Category: Culture

How to speak Japanese



How to speak Japanese without saying a word


Naruto for Spanish speakers


Speak Japanese! Advice for learning Japanese


I came across this book entitled Effective electronic gaming in education by Richard E. Ferdig.

I have not had the chance to read it yet, I hope to do so when the time is right.

Why is this book of interest to me?

Firstly I love culture and I like teaching which to me means sharing knowledge. Sharing culture can only be done through language and I feel that that is the main reason why I love languages. Through hard work, language gives me the possibility of accessing another world and being a part of it. Secondly I like this book so far (I have read the introduction only) because it is centred around gaming. I love games, I was such a loyal gamer that I played World of Warcraft regularly, had a human mage, elf rogue, and dwarf hunter all to level 60 as well as other characters. I had serious objectives that I needed to attain and alternated between French and British realms. I learned to play WoW and picked up the vocabulary surrounding the MMORPG in French and English. I am fluent in WoW. I also managed to pick up a rare purple sabertooth mount after lots of work and no help from bots. These feats may not seem like much but I played WoW the day it came out in France and a year later I had several level 60s and then I stopped. This experience revealed quite a few things I did not know about myself:

  1. I don’t lack dedication but sometimes I cross over to the other side and become a techno hermit. I have learnt to manage this particular behaviour. My biggest accomplishment was stopping my addiction in 2005 and replacing game work with home work.
  2. When immersed in something I love, I learn everything about the immediate environment. I was a regular on WoW fora looking for tips on how to %*$ and carried out extensive research on the professions to choose and the skills sets I needed to nurture. For example, elves by nature can become invisible, it seemed logical at times to train as a rogue, stealth being an asset and then pick up leather working or poison-making as a profession. Leather working because rogues could only wear leather and anyway rogues are fast killers and so on.

So imagine if I had played a game like WoW that was just as fun and picked up a language that was useful in the real world, sky’s the limit. I must say that in WoW you do manage money, work in teams, sometimes you become Guild leaders and sometimes you become the fairy Godmother, I was more the latter than the former. I used to hang around low level instances (level 10 to 20) as a level 40 mage helping friends and strangers complete their quests which is what I loved doing the most. So one could say I am a not-for-profit oriented mage. Therefore, there is no shortage of real world skills within the world of WoW and leadership is an important part of WoW when going through instances and killing your xxxx millioneth Orc.

All this to say that true MMORPG style games as a language learning tool would be a Godsend to visual learners and language aficionados.

Cindy Chen 朋友 sung by Layinka


I got sidetracked from studying today because of this beautiful song.

I could not find the karaoke version (as usual), here is a duet with Cindy Chen (you may not hear her though).

I love this song but it is very sad.

Enjoy it!!


You xie hua bu yong shuo chulai
Wo zhidao ni yiding hai zai
Shangxin de dengdai
Anjing liulei rennai
Kanzhe ni zheme bu yukuai
You shihou wunai bushi yinwei wo bu mingbai
Shi pa ni hai mei fangkai

Ni xuanze ziji chengshou
Rang shijian zhaodao chukou
Bu renxin kan ni kun zai xuanwo
Name shiluo
Ruguo ni mei fa fangshou
Women jiu yiqi zouguo
Wo dang ni de peiban
Yiqi fendan

Ni de shangtong
Wo neng ganshou
Dasheng ku chulai
Yinwei zhi you wo neng mingbai
Yu de tiankong
Cai neng
Chuxian caihong
Kandao de weilai
Wo zhi xiwang ni neng HAPPY

San Zi Jing


I was looking for Chinese language texts to read as a way to learn and understand characters as well as pick up some culture.

I found the San Zi Jing

‘The San Zi Jing was written in the 13th century to instruct children in the basics of Confucian principles, history, philosophy, and to brain wash them into working hard and striving to do their best. It is attributed to Wang Yinlin ( 1223-1296), a noted scholar of the Song dynasty. It was used as we use Grimm or perhaps the Little Golden Books; as a basic primer for pre-literate children’.

What is it about?

‘The San Zi Jing provided a chain of culture and knowledge that linked centuries of children. The children most often learned the San Zi Jing before they could even read a character. Even if the child did not become a scholar, they knew the basics of the culture and were instructed in filial piety, the need to work hard, and a respect for the classics. Even today, children in China read and learn from the San Zi Jing’.

The translation, hanzi and pinyin are all available. I don’t know how I’ll use this resource but it seems like something to do to train my reading skills. My tailored lessons train my comprehension skills, I now need to find something to train my speaking skills on a regular basis. I am thinking that I should sit down and find a long term Chinese language exchange partner. Will see how that goes.

Nigeria's youth against fuel subsidy removal

Muslims praying while Christians watch over them. Abuja.

I should have left Paris for Lagos this morning. I changed my flight ticket and will be leaving end of January. Aeroports are shut down, many major roads are blocked.The country will soon come to a standstill. The only real activity for now is rioting.

I completely agree with this reaction to our government’s nonsense decision. It is not possible to double the cost of the average Nigerians’ living standards without the people’s consent. I could not agree more with Seun Kuti.

Seun Kuti’s Afro beat music