Japanese lesson through Ken Hirai's "Boku wa kimi ni koi wo suru"

18 Nov

Apple shared an interesting article with us. She’s been studying Japanese for years and she’s visited Japan many times. Last time when I met her in Tokyo, we went shopping together and I heard she speak natural Japanese to the sales assistants. I thought it was very difficult for me to teach you Japanese because I noticed I don’t know what you find difficult or interested. On the other hand, Apple can be a good teacher. She even has some experiences of teaching Japanese in Singapore. Great song, I love this! Good choice, Apple!! ๐Ÿ˜€

===Apple’s post starts from here===

Today, I’m going to share with you a really nice song from a movie I watched recently. ๐Ÿ˜€

"I give my first love to you" is the movie I watched!

I did this for you. ๐Ÿ˜€

Boku wa kimi ni koi wo suru
I Give My Love to You

ๅนณไบ•ๅ …
Hirai Ken





moshi mo negai ga kanau nara

kimi no kanashimi wo boku no mune no naka ni

sosogi konde kudasai

sono itami naraba boku wa taerareru

If there is a wish that could come true,

then please pour your sorrows into my heart.

I can endure that pain.


ใกใฃใฝใ‘ใชๅƒ•ใ ใ‘ใ‚Œใฉ


mirai egaku chizu mo nakushite shimau

chippoke na boku dakeredo

kimi wo mitsuketa

Even though I lost the map of my future,

A tiny person like me,

Was still able to find you.

ใ•ใ‚ˆใชใ‚‰ใ€ใ‚ใ‚ŠใŒใจใ†ใ€ๅฅฝใใ ใ‚ˆใ€ๅฅฝใใ ใ‚ˆ

ใ•ใ‚ˆใชใ‚‰ใ€็ฌ‘ใฃใฆใ‚ˆใ€ๆณฃใใชใ‚ˆใ€ใƒใ‚ซใ ใช



sayonara, arigatou, sukidayo, sukidayo

sayonara, waratte yo, nakuna yo, baka dana

tsutaetai kotoba wa tomedonaku afureru

nandomo, nandodemo, boku wa kimi ni koi wo suru

Goodbye and thank you. I love you, I love you.

Goodbye, Come on, smile! Don’t cry! How silly you are.

The words I want to say cannot stop overflowing.

I will fall in love with you again, and again.



kimi no negai ga kanau nara

subete sasageru to kokoro kara ieru

If I could make your wish come true,

I will give you everything from my heart.




boku ga inaku nattemo kieru koto nai

koi iro ni somaru kokoro

kimi to mitsuketa

Even if I were to be gone one day, it will not disappear,

A heart coloured with love,

which I found with you.

ใ•ใ‚ˆใชใ‚‰ใ€ใพใŸไผšใŠใ†ใ€ใ”ใ‚ใ‚“ใญใ€ๅฅฝใใ ใ‚ˆ

ใ•ใ‚ˆใชใ‚‰ใ€็ฌ‘ใฃใฆใ‚ˆใ€ๆ€’ใ‚“ใชใ‚ˆใ€ใƒใ‚ซใ ใช



sayonara, mata aou, gomen ne, sukidayo

sayonara, waratte yo, okonna yo, baka dana

koishii kurushii, itoshii ja tari nai

nandomo, nandodemo, boku wa kimi to koi wo suru

Goodbye, Let’s meet again someday, I’m sorry, I love you.

Goodbye, Come on, smile! Don’t be mad! How silly you are!

Love is painful but it’s never enough.

I will fall in love with you, again and again.




koisuru hitomi to aisuru itami wo

kimi ga boku ni kureta kagayaki wasurenai


The radiance of the love from your eyes

along with the pain of your love you’ve given me,

I will never forget.

ใ•ใ‚ˆใชใ‚‰ใ€ใ‚ใ‚ŠใŒใจใ†ใ€ๅฅฝใใ ใ‚ˆใ€ๅฅฝใใ ใ‚ˆ

ใ•ใ‚ˆใชใ‚‰ใ€็ฌ‘ใฃใฆใ‚ˆใ€ๆณฃใใชใ‚ˆใ€ใƒใ‚ซใ ใช



sayonara, arigatou, sukidayo, sukidayo

sayonara, waratte yo, nakuna yo, baka dana

tsutaetai kotoba wa tomedonaku afureru

nandomo, nandodemo, boku wa kimi ni koi wo suru

Goodbye and Thank you, I love you, I love you.

Goodbye, Come on, smile! Don’t cry! How silly of youโ€ฆ

The words I want to say cannot stop overflowing.

I will fall in love with you again, and again.

