Makoto e-Zine #1 Audio Files

Makoto e-Zine #1 Audio Files

Issue #1
April 2018


Please note: This issue is completely free and may be downloaded as a PDF (recommended for the pretty graphics), MOBI (for Kindles and Kindle readers), or ePub (eBook format for everyone else). Click here to download the e-zine.


Listen to the story about three mighty warrior leaders who consolidated Japan and ended the Warring States period. The story is recorded both regular speed and slowed down.


Reader Sound Files SLOW SPEED: Click to Download

Reader Sound Files NORMAL SPEED: Click to Download


20+ ways to say I, ME, & THEE
NEW READER:The Warrior Leaders of the Sengoku Period

ž Laughs, Jokes, Riddles, and Puns
ž Prefecture Spotlight: FUKUI
ž Etymology: 折り紙付き
ž Phrase of the Day: Murphy’s Law
ž Ukiyo-e: Sharaku
ž Kanji Spotlight: 集
ž Grammar Time! ~ほうがいい


Sick and Tired of Getting Tacos on my Ears Japanese Idiom Lesson

Sick and Tired of Getting Tacos on my Ears Japanese Idiom Lesson


Okay, this has nothing to do with the yummy Mexican food, but see below for what “tako” means in Japanese and your ears.

mimi ni tako ga dekiru
to be sick and tired of hearing something
to hear something over and over again


If someone “talks your ears off,” instead of using this idiom, you can ignore them while claiming your “ears are far” (mimi ga tooi) which means you can’t hear too well.

Literally, “get calluses on one’s ears.” The “tako” here means “callus” such as what guitar players get on their fingers or the “corn” found on feet.

Other common words with the same “tako” pronunciation are:

  • tako octopus
  • tako kite (the toy you fly in the sky)
  • The Mexican food, taco, is pronounced タコス takosu.


shukudai o shinasai to, mimi ni tako ga dekiru hodo haha ni iwareta.
“Do your homework!” my mother said so many times my ears developed calluses.”

宿題 shukudai—homework
しなさい  shinasai—do (something) [command] と to—quotation marker
ほど hodo—to such an extent
言われた iwareta—said

I Want to… I Really Do, But How Do I Say I Want to in Japanese?

I Want to… I Really Do, But How Do I Say I Want to in Japanese?

Basic Japanese grammar lesson: Using ~たい ~tai–to want to…

  • Adding ~tai adds the “want to” meaning.
  • This is formed by finding the ~masu form and adding ~tai.
  • For example:
    To eat → to want to eat:
    食べる → 食べます → 食べ+たい → 食べたい
    taberu → tabemasu → tabe+tai  →  tabetaiTo Drink → to want to drink:
    飲む → 飲みます → 飲み+たい → 飲みたい
    nomu → nomimasu → nomi+tai  → nomitai


nanika nomitai desu.
I want to drink something.

なにか nanika–something
飲みたい nomitai–want to drink [This is formed with the ~masu form of 飲む nomu–to drink + たい tai–(want to…)] です desu–copula (usually like to be)

Next, let’s turn this into a question.

Notice in the above example, we didn’t use a pronoun. The “I” was understood. In this next example, we still won’t use a pronoun, but by adding the question marker か ka, the “you” is implied.


nanika tabetai desu ka.
Do you want to eat something?

なにか nanika–something
食べたい tabetai–want to eat [This is formed with the ~masu form of 食べる taberu–to eat + たい tai–(want to…)] です desu–copula (usually like to be)

Pimsleur Language Programs


Meeting and Greeting: Basic Japanese Conversation Dialogue for Beginners

Meeting and Greeting: Basic Japanese Conversation Dialogue for Beginners

Learn Japanese through Dialogues: Meetings and Greetings

DIALOGUE ONE: Meeting for the First Time

In this article, we will examine a dialogue between two people who are meeting for the first time. Listen to the dialogue while going through the text, spend some time going through the grammar notes, and then listen to it once more–this time, hopefully, with greater comprehension.

If you like this lesson, check out our Learn Japanese through Dialogues series of eBooks (or paperback) + MP3s. This particular dialogue is from the book “Meetings and Greetings” as seen to the left. See the bottom for a special discount to get four of these eBooks, each with eight or more dialogues, for the price of one eBook.


Let’s begin today’s lesson…


Dialogue One: in Japanese
Meeting for the First Time


hajimemashite. Maiku to moushimasu.
How do you do? I am Mike.

Grammatical Notes

hajimemashite. Yumi desu.
Nice to meet you. I’m Yumi.

Grammatical Notes

douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu.
Pleased to meet you.

Grammatical Notes

doko kara kimashita ka?
Where are you from?

Grammatical Notes

amerika desu.
America. (U.S.)

Grammatical Notes

amerika no doko desu ka?
Where in America?

Grammatical Notes

furorida shuu desu.

Grammatical Notes

furorida wa atsui deshou?
Florida is hot, isn’t it?

Grammatical Notes

hai, atsui desu. yumi-san no shusshin wa doko desu ka?
Yes, it is hot. Where are you from?

Grammatical Notes

toukyou desu.

Grammatical Notes

boku wa toukyou ga suki desu.
I like Tokyo.

Grammatical Notes

sou desu ka, a, watashi wa sorosoro shigoto ni ikanakucha. sore ja mata.
Really? Oh! I have to go to work soon. See you later.

Grammatical Notes

hai, sayounara.
Yes, goodbye.

Grammatical Notes


Learn the vocabulary:

Listen to the dialogue again. This time with repetition.


Did you enjoy this lesson? This is the first dialogue from the Greetings and Meetings eBook. Get that eBook plus Beginning Conversations, at the Restaurant, and Asking Directions for only $5.

Get all four Japanese Dialogues study packs for one low price. Separately, these four eBooks (also includes MP3s as well as Kindle, ePub, and PDF versions) would cost $17.96 at Amazon. Click here to lock in this limited time offer now.

Taunting Sarcasm with Akkanbe- アッカンベー

Taunting Sarcasm with Akkanbe- アッカンベー

You may have seen this facial gesture in Japanese anime, manga, or in the movies. While it is considered immature and childish, it has a rude or dismissive meaning–not as bad as the Western middle finger, but not polite either. It’s a way to mildly insult someone.   It is called akkanbe- and involves facing someone while using a finger to pull on the lower eyelid and (usually) stick out the tongue.


The earliest reference to this act is in a novel by Katai Tayama. He says the origin is a corruption of 赤い akai (red) and 目 me (eye). Makes sense since pulling the lower eyelid reveals a red area.


Albert Einstein sticks his tongue out in an akkanbe- fashion to the right. One comic of the robot cat, Doraemon, has アカンベーダー akanbe-da- which is a parody of Darth Vader. Crayon Shinchan also employs akanbe at times.

This can be written/pronounced as あかんべえ (akanbee), あっかんべー (akkanbe-), or, in katakana, アッカンベー (akkanbe-).

If you want to show your love of Japanese while being a bit rude about it, we have a few akkanbe- themed products over at Check them out.