The reason I want to learn Japanese

Learning Japanese Language (Nihongo) from Basic Words and Common Phrases

Here are several basic Japanese language (Nihongo) words and common phrases that I am trying to learn.

Basic words:

  1. Anata. あなた. You.
  2. Watashi. わたし. I.

Common phrases:

  1. Konnichi wa. コニチワあ. Hello.
  2. Arigatou gozaimasu. ありがと ございます. Thank you.
  3. Anata wa dou desuka? あなた わ どう ですか? How are you?
  4. Watashi wa yokunaidesu. わたしわ よくないです. I am not good.
  5. Doushite yokunai desuka? どうして よくない ですか? Why is it not good?
  6. Daijoubu. 大丈夫. All right.
  7. Doushite? どうして? Why?
  8. Byouki desuka? びょうき ですか? Do you feel ill?
  9. Sumimasen. すみません. I am sorry.
  10. Douzo yoroshiku onegaishimasu. どうぞ よろしく おねがいします. Please I need your guidance.


Sorry, I don't speak Mandarin!

Chinese Language (Mandarin) Survival Guide: Basic Words, Phrases, and Sentences

I promised myself that I would learn to speak and write at least two new languages (to at least somewhat-acceptable conversational level) within the next three years, that means my deadline is by the end 2021. ⏳ But why Mandarin, the standard Chinese language?

Statistically speaking it is obvious: Mandarin is spoken by 1.2 billion people! It’s de facto the #1 most spoken language on Earth. It’s shocking to me when I learned this but there are more people speaking Mandarin than English! 😎

So when I get this life goal done, then I would have 1.2 billion potential new friends. Not bad to keep myself busy for the next 12000 years, I guess. 😂 The not-so-amazing news is, Mandarin is notorious for being probably the most difficult language in the world. 😅

Maybe if I stare hard enough at Chinese language, it will translate itself.

Maybe if I stare hard enough at Chinese language, it will translate itself.

Thankfully, I have an amazing instructor and friend, Florentin Anggraini Purnama, B.Sc., who is very patient with me in this process. 👏

And why am I writing this on my blog? As John C. Maxwell said, if you want to do something, then be committed, and make your commitment public, then finish what you started.

My first baby steps would be to learn the most basic and common words and phrases in Mandarin, and I’ll be sharing them with you here, and I’ll update them as I progress. My plan is to learn at least one key phrase per day. Of course, I wouldn’t mind 1000 phrases per day if my brain would support it haha. I hope my notes will be as useful to you as it is (should be) to me. 🙏

Basic and Common Mandarin Words and Phrases

  1. Ni hao. 你好. Hello.
  2. Nin hao. 您好! Hello (polite). (hint: the heart shape 心)
  3. Ni hao ma? 你好吗? How are you?
  4. Wo hen hao, Ni ne? 我很好!你呢? I am fine, you?
  5. Zai tjian. 再见. Good bye.
  6. Zao an. 早安. Good morning.
  7. Wu an. 午安. Good afternoon.
  8. Ni yeshi. 你也是. You too.
  9. Ni jiao shenme mingzi? 你叫什么名字?What is your name?
  10. Xie xie, duoxie. 谢谢, 多谢. Thank you; Thanks a lot.
  11. Jiayou! 加油! Come on!
  12. Haha. 哈哈. Haha.
  13. Wo bu dong. 我不懂. I don’t know.
  14. Shengri kuaile. 生日快乐. Happy birthday.

Basic words:

  1. Wo. 我. I.
  2. Hen. 很. Very.
  3. Jintian, zuotian. 今天, 昨天. Today, yesterday.
  4. Xuexi. 学习. Learn.
  5. Ge. 哥. Brother.
  6. -mei / xiaojie. – 妹 / 小姐. Sister.
  7. Qizi. 妻子. Wife.
  8. Juede. 觉得. Feel.
  9. Baoqian / Duibuqi. 抱歉 / 对不起. Sorry.
  10. Daoqian. 道歉. Apology.
  11. Diannao. 电脑. Computer.
  12. Kan. 看. See.
  13. Shi, Bu. 是,不. Yes, No/not.
  14. Bu dao. 不到. Cannot.
  15. Laoshi. 老师. Teacher.
  16. Pin yin. 拼音. Alphabet.
  17. Feiji. 飞机. Aircraft.
  18. Rongyi. 容易. Easy.
  19. Wen. 问. Ask.
  20. Ye. 也. Also.
  21. Xiwang. 希望. Hope.
  22. Wan long. 万隆. Bandung.
  23. Hao hao. 好好. Good.
  24. Gangcai. 刚才. Just.
  25. Zuo. 坐. Sit (ride).
  26. Huoche / huoche zhan. 火车 / 火车站. Train / train station.
  27. Motuoche. 摩托车. Motorbike.
  28. Daxue. 大学. Campus.
  29. Taoyan. 讨厌. Upset.
  30. Jianyi. 建议. Suggest.
  31. Xiayu. 下雨. Rain.
  32. Hunli. 婚礼. Wedding reception.
  33. Ruanjian. 软件. Software.
  34. Wangji. 忘记. Forget.
  35. Huida / da’an. 回答 / 答案. Answer (verb) / (noun).
  36. Landuo. 懒惰. Lazy.
  37. Kaiwanxiao. 开玩笑. Kidding.
  38. Cuo, Dui. 错,对. Incorrect, Correct.
  39. Zhen zheng. 真正. Sincere.
  40. Zhunbei. 准备. Prepare (ready).
  41. Zhenzheng. 真正. Real (sincere).
  42. Weishenme? / yinwei. 为什么?/ 因为. Why? / because.
  43. Pa. 怕. Afraid.

Sample complete sentences: (I won’t translate them, you’ll have to actually read them 😉)

  1. Anggi 早安,今天你好?
  2. Hendy 哥您好!我今天觉得很好!你呢?
  3. 谢谢,我也希望你好好
  4. 不,我刚才坐火车
  5. 对不起我昨天忘记回答
  6. 不,因为我怕上不到火车

So, what do you think about Mandarin?

How to Find The Woman of Your Dreams

How to Find The Woman of Your Dreams

Keep knowing people.

I’ve learned that the best way to find the woman of your life is to befriend the potential love partners that you meet in your life, until you have the capability to make a firm decision.

Being in a relationship, without clear purpose and time limit, will make it harder for you to be decisive.

If you find that you’re unable to attract the women you like, that means you need to improve yourself. But you can improve yourself without being in a relationship, actually it makes it easier, since being in a relationship (with a woman you don’t really want to get married to) may make you “lazy to improve”.

When you have attained your decisiveness, then you can decide whether a woman is good enough for you to move into serious relationship towards marriage, considering all the trade-offs (your age, her age, job, lifestyle, her potential to be snatched by other, etc.). No more gray area.

Are There (Many) Women in This World Who Can Be My “Miss Right” But That I May Never Meet?

Yes, that is why it’s important for you to make effort to improve yourself, as well as increase your chances of meeting women.

Why is improving yourself important? Because a simplistic way to say this statistically is that you need to know there are two groups of women:

  1. Single women who may like you. The more attractive you are (both physical and non-physical attributes), the more women are in this group. Any undesirable and negative attributes you have will decrease the numbers.
  2. Single women who you like (“Miss Right”). The more attributes you desire from a woman, the women in this group will be smaller.

Those “Miss Right” are women who happen to belong to both groups at once. This is important because no matter how many women that fit into your criteria, you won’t have a chance of good relationship even if you meet them unless you also meet her criteria.

So, start improving yourself. Perhaps all this time you’ve been meeting these “Miss Right” women all along, but they didn’t notice you.

Can You Marry Someone With A Different Religion?

Can You Marry Someone With A Different Religion?

The person I love is from a different religion. She thinks it won’t work, her parents wouldn’t approve. What should I do?

This is so much more about risk than it is about her parents (and yours).

Different religion will bring risks and challenges during both of your life together, your children’s life, relationship with neighbors, society, and families.

These risks and challenges are on top of other risks and challenges you’ll face because of personality, conflicting values, economy, faithfulness, and so on.

Religion won’t be the only problem you’ll face, but you’ll wish you don’t have that problem when you have other problems piling up on you. Life isn’t a game where you can reset and replay. Life has serious permanent consequences, especially when you make a big mistake.

My Advice?

Work on improving your attractiveness. Your question is result of tunnel vision, you may feel that you’re on a tight situation, but actually you can make effort to expand your choices.

Besides, if she already feels that it won’t work, that means the only reason left why she’s still into you is because you currently don’t have another choice. But what happens if you do have a choice?

What Makes A Man Attractive?

What Makes A Man Attractive?

What Percent of People Are Attractive?

It would take too many research and calculation in order to answer this question in a comprehensive and accurate manner.