ใ•ใ‚ˆใชใ‚‰ใ€ใพใŸไผšใŠใ†ใ€ใ”ใ‚ใ‚“ใญใ€ๅฅฝใใ ใ‚ˆ

ใ•ใ‚ˆใชใ‚‰ใ€็ฌ‘ใฃใฆใ‚ˆใ€ๆ€’ใ‚“ใชใ‚ˆใ€ใƒใ‚ซใ ใช



ๅฅฝใใ ใ‚ˆ


sayonara, mata aou, gomen ne, suki dayo

sayonara, waratte yo, okonna yo, baka dana

koishii kurushii, itoshii ja tari nai

nandomo, nandodemo, sakebu yo



Goodbye, Let’s meet again someday, I’m sorry, I love you.

Goodbye, Come on, smile! Don’t be mad. How silly of youโ€ฆ

Love is painful but it’s never enough.

I will shout over and over again,

I love you!



That’s the end! Note that my English translation of the song is not to be taken word-for-word. I received a certain feeling from this song, and this is what I feel would sound like in English, ok? ^^”

I typed everything myself and I’m very happy now because as simple as this song is, I learned some new words like ๆณจใŽ่พผใ‚€(sosogi komu) which means ‘to pour into’, ่€ใˆใ‚‰ใ‚Œใ‚‹ (taerareru) which means ‘can endure’, and ใกใฃใฝใ‘ (chippoke) which means ‘very tiny’.

Now, the reason why I chose this song to teach Japanese today, is because it has many words that most people who are beginners of Japanese language would love to learn. Hahaha!

This is from my humble experience as a teacher teaching Japanese to some students before. Everyone wants to know how to say “I like you”, how to say “I miss you” etc etc. My students are all full of love. Hahaha!

Anyway, you will notice that this song repeats a few phrases a number of times, and there are also many words that you will spot in other Japanese love songs again and again.


Today, I want to tell you what these words are! So that the next time you hear them in a Japanese song, at least you can understand a little bit of what they are singing. ๐Ÿ˜€

1. ้ก˜ใ„ใŒๅถใ† (negai ga kanau) = Wish to come true

This always appear! In anime songs, love songsโ€ฆmany songs! Even movie or manga titles sometimes.

้ก˜ใ„ (negai) means ‘wish’.

ๅถใ† (kanau) means ‘to come true’.

They usually come together in a pair, and usually have a friend called ใ‚‚ใ—ใ‚‚ (moshimo) at the front and a ใชใ‚‰ (nara) at the back.

ใ‚‚ใ—ใ‚‚ใ€‚ใ€‚ใ€‚ใชใ‚‰ means ‘if’.

So, ใ‚‚ใ—ใ‚‚้ก˜ใ„ใŒๅถใ†ใชใ‚‰ (moshi mo negai ga kanau nara) means ‘If wishes can come true’.
Example sentence you can use:


(moshi mo negai ga kanau nara, zutto anata no soba ni itai.)

If wishes can come true, I will like to stay by your side forever.


Ok, moving on…

2. ๆ‚ฒใ—ใฟ (kanashimi) = sadness, sorrow, grief (ok you get it.)

This always appear too! Along with ๆฅฝใ—ใฟ (tanoshimi) which means fun, pleasure. ๐Ÿ˜€

3. ็—›ใฟ (itami) = pain

4. ๅฅฝใใ ใ‚ˆ (sukidayo) = I like you/ I love you

Wow. This is what my students always want to know first thing they step into my Japanese class.

5. ๆณฃใใชใ‚ˆ (nakunayo) = Don’t cry!

This is a very casual way of saying ‘Don’t cry’. You can always hear the guy say this to the girl in a love movie perhaps. “Nakunayo~” I’ve said this before to a weeping Japanese friend at the airport.

6. ใƒใ‚ซ (baka) = fool, silly

This is also very popular with beginners of Japanese. It might be the only word they know, and they will proudly shout it to the teacher, “Teacher!!! I know a Japanese word!! Baka!!! BAKAYARO!!!!” And the clueless ones would stare at this loudmouth in awe. “WOW!! WHY DOES HE KNOW JAPANESE!! IT SOUNDS SO COOL!!! Teacher, what does that mean?”

“It means stupid or foolish or idiot.”


It’s easy to remember baka.

And for true, clueless beginners, they might think, “Why does a couple seem to scold each other baka very often? And why does this forlorn love song has baka in it??”

Well, I think baka is rather affectionate when you see a couple scolding “baka!” to each other sometimes, usually with smiles on their faces. If you’re Chinese, maybe this is easy to comprehend. Sometimes we scold our loved ones, “็ฌจ่›‹๏ผ” in this teasing manner. I think for English, a “Silly!” comes closeโ€ฆmaybe! Haha!

