Friday, January 22, 2021

Updated! 2021 Best JLPT Books for Level N2 and N3

The best way to study for the JLPT or any exam for that matter,
is to try to take mock tests, check your weak points, study, test again, repeat until your test scores break 80% and above consistently. 

My rule is that I should be getting 50% on mock test scores 6 months before the exam, and progressively improve on that. To do that, we can use books for learning the material and books specifically for testing grammar and reading. 


For the vocabulary and Kanji, I just use online flashcards. No need to buy Kanji books or vocabulary books in my opinion. But, for the grammar and reading, that's where the books really helped me. Links to the actual books included below.  


I took N2 twice, failed the first time.

The second time around, I had a better understanding of how to study and passed. 

Reading speed is essential.  Grammar patterns are essential. Listening is not that difficult, just get exposure. Vocabulary can be picked up from flashcards. Kanji is learned passively while learning vocabulary.

These resources helped me pass the 2nd time around...

1) Moshi to Taisaku N2 - I used this for N3, excellent resource. And used it again for N2, still excellent. Answer key has explanations.

2) Kanzen Master reading - for Reading, an absolute must! Must! Must! Answer the sample exams included with explanations for the answers. For N2, reading speed is essential so this is what I needed.

3) Power Drill Grammar - My favorite for grammar. 45 minutes per question set, not boring, learn to pace yourself perfectly!

You can take 1 Power Drill test a day and not get study fatigue. This is good for 0-3 months before the exam.

4) Mimi kara oboeru - book with audio, absolutely useful -> bombard yourself daily with the grammar patterns. I used the JLPT2 old version, still useful. The book contains additional example sentences not in the audio. Passive learning, just play the audio. If you want active learning, follow along with the text.

5) A dictionary of japanese grammar - very useful even after the JLPT, 3 books for lifetime Japanese learning. If something is not clear, it will usually be after you look it up in this excellent reference. Get the complete set -> basic, intermediate, advanced.


Not recommended: 

Sou Matome series (too easy, below actual exam difficulty) - I used these the first time and did not pass. :(


1) Kanzen master reading

The classic Kanzen master is an absolute lifesaver. Answer the mock reading exam at the end.

2) Mimi kara oboeru N3 grammar -

Listen and learn! It's very sticky. Text comes with additional sentence patterns. absolutely useful, also helps with listening. 

3) JLPT Try! N3

JLPT Try! is good for early on, around 3-6 months before the exam, for acquiring information. It covers listening, grammar, reading, vocabulary in one book. It's like an integrated all in one book. It's good but the exercises are too easy. I would still supplement it with a mock exam type of book. 

4) Power Drill grammar - 

My favorite for grammar. 45 minutes per question set, not boring, learn to pace yourself perfectly! You can take 1 test a day and not get study fatigue. This is good for 0-3 months before the exam. 

5) A dictionary of japanese grammar - very useful even after the JLPT, 3 books for lifetime Japanese learning. If something is not clear, it will usually be after you look it up in this excellent reference. Get the complete set -> basic, intermediate, advanced. 

Monday, April 20, 2020

Rosary Prayers in Nihongo

Sign of Cross
Chichi to Ko to Seirei no mina ni yotte. A-men

Tenchi No Souzoushu, zennou no Chichi de aru Kami wo shinjimasu.

Chichi no hitorigo, watashitachi no Shu Iesu Kirisuto wo shinjimasu. Shu wa seirei ni yotte yadori, otome Maria kara umare, Pontio Pirato no moto de kurushimi wo uke, jyuujika ni tsukerarete shini, houmurare, yomi ni kudari, mikkameni shishano uchi kara fukkatsushi, Ten ni nobotte, zennou no Chichi de aru Kami no migi no zani tsuki, seisha to shisha wo sabaku tameni koraremasu.

Seirei wo shinji, sei naru fuhen no kyoukai, seito no majiwari, tsumi no yurushi, karada no fukkatsu, eien no inochi o shinjimasu.

Our Father
Ten ni orareru watashitachi no Chichiyo, mina ga sei to saremasu youni. Mikuni ga kimasu youni. Mikokoro ga ten ni okonawareru toori chi nimo okonawaremasu youni. Watashitachi no higoto no kate wo kyou mo oatae kudasai. Watashitachi no tsumi wo oyurushi kudasai. Watashitachi mo hito wo yurushimasu. Watashitachi wo yuuwaku ni ochiirasezu, aku kara osukui kudasai.

