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只より高いものはない (tada yori takai mono wa nai) Nothing is so expensive as something received for free.Even if someone gives you a free gift, it will, in the end, be expensive because the giver will likely ask you for favors or gifts. In addition, offering your appreciation will be an emotional burden.只 freeより in this case "than"高い high, expensiveもの thing (tangible)は article indicating the topic of the sentenceない does not exist (negative plain form of the verb "aru" which means to exist)Notice that the verb is at the end of the sentence. In a properly constructed, grammatically correct Japanese sentence, the verb is at the end. [/color][/font]
Another great expression:二束三文 にそくさんもんIt means dirt cheap I think. The problem is, nothing in Japan is cheap so Japanese don't have an opportunity to use the expression.
[quote author=Michiko Fujiwara link=topic=25.msg103#msg103 date=1533870548]Shinnosuke-san,  Here is the Black board Art that high school kids paint lots of great painting with CHALK.  That is one of typical Japanese culture.  Enjoy these fantastic paints.http://kokubanart.nichigaku.co.jp/2018/major/[/quote]藤原先生お世話様です。Thank you for sharing the link. There was some fantastic work on that website as well as a lot of new vocabulary.I hope you have a wonderful weekend.進之介
Shinnosuke-san,  Here is the Black board Art that high school kids paint lots of great painting with CHALK.  That is one of typical Japanese culture.  Enjoy these fantastic paints.

http://kokubanart.nichigaku.co.jp/2018/major/
Hi Sinnosuke,Let me say something the word 白墨。 You said whenever you say 白墨 your friend laughed at you. I think it's because nowadays calk is more common word in Japan and 白墨 sound little out of date. People think it's funny to hear the word 白墨 from a young man like you. Another thing the word白墨 I don't think it imply only white chalk. At least when I was child I heard the expression such as 「赤い白墨持ってきて」(Please bring me a red chalk) You know black board is not really black . We say 黒板(こくばん)in Japanese but actually it's green.
SteveさんThanks for the info. 藤原先生's explanation makes sense. Although I was holding white chalk when I said 白墨 and got laughed at.Hey, I just realized that I can make a play on words with the word for teacher in Japanese. Like this:Fujiwara Sensei puts the sense in sensei.皆さんへ感謝!進之介
So true!!

I just had a lesson with Michiko Fujiwara-sensei. She gave me the lowdown on チョーク vs. 白墨. It turns out that 30 or 40 years ago, チョーク was not used in Japanese, but nowadays, it's the preferred word, partly because chalk comes in all sorts of colors. 白墨, as the first Kanji implies, means white chalk only.

なるほど!Thank you, Michiko-sensei! ;D
Here's another phrase that I don't hear often: 昔取った杵柄 (むかしとったきねづか)Do any of you ever use that expression? What are some good examples of usage?
Well, chalk dust can cause one to choke.
Maybe 白墨 makes a Japanese think of white ink, maybe they get tickled at the thought of it running down the チョークboard?  :-\

白墨 does seem like a perfect word, though, doesn't it! When I hear チョーク, all I can imagine is "choke"... which doesn't work very well as chalk. ;D
[quote author=nola link=topic=18.msg95#msg95 date=1533760779]Both. Wikipedia and Japan Today have some interesting information on the history of the two pronunciations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_Japan and https://japantoday.com/category/features/nippon-or-nihon-no-consensus-on-japanese-pronunciation-of-japan[/quote]Thanks for the link to the article on the Japan Today site. The comments are very enlightening.
Both. Wikipedia and Japan Today have some interesting information on the history of the two pronunciations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_Japan and https://japantoday.com/category/features/nippon-or-nihon-no-consensus-on-japanese-pronunciation-of-japan
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I really appreciate Araki Sensei ability to go “above and beyond” for her students.

I started taking offline lessons from Araki-Sensei in Hawaii. It was my first time learning Japanese. Araki-Sensei made the learning environment very engaging from the beginning. I went from knowing zero in Nihongo to being able to read, write in hiragana, katakana, and beginner Kanji, as well as listen and speak at a beginner level.

I relocated from Hawaii to Maryland, and then continued learning on my own. This wasn’t working. So, I reached out to Araki-Sensei and learned she was teaching online Japanese lessons at Nihongo-Pro. I once again started taking classes and my knowledge base is again on the rise. I have a hectic schedule but Araki-Sensei works with my free time.

The classes feel more like friendly meetups with structure. We start the class with personal speaking, for a few minutes, in Japanese. This is to get me used to speaking at normal speed in Japanese with everyday topics, not just simple phrases like ”これはペンです”.

I would recommend anyone at any level to schedule a Japanese class with Araki-Sensei. The class will be enjoyable, informative, structured (depending on what your goals are), and 楽しい.

あらき先生、ほんとうにありがとうございます。
Araki-Sensei, hontoo-ni arigatoo gozaimasu.

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