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Japanese Journey 十三 — Classroom


Today’s topic is on classroom. The sentences are related to learning. I have selected twelve sentences and the corresponding vocabulary list as below:

  1. 宿題 — homework
  2. 質問 — question
  3. 答えます — answer (verb)
  4. 辞書 — dictionary
  5. 言葉 — word
  6. 教科書 — textbook
  7. テスト — test (in katakana)
  8. 授業 — lesson / class
  9. やさしい — easy
  10. 難しい — difficult

The sentences are as below:

1. もう宿題は終わりましたか。

Have you finished your homework?

(The use of “か。” represents the question mark. In informal written Japanese, question mark can be used.)

2. これは日本語で何と言いますか。

How do you say this in Japanese?

(A useful sentence to learn new vocabulary in Japanese.)

3. この言葉の意味は何ですか。

What is the meaning of this word?

4. 辞書をひきます。

I look it up in a dictionary.

5. その質問は明日答えます。

I will answer the question tomorrow.

6. 教科書を見ていいですか。

Can I look at my textbook?

7. テストでは教科書を見てはいけません。

You cannot look at the textbook during the exam.

8. ほかの学生のテストを見てはいけません。

You cannot look at another student’s test.

9. その授業のテストはやさしいです。

Exams in that class are easy.

10. このテストはぜんぜんやさしくないです。

This test is not easy at all.

(やさしくないです is the negative form of やさしいです.)

11. やさしいテストと難しいテストがあります。

There is an easy exam and a difficult exam.

12. 午後三時に授業が終わって、家に帰りました。

The class ended at 3 pm and I went home.


Note: I have learnt more by writing in Japanese language in my posts. Let me know if I have made any mistake in writing as I am still a learner 🙂

それじゃ。See you.


Next lesson here…

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Japanese Journey 十二 — Nature


Today’s topic is on nature. I have selected eight sentences and the corresponding vocabulary list as below:

  1. 山 — mountain
  2. 川 — river
  3. 公園 — park
  4. 登り — climb
  5. 海 — sea
  6. 池 — pond
  7. 花 — flower
  8. 咲いて — (flowers) in bloom

The sentences are as below:

1. 魚が池にたくさんいます。

There are a lot of fish in a pond.

2. 男の子が海で泳いでいます。

A boy is swimming in the sea.

3. 夏は川で泳ぎます。

We swim in the river in summer.

4. この公園は花がたくさん咲いています。

There are many flowers blooming in this park.

5. 私の妹は公園の木に登ります。

My younger sister climbs up a tree in a park.

6. 今日は、山に登ります。

Today I am going to climb a mountain.

7. 昨日、山に登りました。

I climbed the mountain yesterday.

(Comparing sentence 6 and sentence 7, the verb is change to indicate the time.)

8. 山に登って それから 川に行きます。

I will climb the mountain, then go to the river.


Note: In Duolingo, kanji is kept to minimum. I use more kanji in my posts because I have learnt basic Japanese language. Let me know your opinion, do you want more kanji or less kanji?

それじゃ。See you.


Next lesson here

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Japanese Journey 十一 — New Timetable


I am now using Duolingo to learn Japanese language. Thus, a new timetable is out. The new timetable is arranged according to the topics in Duolingo.


The new timetable

The topics are the last twelve topics in Duolingo as I have quickly completed the three checkpoints.


The first checkpoint

The topics for the first checkpoint are basic Japanese, such as hiragana, greetings, introduction, food and time. I have learnt most of them before so passing the first checkpoint can be done in less than a week.


The second checkpoint

The topics for the second checkpoint are about time, home, family, activity, restaurant, etc. I have learnt some new vocabulary but with my foundation in Japanese language, the checkpoint can be done in a week.


The third checkpoint

The topics for the third checkpoint are starting to be more challenging. More vocabulary is learnt and I spend more time on this checkpoint. I also spend time on doing revision for topics in this checkpoint.


The topics to be learnt

The last section is definitely for people who want to learn intermediate Japanese language. In the new timetable, I have set to learn a topic in a week. I will share what I have learnt in a particular topic in future posts.

それじゃ。See you.


Next lesson here

* * ### Thanks for reading! ### * *

Book Review — 小王子

The Little Prince is a famous book, but it has never been in my bucket list because of my education background. During school, we have a long list of Chinese story books and novels to read that I have never thought of reading The Little Prince.

One day, my friend lends me the book. Maybe it is time for me to read the book?

小 = little, small

王子 = prince


作者:Antoine de Saint-Exupéry




The Little Prince

This is a bilingual book. I read the Chinese language section while referring to the English language section once in a while. After reading the book, the impression I have on The Little Prince is only one word: sad.

The Little Prince, whom we do not know his age, has his own views on the universe. He seems pessimistic at times, but he is optimistic at other times. I believe people at different ages read with different perspectives and gets different conclusions. As a mum-to-be, I think about my child’s future while thinking about the philosophy that I would teach my child in future.

I like the words from a three-petals flower the most:

“They have no roots, and that makes their life very difficult.”


Literally, the flower is happy that she has roots that help her not to be blown away by the wind. On the other hand, we can think of roots as our traditions and cultures that define us. I start thinking about what types of “roots” to give to my child.

Have you read The Little Prince? If no, please have a thought at reading it, at least once. If yes, please consider to read it the second time or the third time or the n time. The simple story is sure to give you some surprises even you have read it before.

For children, I would recommend this book to be read as a story book to learn new vocabulary and learn two languages at the same time. For the philosophy part, we leave it to the adults.