7. ่จ€่‘‰ (kotoba) = words

This is easy to remember too because it appears all the time as well.
Example sentence you can use:


(Kotoba dewa kimochi wo tsutaerarenai.)

I cannot express my feelings in words.

8. ๆบขใ‚Œใ‚‹ (afureru) = overflowing

Usually, if you see this word in love songs, it’s always the feelings that are overflowing.
Example sentence you can use:


(Aitai kimochi afureru yo!)

My feelings of wanting to meet you are overflowing!

9. ใ”ใ‚ใ‚“ใญ (gomen ne) = I’m sorryโ€ฆ

With the addition of ‘ne’ behind ‘gomen’, the apology sounds sadder to me!! T^T It sounds softer. An apology that is usually said to a loved oneโ€ฆ I feel! A tender kind of apology. For example, a mother to her child, a girl to her best friend, a guy to his girlfriend, a girl to her pet dog or something.

10. ๆ€’ใ‚“ใชใ‚ˆ (okonna yo) = Don’t be mad!

It’s shortened from ๆ€’ใ‚‰ใชใ„ (okoranai). ‘Okaranai’ sounds soโ€ฆ It’s hard to say out I think. So ‘Okonna yo’ is more commonly used in speech.

11. ๆ‹ใ—ใ„ (koishii) /ๆ„›ใ—ใ„ (itoshii)= Love?

To say the truth, I do not yet know very clearly the difference of these 2 wordsโ€ฆKirinโ€ฆhelp??? Haha! ^^”

12. ่‹ฆใ—ใ„ (kurushii) = Painful

This kurushii is used to describe intense feelings rather than the pain you feel when you fall down and hurt your knee. For the latter kind of pain, ็—›ใ„ (itai) would be more suitable. ๐Ÿ™‚

13. ็žณ (hitomi) = Eye

When it appears in songs, it’s always about closing your eyes ็žณใ‚’้–‰ใ˜ใฆ (hitomi wo tojite). Something like that.

14. ่ผใ (kagayaki) = radiance, brilliant shine

15. ๅฟ˜ใ‚Œใชใ„ (wasurenai) = Can’t forget

In songs or movies, you will hear this A LOT. There are many things or people that you may want to forget but just cannot forget. So here comes this phrase in handy!

Example sentence you can use:


(Wasuretaiโ€ฆdemo, wasurenai! Doushiyo? Konna kimochi ga kurushii!)

I want to forgetโ€ฆbut I can’t! What should I do? This is such a painful feeling!

16. ใšใฃใจ (zutto) = all the way, for a long time

This word kept appearing in every song I liked when I was still new to the Japanese language. I decided then, to find out what it truly meant once and for all. And it shouldn’t bother you anymore too if you are a beginner in Japanese language just like I was! ^^

Example sentence you can use:

ใšใฃใจใ„ใ—ใ‚‡ใซใ ใ‚ˆใญ๏ผ

(Zutto issho ni dayo ne!)

Let’s be together forever, ok! ^^

And that’s the end of today’s lesson!!!

I hope it was helpful and fun for you. :D:D:D

When I started learning Japanese, I listened to many Japanese songs and tried to understand the lyrics. I also watched many Japanese dramas so that I could get used to natural Japanese speech. My Japanese friend told me that he was surprised and happy that I spoke ‘normal’ Japanese unlike many learners of the language who speak too ‘formally’. Soooo, try to get the feel of the language and don’t get too restrained by grammar and stuff like that.

Of course what we learn in language school is still important. It’s the ‘correct’ Japanese. I think we still need to learn ‘correct’ Japanese, so that the short-forms or slangs we may learn from our Japanese friends later on makes more sense, and is not too difficult to understand. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here is a trailer for you to watch with the song you just learned as the background music. ๐Ÿ™‚


51 Responses to “Japanese lesson through Ken Hirai's "Boku wa kimi ni koi wo suru"”

  1. Amanda November 18, 2010 at 11:41 am #

    This was a really good lesson! My Japanese is intermediate and I still learnt things. ^_^ When I first started Japanese in high school I taught myself a few Japanese songs (like maybe 4 or 5?) and I swear, doing that really set me apart from the other students. It helps with pronunciation, it helps you to understand how the language works, and it teaches you new words too. Yes, just a few songs!

