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Archive for the 'Japanese Culture' Category

Writing a Japanese Address on a Postcard

  1. - Postal symbol, preceding postal code
  2. 107-0052 - Postal code, composed of 7 numbers
  3. 東京都 - Prefecture (県, ken), with the exception of Tokyo (都, to), Hokkaido (道, do) and Osaka/Kyoto (府, fu)
  4. 港区 - Municipality, city (市, shi), village (村, mura) or ward (区, ku). Here it is Minato ward.
  5. 赤坂 - Area. Here it is Akasaka.
  6. 3丁目4-4 - City district (丁目, chome), city block (番地, banchi), bldg/house number (号, go)
  7. ジョン シナ - Recipient’s name. In Japan the last name precedes the first name and is often followed by a honorific suffix like San (さん) or Sama (様), corresponding to Mr. or Ms.

Click here to learn how to send out a Japanese postcard with our fun FREE video!


P.S. Win a personal postcard all the way from Japan! Just click the link above and submit your name and email address :) Hurry! Contest ends this Friday, 10/14/2016!

How to Cook Delicious Chicken Teriyaki While Learning Japanese

Do you like chicken teriyaki? If so, this blog post is perfect for you. In this lesson, you’re going to learn an easy way to cook delicious chicken teriyaki while learning Japanese. Check out 鶏のテリヤキのレシピ (Tori no teriyaki no reshipi; chicken teriyaki recipe) below! Make sure to listen to the audio lesson and review the words and phrases too!

Cook Chicken Teryaki While Learning Japanese

Listen to our Japanese audio lesson - How to Make Japanese Teriyaki Chicken!



1. What’s teriyaki?

Teriyaki (テリヤキ) is one of the most well-known and popular cooking methods in Japanese cuisine. Fish or meat (or other types of ingredients) are marinated in sweet soy sauce and then grilled or broiled. We can write teriyaki in kanji (照り焼き), hiragana, or katakana.



2. Ingredients (材料; Zairyō)

  • One piece of chicken (鶏肉1枚; Toriniku ichi-mai)
  • Fifty milliliters of soy saucee (しょうゆ50cc; Shōyu gojū-cc)
  • Fifty millliters of vinegar (酢50cc; Su gojū-cc)
  • Thirty grams of sugar (砂糖30グラム; Satō sanjū-guramu)

Teriyaki Rice

Learn more Japanese vocabulary about cooking!

Let’s make Japanese chicken teriyaki! Do you have your ingredients? So let’s begin making it.
鶏のテリヤキを作りましょう!材料はありますか。では、作り始めましょう。
(Tori no teriyaki o tsukurimashō! Aairyō wa arimasu ka. Dewa, tsukuri hajimemashō.)



3. How to Make Simple Teriyaki Sauce & Chicken Teriyaki

Learn more Japanese vocabulary about kitchen items!

1) Mix together the soy sauce, the vinegar, and the sugar.

  • しょうゆと、酢と、砂糖を混ぜてください。
  • Shōyu to, su to, satō o mazete kudasai.

2) Keep mixing until the sugar dissolves.

  • 砂糖が溶けるまで、混ぜ続けてくださいね。
  • Satō ga tokeru made, mazetsudukete kudasai ne.

3) Next, put the mixture and the chicken in the pan. Then turn on the heat.

  • 次に、鍋にたれと鶏肉をいれます。それから、火をつけてください。
  • Tsugi ni, nabe ni tare to toriniku o iremasu. Sore kara, hi o tsukete kudasai.

4) When it’s boiling, turn down the flame. Let it cook for ten minutes.

  • お湯が沸騰したら、火を弱くしてください。10分間煮てください。
  • O-yu ga futtō shitara, hi o yowaku shite kudasai.

5) Turn it over and let it cook for another ten minutes.

  • ひっくり返して、また10分煮てください。
  • Hikkuri kaeshite, mata juppun nite kudasai.


4. Japanese Vocabulary and Phrases

Biling Water

Click here to learn even more Japanese words and phrases!

  • テリヤキ (teriyaki): teriyaki
  • 経つ (tatsu): to pass (time); V1
  • 煮る (niru): to cook, to boil, to simmer;V2
  • 沸騰 (futtō): boiling
  • (nabe): pot, saucepan
  • 溶ける (とける): to melt, to thaw;V2
  • たれ (tare): sauce, dipping sauce
  • (su): vinegar
  • しょうゆ (shōyu): soy sauce
  • ひっくり返す (hikkuri kaesu): to turn over, to upset;V1


5. Japanese Audio Lesson


Want to keep this lesson? Right click here and save the MP3 file.

