Souvenir from Japan

I asked my sensei for a very specific souvenir from Japan:Β  Newspapers.Β  I can’t understand a freakin’ thing unless I have my dictionary handy.Β  πŸ™‚Β  But it’s all part of learning, right? γ©γ†γ‚‚γ€€γ‚γ‚ŠγŒγ¨γ†γ€€ε²‘ζœ¬ε…ˆη”Ÿγ€‚

Announcing libkanji v1.0

It’s finally out. This is libkanji, my C library for Japanese kanji storage and retrieval. Although heavier on the storage side for now, the library essentially parses the KANJIDIC2 project‘s XML file into a MySQL or PostgreSQL database. You can then build software on top of it to manipulate the data for customizing your kanji learning.

Still a lot of work to do (of course) but I’m happy with the results.

Get the tar.gz at


Converting *.mp4 to *.wav with MPlayer

Recently, my Japanese teacher has been sending me audio dictations in mp4 formats. It’s not a problem in itself since MPlayer or any other Linux player can read it. But nothing beats Audacity for listening and re-listening the hard parts (and change the tempo when things get really hard) but it doesn’t support MPA’s (or rather, it simply and unequivocally crashes). For the last 3 or 4 lessons, I still haven’t mastered this single line of Kung Fu to convert it with MPlayer:

mplayer -ao pcm:file=<out file>.wav <in file>.mpa

Notice how the pcm:file replaces the old syntax. MPlayer (on Ubuntu at least) will warn you about this.

Hopefully I’ll stop scouring the ‘Net and go straight to this page if my memory fails. And I hope you do too πŸ˜‰

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