Mini Japanese lesson 2

While using a new app, I found this very helpful tip.

Almost every character has two different readings called 音読み (おんよみ) and 訓読み(くんよみ). 音読み is the original Chinese reading while 訓読み is the Japanese reading. Kanji that appear in a compound or 熟語 is usually read with 音読み while one Kanji by itself is usually read with 訓読み. For example, 「力」(ちから) is read with the 訓読み while the same character in a compound word such as 「能力」 is read with the 音読み (which is 「りょく」 in this case).

No one ever mentioned this to me in my almost two years of studying Japanese… The app is called Tae Kim’s Learning Japanese and it can found in the iTunes Store.

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Keeping warm in winter

If I can recommend one thing for aspiring teachers in Japan, when winter comes close, get some HeatTek from your local home center. It’s fairly cheap (mine cost about 780¥ per shirt/pants) and it works really well when you are active. It’s like Spandex, but a little less stretchy and you wear it under your business clothes. If you have a sedentary job, then it doesn’t work as well (but if you’re too hot, then just relax and it lets you cook off). Just casually moving around the teacher’s room gets me nice and warmed up! Love this stuff. If you don’t have access to a home center, then it is also available on Amazon.co.jp.