Published 1/24/2012 by

New Gets ~

The following items are on their way to my place:

Lately I've started to re-structure my wardrobe. I want to kick out some Lolita dresses I rarely wear and add more dresses I truly love and will wear to death. I was really charmed by Otome and other simple yet cute styles. I also fell completely head over heels for Emily Temple Cute. So I'm planning to buy some cute prints but I swore to myself to only buy second hand since the prices are significantly lower. 
As soon as I receive clothes from picture 2 and 3 I'll make a review of Japonica Market the shopping service that helped me order from Yahoo! Japan Auctions.
But the more I look at the cute (but overpriced) clothes the more I wish I could make my own creations. Some designs are so inspiring but only half-perfect to me... either the print is too big/all over the place or the cut of the dress is strange (or it's only for -80cm bust T_T) and of course, the price is a big problem. 
I'm working on a fashion inspiration post featuring some inspiring outfits so you'll see what direction I'm drifting to fashion-wise. 
I ordered the Gothic Lolita Bible 41 and Gothic Lolita Bible 42 and will scan them and post them as soon as I get them. Hope you'll appreciate it ^^ Last but not least I bought a cool Planetarium. I want to fall asleep watching the night sky and stars and so I grabbed an older model (the newest is 400+USD -.-'') on Ebay and am impatiently waiting for it to arrive.

What are your recent gets? ~ 
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Published 1/23/2012 by

Happy Dragon Year ~

Yesterday was Chinese New Year's celebration. Bye-bye Metal Bunny, welcome Water Dragon!
The first official day of the Black Dragon year will be on February 4th!
Do you want know your Chinese Zodiac Sign? Click here or here
The last number of your birth year decides your element:
0 or 1 ~ Metal
2 or 3 ~ Water
4 or 5 ~ Wood
6 or 7 ~ Fire
8 or 9 ~ Earth

Each Chinese Zodiac Sign (paired with your element & even your astrological sign) has a special character definition. It's quite interesting to read your own or those of your friends.

If you're interested in a forecast of the Dragon Year 2012 you can read more here and here.

Anyway, laogong and I celebrated by making jiaozi (Chinese dumplings) at home. I tried several styles, the boiled ones (shuijiao) and the pan-fried ones (guotie). I also cooked a Tom Kha Gai (a Thai chicken soup). Afterwards I hung my newly made daofu (reversed luck sign) on our door. I skipped the Bunny year (2011)  but had hung one on the Tiger year (2010) .

Happy Dragon Year ~ wishing you a happy, prosperous and healthy new year!

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Published 1/15/2012 by

A Japanese break for Dokdo ~

I'm back! ~ Sorry for interrupting the Japanese language immersion... 
My idea was to work on it for 2 weeks straight, then take a 1-week break while I'm at my mother's and then continue - now I'll have to change my plans and continue the immersion even while I'm not at home.
The last few days I worked on my assigned paper about "The Dokdo Debate" in which I discussed the historical claims of South Korea and Japan over the small rocky island. Handover date was this evening.
Now I'm finally free to continue with my immersion, but since I'm staying at my mother's this week I might cut it down from 3 hours to 1 hour per day ~ we'll see!

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Published 1/07/2012 by

Japanese language immersion: Day 5 ~

Starting DAY 5!
iToday I agree to go with laogong to his school and keep him company while studying (He goes there every day and studies from 9am-6pm). So today was a big review day!

 I think I'm getting better at the basic Katakana! *^_^*
basic (ア、エ、イ、オ、ウ), k-series (カ、ケ、キ、コ、ク) s-series (サ、セ、シ、ソ、ス)  t-series (タ、テ、チ、ト、ツ), n-series (ナ、ネ、ニ、ノ、ヌ), h-series (ハ、ヘ、ヒ、ホ、フ), m-series (マ、メ、ミ、モ、ム) and r-series (ラ、レ、リ、ロ、ル), y-series (ヤ、ヨ、ユ), w-series (ワ、ヲ) and n (). 
So I slowly started learning the extended Kana, namely the:
g-series (ガ、ゲ、ギ、ゴ、グ) and z-series (ザ、ゼ、ジ、ゾ、ズ
I know, the Kana are the same plus those two strokes but sometimes those strokes will confuse me completely... that's why I'm treating the extended Kana as if I was learning completely new Kana. ^^'

② I reviewed all Kanji from Lesson 1 - Lesson 6!

