showing them your character and you cannot go wrong. Leave the interview having said all that you want to communicate.

What are you most looking forward to regarding the big move? How long do you think you’ll stay in Japan once you move there?

Ramen ramen ramen! Did I mention ramen?

Sounds like you and Ramen Fanatic would get along just fine!

I love Japanese food and will knock grandma out of my way to get another bowl.

Please don’t do that if you live in Osaka, the grandma might knock you out instead.

On a more serious note, I’m looking forward to new challenges that the CIR position will present. If everything pans out, I’d like to eventually move into the IT field in Japan. I have a very technical background that I wish to put to good use.

I think he's more packed now...

Is there anything interesting about your move planning that you think would interest our readers?

If at all possible, get out of the place that you are living about a week before you depart. Stay at a hotel or live with friends until your departure date. This gets rid of the stress of having to get rid of something at the last moment.

Any links to those job placement agencies that you used that were especially promising?

In the US:
Pasona – Jobs here are focused for J/E bilingual people around the US.

Boston Career Forum – You should go at least once.

In Japan:
SkillHouse.co.jp – Jobs are mostly IT oriented.

Any final words for others who hope to move to Japan some day?

Do whatever you can to stay active in the Japanese community where you are. It will surprise you how connected some people may be. This could easily turn into an opportunity for you.

Thanks! We’ll catch up with Akeem again once he is in Japan!

Thank you again for this opportunity.

Good luck with everything!

Related Links:
Akeem’s website: http://neomeruhen.com/

NeoMeruhen’s YT Channel – YouTube channel which chronicles the process of what it’s like becoming a JET CIR.

Jason “MyArgonauts” – The best YouTube Channel on JET in existence

Official CIR Website

Official JET Program Website

Check out this other Japanese-learner interview with @Sandkatt.

– Harvey

RealWay Media Player for Japanese-English Study

Try this tool from RealWay Media to work on your Japanese reading comprehension.

Here’s a screen shot. Click it to enlarge.

Learn with the Realway Media Player

If you like what you see go check out the actual player and try it out for yourself!

You can listen to the English, and read the English and a good Japanese translation at the same time. You can also easily pause and go back to repeat anything you may have missed.

This particular content is probably better for Japanese people studying English, but hey, language learning is a two-way street… usually. Sometimes. Until you start only using a Japanese-Japanese dictionary… which is cool too.

Other places on the RealWay Media page have Japanese-based content that you will also find useful. Check it out in the links below.

Here is a list of all the videos available of the RealWay Media Player:

Japanese Content (Includes a Kana track)

ElomaticMill Mood – It’s music! Sing along!
ElomaticMill Television
Rashomon Part 1
Rashomon Part 2
Rashomon Part 3
Rashomon Part 4

Obama/White House Videos
(You may not be interested in politics, but the reason Realway Media uses so much of it is because it’s public domain, free to use for any purpose.)

The White House Situation Room
Elena Kagan In Her Own Words
Weekly Address June 26, 2010
Weekly Address June 5, 2010
Inauguration Part 1

Here’s more info straight form the horse’s mouth:

Here are some of the features of the RealWay Media Player:

Feature: Displays two subtitle streams at the same time

The subtitle streams displays the English and Japanese transcript at the same time so you can quickly compare the translations. The subtitles don’t cover up the video, so it won’t make viewing the video difficult. Users can also select additional subtitle streams (if available) using drop down boxes (for example, some of the videos include a Kana track). Of course, if users want to turn off one or both of the subtitle streams, they can also do that using the drop down boxes.

Feature: Repeat/Skip by Phrase (also available as keyboard strokes)

Users can conveniently review phrases they didn’t understand by a quick click of the repeat button. Users can also easily skip through phrases by hitting the skip button. On the keyboard, the left arrow functions as the repeat button and the right arrow functions as the skip button. The space bar also functions as a pause button.

Feature: Cue Point Number Display

By displaying the cue point number, users can quickly refer to the content by phrase as they watch their video rather than by confusing time codes.

Feature: Transcript Page

Users can choose to display the entire transcript of all the subtitle streams. This makes it easier to review words and phrases after watching the video (you can also use the Firefox extension Rikaichan on the transcript page!).

One more reason to get your study on. Get to it!

– Harvey

Start at the Beginning – Level 0 Reader

Hey Everyone! This one is for the actual Newbies out there.

I learned through the White Rabbit Press newsletter that they now have a Level 0 Japanese Graded Reader. This means that no matter how newbie you are, you can use this to start reading Japanese. No more excuses! You don’t even need to know Kanji (they provide the furigana readings). This type of exercise is a good change of pace from memorizing random vocabulary and studying grammar.

