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So you want to teach yourself Japanese? Part Two

What I love about the Duolingo app is that the first thing you learn when you take Japanese lessons is how to read and pronounce Hiragana - the most basic alphabet in Japanese and one you could conceivably use to write entire sentences in Japanese (excluding foreign-borrowed words that are always in Katakana) if you don't know any Kanji.

There are 46 standard Hiragana characters - and essentially, 46 standard sounds to be found in the Japanese language. We'll discuss modified characters/sounds later.*

The first row of Hiragana characters featured here are the vowels and they're the most important to learn. The good news - there's only five of them.

あ - a (pronounced like ah) い - i (pronounced like ee) う - u (pronounced like ooh) え - e (pronounced like eh) お - o (pronounced like oh)

There are a few Japanese words that are comprised only of vowels, such as お (ah-oh) blue and  え (ee-eh) house. Most, however, are comprised of two or more consonant characters.
The next set of Hi…

Etiquette Rules I (Personally) Find Pointless

Etiquette is a tricky realm in which to maneuver. Often, it varies from place to place and country to country. What's polite in one area of the world (slurping your noodles in Japan = 🖒) could be considered unfathomably rude elsewhere. So, let's approach this from a modern, millennial etiquette perspective, shall we?

Five Etiquette Rules I (Personally) Find Pointless

1.) Handwritten Thank You Notes- I try to be an environmentally friendly and conscious individual, truly I do. And I think that is perhaps why I have such a beef with "thank you" cards. Actually, any cards. Holiday cards, birthday cards, get-well-soon cards....it's all just paper. And it's all going to end up in the trash or recycling.

That tree died for something I glanced at for 30 seconds. If you truly want to thank me for something or wish me well, just email or text. Let me know in person next time you see me. If we are bosom buddies, you may even have permission to call and tell me.

2.) A…

Short Skirt, Long Jacket: What Trendy Korean Girls Are Wearing Right Now

Tokyo used to be the fashion capitol of East Asia, but with the rise in popularity of K-dramas and K-pop groups like BTS and BlackPink, South Korea is putting itself on the map in terms of street fashion.

Here are just a few of the trends in Seoul this year for spring and summer fashion. How many of them are you going to incorporate?



Aviator Glasses

In Seoul, the rounded Harry Potter-esque glasses are on the out, and the always timeless aviator style is worming its way back onto the street fashion scene. This style can be seen in sunglasses and regular glasses, and worn by just about anyone, whether they need corrected vision or not. I'm not a huge fan of aviators, because I don't think they suit my face, but this lady is rocking 'em!

Over-sized Cardigan and Jackets

The heroines in all my favorite K-dramas have been rocking the over-sized blazer look since last winter and I doubt this style is going away any time soon. Fabrics will get lighter and the dresses underneath a b…