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It's kind of funny... this started out as a place to put my offhand musings on Ranma 1/2... but it's turned into more of a Japanese reference thing... and then I took down most of the Ranma 1/2 stuff for massive rewrites... I might yet get around to them some day...

Recent updates:

2016-05-30 - In addition to general cleanup, improving consistency in formatting, and rephrasing here and there, updates include... elaborating more on だったりして (dattari shite) and similar constructs, noting that many adjective conjugations end in a form of the copula and as such may use other variants of it, expanding the ~がる (-garu) adjective ending section and contrasting ~がる (-garu) with ~がっている (-gatte ru), adding more particle-like things to the Particles page and renaming it Particles, etc. in the sidebar, adding the ~げ (-ge) adjective ending, adding more information on the さ (sa) particle, and adding っけ (kke) to the topic list since I missed doing that previously.

2015-09-07 - Various minor revisions, and more importantly noting that the で (de) particle can also indicate the circumstances of an action, in addition to the uses I had already described.

2015-03-01 - Added some extra information on the differences between the に (ni) and へ (e) particles. Also check the blog, since some of the entires have information relevant to this section.

2014-03-01 - Various updates that I unfortunately forgot to document. The section on classical grammar is definitely new, at the very least.

29 Apr 2012 - General cleanup and revision, plus an assortment of new things:

In grammar: The adjectives page has more information on 連体詞 and classical ~なる and ~たる adjectives. The word order page now includes a brief overview of pre-noun versus sentence-final conjugation in classical Japanese. The classical particle をば and the use of と with ~たる adjectives are new on the particles page. The verbs page now briefly explains what I mean by an old-style -aru verb, as well as contrasing the ~なくて and ~ないで negative -te forms and noting the similarity between vague "they did" sentences in English and passive form in Japanese.

In vocabulary: I've explained what a "mass noun" is and that Japanese nouns function as such. The personal pronoun list now gets its own subpage, and I've also added a new page on number words and counters in Japanese.

The kana page also has some new information here and there: I've added a mention of lazy romanizations that have become official, like dojo and Tokyo. The paragraph on pitch accent now has an example. Gemination should be explained better, and I don't think I used the term before. I've also gone into more depth and attempted to improve accuracy regarding the pronounciation of the so-called syllabic n, combinations involving w, and especially the ou combination (which, unfortunately, varies). For beginners, I've tried to explain how to pick out syllables (morae, properly) from romanized Japanese.

27 Feb 2011 - New grammar entries, more examples, and some adidtional proofreading and clarification.

21 Aug 2010 - Various updates, topic index overhauled, broken links fixed. Hopefully I got them all, but if you find any, let me know.

16 Jan 2009 - A few additions and improvements on a few grammar pages. Nothing major, I'm afraid.


So I was taking Japanese in college, as a change from courses for my major and various irritating required courses that are only marginally (if at all) related to anything I actually care about, and with it, watching a lot of anime in Japanese (with English subtitles so I can follow what's going on and maybe pick up a few words/phrases), so I decided, why not put a section on my website about Japanese and anime, not that I'm an expert or authoritative or anything, but just because I feel like it and maybe someone else might be interested, and maybe find some of the things I've learned useful, and I had initially decided to focus on the Ranma1/2 anime (based on the manga series by Rumiko Takahashi) since I had been watching that more than anything else in Japanese, and besides, it's hilarious, but that part of the site has since annoyed me and been taken down until I can rewrite it, since I didn't really do a good job on it, but I still like the series too much to abandon it entirely, though I'm not sure when or if I'll actually get around to that, and I orignally made this sentence excessively long and run-on out of frustration that the college still thought, after three semesters, that I needed to take Freshman English even though I never actually needed to in the first place because of high board scores, and while they finally fixed it, flaunting such a basic and simple principle of "proper" writing is still something I'd never be able to get away with in a class, even though I had to take a tech writing course, all the while wishing I didn't have to largely because of the hideous group writing, which is possibly the stupidest idea ever, but since I can get away with this here, this entire paragraph is actually just one big, long, excessively hyperextended sentence, and even longer now than it was when I first wrote it, and I kept it like this because I still like the idea, but hey, it's still grammatically correct, and several famous authors have done similar things, so at least I have precedent on my side. ^_^

Anyway, I'm working on a couple of related things here. I've put up charts of the Japanese characters (kana), how they're pronounced (approximately), and the frequent relationship between katakana words and English (and other non-Japanese languages). Since that's only part of the writing system, there's also a chart of some common kanji (Chinese characters, frequently used with kana in Japanese writing), though you're better off checking a kanji dictionary for those. The writing system isn't very useful by itself, so there's also a brief vocabulary (mostly basic words and a huge variety of personal pronouns), and several pages on grammar. Links to specific topics are available on a (hopefully) comprehensive and easy-to-use topics index. Though I obviously can't explain the entire language, the basics should be here, plus some more advanced stuff and some that you're not likely to find in a classroom. It's also a handy reference guide for my own use ^^.

Why did I pick Ranma1/2 and not some other anime (or manga)? I dunno, it just seemed like a good idea, and I had a fairly large amount of material to draw from (though I probably have more Inuyasha and others now). If anyone's curious, I've also watched at least some of the Slayers (plus NEXT, TRY, a bit of Revolution, and the related series Lost Universe), Shin Seiki Evangelion (Neon Genesis Evangelion), Inuyasha, Naruto, Hagane no Renkinjutsushi (Full Metal Alchemist), Fushigi Yuugi, Chobits, Love Hina, Rozen Maiden, Grenadier ~Hohoemi no Senshi~, Maburaho, Mahoraba ~Heartful Days, Ragnarok Online: The Animation, Xenosaga: The Animation, .hack//SIGN, .hack//Liminality, .hack//UdeDen, .hack//Roots, Kanon, Air, and Clannad series, as well as the movies Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke), Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi (Spirited Away), Tenkuu no Shiro Laputa (Castle in the Sky), Kaze no Tani no Nausica (Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind), more I can't recall at the moment, and even more I'm too lazy to list. And this list is now horribly out of date. And that's not even counting video games and online content...

If you're interested in owning a copy of any of these, or anything else, check around online. E-Bay is usually a good place to check, a number of American stores are carrying anime now, and it seems Amazon has good availability as well.

You're going to need a Japanese font and a web browser that understands the UTF-8 character encoding to get much use out of this site, since without it, you won't be able to read any of the Japanese text. The latest versions of Mozilla, Opera, Chrome, and Internet Exploiter handle it with no problems, but I'm not sure about older browsers. I haven't had any complaints, but I'm not sure whether that means that it's not a problem, that no one's been here, or that no one cares.

This is one of those continually (if irregularly) expanding sites, so check back every so often if you're interested. I try to update the grammar at least with anything new I learn, but I get behind fairly often (hah, more like constantly). Check the news at the top of this page for recent updates.

E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, corrections, etc.

Sources and other credits