Having finished the final exams for my undergraduate degree in Japan Studies, we decided to spend some time off by visiting a friend doing an internship in Seville, Spain. We used our time there to get a glimpse of beautiful Andalusia and were not disappointed by the stunning beauty of it’s architecture and nature, it’s fascinating history and last but not least, it’s wonderful culinary traditions. Continue →

During my class on the classical Japanese language (kobun 古文) last semester, I was introduced to a well known, Heian era poem named Iroha, famous for using all characters of the Japanese syllabary exactly once2. Attributed to Kūkai, founder of Japan’s Esoteric sect of Buddhism, the highly allusionary meaning of the poem stuck with me (also, I had to be able to recite it for my exam), and thus... Continue →

私は先週、ブリュッセルで行われた日本語のスピーチコンテストに参加して、「ベルギー・日本友好150周年」のために歴史的なスピーチを発表する機会をいただきました。すると、参加者の他者が非常に高いレベルにあったし、質疑応答もやや恥ずかしくなっても、何とか第三位に入賞しました。このブログのエントリーは私が書いたスピーチの原稿です。 Continue →

For this year’s Japanese Speech Contest in Brussels, I had the pleasure to prepare and hold a speech in honor of Belgium and Japan’s 150th year of mutual friendship. Despite some hiccups and an incredibly high level amongst the other candidates (meeting all these excellent Japanese learners was both an extremely humbling experience as well as a perfect motivation booster for the coming years)... Continue →

This weekend the NHK Culture Center and the Embassy of Japan in Belgium organized the 30th edition of the Japan Cultural Festival, held in Antwerp in celebration of 150 years of friendship between our two nations. Together with a few classmates and upperclass students I had the honor and pleasure of joining this event’s staff of interpreter volunteers, spending my last 3 days assisting two... Continue →

Last year, I cooperated with several other students at my music academy to write the music for a small local musical called “Dating - a musical for the highly educated” (a supposedly ironic, yet pretentious title I’m less than fond of, honestly). Being slightly unsatisfied with the end-result of my own compositions, I’ve since started rearranging them. I intend to describe the process in this... Continue →

As anyone casually browsing my blog might have guessed so far, I’m pretty fond of using Anki as a tool in vocab acquisition, and thus use it for Korean vocabulary as well using both existing sets and my own based on our textbooks2. Having a broad base in Japanese, I thought it would be more efficient having a link between the two languages in my flashcards. In order to assist myself and other... Continue →

You’ve been studying Japanese for a while now and reached a level of Japanese adequate enough to understand (simple) texts. Drilling new vocabulary has become a daily routine so entangled in your lifestyle you barely notice anymore. If you were to describe your current level of proficiency, you’d proudly present yourself as an intermediate level learner. Sounds familiar? Let’s take it a notch... Continue →

With the academic school year rapidly approaching, I decided on a short last-minute trip out and booked cheap tickets to Romania. I spent spent the week, in company, traveling through the historic region of Transylvania, commonly associated with vampire folklore, and situated between the imposing Carpathian mountains. A rich history, ranging from a feudal agricultural culture to a post-war... Continue →

One of the common pitfalls of learning Japanese vocabulary through Ankicards is memorizing vocabulary loose of context. Perhaps you’ve found yourself in a situation having no particular problems recalling vocabulary during Anki reviews, but less so when confronted with real-life situations. If that sounds familiar, one way to counter this common problem would be to install an additional Anki... Continue →