In this lesson, you will learn how to use hajimeru, tuzukeru, and owaru in Japanese. The conversation takes place in a home economics class at school between a Japanese teacher and some students. The teacher is speaking formal Japanese to her students. The students are speaking formal Japanese with their teacher and informal Japanese to each other. We will also discuss Japanese cooking teriyaki style.
JapanesePod101 Audio Lesson

Click here to get the PDF Lesson Notes!

Visit us at JapanesePod101.com where you will find many more fantastic Japanese lessons and learning resources! Leave us a message while you are there!

Japanese Honorifics Guide: San, Kun, Chan, Sama and More

Have you ever felt confused about all those -kun, -chan and -senpai you hear when watching anime? I am sure you have wondered about the meaning of these Japanese suffixes. After reading this post your Japanese will sound more natural as you will learn how to use Japanese honorifics!

Remember to take the quiz at the end to test your understanding and to sign up at JapanesePod101.com if you really want to learn Japanese with effective resources.

japanese honorifics suffixes san kun chan sama sensei senpai kouhai

Discover the Top 10 Anime to learn Japanese!

Most languages use them: “Mr.”, “Mrs”, “Sir”, “Dr”… But in Japanese there are more of them, and they are a lot more nuanced. They are often attached to a name as a suffix, but some can stand alone, such as sensei.

In Japanese there are both formal and informal honorifics, plus some familial honorifics. The use of honorifics is considered very important in Japan, and calling somebody by just his name without adding a title is a lack of good manners.

Here is the list of 10 Japanese honorific titles and how to use them!

-San (さん), the most common honorific, equivalent to “Mr.” or “Mrs.” It’s a title of respect between equals, so it’s okay to use for anyone, especially if you are not sure which honorific to use. It can also be attached to occupation names. For example, ‘bookstore (本屋) + san (さん) = “bookseller” (本屋さん).’

-Kun (くん), the most commonly used honorific in anime. It is used to address young males. It is also used by superiors to inferiors and male of the same age and status.

-Chan (ちゃん), most frequently used for girls and between them, children, close friends, or lovers. This can be used when somebody finds a person, a pet, or something adorable and cute. You don’t want to use it with a superior, unless you want to be fired! -Sama (さま), the more formal version of san. Usually used to refer to customers who are deserving of the utmost respect status in Japan, people of higher rank, or somebody you admire.

For Japanese learners: here are 5 phrases your teacher will never teach you!

-Niisan/Neesan (兄さん / 姉さん), is used when referring to one’s older brother or sister, or any relative or close friend. -Jisan/Basan (じさん / ばさん), is used when referring to one’s uncle or aunt or any middle-aged adult the user is already acquainted with. Also there is Jiisan/Baasan (じいさん/ばあさん), which literally refer to one’s grandfather and grandmother, and is also used to refer to older adults the speaker is acquainted with. Neither of these are seen as insulting, but watch out not to use them with a person sensitive about his/her age!

-Dono (どの), roughly means “lord” or “master”, and lies below sama in its respect level. It’s a title that has almost gone out of use in daily conversation. When it is used, it is usually as a joke expressing an exaggeration of age.

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Here are some honorific titles that can stand on their own:

Senpai (せんぱい), the equivalent of “senior.” This is used for classmates in higher grades and all people with more experience than yourself either at work, club, or in any kind of group.

Kōhai (こうはい), the equivalent of “junior” and the opposite of senpai. As it can appear condescending, it is not used as a suffix.

Sensei (せんせい), is used to refer to teachers as well as people who are experts in their respective fields, whether doctors, artists, or lawyers. It shows respect to someone who has mastered some skill.

To go further and master this lesson:

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Now that you mastered Japanese honorific suffixes you can move on prefixes! This video lesson is already available on our website and you will learn why and how to use Japanese prefix!

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Japanese Slang Part III

Japanese Slang III

Taking the time to understand slang and informal speech will boost your communication and language skills, and save a whole lot of confusion. Slang will allow you to use language in a current, useful way. No amount of time in class can prepare you for the contemporary nuances you’ll be faced with when you put your language knowledge to practical use out in the real world.

In this post, we’ll cover common slang nouns that are used every day in Japan!

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1. エクステ (ekusute) - hair extensions

hair extensions

短い髪の毛にエクステをつけると長く見える。
Mijikai kaminoke ni ekusute o tsukeru to nagaku mieru.
It makes your hair look longer if you apply hair extensions to your short hairs.

