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How the Cat Beard Craze is teaching me Japanese


I study Japanese at SOAS in London.

I originally picked up Japanese to be able to get by as a tourist and while I originally learned a mixture of handy tourist sentences and funny conversational things to say, the SOAS course is teaching me proper grammar and sentence structure from the ground up.

But between all these official channels dedicated to teaching various level of Japanese, Twitter has been a big educator as well. The combination of short, 140 character sentences and Google translate, makes Twitter a great source of learning natural Japanese.

For example yesterday I posted a link to the Cat Beard Craze. It was retweeted by a Japanese Tweeter with an attached commentary on the craze in Japanese:

While I could read the letters I did not know most of the words. However, I recognised the word “Sugee (すげぇ)”, which I had previously learned, from Instagram, is a more masculine version of the word “Sugoi (cool)”. So it is a more manly way of saying “Cool”.

The following word “クオリティ” is made of letters only used for foreign words, but I couldn’t quite make out what “Kuoritee” meant. Enter Google Translate who informed me that the word is an adopted English word: “Quality”.

With the combined help of Twitter, instagram and Google translate, I have now learned a manly phase for saying “Cool Quality”.


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