    After learning just a couple you'll start noticing the new vocabulary in other songs and in real life. Try it out! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Apple November 19, 2010 at 1:43 am #

      Thank you so much Amanda! Your method is the same as mine, and you're right that this would really set you apart from other students! It really helped me a lot in understanding how the language worked, just like you said! And often, when we are to learn spelling or things like that, I can remember the words easier than my classmates. When we were taught the different forms and grammar, it was not at all painful to me. It was in fact, very interesting to me. I could finally understand a lot of things, and I was really really happy.

      I'm glad you enjoyed this post. ^^

      • kirin November 19, 2010 at 2:22 am #

        I will follow that way when I ever study Chinese, haha. I want to learn it but the problem is that I don't have strong motivation. Do you know any good Chinese songs to recommend? (I wish you were here and we could exchange Chinese – English – Japanese!!) Well I'm a very very beginner I have not started anything but have viewed some youtube channels. ^ ^;

      • Apple November 21, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

        Hey Kirin! ^^

        I have some foreign friends who are learning Chinese too, and somehow, they always pick Jay Chou's songs to learn!!! Some Jay Chou's songs are very difficult even to me, a Chinese! Haha! But his songs are really nice. All his songs are nice.

        < This one is a relatively easy song from him, but it's…not so new…haha!

        < One of my favourites from him…it's really really nice.

        He sings R&B and is well-known for the 'Chinese' flavour in his songs. ๐Ÿ™‚ I'm very happy that so many non-Chinese like Jay Chou too! ^^

        The problem, though, is that, Chinese language…can be figurative, especially so in many of Jay Chou's more difficult songs. Though we may speak figuratively sometimes, it's not so common or natural in conversation. (I recommend you to just listen to his love songs as a start first. Love songs are always easier to start with. His fast songs are a little bit harder.)

        < Fish Leong has some very nice love songs too which are easy to understand and I think is easier to learn Chinese from.

        < Stefanie Sun is my favourite Chinese singer. ๐Ÿ™‚ Her songs are relatively easy too.

        < Gary Cao is very popular too and he has a great voice. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Anyway, explore these few singers first…They are very the more popular ones among Chinese. ๐Ÿ™‚ Other popular singers are Rainie Yang, Jolin Cai, Angela Zhang, S.H.E, Mayday….

        I wish I could be in Japan too and talk to you in Chinese, English and Japanese too. We can surely improve a lot if we talk a lot in the language we want to learn! ^^

        Anyway, for a start, you can just play these Chinese songs in the background while you do your dishes etc…Just to expose your mind to how it sounds first. Then if you notice there are certain words you keep hearing over and over again, check out their meanings. Start building up vocabulary first. Don't care too much about grammar first, or it may put you down.

        Hope this helps! ^^

      • kirin November 22, 2010 at 1:48 am #

        Apple!!! Thank you so so so much for sharing these with me! You know there are many Chinese lessons in Japan by Japanese (of course) but I don't want to do this, because I've seen how bad we have taught English for generations! I think it's because we always care about grammar, spelling and minor things, which is why most of Japanese people still have hard time speaking English nowadays.

        I don't want to be a victim of poor language education that Japan has to offer any longer. So I was watching some Chinese lessons on Youtube explained in English.

        You know what?! I found it was much easier to learn another language from English than Japanese. When I was watching Spanish lessons, it was the same!

        Anyhow I like the way you mastered Japanese and I agree with your way. It's much more fun than textbook.
        I'll definitely check out those songs~~~Actually I tried to catch French songs I liked before and I don't know the meaning at all but I could somehow sing it like a baby sings a song with many mistakes. But I don't care~~~.

      • Apple November 24, 2010 at 1:02 am #

        haha i love your attitude kirin! yes, sometimes, we should sing like a baby who just sings what he hears without knowing the meaning. haha! actually, i think this will help in learning a language too! ^^

  2. shimin November 18, 2010 at 2:47 pm #

    i love this post! :3
    i've watched the movie, and i have to say, ITS AWESOME! the song rocks too ^___^

    • Apple November 19, 2010 at 1:44 am #

      Thank you shimin!! ^^

      Yes yes! It's awesome!! Everyone around me in the theatre was sobbing. I love the song because it's something I felt inside me at that time.

  3. Lore November 18, 2010 at 5:15 pm #

    thanks for this vocabulary lesson!!! You explain japanesse very well, I'll try to look for the movie and see it ^^

    • Apple November 19, 2010 at 1:45 am #

      Thank you so much Lore for your kind compliment! ^^ Yes you should watch this movie. Mao Inoue is very natural and cute in it. Haha! ^^

  4. sedonia2 November 18, 2010 at 6:24 pm #

    Wow, Apple – thanks for that wonderful lesson. I listen to many songs in Japanese by Gackt and Hyde and I hear some of those words over and over. It's nice to know what they mean. ๐Ÿ™‚ Maybe if I listen enough, I'll eventually become fluent. I would like to see that film too. I've seen some absolutely most wonderful incredible Japanese films in the last ten years. I've recommended a couple of them to Kirin and I'd like to recommend them to you both and add one that I saw the other day and has to be one of the 10 best films ever made in history, called Departures (Okuribito) from 2008 starring Masahiro Motoki. Then if you haven't seen Shall We Dance, Tampopo and Kikujiro, they are MUST see films.

