Friday, 30 December 2011


From time to time, I get mailers from Medi-ya (Liang Court) Supermarket . This time, there's a huge year-end sale, 歳末大売出し where you can get some fresh produce from rice, veges, wagyu beef to sake and rice cakes which would complete the basics for a traditional New Year's Eve dinner.
Even though it's Summer in Singapore, it's a family tradition to have お鍋 regardless of where we are.
Why don't you try it too, in Singapore! They sell おせち料理 too which could serve as a good taster for Singaporeans but you need to order it well in advance.

The flyers and catalogues from Medi-ya are a great help with language-learning since they are bilingual :)

Even though I really miss the traditional New Year in Japan, I am excited to celebrate my first New Year in Singapore! I think celebrations here are pretty westernised but I guess I will mix it up as I go along. While I miss the cold, TV shows and great food in Japan, I am looking forward to a fun year ahead in Singapore :)
Happy New Year everyone! 新年あけましておめでとうございます!

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Japanese Magazines (Mooks)

I'm not big on Mooks (magazine books) but if you are, you will LOVE Kenji's

NOT A Books Kinokuniya Chinese Magazines & Japanese Magazines Promotions + New Arrivals BLOG 

Kenji blogs about the different types of Mooks for sale (and upcoming) at Kinokuniya. You can see the cover and the free gifts in them. 


Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Singapore Kinokuniya Bookweb - how to use

I'm going to share how I use the Kinokuniya Book Web in different ways.

When I have a book in mind, I get the ISBN off Amazon or some other site and search for it in Kinokuniya Book Web. If they have it, I will either call to ask them to reserve then pick it up after work. The Ngee Ann City and Liang Court stores carry Japanese titles. At the Bugis branch, only Japanese magazine titles are sold there.

 Sometimes I check for the latest books or most popular titles via the Japanese Books tab.
If I see a book I like, I will get the ISBN and check it out on Amazon Japan to see if I can preview them. Kinokuniya Book Web sometimes has a google book preview but chances are you may view them on Amazon Japan more often than not, sans google book preview.

This book has no preview in Kinokuniya Book Web but look it up on Amazon Japan and you may preview it ;)

Kinokuniya Book Web also has cool function which lets you look up similar books of interest.

You may also order books online and have them delivered to your office or home. とても便利ですよ!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Oshiete Goo Today 教えて!

Oshiete Goo Today has lots of interesting topics that are renewed everyday.
Some of the categories and posts include:
Benri Q & A
(click on the banner to read more)

- How to be good at Karaoke 
- How to use efficiently use your Bonus  

There's also the question of the day.


I think the site is great if you have a bit of time and want to challenge yourself to some intermediate-level reading. I particularly like the Romance Q & As and Diet/ Beauty How-tos.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Tea Time

One of the things I miss most about living in Japan is the delectable sweets.
If you've lived in Japan, you will know what I mean. Sweets elsewhere (perhaps with the exception of France) is not the same, taste-wise and aesthetically.

Here is a very cute site on making Chiffon Cakes シフォンケーキ that I found.
Some of the recipes are very Japanese and that makes me 'homesick'.
Incidentally, learning Japanese via recipes is a great way to brush up on vocabulary and also get something else useful out of it!

シンガポールには、一番人気ケーキと言えば、Pandan Chiffon です。

Sunday, 25 December 2011

It's クリスマス

It's Christmas :)
And as you may all know, many Japanese families celebrate Xmas by ordering in KFC or ケンタ. If you're a bit older, you go out on dates with your boyfriend or girlfriend.

 The "Party Barrel B" looks pretty awesome here.

KFC Japan

Some interesting article I read the other day on What do you do when the Kids think Colonel Sanders is Santa?

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Watch Japanese TV Channels via KeyHole TV

Key Hole TV and Key Hole Video is a Peer to Peer Communication System that lets you share videos as well as watch Channel Stations from Japan.
You just need to download the programme for Windows or Mac and decide what you want to hear or see.
It worked really well for me all last night.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Kansai Dialect 関西弁 Part ONE

One of my earlier recollections of my father was of him speaking in Kansai Dialect (関西弁). Because we lived in Australia then and speaking any language other than English was so not cool, I had always thought that my father either had a strange accent or was just such an oyaji.

This was not until years later when I lived in Osaka that I had fallen in love with Kansai Dialect (関西弁).  By then, my father did not live with us anymore but I kinda miss the way he spoke and now appreciate it.

So while I never properly learnt Japanese grammar during my time in Japan, I spoke bits and drabs of Kansai Dialect (関西弁). I always used the following forms:

  • へん to mean ない; so for example: できへん、見へん、行かへん
  • Sometimes the above would be contracted to できん、行かん
  • やん to mean じゃん
  • メッチャ = very
  • シンドイ= tired
  • ちゃうねん = that's wrong or different
  • あかん = no or だめ 
It wasn't until quite recent that my Japanese tutor started laughing at my Japanese. She didnt know that I had lived in Kansai. I think the intonation plays a big part as well. The stress on syllables is definitely different. 

I really like this We Love Kansai Blog which has bits on Kansai Dialect so please visit their site.

My then-boyfriend (a proud Kansai boy) used to ask me to pronouce, " 雨". Apparently, my rising intonation indicated that I had indeed caught on the Kansai intonation.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Introducing Site I LOVE: ChokoChoko チョコチョコ

ChokoChoko チョコチョコ is a very informative and beautifully-designed site on Japanese-learning (and Korean).

The reviews are really superb and the grammar notebook is very interesting and useful to check out. There are loads of cool info on the site including the Book Club that has helped me once or twice in buying or NOT buying some books. Thanks! Choko Choko!

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Learning Japanese in Singapore: Language Schools

Sometimes I wonder if I should attend some classes at a Language school here. So I've been looking at some of the more popular options in Singapore.

(Pic: crazy Queues for JCS School Registration! It seems that Japanese language studies is popular in Singapore. Lucky ne~)

I've not done much research on them as I'm really busy with work and learning by myself seems to work better at the moment. But if you want to read some comments on these schools, I've found a really good thread via Meetup.

Monday, 19 December 2011


These are really cute Kanji Colouring sheets that you can download for free.
I think they are great for kids as well as bored or stressed-out adults wanting to take a break.
Colouring is therapeutic!

Check out the link here

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Use Rikaichan to help Browse Webpages

I must have been living under a rock all these years but I've just discovered Rikaichan.
It is a very handy Japanese-learning tool and I use it when I browse webpages in Japanese.

Before Rikaichan came into my life, this was how I read Japanese webpages.
1) Use my trusty 電池辞書
2) Ctrl C and V whole text into Google Translate
3) Use Excite Translator  (エキサイト)
4) Call my sister.

Rikaichan's a great learning tool.
You just hover your mouse over the words you don't understand and you can find the Furigana as well as dictionary entries for that.

Depending on what you use, you may go to Add-ons for Firefox

Rikaichan is from the friendly people at PolarCloud.

Friday, 16 December 2011


私は、"Third Culture Kid"と言われて、今シンガポールに住んでいます。