2019/05/22
Hello everyone! Today’s useful phrase is, “I’m afraid I can’t.” Use this phrase when you want to politely decline an invitation. <<Example>> A: Would you like to come to my hanami party on Saturday?” B: “I’m afraid I can’t come. I have other plans.” A: “Let’s go to the movies tonight at 7.” B: “I’m afraid I can’t go. I’m working late tonight.” ●日本語解説:「残念ですが~できません」という意味です。

2019/05/18
Hello everyone! Our conversation starter for today is ‘Let me...’. It is a more natural way of saying ‘I will do this for you’. 【Example 1】 When helping someone with something heavy A: The delivery for the new table has just arrived! I’ll carry it inside. B: Let me help you carry it in. C: Let me open the door for you. 【Example 2】 When responding to an invitation A: The new Avengers movie is showing in the cinemas!  Are you free tomorrow evening? B: Let me check my schedule....

2019/05/15
How was your Golden Week? Did you travel abroad or did you stay in Japan? My plan for Golden Week was to have no plan. I’m planning a trip to Thailand in June for a salsa performance so for Golden Week I only went to the gym, had dinner with friends and practiced salsa dancing. To practice for the performance in June, I met with one of my dance partners in Kyoto during Golden Week. Since I had gone all the way to Kyoto to meet her, we decided to have lunch after practice and enjoy the...

2019/05/11
Hello everyone! Tamara here. I hope everyone enjoyed their Golden Week vacation! For (the end of) Golden Week vacation, I went to Taipei! It was my first time to go to Taipei and I had a great time. I went to many places and ate lots of delicious food. Some of the most well-known spots in Taipei are Taipei 101 (one of the tallest buildings in the world), Jiufen (九分), the National Palace Museum and Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. The building designs are beautiful and very different from...

2019/05/08
Hello everyone! Today’s useful conversation phrase is, “On second thought...” This is used when you change your mind about something. For Example: ex1. Flight attendant: “Chicken or Beef?” Passenger: “Chicken. On second thought, I’ll take beef.” ex2. (At a coffee shop) Customer: “I’ll take a café latte please. On second thought, make it a cappuccino.” 【日本語訳】 ex1. 客室乗務員「チキンにしますか?ビーフにしますか?」...

2019/05/04
Hello everyone! Here’s another conversation starter for today! When we don’t know a lot about something or somewhere, we can ask someone using ‘Is there a...?’ 《Example 1》 When asking where a place is A: Is there a post office near Hanshin Nishinomiya station? B: Yes! It’s north of the station along the main road. 《Example 2》 When asking for information about a place A: I’ve never been to Guam. Are there many malls and amusement centers? B: I’m not sure. I’ve never been...

2019/04/24
Hi everyone, Mae here. I hope you’re enjoying the warm weather and the lovely spring colors around the city. Two weeks ago, my Filipina friend who lives in Nagoya decided to spend her spring vacation here in Kobe. I haven’t seen her for three years and it’s her first time to visit Hyogo Prefecture. Spring is such a beautiful season to take a stroll so I took her to some must-see cherry blossom spots in the city.

2019/04/17
Hi everyone! ’To make a long story short’ means to tell someone something with few words. You are providing just the basic facts instead of giving a long explanation. 【For example】 ex1. Antonio: Hey, how was Italy? John: It was a little crazy but to make a long story short, I had a good time. ex2. Leon: How are things going with your girlfriend? John: Not good. To make a long story short, we broke up. Leon: That’s too bad. ex3. Sally: Have you decided what business you’re going to...

2019/04/13
Hello everyone! Today’s useful conversation phrase is, “I don’t really like...” This is used to express dislike. It’s not as strong as saying, “I don’t like...” “I don’t really like...” means that you think something is okay, but you’re not really a fan of it. <<Example>> A: “Have you seen Game of Thrones?” B: “Yes, but I don’t really like fantasy. I prefer sci-fi.” (In this example, B is saying that they don’t hate Game of Thrones but they prefer...

2019/04/10
Hello everyone! Tamara here. Hope you had fun with your own hanami events! This year, the cherry blossoms were a bit later than usual, but they were still very pretty. I went to a few places this year to see the cherry blossoms, but it was my first time going to Himeij Castle to see them. There were a LOT of cherry blossoms trees everywhere. Most of them were light pink and white, but there were some pink cherry blossoms, too.

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