    • Apple November 19, 2010 at 1:53 am #

      Woo Sedonia! So you are a Gackt and Hyde fan. Same as me when I first started being interested in Japanese music! Haha!

      You know what? You will definitely eventually become fluent if you listen enough. Or, at the very least, you will find that you learn Japanese language faster and with less effort when you decide to one day enrol yourself in a Japanese language school. So keep listening to Japanese songs!!! Haha! ^^

      And I have a feeling I would totally LOVE the movies you recommended! I have always wanted to watch Departures and Shall We Dance. I have watched Tampopo some years ago and I liked it too.

      Thanks for your recommendations! I may write about one of them after I watch them!!! ^^ Then we can talk about it more and see what everyone thinks too~ ^^ Woo woo! ^^

  5. sana November 18, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    Nice post. I tried to learn Cantonese by watching McDull, but all I learned were food items :/ But then, HK pop isn't as good as j-pop imo!

    This isn't relevant to learning Japanese, however! The best language teacher by far that I've come across is a Norwegian woman named Cecile Gamst Berg (my spelling may not be correct). She can speak many languages, but currently lives in Hong Kong and teaches Cantonese to English speakers. She is amazing. She produced a program with RTHK in which she taught an English radio announcer to speak – and use – Cantonese. It was turned into a podcast.

    I think what made these programs so wonderful is that she was teaching someone from the beginning, so it was easy to follow. She also explains everything beautifully, and she is very amusing.

    Sorry, this is OT. But it would be wonderful if someone could do something similar with Japanese (hint, hint)!

    • kirin November 19, 2010 at 12:10 am #

      Don't be sorry, thanks for sharing the story with us, sana!! ^ ^

    • Apple November 19, 2010 at 2:00 am #

      Wow! I want to learn Cantonese too! I like the sound of it but I can only speak a little bit. I think Canto love songs are really nice. Haha! Especially so to sing in karaoke. Hahahah!

      The Norwegian teacher you wrote about seems really wonderful!!!!! I like teachers who can explain things clearly and at the same time, is funny and interesting. ^^ I should find out more about her!!

      Haha! I get your hint…Maybe Kirin and I can do something like that too in the near future…Haha! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and for your interesting suggestion! ^^

      • sana November 19, 2010 at 4:30 pm #

        Apple! Kirin! Yes! Please do! I'm sure it would be great as you and both seem to get on so well… Maybe you could go to interesting places together and record yourselves having fun, too!

        (As for the Cantonese, it is a great, expressive language! The podcast I babbled about is called 'Naked Cantonese' and available free on iTunes, or on the RTHK web archive).

        One thing I would like to ask you both is this: How do you switch from one language to the other? I find that, once I've set my little brain to think in one language, I just can't snap out of it to speak another so easily. Any little hints or tips?

      • kirin November 20, 2010 at 10:54 am #

        Thank you sana, I'll check out the 'Naked Cantonese' ^ ^
        Yeah I wish I could take Apple to Tokyo and create many interesting videos with her. Maybe when she comes to Tokyo next time, we should create something interesting together?!

        As for me, I speak only Japanese and English (I wouldn't say I could speak Spanish, it's too little to be enough to have a conversation, haha!) but I switch them naturally depending on the people I talk to. When English speaking people appear in my dream, I am speaking in English there. But when Japanese people appear in the next one, I speak Japanese. (When Spanish people do, I speak very limited Spanish though. lol)

        My thoughts will be the same. When I am in Japan, I think in Japanese. When I am out, I start to mumble in English, which is I guess information is given in English there. In other words, I wouldn't mumble or think in English when I'm in Japan and reading Japanese. I think the surroundings make me switch languages naturally.

        I'd love to hear Apple's as she speaks more languages. ^ ^

      • sana November 20, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

        You dream in different languages? That's really interesting! Maybe that's because you've reached a certain level of fluency. I once dreamt that I was in Japan and was speaking Japanese (to Hakuei ;D) but when I awoke I realised it was just a really strange mix of Chinese and Italian hahaha!

        Kirin, do you get much chance to speak English in Japan? I suppose even if you met an English speaker, they would want to try to speak Japanese with you, it must be quite frustrating?!