 GRAMMAR time! Let's learn another verb stem!
Today: V1, the irrealis form (ika, kawa, tabe)
The V1 form + nai c an be used for an informal negative sentence.  Example: ikanai! (I don't go!)
With V1 we can also express daily duties, what we have to do or asking someone not to do something!

some verbs (V3 → V1):
nomu → noma - drink
taberu → tabe -  eat
oyogu → oyoga - swim
kau → kawa - buy
iku → ika - go
miru → mi - see/watch
suru → shi - do

Expressions with V1

V1 + nai - informal negative sentence

V1 + nakereba narimasen (deshita) - (I) have to ... /daily duties/

V1 + nai de kudasai! - Please don't ...!
V1 + nai hô ga ii(/yokatta) desu. - It would (have been) be better if you didn't ...

time expressions:
maitoshi - every year / maitsuki - every month / maishû - every week / mainichi - every day

maiasa - every morning / maiban - every evening / asaban - (Daily) mornings and evenings

yoku - often / fudan - normally, usually itsumo - always  nankai - how often

Mainichi toshokan de bento o noma nakereba narimasen. I have to eat a Bento in the library every day.
(Fuyu ni) umi de oyoga nai de kudasai! Please don't go swimming in the sea (in winter).
Maiasa gakkô de biiru o noma nai hô ga ii desu. It would be better not to drink a beer every day at school.
Nankai uchi de nihongo o benkyô shi nakereba narimasen ka? How often do you have to study Japanese at home (like you're obligated =D)

④ Adjectives cards: I practiced the flash cards for V3 and V1.

  Let's review and study some new particles!

ka  - question marker // example: Oishii desu ka. Does it taste good?
to - 1) conjunction // example: Tomodachi to... With my friend... // Neko to inu imasu. There's a cat and a dog.
2) quotation // example: ...to omoi masu. I think that:""
ya - incomplete list // example: hon ya zasshi ya nado ga ari masu. There are books and magazines (and more stuff).
yo - assertion // example: iku yo. I'm leaving!
ne - tag questions/ "eh" example: kawaii desu ne. It's cute, isn't it?

now the most important ones (meaning:the ones I have most trouble with ( ̄▽ ̄)ゞ)

o - object marker // example: bento o tabe masu. I eat a Bento.
ni - 1) location (without action) // example: Uchi ni i masu. I'm at home.
2) purpose // example: benkyô ni gakkô e iki masu. I go to school to study. (=in order to)
3) time // example: go-ji ni tabe masu.  I eat at five. // fuyu ni... In winter...
4) indirect object marker // example: tomodachi ni hon o kaeshimasu. I give the book back to my friend.
de - 1) location (with action) // example: Uchi de benkyô shimasu. I'm studying at home.
2) instrumental // example: o-hashi de tabe masu. Eating with the chopsticks (using)
3) language // example: nihongo de kakemasu. Writing in Japanese.
- direction marker // example: nihon e ikimasu. I go to Japan.
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Published 1/06/2012 by

Japanese language immersion: Day 4 ~

Japanese language immersion will end on January 15th!
Till them I'll update daily.
Afterwards I might add some short Japanese essays... and then go back to my 2-3 posts/week schedule ^^

Let's start DAY 4!