Happy reading!


Counting Speed 2

Q: Jeff drives at the speed of 50 km/h from destination A to B. Jackson, who departs 30 minutes after Jeff, drives at the speed of 70 km/h from destination A to B. Both Jeff and Jackson reach destination B at the same time. What is the distance between destination A and destination B?

A: At first glance, the students may question whether there is an answer. Although the speed and the time are given, the time is not the time taken to travel from destination A to destination B.

No worry. The distance travelled is the same for Jeff and Jackson and we can use this information to solve the question. Please note that the unit for time is minute, converting to hour, it is 0.5 hour.

Let’s take t = time take for Jeff to reach destination B.

The distance travelled for Jeff = speed x time

= 50 x t

The distance travelled for Jackson = speed x time

= 70 x (t – 0.5)

The distance travelled is the same,

50t = 70 (t – 0.5)

Solving the above equation,

50t = 70t – 35

t = 35 ÷ 20

= 1.75 h

From the speed triangle, distance (travelled by Jeff) = speed x time

Distance = 50 x 1.75

= 87.5 km


The speed triangle

Checking the answer

The distance from destination A to destination B is the same. Thus, the distance travelled by Jeff and Jackson should be the same.

Distance (travelled by Jackson) = speed x time,

Distance = 70 x 1.25

= 87.5 km



1. Look for all the necessary information in the question and use all of them.

2. Speed is a simple concept. Thus, questions about speed are normally combined with other concepts, for example, circles. Other than the speed formula and the unit conversion, the students must be prepared to use other concepts to solve speed questions.

Counting Speed 1

After the students learn time and length, the next concept they learn in Higher Primary school is speed. The length is equivalent to the distance travelled.

The formula is

Speed = Distance ÷ Time

To help the students to remember the formula, a speed triangle is taught, as below.


The speed triangle

Taking the example from Counting Length, if I cycle to school at the speed of 15 km/h, how much time do I need to reach school?

From the speed triangle, time = distance ÷ speed

From the figure below, the distance between my house and the school is 180 m.

Please take note that the unit for speed is km/h and the unit for distance is m. Thus, the first step is to convert the two different units to the same unit.

1 km = 1000 m

15 km = 15 000 m

With speed = 15000 m/h and distance = 180 m,

Time = (180 ÷ 15000) h

= 0.012 h

= 0.72 min

= 43.2 sec




Speed is a simple concept, once the students remember the speed triangle (and the speed formula) and familiar with unit conversion, the answer is somewhere near 🙂

In our daily lives, we travel by cars and public transport. Use the speed concept in daily life and maybe the student can manage time better too. Enjoy your learning experience!


1. In Secondary school, the students will learn the term “velocity” in Physics, which is speed with a direction.

2. (a) Take note of the unit used. For distance, common units are km and m. For time, common units are hour, minute and second. The units used for distance and time determine the unit for speed.

(b) Be fluent with unit conversion for distance and time.

Book Review — 学习方法

I borrowed this book from the library and found out that it is a book worth reading by students.

学习 = learning

方法 = methods


作者:林耿熙、赵棚焕 (Korean authors)

《学习方法》 is translated from a Korean book. Thus, the examples in the book are from Korea. From the title of the book, the book writes about learning methods that can help students to excel in learning. I see a lot of “Study OK!” in the book and on the book cover but I am not sure if it is the English title.

There are five sections with one extra bonus on study techniques for different subjects. The first section is about what you need to learn, namely a goal or target, confidence, focus, persistence, etc.

The second section is about planning. There are two misconceptions that we normally have on planning:

1. We only need to plan the time for study

We always plan to learn, but we need to plan to play too. Else, we will play and forget the time and eventually affect learning.

2. We only plan what time to study

When we plan, we plan two hours for Chinese language. The question is, how much you want to learn in two hours? A chapter? Ten new words? We need to include how much we want to accomplish and how much to learn in the plan so that we have a target to keep us going.

The third section is about how to find a suitable learning style for yourself. The style that is suitable for your friend may not be suitable for you.

The fourth section is about how to tackle examinations and the final section is about different ways to learn. Other than the bonus section, there are a lot of cute drawings in the book too.

Do you face problems in learning? If yes, you may find this book useful. Happy reading and learning!


The book cover


Japanese Journey 十 — Meeting People


Speaking to the native speakers helps in learning a language. That’s why going to Japan is in my bucket list. I know Japanese people are shy and I am a shy person too. But, if I have a chance to go to Japan, I must be brave enough to break the ice. I have learnt several simple phrases.

Some questions that can be used to break the ice:

1. 今何時ですか?— What is the time now?

2. いい天気ですね。— The weather is nice, isn’t it?

ね(ne) is used to get an agreement from the listener. Even though the listener may not agree, at least he / she will reply. It means you have broken the ice.

3. これは何ですか?— What is this? (while pointing to something near you.)

This is a simple way to start a conversation and to improve your vocabulary too.

それじゃ。See you.

Lessons learnt

1. Japanese language has a lot of common phrases that are used daily; you can learn from books or watch Japanese drama series. Memorizing and practicing the phrases will help you to get yourself comfortable with a Japanese-speaking environment.

2. 始めまして is spoken when you are meeting the person for the first time. Thus, if you have been seeing the person a few times before but have never had a conversation, 始めまして may be omitted.

3. If your schedule has been delayed, do not give up. Do the necessary to reschedule. Better late than never.

Next lesson here