        Apple, would love to hear your thoughts, too!

      • kirin November 21, 2010 at 7:24 am #

        I believe Apple will reply to this later, and meanwhile I'll answer your question if there's enough chance to speak English in Japan. It's NO. Unless one is engaged in English-speaking business, there's almost no chance to speak English in our daily life.

        A few years ago, when I was a house renovation planner, which was before I started this blog, my life went completely free from English, and I noticed I forgot so much of what I'd learned. But the interesting thing is the things that seem to have lost came back once I started the blog!!

        I don't mind my English-speaking friends' wanting to speak in Japanese with me, because I also have many chances to speak in English for my business. ^ ^

      • sana November 21, 2010 at 1:13 pm #

        You're so calm about it! (I don't want to sound patronising, but:) It seems amazing that although you don't get many chances to speak it regularly you can use English so well. It has to be one of the hardest languages to learn after all. I wish to steal your abilty… ;p

        A house renovation planner… that sounds like a fascinating post!

      • kirin November 22, 2010 at 2:02 am #

        Oh, the thing is…my English is improved since I started this blog! ^ ^;
        Now almost all the emails I receive and write everyday are in English. I see friends or business owners from other countries and even if some of them want to speak some Japanese, most of conversation will be in English. ^ ^;

        Sana, I think your English is better than mine, and I wonder how many languages you speak…I can see you already speak some languages from the comments. ๐Ÿ˜‰ It's I that want to steal your ability~. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        A house renovation planner was so fun but I had to quit it due to some reasons.

      • Apple November 21, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

        I'm surprised to know Kirin dreams in different languages too! Totally awesome! And your dream sounds amazing too sana! Haha! My dreams are always quiet. It doesn't have any sound but somehow every character in my dream seems to know what each and every other character is telling to each other. Haha!

        Oh! But I do realise that, when I am thinking deep thoughts, I usually think in Chinese. I think Chinese has a much more beautiful way to say certain things, sometimes in just a few words. And in these few words, they contain much more than I can usually express in English.

        As for Japanese, I realise that I'm thinking in that language more and more recently. There are Japanese words that are most appropriate for certain situations that I find other languages cannot fully describe too.

        Anyway, I love learning new languages!! Many times, as I learn more and more of a language, I find myself understanding more and more things about the country, its people, and its culture. It's inevitable. And it's so interesting and fun! ^^ I suppose you feel the same way too! ^^ Ganbarou!

      • Apple November 21, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

        I'm the same as you, Kirin. The surroundings make me switch languages naturally too.

        So, in my country, when I'm with my Chinese friends, I can speak naturally in Chinese. When there are other non-Chinese races among us, I will speak in Singapore-style English.

        But when I'm with foreign English-speaking friends, suddenly the English that I speak will carry an appropriate accent. Hahaha! Because I realise foreigners really cannot understand our Singapore-accented English! (Oh my! Our government was right about that! Haha! I only realised how different our English sounded when I went to Australia and I had to repeat myself many times to be understood. That was embarrassing!) When I was in China too, I switched my accent to theirs too. Just keep my ears open and immerse myself in whatever is appropriate.

        And Kirin…I am aiming to go to Japan next year for a longer period of time so we can do some interesting projects together! ^^ FIGHTING! ^^

      • kirin November 22, 2010 at 2:16 am #

        Oh, Apple, same as me~! The surroundings!!! I think sana asked an interesting question. It was nice for me too to hear your case, because you can speak more languages than I do.
        I'm looking forward to doing something interesting for TKE readers with you! ^__^

      • Apple November 22, 2010 at 12:06 pm #

        Yes!!! Really excited~! ^^

      • Apple November 21, 2010 at 3:09 pm #

        Hi sana! Sorry I took so long to reply!

        It's actually normal that your brain will take some time to switch to thinking/talking in another language if you're currently thinking/talking in a different language.

        As long as you give yourself some time to completely immerse yourself into the language, you can definitely do it. Let's say you are thinking in English now…but you want to think and talk in Japanese next, quickly drop that English side of you, and think in Japanese, and ONLY in Japanese. Try your very best in expressing yourself in only the language you want to use at that certain moment. It's useless trying to speak Japanese, while your mind is thinking in English, and then thinking about how to translate English into Japanese.

        I don't know if this makes sense to you…

        But anyway, to tell you the truth, I don't have many chances to use Japanese in my country. So when I go to Japan, sometimes I feel a little bit shy to use the language, not knowing whether I'm using it correctly or not..but I always try my best. And when I'm in Japan and speaking to the people there, I try to throw away my Chinese/English self, and start to think with a Japanese mind, if that sounds logical to you…haha!