 Reviewed: basic (ア、エ、イ、オ、ウ), k-series (カ、ケ、キ、コ、ク) s-series (サ、セ、シ、ソ、ス)  t-series (タ、テ、チ、ト、ツ), n-series (ナ、ネ、ニ、ノ、ヌ), h-series (ハ、ヘ、ヒ、ホ、フ), m-series (マ、メ、ミ、モ、ム) and r-series (ラ、レ、リ、ロ、ル).  Learned the y-series (ヤ、ヨ、ユ), w-series (ワ、ヲ) and n (). I'll start studying the extended Kana (バ、ポ、グ etc) tomorrow! ~

Once again, reviewed Kanji from Lesson 1 - Lesson 5 and prepared Lesson 6:

 Workbook! Again, similar grammar like yesterday. Description using left/right (location markers)

location markers:
A wa B no ue ni ari masu. - A is above B.
A wa B no shita ni ari masu. - A is below B.
A wa B no hidari ni ari masu. - A is to the left of B.
A wa B no migi ni ari masu. - A is to the right of B.
A wa B no tonari ni ari masu. - A is next to B.

expressions to ask questions:
dore ga.... desu ka. - Which is ...?  /  kore ga... desu. - This is...
koko ni nani ga ari masu ka. - What is here?  /  koko ni.... ari masu. - Here are/is ...-
...wa doko desu ka. - Where is...?  /  ...wa doko desu - ...is here.

rinbingu wa doko desk ka?. Where's the living room?
ribingu wa kaidan no hidari ni ari masu. The living room is to the left of the stairs.
Koko ni toire ga ari masu. Toire wa ribingu no tonari ni ari masu. This here is the toilet. The toilet is next to the living room.

④ Adjectives cards : Just studied the V3 flash cards ^^

 Now it's finally getting interesting! We start learning verb stems!
Until now we only used desu, i masu, ari masu. Now we will learn more verbs & their stems!

Today: V3, the dictionary form (iku, kau, taberu)

some verbs (V3):
nomu - drink
taberu -  eat
oyogu - swim
kau - buy
iku - go
miru - see/watch

Expressions with V3
V3 alone: informal speech
V3 + koto - /nominalisation of the verb/
V3 + koto ga ari masu - it happens/has been done --- very complicated to translate -- see: Examples
V3 + koto ga ari masen - it doesn't happen/hasn't been done

V3 + koto wa (adj) desu - it's (adj) to do
V3 + koto ga deki masu/masen - ability to do something/not being able to do something--- see: Examples

V3 + no ga suki/kirai desu - (I) like to...

V3 + tsumori desu - (I) plan to...
V3 + tame ni... - In order to do V3, ...

V3 + toki ni - When I V3, ....
V3 + mae ni - Before I V3, ...

These Expressions are very hard to understand without examples, so let's take a closer look:

(toshokan de) biiru o nomu koto ga ari masu ka? Do you drink Beer (in the library)? (Has it happened that...)
Oyogu koto ga deki masu ka? Can you swim? (ability)
Terebi o miru no ga suki desu. I like watching TV.
(Rainen) umi de oyogu tsumori desu. (Next year) I plan to go swimming in the sea.
Nihongo o benkyô suru mae ni Bento o tabemasu. Before learning Japanese I eat a Bento.

And that's all for today! ^^ ~ 
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Published 1/05/2012 by

Japanese language immersion: Day 3 ~

Ready for Day 3?!

 Review of these Katakanabasic (ア、エ、イ、オ、ウ), k-series (カ、ケ、キ、コ、ク) s-series (サ、セ、シ、ソ、ス)  t-series (タ、テ、チ、ト、ツ), n-series (ナ、ネ、ニ、ノ、ヌ) and h-series (ハ、ヘ、ヒ、ホ、フ).  
Studied the m-series (マ、メ、ミ、モ、ム) and r-series (ラ、レ、リ、ロ、ル).  ガンバ━o(・`ω´・)○))━ ル!!!
Started studying them with my new flash cards in random order. I still struggle to make the link to my aide-mémoire fast enough and keep forgetting some Katakana_| ̄|○''
I will only start learning the extended Kana (バ、ポ、グ etc) when I'm confident with the basic ones!

