How to Japanese Podcast

Daniel Morales

Everyone learning Japanese needs a senpai - this podcast is your digital senpai. Join Daniel from HowToJapanese.com and guests to learn what strategies have been effective for them as they study, live, and work in Japan and using Japanese.

All Episodes

On the final episode this season, I talk about the importance of celebrating your little victories as you study a language. And in Japanese, I think about how to balance introversion and extroversion as you're studying. Listen until the end - I provide a short update on one of the episodes from Season 1. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Sep 12

13 min 56 sec

Jens Petersen has been working in real estate in Tokyo for over 13 years. He initially found interest in Japanese independent music. In recent years his interest has also branched out into the art world. We spoke about learning Japanese, finding an immersive environment, and job hunting at job fairs. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Sep 5

56 min 32 sec

There is an official order to the 都道府県 (todōfuken, prefectures) in Japan. I share some thoughts about it and in Japanese discuss the importance of learning how to really devour (貪る, musaboru) your Japanese studies. This is a nice post with a close look at the numbering. Here is the official website for the 全国地方公共団体コード. And I previously wrote about the alphabet in Japanese. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Aug 29

11 min 34 sec

Molly Des Jardin is a language and computer nerd who came to study Japanese, and later book and media history of modern Japan. She quickly got sucked into both for the long term and enjoyed the 'B-kyu' adventures she got to have while working or studying in Fukuoka, Yokohama, and the least cool wards of Tokyo. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Substack, and Facebook.

Aug 22

1 hr 17 min

This is an audio version of a presentation I gave to departing JETs at the Consulate-General of Japan in Chicago. Usually I'm able to drill the JETs to get them speaking a little Japanese. Obviously it's virtual this year, so I recorded a version to use as reference. This material might be useful for others interested in teaching in Japan. Follow along with the slides, which can be accessed here. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Substack, and Facebook.

Aug 16

33 min 11 sec

What's something that surprised you about Japan that was completely ordinary? For me it was the access to swimming pools. Living in Japan changed my relationship with swimming for the better. And in Japanese, I talk about 趣味 (shumi, hobbies/interests) and their role in Japanese study. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Aug 15

11 min 54 sec

Mike Grant is the co-founder of Devil Craft brewing and has been operating in Tokyo for 10 years as of this year. Devil Craft has four locations in the Tokyo area. See Craft Beer Professional's interview with Mike here. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Substack, and Facebook.

Aug 8

51 min 57 sec

The Katakana Fallacy is the mistaken belief that katakana are more difficult to learn than hiragana (and maybe even kanji?!). A closer look at what drives this believe helps explain why Japanese is, in fact, the easiest language in the world. And in Japanese, I talk about linguistic crutches and how to avoid them. I've been writing about the ideas behind the Katakana Fallacy since this post in 2008. And this is the Anki deck of katakana words that I mentioned might be helpful. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Aug 1

14 min 10 sec

Mercedez Clewis is a Japanese to English localization editor and proofreader as well as a pop culture writer and critic. See her website here. We spoke about intensive Japanese study programs, teaching on the JET Program, and breaking into translation/writing/localization as a freelancer. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, Substack, and Facebook.

Jul 25

1 hr 5 min

かもしれない (kamoshirenai, may/might) has subtle nuances, and it can be easy to overuse. I talk about a time when I did, and how many years later that mistake allowed me to become an advice columnist very briefly. And in Japanese, I go into my unfortunate history with 食中毒 (shokuchūdoku, food poisoning) in Japan. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Jul 18

12 min 5 sec

Brian Epstein is a patent attorney with Modal Law who has been working with Japanese clients and patent attorneys for his 14-year career. He started his own practice in 2019 and plans to visit Japan again shortly after the borders reopen. We discuss patent law and communication with Japanese business partners. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Jul 11

54 min 26 sec

The dreaded 車検 (shaken, car inspection) is an expat's worst nightmare, but it's not a reason to not get a car. Driving in the Japanese countryside is absolutely the best way to get around and make some great memories. I talk about my experience with 車検. I also reminisce in Japanese about the very first time I sang karaoke. The article I mention about 演歌 (enka) can be found here - lots of good songs to study. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Jul 4

14 min 2 sec

Morgan Giles is a Japanese translator based in London. She's translated a number of different writers, including Kanehara Hitomi, Furukawa Hideo, and the National Book Award-winning Tokyo Ueno Station by Yu Miri. Find Morgan on Twitter here. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Jun 27

58 min 1 sec

Living with Japanese roommates in Tokyo was the highlight of my time in Japan. I found those roommates on the website Roomshare.jp, a great site that I introduce this week. And in Japanese I talk about how I ate のり弁 for nearly an entire year and how I think it's a useful metaphor for Japanese study. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Jun 20

12 min 43 sec

Jason Coskrey is a sports writer for The Japan Times. He previously worked at the Birmingham Post Herald and the Marietta Daily Journal before moving to Japan in 2007. We spoke about learning Japanese (and how to do sports writing) through immersion. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Jun 13

