Japanese Verbs: Transitive vs. Intransitive

Even after years of studying Japanese language, and conversing with my wife, family and friend, one thing I still struggle with is a fascinating feature of the language: transitive and intransitive verbs. The concept of transitive and intransitive verbs is nothing unique to Japanese. Some verbs take a direct object (transitive) and some don’t (intransitive).Continue reading “Japanese Verbs: Transitive vs. Intransitive”

Starting up the JLPT N1 At Last

It’s been ten years since I passed JLPT exam, level N2, and after doing some careful thinking, I think it’s time to prepare to take the N1 exam. Last month, the family and I went to the local Kinokuniya bookstore to pick up some new manga for my son (who has become an avid readerContinue reading “Starting up the JLPT N1 At Last”

Typing Brahmi Script in HTML

A while back, I wrote a small post on how to express Sanskrit and Pali using diacritics in HTML and the Roman alphabet. This is handy for expressing Buddhist terms accurately, since the standard 26 letters of the English alphabet don’t always tell the whole story. While exploring Sanskrit writing systems recently, I dabbled inContinue reading “Typing Brahmi Script in HTML”

Sanskrit, Prakrits n’ Pali

Recently, I’ve been delving into both the Sanskrit and Pali languages, both used for Buddhist religious scripture, and just when I thought I had things figured out, I realize the situation is even more complicated and fascinating than I thought. Sanskrit is a language that was brought to India by invaders who called themselves theContinue reading “Sanskrit, Prakrits n’ Pali”

Learning, Not Parroting

This is why I look on people like this as a spiritless lot — the people who are forever acting as interpreters and never as creators, always lurking in someone else’s shadow….It is one thing, however, to remember, another to know. To remember is to safeguard something entrusted to your memory, whereas to know, byContinue reading “Learning, Not Parroting”

The Big Buddhist Headache: Language and Sacred Texts

Recently, I made a lengthy rant on Twitter about my frustrations with learning Sanskrit in order to read Buddhist texts. The issue is a surprisingly complicated one, and something I wanted to explore here a bit more. When you look at religions of the world, Buddhism is somewhat unusual in that it isn’t rooted inContinue reading “The Big Buddhist Headache: Language and Sacred Texts”

Samsara: the Great Cosmic Rat Race

Samsara, the “aimless wandering” of Buddhism is a difficult concept to grasp, but also pretty fundamental to understanding the Dharma. Buddhism as a religion sees the Universe in terms of huge time and huge space. This is a contrast to Western religions which tend to see the Universe in a smaller, fixed time (i.e. severalContinue reading “Samsara: the Great Cosmic Rat Race”

Reading Kids Manga In Japanese

My kids and I love playing the game Splatoon 2, a quirky game with a lot of satire on Japanese society, but also some very creative backstory too. We love playing Ranked Battles, but I am consistently trying to keep up with my kids who are both B ranked, while I am still mostly CContinue reading “Reading Kids Manga In Japanese”

This One Trick Will Help You Learn Languages Faster

“Language teachers hate it when you do this!” I couldn’t resist starting this post with some click-bait text. 😬 Recently I saw this post on Twitter: This leads to a heated exchange on Twitter, including the following: Basically, the point here is is that if you want to learn a language and communicate smoothly, youContinue reading “This One Trick Will Help You Learn Languages Faster”