Biggest Realizations / Mind Blows You've Experienced Learning Japanese: Emoji means what?!?!

This doesn’t really count as a mind blow, but I didn’t feel like posting a new topic just for this.

If anyone has ever been interested in studying Japanese grammar the way it is taught in Japanese schools, I found a cool video series.

Here’s the first video.

It starts extremely simply, but that’s because all the building blocks need to be in place before you can start doing the more complicated analysis.

It’s a 50 part series, so get some snacks.

I’m on part 35, finally digging into particles.

One interesting thing is it gives some insight on what things are difficult for native speakers that are seemingly common knowledge among all non-native learners. I guess it’s because we start from a fairly analytical perspective, while they likely have never thought about grammar deeply before this stuff is taught.

Oh, and he makes a mistake now and then throughout the series (usually corrected with annotations) but see if you can spot them.


He speaks so fast, I can hardly understand a word!


Ah, I guess “It starts extremely simply” is a relative concept, didn’t mean to give the impression that it’s simple for non-native learners.


No worries. I know you were probably talking about grammar when you said that, but my listening comprehension is far below what it takes to absorb that information, it seems.

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Thanks Leebo. This is an interesting way to learn about grammar while doing listening practice. It is a neat resource. I think I might spend the rest of the day binging it. :slightly_smiling_face:

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That’s a bit overdoing it for me :sweat_smile: also I try to keep WK as basic as possible. My point is, this is probably basic kanji knowledge, but I didn’t know it.

Similarly, I just started watching his English tutorials.
The exact opposite to teaching Japanese to English speakers-- teaching English to Japanese speakers.

It’s kind of cool to see English from the opposite perspective. For example, in this video, he talks about how to use the word “can”.

As a translation of his whiteboard, he writes:

The meaning of “can” is できる, and it goes before the verb. Also, when you use “can”, the verb uses the 原形 [base/dictionary] form.


This channel is great. He also has videos on what looks like all of middle school math, science, social studies, history…

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I’ve had many of those moments. I think my first one was when I was looking at a packet or Maruchan ramen. I never thought about what it really meant and for the longest time, I thought Maruchan was a Mexican brand because it was soooo popular in Mexico (same with Yakult) and I thought that maruchan was just a random made-up Spanish word. then one day probably a year into my Japanese language studies I just so happen to be looking at a packet of Maruchan then I look at the logo and it’s a little round face and it hits me and I’m just like ooooooooooooooooooooooooooh MARU-CHAN!!! I GET IT NOW!!!


I know this post slightly died out but just wanted to add on to this Geeno. I studied abroad in Japan last year and during my spring quarter I took part in research being conducted by some of our Japanese Language Program faculty. The research, I believe, dealt with foreigners and effective methods to teach kanji and this exact thing was what they were testing. The left side almost always gives a clue as to what the word has to do with and the right side almost always (but not quite always) gives the reading. What they were trying to do was see if we could recognize the pattern by giving us kanji with equal right halves. I guess the reason nobody really mentions this is because it isn’t completely viable and there are definitely exceptions from my understanding of the study although I feel like it’s still really important information that makes the learning process faster and easier despite it not universal across all kanji. I walked out of that study so stoked because I got 2000 yen for participating (that’s like 4 beef bowls right there!) and also I was pretty excited to try out the method and so far it’s proven quite effective. Sometimes I throw pneumonics out the window when this rule applies.


You’re in luck, because there’s a script that reveals all these hidden reading clues to you!


My man, you are a hero!

I had a similar epiphany tonight. I always knew Maruchan was Japanese, but I never gave the name any thought–it was just a brand name to me. But tonight I was eating a cup of noodles and got to thinking…Maruchan, I recognize those syllables, Could it mean, “round boy”? Pretty much!

I can understand why you assumed it was a Mexican brand, though. Even the US packages have Spanish on them:

The color scheme matches the Genki books pretty well!


TIL the Crash Test Dummies song “Mmm mmm mmm mmm” in Japanese is called “ムムムム・・・・”


So… I just recently learned 玉 and 子

Looking up recipes for ramen eggs, I realized that 玉子 literally translates as ballchild.

I can’t quit giggling about eggs now.


My wow moment was when I learned 皮肉 (ひにく, Sarcasm, Irony, Satire).
Skin (皮) and Meat (肉) cant be more sarcastic together than this :smiley:

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I have been wondering about ように for the past couple days!

wait until you learn 金玉 :joy::joy::joy::joy:


Emoji was an interesting one to learn. I thought the ‘emo’ part came from ‘emotion’, but seeing it in kanji shed some light on where it came from.


Amaterasu. Goddess of the Sun. 照らす = “To shine on, to illuminate”.