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An Introduction to the Challenges of Reading Japanese – Breaking Down (Over) Kanji Part 1

For upper-intermediate Japanese learners, successfully reading blog posts, newspapers, and magazine articles can feel like winning what I call the “kanji lottery.” Daily communications such as text messages and e-mails are second nature, as they contain commonly used kanji characters that have been drilled into our brains through years of practice and use. However, trying…

The Basics of Kansai-Ben

The Japanese learned in school, in books, or other materials is what the Japanese call hyoujungo, or standard Japanese. Each region of Japan actually has its own dialect, hougen in Japanese, which still exists today more or less strongly depending on the areas and the generations. Kansai-ben is the most famous hougen. Spoken in the…

Narrowing the Gap between Japan and the Rest of the World: An Interview with Rochelle Kopp

Anyone with even the slightest interest in cross-cultural communication in Japan has likely read an article, liked a tweet, or watched a video featuring Rochelle Kopp, founder and managing principal of Japan Intercultural Consulting. Before founding her company, Rochelle accumulated a wealth of experience by working for U.S.-based international consulting firms and the Tokyo headquarters…

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