Japanese ninja proficiency test to be held in Tokyo

Do you have what it takes to become a certified shadow warrior?

Read More

Japanese language test-takers flip out over Engrish bathroom sign, get correction-happy

The JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) is a test of Japanese as a second language knowledge and is held twice a year in Japan and many other countries around the world. Since the test is entirely in Japanese, it can be taken by anyone regardless of English ability.

Even so, the organization decided to put up English translations on bathroom signs at a test location in Japan, and some irritated English-speaking members of the Grammar Police decided to do a little editing work whilst sitting on the potty.

Read More

We test our Japanese staff’s knowledge of kanji by making them take a kanji aptitude test

Anyone who’s serious about studying the Japanese language will soon encounter that seemingly insurmountable wall known as kanji. Many of those people will inevitably think, “Just how many of them do I have to learn to be able to read Japanese?” Well, to put it simply, it depends on to what degree you want to be able to read like a native speaker.

Of course, the meaning of “to read like a native speaker” is also up for debate. In search of this answer, we had four adult members of our Japanese staff take three different levels of a kanji aptitude test. How do you think they fared?

Read More

Students go nearly a year without textbooks after teacher forgets to hand them out

It would seem a small case of absentmindedness has been breaking out in educational institutes around Japan recently. One such case in Japan’s Kumamoto Prefecture saw a handful of students go nearly an entire year without ever receiving some of their “required reading material.”

However, in this and another similar case, it’s hard to say who’s at fault, the teachers who failed to give the proper references out, or the students who neglected to say anything about it.

Read More

Horse blinders for students? Cheating prevention tool at university in Thailand met with criticism

A new method of cheating prevention at a university in Thailand has been met with criticism according to a recent report from Newsclip. The tool employs a white paper headband with two large pieces of paper attached to the sides, preventing students from peeking at their neighbor’s answers.

Read More

Taiwanese Weather Reporting Idol Group to Take Japan’s Grueling National Weather Forecasting License Exam

From their humble beginnings on Taiwan’s video series Weather Girls, a seven-girl idol group by the same name that specializes in bringing you the week’s weather, have been building a solid fan base in their new home of Japan.

Though a variety of theme months and a constantly improving grasp of the Japanese language, these girls have steadily shown that they are willing to work hard for their place in the spotlight.  However, the next step is a doozy.

It has come to light that all seven girls (one for each day of the week) are studying hard to take the extremely strict National Weather Forecaster Exam next year. The test, which was established in 1994, reportedly has a 5 percent pass rate.  However, if the girls succeed they will become full-fledged weather forecasters.

Read More