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Learn a word today!

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  • Reply to: Debunked: "kaizen = Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement"   2 years 2 months ago

    Hm. To that, I would simply reply that the Japanese word kaizen does not in any way include or suggest a meaning of "baby steps", or a focus on the improvement of the self. It truly means simply "improvement", big or small, here or there, psychological or industrial or whatever you might come up with.

    Of course, English-speaking therapists are welcome to define their own word Kaizen however they like. And it sounds like your therapst did just that! : )

  • Reply to: Five Japanese words that don't mean what you think they mean   2 years 2 months ago

    It's a very common misconception.

    There's one Japanese writing system, called "Japanese". See http://www.homejapan.com/debunked-japanese-three-writing-systems .

  • Reply to: Debunked: "Crisis = Danger + Opportunity"   2 years 5 months ago

    Actully, I am fluent in both Korean and Mandarin. Danger-Opportunity is one interpretation, as Danger-Incipient Monent is just another reasonable interpretation. The eminent professor from UPenn is simply referring to how it is sometimes used TODAY... For example, in today, "disease" is interpreted as "pathology" but could it also mean "dis + ease (OF aise for comfort). Of course. It depends on what period of British history you are looking at.If you are going to spend time, why not spend it on something that is inspiring, not nitpick with equally reasonable, but duller interpretation. I hope my grandkids don't tell me that they will want to grow up to become a "debunker." What a dull thing to do.I see kids like you studying in grad schools focused on coming up with something clever for their PhD thesis. Ah, so dull. Will you please do something a little more inspiring. What happened to all those flower children? I surely miss them. Yes I do. Putting flowers on gun barrels. What happened to those sweet people.These clever kids, all passionate about turning the world upside down, attempting to dissect mysticisms that they have to hide behind a reference or a professor. "Well, I'm not really good at this, but this professor said..."Well, I don't really care that much, except, I wish to see less of these clever articles that's supposed to debunk anything.

  • Reply to: Debunked: "OMG Japan prefers pets to children"   2 years 6 months ago

    The same thing is happeneing here in Australia, more women are waiting until their 30s and 40s to start having kids. Over half of all Australian households have pets, so it comes as no surprise that we also love spending money on them. More than half of pet owners spend more than $60 a month on their pups. From crazy dog collars to gourmet pet food.

  • Reply to: Debunked: "kaizen = Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement"   2 years 7 months ago

    I recently came across the term kaizen with my therapist, who said its translation could be interpreted as the phrase "baby steps," in regards to the aspect of improvement, but focusing more on the improvement of self, in habits and thought processes. Obviously, it's more like the western Kaizen you describe in its connotation of continuing change, but I was wondering what you thought about that particular meaning.

  • Reply to: Debunked: "Crisis = Danger + Opportunity"   2 years 8 months ago

    Translating languages is difficult, especially when one language relies on concrete words and the other uses symbols that can have many meanings.  Though in Chinese/Japanese/Korean etc, the actual kanji or word used doesn't mean 'opportunity', when translating the meaning into English to explain it, the many meanings are taking into account and the best, nearest word in English is used.  The purpose of translating is not always to be literal but to translate meaning, so the context is not lost.  When the word 'opportunity' is used, it is meant to imply what the dangerous moment offers. And also to look at what a crisis is, in English terms.  Yes, a crisis is a dangerous moment, even in English, but what is dangerous about it?  For many, it represents a time in somoene's life when they simply can't go on as they have been.  The crisis is the make or break point, the moment when something has to change.  The danger is the may take a negative action.  But what else can happen?  The moment is also an opportunity to do things differently, to try something new, to stop with the old ways.In choosing the wrods dangerous + opportunity to explain crisis, - I'm talking about choosing the English words to explain it - more than just the surface, literal meaning was used.   

  • Reply to: Debunked: The uniquely Japanese "shou ga nai"   2 years 8 months ago

    ...rare is the usage of any of them, especially with strangers.  In fact, even within acquaintances, using any variation in English is met with disdain for the user, as the United States in general takes great pride in solving unsolvable problems and to say you give up solving it by saying, "it looks good from my house", or "what is is" is asking for solutions to be immediately supplied by someone else, whether desired or not.  I submit the Japanaes usage is more accepted between strangers.  Can someone confirm?   

  • Reply to: Five Japanese words that don't mean what you think they mean   2 years 8 months ago

    Greetings! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I
    really enjoy reading your articles. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums
    that go over the same topics? Thanks for your time!

  • Reply to: Five Japanese words that don't mean what you think they mean   2 years 8 months ago

    Banzai Is considered as a both positive and negative word. Deriving from ban (man- meaning 10,000) and zai (sai- meaning years of age)the word banzai (10,000 years old) was first introduced in the Meiji ero. At the time the samurai were removed and Japan was opening itself back up to the world. The word banzai came from samurai committing suiside for their emperor hence, "long live the emperor". It was their was of saying, "we will fight for the emperor til the death". Literally, the term has evolved over the years but generally means "eternal life " which is why it is now commonly used with celebrations and drinking sake.
    As for the military, it was not used as you stated as a victory word. To the contrary, it was only used in a negative form. Japanese soldiers would shout, "Tennou Heika, banzai" right before commencing their kamikaze (God wind/ suicide attack) at the end of the war as they were ordered to fly their planes into American ships because of their lack of ammo.

  • Reply to: Five Japanese words that don't mean what you think they mean   2 years 11 months ago

    I believe the writing systems are kanji, katakana, and hiragana... 

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