Akiko's American Foreign Exchange

A glimpse into the personal journal of Akiko, a Japanese twenty-something who comes to Seattle on a foreign exchange.

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Akiko starts her adventure in Seattle.
Notes: This series is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and incomplete sentences. This episode contains an excellent discussion of using the verb tobu, "to fly," and a discussion of using polite verbs in personal writing.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.0(1338 votes)
Harder Unread 3.0(692 votes)
Akiko prepares to navigate to school.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.1(660 votes)
Harder Unread 3.3(441 votes)
Pro
Akiko muses about the day's successes.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.0(358 votes)
Harder Unread 3.0(249 votes)
Pro
Akiko has her first day of school and realizes she's in for a challenge.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.1(273 votes)
Harder Unread 3.2(210 votes)
Pro
Akiko experiences culture shock over household customs.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.0(240 votes)
Harder Unread 3.2(186 votes)
Pro
Akiko enjoys movie night with her host family.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.3(193 votes)
Harder Unread 3.3(147 votes)
Pro
Akiko muses about her new school friends.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.0(180 votes)
Harder Unread 3.2(138 votes)
Pro
Going out to see a movie with a school friend leads to a revelation about Akiko's past.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.1(165 votes)
Harder Unread 3.1(125 votes)
Pro
A discussion over breakfast leads to reflection on the role of religion in the two cultures.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.1(161 votes)
Harder Unread 3.3(111 votes)
Pro
Akiko begins her search for a place to volunteer but hits an early snag.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.2(138 votes)
Harder Unread 3.4(104 votes)
Pro
Pizza night with the host family leads to more cultural discoveries.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.1(126 votes)
Harder Unread 3.3(92 votes)
Pro
After being hit on during her morning commute, Akiko opens up to Ginger about her past.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.1(119 votes)
Harder Unread 3.2(83 votes)
Pro
Akiko muses about different dating patterns among her fellow exchange students.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.0(92 votes)
Harder Unread 3.1(70 votes)
Pro
Akiko attends orientation for the Chicken Soup Team.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.8(82 votes)
Harder Unread 2.9(61 votes)
Pro
The discovery of Green Lake delights Akiko and provides the perfect place to wind down after an exciting week.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.9(80 votes)
Harder Unread 3.0(60 votes)
Pro
Akiko reflects on her first half month in America.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.0(70 votes)
Harder Unread 3.0(61 votes)
Pro
Akiko meets the gang during her first day at Chicken Soup Team.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.7(72 votes)
Harder Unread 3.2(60 votes)
Pro
An opportunity for side income appears.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.7(72 votes)
Harder Unread 3.0(56 votes)
Pro
Akiko recalls the personal history leading up to her current foreign exchange.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.0(72 votes)
Harder Unread 3.0(52 votes)
Pro
Akiko begins to make a name for herself at Chicken Soup Team.
Notes: This article is representative of the style of writing you might find in a personal journal entry. It is written in a quick and casual style, featuring mostly informal verbs, dropped particles, and many incomplete sentences.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.8(66 votes)
Harder Unread 3.3(47 votes)
Pro
Her school week finished, Akiko enjoys the simple pleasure of a Friday night picnic with the family.
Notes: This article contains notes about the pattern "X ga ureshii," speech-imitative spellings, and, as always, lots of useful vocabulary.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.7(68 votes)
Harder Unread 2.8(45 votes)
Pro
Akiko enjoys Golden Gardens Park with her host family, but the natural beauty brings up painful memories of the past.
Notes: This article contains important vocabulary and expressions such as "having an affair," and the pattern for saying something is someone's fault.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.1(69 votes)
Harder Unread 3.3(42 votes)
Pro
Golden Gardens provides the perfect location to do homework and people-watching at the same time.
Notes: This episode contains patterns for informal questions and commands that might be new to you, plus a few excellent storytelling expressions in the Harder edition.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.8(63 votes)
Harder Unread 2.9(42 votes)
Pro
Akiko reflects on the local culture.
Notes: This episode features straightforward grammar and lots of useful vocabulary.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.6(59 votes)
Harder Unread 2.7(44 votes)
Pro
Akiko has a stressful moment at her Sunday volunteering gig.
Notes: This longer article is full of vocabulary-building opportunities and interesting annotations.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.9(57 votes)
Harder Unread 3.1(42 votes)
Pro
As Akiko begins to feel a cold coming on, she reflects about different bathing habits.