51 min 40 sec

Adjectives in Japanese are not always what they appear to be! I think part of this is because they function as what I call "performative adjectives." One of my sixth-grade students helped me finally understand what かわいそう meant. And in Japanese I discuss 系 and how it helped me explain myself. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

Jun 6

13 min 50 sec

Paul Snowden worked for over 40 years in universities in Japan. He is also one of the three editors-in-chief of the Fifth Edition of Kenkyusha’s New Japanese-English Dictionary, affectionately known as the Green Goddess. We talked about his experience learning Japanese, working with international students in Japan, and developing The Green Goddess. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

May 30

53 min

You don't have to go very far to be a tourist, and looking at the world with that mindset can also be helpful for language study. In this week's episode, I reminisce about when my parents visited Tokyo and talk about ノーダメージクリア (nōdamēji kuria, completing games without taking any damage). Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

May 23

9 min 12 sec

Jenn O'Donnell is a Japanese to English translator and project manager based in Osaka. By day she works as a Localization Director for a video game company and by night she blogs about translation on J-ENTranslations and studying Japanese on Japanese Talk Online. She also hosts the podcast Recommendations from My Otaku Spouse. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

May 16

1 hr 2 min

一番搾り (Ichiban Shibori) helped me cement my understanding of a translator's role and what "fluency" means. And I was able to get this podcast up and running again thanks to a little 自己分析 (jikobunseki, self analysis). Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

May 9

14 min 41 sec

Mel Ok is a translator and project manager based in Tottori Prefecture. He's currently the head of Ace Honyaku and has been in the translation industry for over 10 years. Previously he served as a CIR on the JET Program, taught English, and worked in QA. We talked about studying the language, working as a CIR, developing as a translator, and getting into whisky. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

May 2

1 hr 2 min

お待たせしました! Welcome to the second season of the How to Japanese Podcast. This season I'll be talking with translators, writers, and people doing a range of other work with Japanese and in Japan. Check out this preview of some of the conversations. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook.

May 1

2 min

Adam Evanko is the creative mind behind the Gaijinhunter YouTube account where he's built up over 280,000 subscribers. He's also an incredibly lucid communicator and diligent student. We discuss his early time studying Japanese, his work at McDonald's and a hotel in Japan, and how a job at a translation company helped prepare him for a career in video game production. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Nov 2019

1 hr 17 min

Shaun McKenna is the Deputy Manager of the Life & Culture Division of the Japan Times. He came on the How to Japanese Podcast to talk about his experience studying Japanese while teaching on JET and the transition to journalism. He also has some great recommendations on how to pitch an editor at a publication like the JT. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Nov 2019

55 min 36 sec

Kristi Fernandez has translated a number of light novels, manga, and drama. She's also the creator of the group Japanese Translators of New York and a champion for translators on Twitter. We talked Japanese study and light novel translation. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Nov 2019

1 hr 20 min

Tamara Latham-Sprinkle has been a full-time Japanese-English freelance translator for a year. We talk about breaking into the world of translation, different translation associations, getting a masters in translation, and working as an interpreter at a manufacturing company. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Oct 2019

57 min 9 sec

Brian Caster is an attorney working in compliance in Tokyo. We met through the JET Alumni Association. I was curious to learn more about his study process, in particular how he learned to read because he is one of the most voracious readers I've ever met. We also discuss legal work in Japan. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Oct 2019

44 min 21 sec

Arline Lyons is a Japanese to English translator who specializes in life sciences, IT, and sake. We discuss her time on the JET Program, masters programs in translation, translation memory, and how to commit to your language study and translation practice at the same time. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Oct 2019

1 hr 6 min

Paula Curtis is a historian of pre-modern Japan currently with the Yale Macmillan Center Council on East Asian Studies. She runs the popular website "What can I do with a B.A. in Japanese Studies?" (https://shinpaideshou.com/) and has put together an oral history of a well-known wooden top artisan in Japan (https://carvingcommunity-dentouart.com/). Hear our conversation about graduate studies, teaching, and how you, too, can "do" history. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Oct 2019

58 min 40 sec

Brian MacDuckston is the brain and tastebuds behind Ramen Adventures. He's become one of the foremost ramen experts in Japan and has generously been collaborating with How to Japanese for many years. Learn how he got started in Japan, his study strategies, and his take on why Japan is so obsessed with great cuisine. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Sep 2019

55 min 25 sec

Emily Balistrieri is a Russian translator in another universe. Fortunately for us, she's a Japanese translator in this one. Hear about Emily's translation projects past and present, study experience, and why Japanese eventually beat out Russian. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Sep 2019

47 min 24 sec

In the first episode of the How to Japanese Podcast, hear from Daniel McCalla, a translator based outside of Kobe. Learn reading and studying strategies, how to get started in translation, and how to track what you've read in Japanese. At the top of the show, Daniel Morales reminisces about the brief heyday of the NFL on Japanese Twitter. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Sep 2019

48 min 47 sec

The How to Japanese Podcast launches next week! Check out this preview of the pod and hear the voices you'll get to know over the next ten weeks. Feel free to reach out with any questions or 悩み事 to howtojapanese@gmail.com. You can also follow How to Japanese on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Sep 2019

4 min 31 sec