Flash Cards!! I reviewed all the Kanji from Lesson 1- Lesson 4. One side of the flashcard is the word in Kanji the other side is the word transcribed in Hiragana. I practiced this direction: Hiragana -> Kanji
Took me quite a long time to write everything down! So I only studied Lesson 5:

 Workbook! Grammar 1: describing your country or what you own using arimasu / imasu

important verb forms:
ari masu ("there are"), ari mashita ("there were"), atte... ("there were, and..." suspensive form)
ari masen ("there aren't"), ari masen deshita ("there weren't"), nakute... ("there weren't, and..." negative suspensive form)

i masu ("there are" for living things), i mashita ("there were" for living things), ite...("there were, and..." suspensive form for living things)
i masen ("there aren't" for living things), i masen deshita ("there weren't" for living things), i nakute... ("there weren't, and..." negative suspensive form for living things)

words to express quantity:
takusan - many
amari (+negative) - not many
sukoshi - few
sukoshi shika (+negative)  - only few
ôzei  - many (for people)
zenzen (+negative) - none (at all)
tama ni  - occasionally

(Suisu / Chuurihi = Switzerland / Zurich)

Chuurihi no dôbutsuen ni wa hito ga ôzei imasu ka. Are there in Zurich's zoo a lot of people?
Hai ite, dôbutsu mo takusan imasu. Yes and there's also lots of animals.
Chuurihi no daigaku ni wa ryûgakusei ga amari imasen ka.  Aren't there many foreign student at the University of Zurich?
Saa dô deshô ka. I wonder (how it is). = I don't know
Suisu ni wa yûenchi ga sukoshi shika nakute umi ga zenzen arimasen. In Switzerland there are (only) few amusement parks and no ocean at all.
Zannen desu. What a pity.

Anata no apaato ni mo hon to zasshi ga takusan arimasu ka.  Are there in your apartment many books and magazines, too?

* feel free to answer to my questions in the comment section if you wanna practice japanese * =D

Adjectives cards ftw... T_T''
I still don't know all and I can't proceed until we review the next verb form (V3)...that will be tomorrow!

 Back to the Workbook!

Basically, it's the same grammar as before but adding Japanese numbers:

Watashi no apaato ni wa heya ga futatsu ari masu. My apartment has 2 rooms.
Shinshiku ni wa ôkii beddo ga hitotsu ari masu. In the bedroom there's 1 big bed.
Ribingu ni wa beddo mo hitotsu ari masu. In the living room there's 1 bed, too.
Daidokoro ni wa isu ga hitotsu mo ari masen. In the kitchen there's not even 1 chair.
Zannen nagara puuru ga ari masen. It's such a pity that (I) don't have a pool.
Walking Closet ga ikutsuka areba ureshii desu. I would be so happy if I had one more Walking Closet.

Anata no apaato ni wa nani ga areba ii desu ka. What would you love to have in your apartment?

Same grammar again but adding location markers.

location markers:
ue - over/above
naka - in(side)
shita - under/below
mae - in front/before
ushiro - behind
yoko - next to/beside

A to B ga ari masu. - There's A and B. (complete)
A ya B ya C nado ga ari masu. - There's A, B and C among other things. (incomplete list)

Beddo no ue ni zasshi ya neko ya yôfuku nado ari masu. (On/) Above my bed there are magazines, a cat and clothes (among other things).
Anata no reizôko naka ni nani ga ari masu ka. What's in your fridge?

That's it for today! Are you feeling tired after this 3-part-grammar? See you tomorrow!

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Published 1/04/2012 by

J-Magazines (February 2012) ~

Here are (exclusively for my beloved readers) some of the newest Japanese magazines,
this is part 2 of my monthly series, featuring all FEBRUARY issues ^_^

Hope you enjoy reading and please comment if you download! ❤ ❤
I'll keep updating this page as long as there's some interesting February 2012 issues ~
- so make sure to check back often! ~

❤ last update: february 18th: Sweet, Egg

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Published 1/04/2012 by

Japanese language immersion: Day 2 ~

Welcome to the second day of my immersion project!

Let's dive into Day 2!