2. ドタキャン (ドタキャン) - last minute cancellation

last minute cancellation

楽しみにしていた約束がドタキャンになる。
Tanoshimi ni shiteita yakusoku ga dotakyan ni naru.
The appointment I was looking forward to got cancelled in the last minute.

Learn how to describe yourself in Japanese!

3. ドヤ顔 (doyagao) - smug face

smug face

すごい事をしてみんなに褒められてドヤ顔する。
Sugoi koto o shite minna ni homerarete doyagao suru.
To make a smug face from getting compliments for something great you did

4. いつめん (itsumen) - usual members

usual members

いつめんでご飯を食べる。
Itsumen de gohan o taberu.
To eat with the usual members.

5. 卒アル (sotsuaru) - school year book

school year book

思い出の卒アル
Omoide no sotsuaru
A school year book with a memory

For more lessons, video tutorials, quizzes and learning materials, don’t forget to visit www.japanesepod101.com and sign up for your Free Lifetime Account and enjoy our content!

Everything you need to know about Cat Cafes!

Are you traveling in Japan and missing your cat? Maybe you are just looking to cuddle some kawaii felines? Of course you are! The cat cafe, or neko cafe, will be your paradise.

everything you need to know about cat cafe in japan tokyo

Adventure with Risa!
You always dreamt of seeing Risa cuddling some cute cats? Today Risa takes you to a cat cafe and introduces you this trendy concept in Tokyo!

Start learning Japanese with videos starring Risa!

Cat cafe, an original concept
You might be surprised to hear that this concept is not originally from Japan but from Taiwan, where the world’s first cat cafe opened in 1998. After seeing that it attracted many tourists from Japan, a Japanese person decided to bring the concept, which mixes the relaxing and cozy atmosphere of a coffee shop with adorable cats, back to his country. The popularity of cat cafes boomed all over Japan, with more than a hundred shops opening, half being concentrated in Tokyo. Visiting a cat cafe should definitely be on your Top 10 Spots You Must See in Japan list.

Prepare for your visit to a cat cafe with all the vocabulary you need to order!

A solution to busy Japanese urban life
Because of the size of its population, high density, and the price of housing in Tokyo, many Japanese people live in small apartments, which are not convenient for having a pet, or that just don’t allow them. A lot of people would love to have a pet, but they are too busy and would not have time to take care of it. It’s common to see lots of Japanese salarymen relaxing in these cafés. Visiting a neko cafe will allow you to enjoy your guilty pleasure while avoiding any trouble with your rental agreement!

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Here are the 5 reasons why you should start learning Japanese!

Cats, a cup of tea and a lot of love
In most cat cafes, for approximately 1000 yen per hour, you have access to unlimited drinks, and after replacing your shoes with slippers, you will have the opportunity to play with various kinds of cats: fat cats, black cats, clothed cats… There are cats to suit all tastes. If you try to communicate with them, just forget about “meow,” it’s all about “nyan”! Sounds that animals make in Japanese are very different from what you know. Have a look at the animals onomatopoeia list, and discover what the fox says!

risa discovers cate cafe in tokyo

The rise of pet cafes all around the world
The concept of the cat cafe has spread all over the world: New York City, London, Paris, Toronto, Sydney, Singapore, Seoul, Bangkok… The world can’t resist petting kittens while enjoying a cup of tea!
In Tokyo, the concept has been applied to other animals so you can now choose whether you’d like to visit a dog cafe, rabbit cafe, owl cafe, snake cafe, hedgehog cafe…or even a goat cafe!

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Learn how to introduce yourself and interact with other customers at the café!

This crazy experience is worth trying for all cat lovers or just those who are wanting to take a break in an original place. Are you excited about visiting one of these kitty corners? Don’t forget to sign up for your Free Lifetime Account and learn enough Japanese to enjoy your trip to a cat cafe!

Slang phrases Part II

Slang vocab!

Ever since we published our last post about slang adjectives, we’ve been getting a lot of requests for more lessons and videos about Japanese slang vocabulary. As we mentioned, taking the time to understand slang and informal speech will boost your communication and language skills, and save a whole lot of confusion. Slang will allow you to use language in a current, useful way. No amount of time in class can prepare you for the contemporary nuances you’ll be faced with when you put your language knowledge to practical use out in the real world.

Learning one Japanese word a day is an easy, fast and FREE way to master Japanese. Check it out!

In this post, we’ll cover common slang verbs that are used every day in Japan!

1. オールする (ōru suru): to hang out all night

Hang out all night

金曜日の夜にオールしました。
Kin-yōbi no yoru ni ōru shimashita.
I did hang out all night on Friday night.

2. パニクる (panikuru): to get into a panic

Panic!