So allow me to answer this objectively, but for a limited scope of:

  • only the height trait of attractiveness
  • only male
  • only in United States
  • only those aged 20–29
  • using publicly available data from 2007–2008

Since even height is a measurable trait of attractiveness, just how tall a man should be in order to qualify as “attractive” is still subjective to some extent. But let’s say he has to be at least 6 feet tall (182 cm). Note you can still use this methodology to change the “minimum height threshold parameter” and you’ll get a valid result for your chosen threshold.

Let’s see the data from US Census Bureau 2011:

So males under 6′ tall make up 79.9% of the US population aged 20–29 years old.

Which means there are 20.1% potentially attractive males, based on height alone.

Sorry that I still haven’t provided a definite answer, but at least I have narrowed it down: Attractive males make up less than 20.1% of the US population.

Now all you have to do is narrow it further for other traits: weight, wealth, facial features, and so on. The percentage would decrease even more for each trait you add. Some of the traits would have extremely high variation of subjectivity that you’d need to create different versions of your study for each target audience. For example: political orientation, religion.

So that’s the numbers.

My opinion? I myself don’t need to know the exact number. I am satisfied with a fuzzy answer of “very few” which is accurate enough for some of the objective traits and given the high variation of subjective traits.

So, armed with this newfound knowledge, what would you do about it?

Why Would Anyone Marry Me? I Have Many Issues

Why Would Anyone Marry Me? I Have Many Issues

Having issues do reduce your chances of getting a spouse, as there are traits men want from women (and vice versa).

While I or anyone can always pick a few anecdotes of highly unlikely marriages, I don’t think it’s wise to depend so much on luck.

On the other hand, you can also increase your chances of marriage, summed up in “only” three things to do:

  1. For those attributes you’re already good at, keep it up! For example, if you’re a good listener, see if your crush appreciates it.
  2. For those attributes you’re not so good at, make effort to improve at least some of it, gradually.
  3. For those attributes you’re terrible at, you’ll need to fix it. For example, if you’re rude and mean to (some) people, it’s time to learn how to be polite and compassionate.

While I said “only”, it’s actually a lifetime work. But you need to start now.

What Are The Most Important Attributes A Man Need in A Woman?

What Are The Most Important Attributes A Man Needs in A Woman?

I’ll be honest. But I’ll only list a few important attributes a man needs in a woman:

  • Beauty
  • Good health
  • Same religion
  • Good heart
  • Intelligence
  • Good family
  • Patience

Is That All?

No that isn’t all. There are many more. Yet every man has different preferences and priorities.

How Do I Keep Up With It?

You really don’t have to.

What you should do depends on your current situation: are you still looking for a man, or you’re already in a relationship with a man?

If You’re Still Looking…

There are “only” three things to do:

  1. For those attributes you’re already good at, keep it up! For example, if you’re a good listener (yep, a rarity among women), see if your crush appreciates it.
  2. For those attributes you’re not so good at, make effort to improve at least some of it, gradually.
  3. For those attributes you’re terrible at, you’ll need to fix it. For example, if you’re rude and mean to (some) people, it’s time to learn how to be polite and compassionate.

While I said “only”, it’s actually a lifetime work. But you need to start now.

If You’re Already In A Relationship…

It’s actually easier, as you just need to ask him. He’ll need to be honest. He may try to be sweet and say “you’re already perfect” and if you’re content with it then it’s fine. But in a healthy relationship it’s better to understand each other’s expectations. You may not fulfill every expectation he has (it’s practically impossible for that), and he also may not fulfill every expectation you have (which is even beyond impossible, ha!)

There is always a reason to improve yourself.

And in the unfortunate case if you later break up with him, you’ll become a better person.

I Feel Ugly, What Choices Do I Have?

Improve your health and your attitude, be a fun and warm person.

The reason is there are several (actually many!) traits men want from women, looks is only one factor.

Other than inner beauty (attitude), health is probably most overlooked. Not smoking, not drinking alcohol, and a healthy habit of exercise and hygiene care is a plus that will be appreciated by him and his family. You’re right that (too much) make up is not good, it can even be bad for your skin’s health.

Being more intelligent is another way. But being intelligent and nice at the same time, that takes practice and sincerity. And that makes a woman more attractive than other not-so-intelligent and not-so-nice women, regardless of looks.

There’s no need to deny that attractive women do have more choices in attracting men, even the simple act of them being there can attract men. Accept that fact and realize that unattractive women still have choices too.

How Does It Feel to Be An Ugly Girl?

How Does It Feel to Be An Ugly Girl?