Notes: This episode contains lots of good expressions, such as a good way to speak of feeling "sluggish/dull," as well as a cultural note related to the phrase o-yu wo tameru, "to draw a bath."
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.8(60 votes)
Harder Unread 3.0(38 votes)
Pro
Akiko looks forward to an upcoming school transfer.
Notes: This shorter article should be mostly straightforward, with perhaps one or two new vocabulary items.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.8(53 votes)
Harder Unread 3.0(37 votes)
Pro
Ginger gives Akiko some friendly advice on balance.
Notes: This episode contains good examples of vocabulary one might use to speak of introspection.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.0(54 votes)
Harder Unread 3.2(39 votes)
Pro
Akiko reflects on her childhood choices.
Notes: This episode contains great examples of what an admonishing parent sounds like.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.1(50 votes)
Harder Unread 3.3(34 votes)
Pro
Akiko's earlier conversation with Ginger leads to a day of soul-searching.
Notes: This episode contains a common expression meaning "I don't even know myself," and examples of noni being used in different patterns.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.9(49 votes)
Harder Unread 3.1(36 votes)
Pro
Akiko nervously babysits for her host family.
Notes: Several extended annotations help to break down the more challenging sentences in this episode.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.3(51 votes)
Harder Unread 3.5(35 votes)
Pro
Akiko rolls up her sleeves and tackles cleaning the house.
Notes: This episode contains interesting cultural tidbits, such as an explanation of a standard way of describing house sizes in Japanese.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.7(50 votes)
Harder Unread 2.8(35 votes)
Pro
Akiko gets a lesson in slang from her friends at work.
Notes: This episode has useful notes on the differences between chanto and kichinto, the two different ways to use takusan, and a reminder on how to say that one "should not do" something.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.6(47 votes)
Harder Unread 2.8(34 votes)
Pro
Her first month behind her, Akiko looks forward to the next stage of her study-abroad.
Notes: This episode contains great school-related vocabulary, such as words for one's score on a test, the verb for "taking" tests, and the name of a common placement test.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.0(41 votes)
Harder Unread 3.0(34 votes)
Pro
Akiko does a little reconnaissance on her new school.
Notes: This article contains three different uses of the word kurai, with notes breaking them all down.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.0(41 votes)
Harder Unread 3.1(31 votes)
Pro
Akiko's interest is piqued when she learns more about the hiking club from school.
Notes: This episode contains an explanation of why pittari works with the particle ni, as well as an interesting expression relating to enticing opportunities.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.8(39 votes)
Harder Unread 3.1(32 votes)
Pro
Akiko gets in touch with the hiking club but encounters a small wrinkle.
Notes: This article contains good vocabulary and grammar related to making arrangements to participate in group activities.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.7(42 votes)
Harder Unread 2.7(30 votes)
Pro
A chance find and the kindness of friends make Akiko happy.
Notes: The Harder edition of this longer episode contains several challenging sentences, but the Easier edition should be accessible to most.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.9(39 votes)
Harder Unread 3.1(29 votes)
Pro
It's checklist time as Akiko prepares for a hike.
Notes: This episode contains useful grammar, such as an example of omitting the verb of saying or thinking in favor of reporting a simultaneously occurring action, as well as the pattern for invocations ("may such-and-such occur").
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.6(38 votes)
Harder Unread 2.7(30 votes)
Pro
Akiko meets up for her first hike. But has she bitten off more than she can chew?
Notes: This episode contains an interesting note on the distinction between ni and de with certain verbs such as shuugou suru.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.8(37 votes)
Harder Unread 3.0(29 votes)
Pro
Akiko gets acquainted with her fellow hikers en route to the trailhead.
Notes: This episode contains three different uses of the word kurai.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.2(35 votes)
Harder Unread 3.4(28 votes)
Pro
Akiko's concern about the hike deepens as she learns about the local wildlife.
Notes: This episode contains useful expressions such as (in the Harder edition) the usual way to say "No one told me that (such-and-such)!"
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.0(33 votes)
Harder Unread 3.2(29 votes)
Pro
It's go-time as Akiko and company arrive at the mountain.
Notes: This episode contains interesting notes such as one on the difference between two ways of counting objects, and (in the Harder edition) an excellent verb that means "to infer based on another's expressions or actions."