どうしよう。パニクる。
Dōshiyō. Panikuru.
Oh my god. I’m in a panic.

Start learning Japanese from the beginning with our Absolute Beginner series!

3. 爆睡する (bakusui sure): to sleep deeply

sleep deeply

授業中に爆睡しました。
Jugyō chū ni bakusui shimashita.
I slept deeply in class

4. イケてる (iketeru): cool

cool

その新しいネクタイかっこいいね!イケてますよ。
Sono atarashii nekutai kakkoii ne! Iketemasu yo.
I like your new tie. It’s cool.

Learn the 25 Most common phrases that We Use in Japan every day!

5. シカトする (shikato suru): to ignore

To ignore

都合の悪い言葉が聞こえて、シカトしてく
ださい。
Tsugō no warui kotoba ga kikoete, shikato shite kudasai.

Please ignore when you hear something you don’t want to hear.

For more lessons, video tutorials, quizzes and learning materials, don’t forget to visit www.japanesepod101.com and sign up for your Free Lifetime Account and enjoy our content!

Japanese Slang Part I

Do You Know Japanese Slang?

Slang is an aspect of language that isn’t usually taught in the classroom but is an important part of becoming proficient in any language. A person learning Japanese might attend daily classes. They might study the grammar and the formalities and might even produce complex and coherent sentences. But, take this student out of the classroom and away from the textbooks, and they will encounter a world of language that breaks the rules they learned. Although studying proper Japanese rules is important, slang is unavoidable, no matter what language you’re speaking. In movies and music, conversations and advertising, language becomes less formal and goes less and less “by the rules”. Real-life Japanese is so different from the textbooks.

Taking the time to understand slang and informal speech will boost your communication and language skills, and save a whole lot of confusion. Slang will allow you to use language in a current, useful way. No amount of time in class can prepare you for the contemporary nuances you’ll be faced with when you put your language knowledge to practical use out in the real world.

In this post, we’ll cover common slang adjectives that are used every day in Japan!

1. グロい (guroi) - gross

Gross!

グロい映画を見ると、気持ち悪くなる。
Guroi eiga o miruto, kimochiwaruku naru.
It makes me feel sick when I watch a grotesque movie.

2. ちょいむず (choimuzu) - a little difficult

a little difficult

ちょいむずで文作るのちょいむず。
Choimuzu de bun tsukuru no choimuzu.
It’s a little difficult to make a sentence using “choimuzu”.

3. まじうざ (majiuza) - quite annoying

quite annoying

授業中に注意ばかりしてくる先生、まじうざ。
Jugyō chū ni chūi bakari shitekuru sensei, majiuza.
Teachers who try to warn students all the time in class are quite annoying.

4. イケてない (ikete nai) - not cool

Not cool

その組み合わせはイケてないよ。
Sono kumiawase wa ikete nai yo.
That cordination is not cool.

5. はずい (hazui) - quite embarrasing

quite embarrasing

静かな教室でお腹が鳴って、超はずい。
Shizuka na kyōshitsu de onaka ga natte, chō hazui.
I heard my stomach growling in the quiet classroom, and it was quite embarrasing.

Start learning Japanese from the beginning with our Introduction to Japanese series! With this vibrant five-lesson series, we’ll introduce you to Japanese, from why you should learn this great language, to pronunciation, grammar, writing, and more. In the first lesson, we’ll start from the beginning and give you 5 reasons why you should learn Japanese today! Visit us at JapanesePod101.com for more great lessons and learning resources.

Liked this Japanese slang post? Check out Japanese Slang Part II too!

Top 10 Superstitions in Japan

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In Japan many things are considered to bring good or bad luck. Superstitions are strongly entrenched in Japanese society, and some of them are meant to teach lessons or serve as practical advice. Here is a list of the top 10 superstitions in Japan you must know!

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1) Numbers 4 and 9 are considered to be unlucky numbers because 4 in Japanese is sometimes pronounced し which means “death,” while 9 is also sometimes pronounced く and means “suffering.” In the US, some old buildings don’t have a 13th floor, while in Japan hospitals and some hotels don’t have a 4th floor. Often the room number 4 and rooms 40 through 49 are not there. When you give a gift of a set of plates or cups to somebody, it is usually 3 or 5 rather than 4. So if you are giving presents in Japan, be careful not to give 4.

2) Hearses are probably one of the most important bad luck symbols in Japan. If you see a funeral car passing, you should hide your thumb, making a fist with the thumb inside. The reason is that the thumb is like a parent finger, so by doing this you are protecting them from the spirit of the deceased that lingers around the car. Some people even hide their thumbs when passing a graveyard or a funeral.