Hail Mary
Ave, Maria, megumi ni michita kata, Shu wa anata to tomo ni oraremasu. Anata wa onna no uchi de shukufuku sare, gotainai no onko Iesu mo shukufuku sarete imasu. Kami no haha Sei Maria, watashi-tachi tsumibito no tame ni, ima mo shi o mukaeru toki mo, oinori kudasai. A-men
アヴェ・マリアの祈り Hail Mary
Ave Maria, megumi ni michita kata,

Shu wa anata to tomo ni oraremasu.

Anata wa onna no uchide shukufuku sare,

Gotainai no onko Iesu mo shukufuku sareteimasu.

Kami no haha Sei Maria,

Watashitachi tsumibito no tame ni,

Imamo, shi wo mukaeru toki mo, oinorikudasai.


Glory be
Eikowa chichito koto seireini. Hajimenoyouni imamo itsumo yoyoni. A-men

Prayer of Fatima
Aa Iezusuyo.
Warerano tsumiwo yurusitamae.
Warerawo jigokunohiyori mamoritamae.
Mata subetenoreikon, kotoni shuno onawaremiwo mottomo
hitsuyoutosuru reikonnwo, tengokuni michibikitamae. A-men.

? Ave, Maria The Latin prayer begins with the greeting, Ave Maria. Among Japanese translations of the Bible, this is translated using phrases such as omedeto (“Congratulations”) or yorokobinasai (“Be joyful”). However, there have long been objections that, in many situations when the Rosary is prayed, such as at a deathbed or during a vigil ceremony, it would be awkward to pray “congratulations” or “be of good cheer.” The phrase Ave Maria is already well-established in people’s minds, even outside the realm of Christianity, through the names of songs and the like. Therefore, the CBCJ opted to retain the opening words of the Latin original in the Japanese, as they had for the provisional translation. ? megumi ni michita kata The previous official colloquial translation from 1993 used the Japanese phrase megumi afureru, (“brimming over with grace”), but has been revised in this translation to use the verb michiru, (“to be full”), as a more faithful translation of the Latin. During the provisional phase, some felt that this would not capture the fact that Mary was filled with grace by God, but this phrase was ratified as-is out of consideration for ease of recitation and with the confidence that the possibility of misunderstanding is small. ? Shu wa anata to tomo ni oraremasu Some wondered whether the verb orareru, which is an honorific form of an alternate version of the standard Japanese verb iru, “to be,” was grammatical. However, the legitimacy of the form was confirmed with Japanese linguistic specialists and preserved in the prayer’s final text. ? Anata wa onna no uchi de shukufuku sare Until now, the official Japanese Hail Mary contained the passage, Shu wa anata o erabi, shukufuku shi (“The Lord chose you and blessed you”). It has been observed that the Latin phrase in mulieribus (“among women”) was not reflected in this rendition. The older translation also shifted the grammatical subject from Mary in the Latin to the Lord God in the Japanese. Finally, in the phrase Shu wa anata o erabi (“The Lord chose you”), the verb erabu (to choose) represents and addition not present in the Latin original. Some objections were raised to the use of onna instead of josei, which both mean “woman” but of which the latter is considered most appropriate in modern rules of Japanese usage. Nevertheless, the CBCJ decided to leave the original, onna, in the final translation. ? go-tainai no on-ko Iesu mo shukufuku sarete imasu The 1993 translation rendered the Latin fructus ventris tui (“fruit of your womb”) as simply anata no ko (“your child”). To capture the Latin ventris (“womb”) explicitly in the new translation, go-tainai no on-ko (“the child within your womb”) was selected instead. Some felt that the word tainai (“inside of the womb”) seemed like too much like medical technical terminology, but no adequate substitute could be found. It is true that a literal translation of fructus (“fruit”) would be either mi or kajitsu, but because this would be utterly foreign as an element of a Japanese prayer, the CBCJ adopted on-ko (“child”) instead. ? watashi-tachi tsumi-bito no tame ni The provisional translation retained the 1993 phrase tsumi-bukai watashi-tachi no tame ni (“for us, deeply sinful”). After some reconsideration about the difference between tsumi-bukai (“deeply sinful”) and tsumi-bito (“sinners”), the CBCJ revised the text to watashi-tachi tsumi-bito no tame ni (“for us sinners”) to be closer to the Latin pro nobis peccatoribus

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