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
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”
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
This past month, I spent eight days in the counties of Hualien and Taitung. There, I saw a different side of Taiwan--these counties are on the east coast and since childhood, I have spent most of my time in Taiwan on the west coast. My eyes were also opened to a new layer of the… Continue reading Taitung: Journey to Prehistoric Taiwan
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》
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
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.