        Btw, thanks for telling me the exact title of the Cantonese podcast! I'm very excited to check it out!!! ^^

      • sana November 22, 2010 at 8:52 am #

        That all makes sense! I find it really difficult if, for example, I'm watching a Japanese anime or drama and my Cantonese MIL telephones me I really struggle! But when I've spent time with them I can speak more easily.

        I've lived in England for many years now, and rarely get the chance to speak other languages. English people are still generally really bad with learning languages *sigh* so tracking down language lessons in anything other than French or Spanish is really problematic.

        That's why friendly blogs like this are so addictive for me :3

        Apple – I have a feeling you will pick up Cantonese very easily ๐Ÿ˜€ Also I suspect that you have singing ability. I know that sounds random, haha. But I bet it's true!

      • Apple November 22, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

        omggg hahahahaa! Are you a psychic, sana?? Haha! HOW DID YOU KNOW ALL THESE THINGS ABOUT ME! HAHAHA!

        The thing is, I have a Cantonese friend who taught me some Cantonese 2 years back, and when I repeated the phrases he taught me, he was surprised at the accuracy of my Cantonese pronunciation the first time I tried.

        And about singing ability…I can't say I'm a great singer, but I can sing…Haha! You're totally cool, sana!!!

        Anyway, I'm curious why you are interested in learning Cantonese! I seldom meet English-speaking people who are interested in Cantonese so it's something new to me! ๐Ÿ˜€

      • sana November 23, 2010 at 11:48 am #

        Um, I have a habit of randomly blurting out things like that, lol. It freaks people out sometimes XD

        I'm learning Cantonese because I married a Hong Kong hottie! Simple as that!

        Unfortunately, I'm far more interested in Japan… but he's cool with it – now!

      • Apple November 24, 2010 at 1:04 am #

        haha ic! i don't mind hearing all these random things you blurt out though! haha! it's fun i think! haha! you're awesome!

        and omggg u have a hong kong hottie as your husband! ahhhhh! envious! haha! you must be a hottie yourself too! ^^

      • sana November 24, 2010 at 4:05 pm #

        Hah! Maybe when I was your age I might have been! ๐Ÿ˜€

  6. Steven Stier November 18, 2010 at 11:27 pm #

    Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. What a great lesson! Could you do more of these please. Perhaps Kyu Sakamoto's "Ue o muite aruko" which was very popular in America with the title "Sukiyaki" I really enjoyed this. Thank you.

    • Apple November 19, 2010 at 2:02 am #

      Thank you so much Steven! Your comment brought tears to my eyes! Haha! Seriously. Ok I feel stupid telling you this. Hahahaha!

      Ok anyway! I know Sukiyaki!!! What a famous song! Haha! I taught this to my students the other time because it was easy and fun to sing along! Ok I may do a Japanese lesson on this song!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Miki November 18, 2010 at 11:35 pm #

    Ah! Such a beautiful song! Ken Hirai is always really good.
    Haha, when I first got really into Japanese culture (almost two years ago) I started watching anime in Japanese with English subtitles. Then I began to learn a few words that I would commonly see like "Motto" "Zutto" "Suki nanda" "Kore wa ____" "Kore de ___" "Matashita ne" "honto no jibun" etc. It really came in handy but I was dying to have good and firm lessons- at the I can't afford it ( and still can't ^ ^' ) I think this is a good song to learn a few words with! Especially because it has a lot of repetition, so students can get used to the words and think "Oh, I've heard that before- I know what it means." But I think the true key to getting used to a language to the point where the words just come out of your mouth, is that at some point you have to stop translating your native language to Japanese in your head. I did this a lot when I was learning English. I would have something to say, but I only knew how to say it in Spanish- so that always gave my tongue a knot! o:

    I'm getting off-subject, lol

    Anyway, thank you for sharing Apple and Kirin! Hoping to see more of these lessons in the near future!! ^ u ^

    • Apple November 19, 2010 at 2:13 am #

      Haha! Why does your experience sounds so similar to mine! Haha! I saw a lot of "motto", "zutto", "sotto", "kitto" as well, and was curious to the max on what they meant! I also couldn't afford Japanese lessons, but I had a Japanese penpal, so I asked her.

      Years later when I entered a polytechnic, they offered foreign language courses at a cheap price, so I signed up for it naturally. Haha! And I realised all those years of dabbling in the language actually paid off! Haha! I could speak it well and I could learn and remember words at such a fast rate that my Japanese teacher said I must be a Japanese in my past life or something. HAHAHAA! At that time, I found myself believing in her words too (haha!)…but if I think about it now, it must be that all these songs and dramas and animes I exposed myself to registered themselves into my mind subconsciously.