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3) When you attend a funeral and come back before you enter your house, you have to throw salt on yourself. Salt kind of cleanses things. When a friend is with you, you throw salt on each other, or on yourself if you are alone.

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4) Another one that is related to night, is that you shouldn’t cut your nails at night. Because if you do that, you won’t be able to be with your parents when they die. One of the main reasons would be that cutting your nails at night may result in your death, so you won’t be able to see your parents die. In the past, they had to use knives or other sharp cutting tools to cut their nails. Which can be quite dangerous at night…

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5) Speaking of night, another superstition that’s related to night is whistling in the night. If you whistle at night, a snake could come out. There are some poisonous snakes in Japan, so you really don’t want them to come out. Whistling is also known to have been used as a sign by burglars and criminals to communicate to each other. It’s better to avoid them too.

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6) There are other animal-related superstitions as well. A black cat is considered to be bad luck nowadays, but this superstition has been imported from the west. So if people see a black cat, they will stop and wait to see which way it goes so they don’t cross its path. Having a spider inside your house at night is bad luck, but if you see it in the morning, it’s good luck.

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7) Japanese people don’t sleep facing north. Someone sleeping face north might receive bad luck, or it could be even worse, as death is known to welcome whoever sleeps facing north.

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8 ) Don’t write a person’s name in red ink, because it is considered as inauspicious. This is due to names on grave markers being red.

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9) There is a lucky cat symbol called maneki neko. It’s a cat with one paw held up. They often have these in shops or places where business is done because it’s supposed to bring good fortune.

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Click here for Japanese Phrases and words that will help you in almost every situation!

10) There is one more lucky thing that Japanese people might carry called omamori, in their bag or purse. It is a kind of amulet that protects. They have different types of omamori – some are for success in business or study, some are for curing illness, preventing traffic accidents and so on. You can buy them at shrines.

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On the subject of shrines, did you know that in Japan if you are making a big wish, you might consider doing it at a shrine? Traditionally when people need a prayer to be answered, they would just visit a shrine and give money in return.

Now you will be able to understand Japanese people’s behavior in certain situations! Don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account to get more cultural insights, lessons and much more

The Top 10 Japanese Slang Words You’ll Hear In Japan

Start learning Japanese now!

Hey Listeners!

Are you ready to learn the top 10 Japanese slang words?

Slang words can be a fun way to hear how locals use the Japanese language and can also be a way to make your conversational skills sound more natural in casual settings! Oh, and don’t forget to sign-up for a FREE lifetime account with us to get more interesting word lists from JapanesePod101!

And without further ado, let’s get into the top 10!

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1. ぶっちゃけ
bucchake - to be honest

2. おひさ。
Ohisa. - It’s been a while since I see you.

3. ちげーよ。
Chigē yo. - It’s not correct.

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4. ダッシュで
dasshu de - in a hurry

5. ソッコー
sokkō - immediately

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6. めちゃめちゃ
mechamecha - quite

7. へこむ
hekomu - feel discouraged

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8. パねぇ
pa nė - unbelievable

9. ガッツリ
gattsuri - plentifully

10. やばい
yabai - something is bad or dangerous

Wanna learn more? Check out these fun word lists and don’t forget to sign-up for a FREE lifetime account!

1. 15 Most Common Break-Up Lines
2. What’s Your Favorite Japanese Food?
3. Top 10 Hardest Words to Pronounce
4. Top 10 Travel Spots in Japan
5. Top 10 Phrases You Always Want to Hear

Must Know Golden Week Vocabulary

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Click here to listen to the audio pronunciation!

Golden week is almost here! In few days it will be the beginning of the Golden week, the longest public holiday in Japan.

It’s an exciting moment for a lot of people as it’s the period for some time off and to fully enjoy Spring. Here is the list of Top Words you need to know for your holidays!

1. Traffic jam

渋滞 (じゅうたい)

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2. Warm

暖かい (あたたかい)

3. Golden Week holidays

ゴールデンウィーク

4. Chimaki

ちまき

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5. Constitution Day

憲法記念日 (Constitution Day)

6. Kashiwamochi

柏餅 (かしわもち)

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7. Greenery Day

みどりの日 (みどりのひ)

8. Children’s Day

子供の日 (こどものひ)

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9. Trip abroad

海外旅行 (かいがいりょこう)

10. Doll for the Boys’ Festival in May

五月人形 (ごがつ にんぎょう)

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11. Traveling

旅行 (りょこう)

12. Koinobori

鯉のぼり(こいのぼり)

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