Level 0 Graded Reader

Graded Japanese readers are basically texts that use a fixed amount of vocabulary, set grammar patterns, and a set number of Kanji, so that students can get through them while learning the Japanese appropriate to their level.

I’m a fan of the graded reader approach for studying foreign languages. I used a few graded Chinese readers here in China when I was first getting started. They really help to get you over the fear of seeing a bunch of foreign language text all at once.

Eventually you’ll need to start reading Japanese text you find in the wild, but for an absolute beginner that’s not always practical, and can be a bit overwhelming. These readers will help ease you into reading more and more Japanese. Then with time, making the jump to “wild” Japanese won’t be as intimidating.

After you get going with these readers I would recommend supplementing your studies with Japaense in the wild to keep you on your toes. The “wild stuff” will serve as a good reminder that most Japanese isn’t artificially tailored to what you are supposed to know, as is the case with the graded readers. So, I recommend building a skeleton foundation of knowledge with the readers, and then adding the meat with Japanese from the wild.

Think of it like this. When you go to the gym to practice boxing or something you’ll probably meet with your instructor and hit the pads that he wears on his hands using the punches that you know. When you get into the ring with a real opponent they’re obviously not going to move like the pads and wait for your practiced punches… but that doesn’t mean that the drills in the gym weren’t worth it! (Disclaimer: I don’t box.)

Use graded readers as your predictable punching bag for Japanese language learning. Use random tweets from super game designer @Kojima_Hideo or super housewife @youtomama0307jp as your real live opponents. (Don’t hit @youtomama though, she’s nice.)

がんばれ!

– Harvey

P.S. Zonjineko likes Graded Readers too!

SALE! Japanese Particles for iPhone

Hey everyone!

Japanese 101: Particles will be on sale from Friday to Monday!
(Not sure which time zone Friday it will start and when exactly it will end, but it’s more or less Friday to Monday!)

The regular price is $5.99, but this weekend you can get it for the low-low (relatively speaking) price of $3.99!

This App has been growing nicely. It now has more than 200 exercises, all with perfect Japanese audio.

Particles App on Sale!

Also, for five of you who are fast, and on the U.S. iTunes Store, you can download the App for FREE using one of the promotion codes below.

Promotion Codes!
MYFYFRK769L4
HK664MT3T9FY
NNYRMREWXR6A
9EAJERXW9AY3
MRXTNAXLWTY3

Each code can only be used once, and can only be used on the U.S. iTunes Store. To use the codes, go to the iTunes Store in iTunes, click on REDEEM which is on the right-hand side under the “Quick Links” section. If you use a code let us know in the comments so others don’t waste time trying to redeem a code that has already been used.

Some other Reviews of Japanese 101: Particles around the web:
Yonasu.com reviews Particles for iPhone
Liz Learn’s Japanese reviews Particles
Zonjineko on Particles
White Rabbit Press MobileinJapan.com Review of Particles

Finally, here is a quick demo of the App on YouTube!

Enjoy! Particles are hard, but extremely important.

– Harvey

LITE

More great music from Japan. This one is all instrumental so it won’t do much for your Japanese language abilities, but who knows, maybe the Japanese vibe will help get you in your Kanji grinding groove. I know I sure can study to this! Check it out.

The band is called LITE and this, their second release, just came out today, July 7th. You can pick it up on HearJapan.com.

Enjoy!

– Harvey

Tae Kim’s Japanese Grammar Guide on iPhone

Big news.

Tae Kim’s incredible, and free, Guide to Learning Japanese is now in iPhone/iPod Touch form.

There is no reason not to have this on your iPhone… Unless I guess you are out of disk space… in which case I urge you to delete your music.

It's Awesome.

Get Tae Kim’s Japanese Grammar Guide on the iTunes Store!

The original guide is here in web, PDF, and other forms on Tae Kim’s Website.

– Harvey

JRock Distortion with Hanumaan

HearJapan turned me on to this Japanese band called Hanumaan. I picked up their album and it’s really good stuff. Energetic. Fun. Fast. Somehow rustic (maybe it’s the grainy video).

They recently toured with Asian Kung-fu Generation, another band that I really like.

Yup. These guys are hot.

distortion

Go ahead, tell me you don’t like em. I haven’t found any music that I can really get into here in China, so I keep falling back on my Japanese stuff to keep my language skills going. If anyone knows any rocking Chinese bands, do let me know!

– Harvey