Monthly Archives: January 2014

Japanese Diary of Mrs. Toshiko Jackson

Hi everyone, 皆さん、こんにちは。

My Japanese classes/lessons included practices to develop skills of speaking/talking, reading, listening, writing, interacting, and constructing/performing dialogues. As for the main textbooks and materials, the Beginner 1 used Training Manual and other handouts for vocab, grammar etc. From Beginners 2 up to Pre-Intermediate 1 used Genki Book 1 was used.

Also, apart from Japanese magazines (e.g. Jenta, Nichigo Press), its beautiful cooking magazine, story books etc, I used Australian travel magazines esp. one of Sunday Telegraph and some newspaper articles which have useful or inspiring pictures or news, especially for practicing speaking about the situations of the pictures and events for use of a variety of grammar and application of vocab. groups in sentences. At the end of courses of 10 weeks, the students had an exam or open-exam which included features of vocab., grammar, dialogues construction, translation and script.

As for the recent news on Japan and its people, I informed the following apart from other things.

  1. An internationally highly known, British fashion model, Naomi Campbell donated AU$343,000 (¥3200,0000) to the Japan Consulate, Sydney to help the restoration of Fukushima and Miyagi, i.e. the Great East Japan Earthquake (11.3.11). The large fund comes from her charity event, “Fashion for Relief”. Campbell said Japan is an important country for her and she wishes to keep supporting for the cause and watching the recovery of Japan. (“Jenta Sydney”, 13.12.13)  She had given other donation(s) too, including one right after the awful disaster in March, 2011.  Marvelous news!
  2. There was the Tokyo Motor Show this month (Dec. ’13). It was very successful, according to some websites’ reports. And, one of the major features of the exhibition that the major Japanese car makers showed were tiny cars. Their sizes are which four of such small cars will fit into the parking space of one’s average sedan! According to The Australian, 12.12.13, p. 12 (originally from The Wall Street Journal), Toyota’s i-Road was one of the attractions. It is the first of hundreds of the all-electric tandem-seat three-wheelers which Toyota will produce. The model will be in other countries/cities next year, e.g. in France, and it will be called Ha:Mo (it stands for “Harmounious Mobility”) for an urban car-sharing experiment. The 3-wheeled car, i-Road is narrow and tall. Its width is of a large motorcycle. Its maximum speed is 45km/h. (But in Japan, a 60km/h model will be available.) it uses two torque-rich 2.7 hp (2kW) in-wheel electric motors.

In addition, the above article in The Australian informs details about Honda Uni-Cub which is a smart looking penguin-styled small car which has Honda’s model, Omni Traction Drive System with automatic balance control, Honda MC-Beta and Nissan’s model, EV, the Leaf.

For more information and fascinating “Video Gallery” of the above Show, please see:, Smart Mobility City 2013, “Kuruma Networking – Vehicles connecting with people’s lives and society”, ( At the website, it says the Show had more models and vehicles for the exhibition than the Show in 2011 and the visitors satisfaction reached 90.1%.

What I Say Does Not Equal to What I Write

For Mandarin speakers who are trying to learn Cantonese vocabulary and/or make an effort to read written Chinese in Cantonese; you will quickly discover that there is nearly always 2 forms for each word: The written version and the spoken version. It amazes me how Cantonese learners/Hong Kong students learn to write/read Chinese (based on Mandarin) and speak Cantonese. The words and grammar can be so different that you wonder how people manage to achieve any written fluency.

An example I’ll give is: What do you want to eat?

你想食乜嘢呀 ?
nei5 soeng2 sik6 mat1 je5 aa3?

你想吃什麼東西 ?
nei5 soeng2 hek3 sam6 mo1 dung1 sai1?

Especially listening to Cantonese music (eg. Canto Pop), the lyrics are more often than not exclusive to Written Chinese in Cantonese pronunciation. In fact, all newspapers and books are written in written Chinese (based on Mandarin), so to be read by all speakers of other dialects. In some cases; writing in Oral Cantonese is discouraged, though can be seen on Internet chats, forums and entertainment magazines.

The Top 5 of Typical Dutch Stuff

When you are planning to go to the Netherlands, there are some typical Dutch things which you have to know. A Dutch newspaper asked its readers what is “typical Dutch”. They compiled a list of the 100 top typical Dutch things. I share the first five with you.

1. Molens (windmills).

You can find them everywhere in the Dutch landscapes. Originally windmills were developed for milling grain for food production. There are many different species, each one of them have another function.

2. Sinterklaas (Sint Nikolaas or Saint Nicholas).

The Dutch children do not believe in Santa Claus. Back in the Netherlands we have “sinterklaas”. He gives the children present at his birthday at the 5th of December.

3. Klompen (wooden shoes).

In the past many people walked on wooden shoes. These days only some farmers used them. But you still see them everywhere. It’s one of the most original souvenirs.

4. Oranje gevoel  (orange color sentiment).

Orange is the Dutch color. During international soccer games and Queens day, everything in the Netherlands turns orange. Streets are decorated by the Dutch and orange flags, people wearing orange clothes and everywhere you go you see orange attributes.

5. Tulpen (tulips).

Holland is the land of the tulips. Many tourists are visiting the country to see the flowers and taking a look at the bulb fields who are gorgeously colorful.

There are a lot more typical Dutch things like the “elfstedentocht”(eleven cities tour). This is the world largest skating competition. Also not to forget the “haring”(herring), the famous Dutch brined herring, served with chopped onions. And last but not least our “Drop”, a chewy kind of candy with a sweet and/or salt taste. Dutch people are addicted to it. They are liking is so much that you can buy hundreds of different kinds of it.

Dutch Cooking

It is winter time in the Netherlands. That means that a lot of households eats a lot of “stamppot” (hotchpots). This is an traditional meal during the wintertime in the Netherlands. There are many variants of it, but the best known are “stamppot boerenkool” (stew kale) and “Hutspot” (stew with onions and carrots). The hotchpots are served with a “rookworst” (smoked sausage).  I will give you a recipe of the “hutspot” it is easy to make, so you can try it your own.

Recipe “hutspot”

What do you need?

  • 1 kg. carrots
  • 1 kg. potatoes
  • 400 gr. onions
  • Pepper and salt

How to prepare?

Peel the potatoes, cut them in smaller pieces and was them. Get a big saucepan and let the potatoes cook in about 20 minutes. Meanwhile cut the onions in rings and bake them in a frying pan with some butter till they are soft and brown. Cut the carrots in strips and add to the potatoes. Let them cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the carrots and potatoes and add the onions. Mash the dish together by hand with a masher (you may have to add a bit of liquid like water or milk). At last flavor it with salt and pepper.

In the Netherlands you eat it with some gravy (jus) and a smoked sausage. Eetsmakelijk (enjoy your meal)!


Follow Us



January 2014
« Dec   Feb »