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.8(29 votes)
Harder Unread 3.0(31 votes)
Pro
Akiko experiences the wonders of the Pacific Northwest.
Notes: This episode contains interesting vocabulary, as well as notes on the difference between ishi and iwa; phrases similar to "one of my friends" in English, and more.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.2(27 votes)
Harder Unread 3.2(30 votes)
Pro
The group progresses up the mountain.
Notes: This fun episode contains great vocabulary like "direct sunlight" and "for the time being."
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.1(24 votes)
Harder Unread 3.1(28 votes)
Pro
The group comes to a crossroads and must make a decision.
Notes: This episode contains an interesting discussion of viewpoint within indirect quotations.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.7(26 votes)
Harder Unread 2.8(27 votes)
Pro
The beautiful Snow Lake beckons to Akiko.
Notes: This episode contains a nice example of wa being used to name and evaluate several options in turn.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.7(25 votes)
Harder Unread 2.7(23 votes)
Pro
Akiko is enthralled with the beauty of the Pacific Northwest as the group continues to Snow Lake.
Notes: This episode contains great vocabulary, such as words for "mysterious" and "Great Nature," as well as an extended note on a way of creating and using ad-hoc descriptions of colors.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.9(22 votes)
Harder Unread 3.1(24 votes)
Pro
The group makes it to the lake.
Notes: This chapter contains fun vocabulary, such as a way to call something "funny," an expression that refers to a "growling stomach," and a word for "serious" that literally means "real sword."
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.8(22 votes)
Harder Unread 3.0(21 votes)
Pro
Akiko is spellbound by a magical scene at the lake.
Notes: This wonderful episode contains important vocabulary and notes, such as one on why certain verbs, such as kooru, "to freeze," appear in their progressive forms to mean a current state.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.5(22 votes)
Harder Unread 3.0(21 votes)
Pro
As the group sits down to eat, Akiko's lunchbox becomes something of a sensation.
Notes: This episode contains an extensive breakdown of different ways of talking and writing about "chicken."
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.0(21 votes)
Harder Unread 3.2(20 votes)
Pro
The group begins their return.
Notes: This article contains great vocabulary, like the words for "nap" and "to slip/slide," and interesting notes, as always.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.8(17 votes)
Harder Unread 3.0(18 votes)
Pro
The group makes their way down the mountain.
Notes: This episode contains descriptive vocabulary like a word that means "scattered here and there" and one that means "overly optimistic."
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.8(16 votes)
Harder Unread 2.9(17 votes)
Pro
The group helps Amanda with her knee.
Notes: This episode contains useful vocabulary, such as a verb that means "to accept as a satisfying explanation" and one that means "to give a piggy-back ride."
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.9(13 votes)
Harder Unread 3.3(17 votes)
Pro
As the group nears the end of their journey, Akiko reflects.
Notes: This episode contains great vocabulary such as "wireless radio (e.g., walkie-talkie)" and "underestimate," as well as a note on how the tense of the verb that comes before toki can affect meaning.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.9(14 votes)
Harder Unread 3.1(14 votes)
Pro
Akiko parts ways with the group back in Seattle.
Notes: This episode contains fun vocabulary like words for "discovery," "to be suited to something," and "various/scattered."
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.8(12 votes)
Harder Unread 3.3(15 votes)
Pro
Ginger asks whether Akiko didn't forget something on the mountain.
Notes: This episode contains useful vocabulary, such as "sunscreen" and "marks" left behind by something.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.5(17 votes)
Harder Unread 2.7(14 votes)
Pro
Akiko relates her stories of adventure to Ginger and Scott.
Notes: This episode has fun vocabulary like "tales of adventure" and "fulfilling," as well as interesting notes, as always.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.7(16 votes)
Harder Unread 2.9(15 votes)
Pro
An unexpected phone call surprises Akiko on her first day of classes.
Notes: This episode contains dramatic dialog and lots of great vocab, such as a word that means "at this late stage."
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 2.9(10 votes)
Harder Unread 3.1(9 votes)
Pro
As Akiko hurries off to school, she reflects on the phone call.
Notes: This episode contains good examples of the nante of surprise or disdain, a note on the word katte, and lots of great vocab, as always.
Editions Status Difficulty
Easier Unread 3.1(8 votes)
Harder Unread 3.3(9 votes)