 I reviewed the following Katakanabasic (ア、エ、イ、オ、ウ), k-series (カ、ケ、キ、コ、ク) s-series (サ、セ、シ、ソ、ス) and  t-series (タ、テ、チ、ト、ツ). 
I learned the n-series (ナ、ネ、ニ、ノ、ヌ) and h-series (ハ、ヘ、ヒ、ホ、フ).  ガンバ━o(・`ω´・)○))━ ル!!!
Furthermore I prepared flash cards with the syllables to practice the Kana in random order. (Right now I can write them only in the a-e-i-o-u order and since I made special aide-mémoire for nearly each character it takes me some time to make the link in my head.) BTW... I'm practicing to write them, not just 'reading' them.

② Time for my flash cards! I practiced the Kanji of Lession 3 and Lession 4. I noticed that I planned to few time for this study part... as I finished writing these Kanji time was already over... but I should have reviewed the Kanji of Lession 1 and Lesson 2... (tomorrow I'll take more time for the Kanji!)
This is the list: 山、川、海、酒、毎、良、悪、聞、話、鳥、時、計、寺、天、気、一、二、三、四、五、六、七、八,九、十、月、火、水、木、金、土、曜、旅、行、夕、方、朝、昼、夜、国、王、森、林、雨、電、南、北、車、東、西、口.

  I decided to split the Workbook time (1h appointed) in 2 parts. Firstly, because I'm much more motivated to study grammar in 30min chunks than 1h...(sound SOOO long *lazy*) And I prefer variation or will get bored soon. So I study 30min grammar, then proceed to the grammar flash cards (~30-40min), then another 30min of grammar!

I envy my cat's life... 

So... first I studied the Adjective-Verbs, namely: suki, kirai, hoshii, jôzu, heta, tokui, nigate
The lesson is all about expressing what you like/dislike or are good/bad at.

(Watashi wa) sushi ga hoshii desu. I want Sushi (let's forget about the -tai Form (tabetai) for now.
Nihongo ga mada tokui de wa arimasen. I'm not good at Japanese yet.
Nihongo ga mada jôzu de ari masen desu. He's not good at Japanese yet.

There are two forms to express being good/bad at something. One is for oneself: tokui (good) and nigate (bad), the politer one is when you're speaking of another person: jôzu (good) and heta.
The ga is important! (Normally you could use wa but) combined with suki, kirai jôzu etc it has to be ga.
Further explanation @ thejapanesetutor.com

Nihongo to Kankokugo to dochira mo nigate desu. I suck (~being bad at) at both Japanese and Korean. XD
Chugokugo wa motto tokui ni nari mashita. (In contrast) I've become more good (better) at Chinese. 
Here the wa is used to contrast this sentence with the previous ones.
Gaikokugo wa nandemo suki nari mashita. (I've) gotten (like+ become+past tense) to like all foreign languages.

useful words:
nani (what), dochira (which one (of the two)), dochira mo (both), nandemo (all / everything)

Some useful constructions: 
A to B to dochira ga suki desu ka. Which one (A or B) do you like better?
A wa B yori (adj) desu.   A is (adj) than B.
Saa, yoku wakari mason. (If asked for a decision) I'm not sure...

Enough for the first part! *tired* I hope you can understand what I wrote... if you find any error PLEASE let me know! I'd be really grateful!

Nothing special... just practiced the adjectives cards from yesterday and learned some more... I'm still not through with this 90+ cards!! _| ̄|○''

 Back to the Workbook!


In the second part I just practiced more Adjectives... like the characteristics of people/animals.

Indo no zô wa kiba ga ôkii desu. Indian elephants' tusks are big.
Mimi wa ichiban ôkii-kunai desu. (Their) ears aren't the biggest ones.
Afurika no zô wa mimi ga motto ôkii desu.  African elephant's ears are the biggest ones.
Sensei wa ki ga naga-ku ari masen.  The teacher isn't patient (patient-not). impatient = ki ga mijikai

useful expresson when discussing something: ... wa waru-ku nai desk ga, ... (...istn't bad but...)

Enough Japanese for today! Let's take a break and get some food! *hungry* (〃⌒ー⌒〃)ノ~~~~バイバァ〜イ

♪~♪ d(⌒o⌒)b♪~♪ランラン

at least Coco was supporting me, trying to stay awake... XD
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