From what I know from my honest not-so-pretty friends in Indonesia and other countries: being an ugly girl feels lonely. Sometimes it’s true loneliness (no friends) but mostly loneliness due to lack of boyfriend.

People around them don’t treat them as well as they treat pretty girls, so this can lead to jealousy.

Both feelings and other feelings can lead to depression.

(Curiously, even pretty girls do feel lonely, jealous, and depressed as well, but for entirely different reasons. It seems illogical, but pretty girls tend to be more insecure than ugly ones.)

Can An Ugly Girl Be Happy?

On the other hand, while being ugly can be a challenge it doesn’t prevent happiness. She will need to learn to accept it, and focus her energy on positive things. By doing this it’s more likely she will attract good friends, a love partner, enjoyable work and activities, and overall enjoy a quality life.

Do you have an experience you want to share?

Why Is A Girl Rude to You (As A Boy)

Why Is A Girl Rude to You (As A Boy)

Are Beautiful Girls Better or Worse Than Ugly Girls?

Some girls are better than others, but usually the “score” is relative to what traits that each guy wants. For example, which one do you value better: her cooking skills or academic accomplishments? Different guys will answer differently, and that goes on for other things.

But even that “scoring” is independent to how a girl looks.

Yet in the real world, a girl’s behavior is shaped by the environment and people’s behavior around her. That’s what caused what you perceive as “ugly girls behavior” versus “beautiful girls behavior” stereotypes. Rather than thinking of beautiful girls negatively, you should try to understand what triggers a girl’s good and bad behaviors. Usually it involves understanding more about her background.

As a simple example, in any given situation, it’s far more likely for a beautiful girl to get a smile, a nice greeting, an “I like you” message, a dinner invitation, up to sexual harassment, than an ugly girl. As you can imagine, a beautiful girl gets a multiply of not just the good things but also the terrible things that can happen to her. So a girl’s behavior will reflect her past experience.

You should make effort so that the good girls will treat you well (regardless of their looks), and the bad girls (again, regardless of their looks)… well I don’t think it does you any good to be near them anyway. Ask yourself: have ever mistreated a good beautiful girl just because you put them in the same camp as beautiful girls (who are “automatically” bad)?

Beautiful girls’ “bad” behavior is caused by an environment that is psychologically unhealthy. In my experience, in a healthy environment, the beautiful girls will actually be nicer than ugly ones because they’re consistently being treated positively. The ugly girls tend to be not as nice because they get less positive reactions from the people around them. Research by Jackson and Huston in 2014 mentions that “physically attractive females evidencing greater assertiveness than their less physically attractive counterparts.” It’s unfortunate, but that’s what reality gives us.

how to tell a boy i like him without saying it

How to Tell A Boy I Like Him Without Saying It

Let’s assume it’s possible for you to see him almost regularly, perhaps because you’re both in the same school or university or workplace.

Let’s consider the alternatives. You can be just subtle but he will hardly notice you (don’t worry, he won’t think you’re a freak). You can also let him know about you, but you may not get what you want in the end: just walking up to him saying “Hi I am **** and I like you” is a way of doing this.

Actually, you can be both subtle and get to know each other over time.

I suggest you to approach and talk to him. Am I serious? Yup, but since you’re asking this question chances are that also want to know exactly how is this even possible. There a number of ways but the easiest is to use a gimmick.

An example of a gimmick can be a flyer (of a festival, exhibition, etc.). So while you’re handing out a flyer to him, you can casually ask “So what do you think of this event? Will you come? Why not? What kind of events do you prefer? Oh, really, how’s it like? Sounds cool to me too.” As a bonus, you can strike conversation with other boys too: it doesn’t hurt to expand your choices.

If you don’t have such gimmick, it can also be made out of thin air. Have a pen and paper and approach him to ask his help for your survey (from your teacher or your parents or your boss or your friend). You can ask his opinion about topics such as video games, movies, music, arts, or pretty much anything. If you run out of questions then just browse Quora. 😉

Your goal isn’t to tell him you like him but to get something going so you can begin to know each other. So, also let him know of your opinions, what’s your experience on the things he does/doesn’t like. It may or may not end with exchanging mobile number or befriend in Facebook (it’s a plus), but that doesn’t matter much at this point.

Ok so that’s for the first time. While you can do similarly for second time, you don’t have to! You can just say “Hey, you’re that guy from last time!” or maybe both of you already knew each other’s names. And of course you can smile. Then you can either start a conversation or go on with you were doing, but at least you and him are no longer strangers.