      And you're right! At some point of time, you really do have to think in Japanese. Have to stop translating it from English to Japanese. You must train yourself to think in Japanese, think like a Japanese… It's difficult, but really, that's the only way to be fluent in the language. Translating from English to Japanese in your head takes much too long and may be awkward. Same thing for any other language huh. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Well, Ganbarou (Let's do our best) in learning foreign langauges! ^^ It's fun to learn another language! ^^

      • kirin November 19, 2010 at 2:30 am #

        How interesting, you know such a point of view is what we (the native Japanese speakers) miss. We never think of anything from "motto" "zutto" or "kitto". It's such an interesting point of view. ^ ^

      • Apple November 21, 2010 at 3:40 pm #

        Haha! Indeed there are certain things only non-natives will notice and think about! ๐Ÿ˜€ You would probably surprise me with any questions about the Chinese language too!

  8. Amy November 18, 2010 at 11:38 pm #

    Apple & Kirin – thankyou for the post!
    I'm not Chinese, but I think I know what you mean with the attitude towards "baka". I was once very close to a Chinese couple, and he always called her "baka-ko". I thought it was cruel, but they had a great relationship.
    I think I'd like to see that movie. Would you recommend it, Apple?

    • Apple November 19, 2010 at 2:21 am #

      Hi Amy! yes, I think you do understand the attitude towards 'baka'. Haha! ^^ Teasing in a relationship is actually really sweet and loving!

      About this movie…I actually did a movie review on my personal blog. http://applestory.livejournal.com/290727.html You can go read it to help you decide…Haha! I put some movie stillshots there.

      Actually, my review is pretty lame but, well…it's good as reference. Haha!

      I do recommend it because I enjoyed the love scenes between Mayu and Takuma. And I love to hear Takuma call "Mayu" because that used to be my name adopted when I was working in a Japanese company. Hahahaha!

  9. Apple November 19, 2010 at 2:22 am #

    Oh Kirin! It's all thanks to you that I could write this article. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you so much. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. winnie November 19, 2010 at 2:29 am #

    Hi Apple and Kirin,
    Thank you for this wonderful post.
    I am now just start learning japanese keep forgeting and cannot remember too.
    (A decade ago , learnt basic but forgotten!!)
    I am a slow learner.
    But i will try harder to absorb Japanese Language.
    Thank you again for this awesome post!!

    • Apple November 21, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

      Ah Winnie!! ^^

      Thank you so much for reading my post! :D:D:D

      You can do it You can do it!!! You must believe in yourself! Ganbatte! ๐Ÿ˜€

  11. shanjae November 19, 2010 at 5:09 am #

    Nice~ This is one of my favourite Japanese songs too. I love ๅˆ‡ใชใ„ songs like this. hee~
    Anyway, the words that you have chosen to explain in details are indeed very commonly heard in songs and doramas, so I'm sure many Japanese learners will benefit from this article. Well done! (^-^)b

    • Apple November 21, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

      Aww thanks so much shanjae! You're so sweet! Thanks for the encouragement.

      And yes, Japan has so many nice sad songs! >"<

  12. Pakkaskukka November 19, 2010 at 9:02 am #

    I think baka means the same as dummy. The meaning is the same as silly or fool but the nuance is different. Dummy could be used when your loved one misunderstood something, silly when they are acting stupid in a funny way and fool when they really make a fool of themselves. It's ok to use the "wrong" word too as long as you say it in the correct way ( I don't want to make anyone stress about "correct" words).

    • Apple November 21, 2010 at 3:44 pm #

      Ah…thanks for sharing this. I couldn't find a good English word to explain baka used in this way, but you explained it very well. Thank you! ^^

  13. kirin November 20, 2010 at 1:12 pm #

    I'm just impressed at Apple's post, how she created this post. http://applestory.livejournal.com/292151.html

    • Apple November 21, 2010 at 3:45 pm #


  14. moonlightowl1 January 27, 2011 at 5:11 am #

    i thought i love you was aishiteru

    • kirin January 29, 2011 at 5:17 am #

      I could say something on that point:
      Aishiteru…more serious and formal
      Sukidayo…more casual and young

      For example, there are a boyfriend and a girlfriend who just started dating. The boyfriend told her "Aishiteru", and the girl would feel "wow…that's too heavy and serious…maybe little bit scary…". In this case, "Sukidayo" is better. ^ ^

      • moonlightowl1 January 29, 2011 at 7:04 am #

        that makes sense thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

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