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Japanese language

The Japanese language or Nihongo, is a complex language with 3 writing methods (hiragana, katakana and kanji) as well as idioms, proverbs, and local dialects, and linguistic idiocynracies. The Japanese teacher blogs in this blog category goes into some of these aspects in detail.

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Japanese word games

One good way to learn Japanese pronunciation is practising Japanese word games. One of these are Tongue Twisters which are a great way to practice vocabulary as well.

Below is a blog which is about a child's game which is similar to tongue twisters but has a quirky psychological twist to it. It's fun !

Yokozuka sensei, one of the Japanese teachers at JOI online school explains this interesting twist on the tongue twister game.

10 Times Quiz




子どもの頃、「10回クイズ 」とという遊びがはやりました。このような遊びです。







×シンデレラ 〇白雪姫

×4000 〇3001

×洗濯機 〇乾燥機

To listen to this blog, please watch our Youtube video.


子(こ)どもの頃(ころ)、「10回クイズ」という遊(あそ)びがはやりました。 このような遊びです。






×シンデレラ 〇白雪姫(しらゆきひめ)

×4000 〇3001

×洗濯機(せんたくき/せんたっき) 〇乾燥機(かんそうき)

10 Times Quiz

Back when I was a child, the game known as 10 Times Quiz was quite popular.

This is an example of how the game goes.

A: “Say Pizza 10 times”.
B: “Pizza, pizza, pizza….” (Says it 10 times).
A: What is that (Point at his elbows)?
B: My Hiza (Knee)!
A: Wrong, that is your Hiji (Elbow)

Here is another example.

A: “Say Risu to Tora (Squirrel and Tiger) 10 times”.
B: “Squirrel and Tiger, Squirrel and Tiger….” (Says it 10 times).
A: What is the word for quitting your job?
B: Risutora (Restructuring) !
A: Wrong, the word is Taishoku.

Most people who do this quiz get the wrong answer.

I had forgotten about this game, but remebered it recently when I saw a group of elementary children playing it. I thought it was game that only made sense in Japanese, but I wonder are there word games like this in other languages? Do you have a game that is similar to the 10 Times Quiz in your country?

In fact, I had forgotten if there were other examples other than those, so I did a quick search and I'd like to introduce these. If you like them, feel free to try them on other people.

1) A:Say Cinderella 10 times.
B: Cinderella (Says it 10 times).
A:Who ate the poison apple?

Right Answer: Snow White
Wrong Answer: Cinderella

2) A: Say Onsen 10 times.
B: Onsen (Says it 10 times).
A: What is the number after 3000?

Right Answer: 3001
Wrong Answer: 4000 (Yonsen)

3) A: Say Kentucky 10 times.
B: Kentucky (Says it 10 times).
A: What do you use to dry the clothes?

Right Answer: Kansouki (Drier)
Wrong Answer: Sentakuki (Washer)

ひじ elbow

ひざ knee

リス a squirrel

トラ a tiger

ちなみに by the way

検索(けんさく) a search

毒(どく)りんご Poison apples

シンデレラ Cinderella

白雪姫(しらゆきひめ) Snow White

乾(かわ)かす dry

乾燥機(かんそうき) dryer; drier


Konnichi-wa, everybody. I am originally from Ringo-no-ri in Aomori prefecture, but I am now living in Kakaa-tenka in Gunma prefecture. I've lived in several other of Japan's prefectures as well, including Niigata (which has gorgeous sunsets), Tochigi (where the Nikko Toshogu shrine is located), and Gifu (land of the famous Shirakawa-go area of historic rafter roofed houses).

I myself am studying Chinese, so I can really relate to the difficulty of learning a foreign language. But still, if we can get past that step and feel the excitement of having just a single word understood, the feeling of satisfaction that comes from communication is, no pun intended, beyond words. I'd like to invite everyone who visits our online Japanese school with the thought "I want to speak Japanese!" to join my classes. Until the day when you can say confidently, "I did it, I learned how to speak Japanese!", I promise to do my best to help you in your Japanese language studies.

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  • Yokozuka Noriko says #
    コメントありがとうございます。 イギリスにも10回クイズがあるんですね。 shopとstop、なるほど~! 教えてくださって、ありがとうございました
  • Ivor-UK says #
    イギリスで ー A:「Shop」を10回言ってみて。 B:「Shop, shop, shop・・・。」(10回言います。) A:「信号が青(green)に変わりますで、何をしますか?」 B:Stop! A:残念。「Go」です。 In the UK, A: