Life in Taiwan

Camphor: From Totoro to Taiwan

Does anyone else remember the name of the giant tree that Totoro likes to sleep in? For some reason, this detail has stuck with me to this day– “camphor”. And that’s probably the last time I encountered this word in English. In Chinese however, you’ll encounter the word for camphor 樟腦 in everyday life. It pops… Continue reading Camphor: From Totoro to Taiwan

Life in Taiwan

Taiwanese Wedding Banquet, emphasis on “Banquet”

Last weekend, I had the chance to attend a Taiwanese wedding for the second time in my life. In neither did I actually know the bride or groom… but that’s OK, because weddings here are about the food. The first time I attended a Taiwanese wedding, I was actually sent specifically to eat. I have… Continue reading Taiwanese Wedding Banquet, emphasis on “Banquet”

Life in Taiwan

Taiwan through Song, Dance, and 3D Film

fThe past few weeks, I had the chance to attend two performances related to Taiwan. The more recent one was called 關於島嶼 FORMOSA by the internationally-renowned Cloud Gate Dance Theatre. It was a free outdoor performance (thank you Cathay Bank!). The dancing was sublime as was the background music, clearly sung by an aboriginal singer  (I… Continue reading Taiwan through Song, Dance, and 3D Film

Life in Taiwan

Glimpses of Local Culture in 《花甲男孩轉大人》

I’ve been based in Taiwan for nine months now and just finished a drama called 《花甲男孩轉大人》. It’s on Netflix under “A Boy Named Flora A”. It was so slow-paced I nearly gave up on it, but what kept my attention was the amount of local culture it featured. This might seem strange–wouldn’t every drama feature local culture?… Continue reading Glimpses of Local Culture in 《花甲男孩轉大人》

Japanese · SLAP (Speak Like A Person) Exercises

SLAP#8 “He said, she said” or “He was saying, she was saying?”… 言った vs 言っていた

I like to go to Japanese hair salons, even when I’m not in Japan. I’ve been in the U.S. and Korea, and was hoping to find one in northern France, where I’m living now, but alas… 日本人の美容室【びようしつ】ないんだよね〜 *sigh*. However, I did find a SLAP-worthy sentence! It’s from the blog of a Japanese woman who lives in my region and finally… Continue reading SLAP#8 “He said, she said” or “He was saying, she was saying?”… 言った vs 言っていた

Japanese · SLAP (Speak Like A Person) Exercises

SLAP#7 “Connected to the internet?” “Passed a test?” “Got a call?”… how Japanese people use intransitive verbs in EVERY aspect of life.

So far, we’ve looked at situations where Japanese people use the passive voice and the potential form when we wouldn’t. To wrap up this mini-series on verbs, let’s now look at when Japanese native speakers use intransitive verbs! (when we wouldn’t! do I even need to keep saying that?) For example, just the other day, I heard a Japanese… Continue reading SLAP#7 “Connected to the internet?” “Passed a test?” “Got a call?”… how Japanese people use intransitive verbs in EVERY aspect of life.