Cats, cats and more cats

12 de February de 2020 at 13:22

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It’s the Year of the Rat according to the Chinese zodiac. In fact, the rat is the first in a cycle of twelve animals that take turns representing each passing year. Besides the rat, there’s the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the sheep, the monkey, the rooster, the dog and the pig.

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.

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.

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:

Learning kanji

19 de March de 2018 at 12:02

Some of us will have made resolutions for this year, 2018. Are we still sticking to them, are we achieving them, do we even remember them? We have a proverb in Japanese which says: Ichi-nen no kei wa gantan ni ari (一年の計は元旦にあり), which means that it is important to make plans for the year properly, on 1 January, that is, on the first day of the year. There are people who write these resolutions with Japanese calligraphy in the kakizome (書初め) ceremony, the first writing of the year.