Goethe wonders: “Is that ‘Gyoete’ me?”

18 de May de 2019 at 8:07

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This post’s title is the translation of some verses popularly attributed to the writer Ryokuu Satô (1868-1904, “Gyoete towa ore no koto kato Gête ii”). At one time, the name of the great German writer’s name was transcribed in different ways in Japanese, giving rise to the coexistence of a variety of transcriptions. Nowadays, the names of the classic writers have established transcriptions; for example, that of Goethe is ゲーテ (‘Gête’).

The second button

20 de March de 2019 at 11:34

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In Japan, March is the month of graduation. Colleges, schools and universities alike hold graduation ceremonies, which mark the end of one stage in students’ lives. For some people, graduation evokes memories of an era full of school uniforms, cherry blossoms and tubes containing their graduation certificates. Graduation is also a time to say farewell to fellow students who won’t be attending the same school the following semester.

Kanji and the woman

18 de January de 2019 at 13:41

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While preparing materials for a Japanese course, we read that the kanji meaning “come back” or “return” (帰) comprises two parts, the left meaning “follow” and the right, “broom” and “woman”. Together, it represents a woman following her man. This kanji, we read, also means “wed” or “return to the house of one’s man”. Such etymology caught our attention and, out of curiosity, we checked some dictionaries and found that some have dedicated more space than others to detail this kanji’s origin.

Fighting the cold!

18 de December de 2018 at 17:58

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Now that it’s really started to get cold, here are some of things the Japanese do to keep warm.

Video: “Japanese for Tourists”

6 de December de 2018 at 13:02

The Travelling to Japan: Keys for Communicating and Discovering the Best Places to Visit event organized by the Centre for Modern Languages took place at the UOC’s centre in Madrid on Thursday 25 October. Dr Emi Takamori, professor at the Asian and African Studies Department at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM), gave a very engaging class on Japanese language and culture, entitled “Japanese for Tourists”, which gave helpful insights on handling some of the situations that arise during a trip, such as using public transport, shopping or finding accommodation.

Video: “Japan: A Welcoming, Affordable Destination for Any Tourist”

2 de December de 2018 at 17:15

The Travelling to Japan: Keys for Communicating and Discovering the Best Places to Visit event organized by the Centre for Modern Languages took place at the UOC’s centre in Madrid on Thursday 25 October. Hajime Kishi, Manager of the Japanese National Tourism Organization (JNTO) office in Madrid, gave a talk titled “Japan: A Welcoming, Affordable Destination for Any Tourist”.

Kanji and feminine gender

27 de November de 2018 at 9:11

Although the Japanese language has no morphological markings for gender when it comes to nouns and adjectives, like in Catalan or Spanish, we do find several ways in which the feminine gender is expressed in names of professions. These names have been undergoing changes as social consciousness evolves and new laws develop. Some of these ways of expressing feminine gender are still widely used today, while others have already become obsolete.

Autumn and chrysanthemums

8 de November de 2018 at 17:28

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The chrysanthemum (kiku) is a typical autumn flower in Japan and can be spotted in different spheres of life.

Event on tourism in Japan and the Japanese language

11 de October de 2018 at 13:39

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The UOC’s Centre for Modern Languages and Faculty of Arts and Humanities are organizing an event on tourism in Japan and the Japanese language. It is to take place on Thursday 25 October at 7 pm at the UOC centre in Madrid (Plaza de las Cortes 4, 28014). The event is open to the general public and there will be two talks. You need to sign up in advance if you’d like to attend:

http://symposium.uoc.edu/go/turismojapon

Summer customs

23 de July de 2018 at 12:30

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In some parts of Japan, it’s hard to get through the summer without air conditioning or a fan. Obviously, in times gone by, the Japanese didn’t have electrical appliances and had to come up with ingenious ways to cool off during the summer months. Some of these customs are still kept up today or still widely known. New customs have also arisen.