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Operating Appliances

Interpreting and Effectively Operating Your…

TV Remote

Some television channels have programs/movies/news with the option of removing the Japanese dubbing.

Locate the bilingual switch on your remote usually denoted by these characters: 音声 切り替え(onsei kirikae) and you should be able to enjoy these programs in their original language.

The Air Conditioner (Aircon) Remote

This remote is likely stuck to a wall within a foot/meter of your aircon. An aircon can be used in winter and summer to heat or cool your living space.

In winter, change the setting to “heating,” which you can do by pushing the 暖房 (danbou) button. In summer, look for the 冷房 (reibou) button to change the setting to “cooler.”

You can adjust the strength (風速 – fuusoku), as well as the direction (風向 – fuukou) of the air being pumped out. With these settings, pictures usually depict the changes on the remote’s screen.

You can also set the aircon on a timer (予約/取消 – yoyaku/torikeshi or タイマー – taimaa) using the hour 時 (ji) and minute 分 (fun) buttons for the time you want it to shut off. Now set at your desired time, the timer can then be manually turned on 入タイマー (iri taimaa) and off 切タイマー(kiri taimaa).

The Rice Cooker

The general ratio for cooking rice (after washing it) is 1⅕ cup of water is required for 1 cup of rice. After washing and measuring your rice, place in the rice cooker, close the lid, and a press of the cook “炊飯” (suihan) button will have the rice cooker go to work. Rice Cookers then automatically switch over to a warming setting “保温” (ho-on) to keep the rice in its cooked state and at a suitable temperature until you are ready to serve it. Alternatively, you can switch the power off manually “切る” (kiru) and the rice will begin to cool inside the cooker.

For those not wishing to cook up one-person servings of rice every day, rice can be cooked up in bulk, divided into individual servings, wrapped in plastic wrap and kept in the freezer for defrosting when required.

The Microwave

Microwaves vary greatly in terms of the options and menus offered on each appliance. However, the following is a list of Japanese that may come in useful when trying to operate your microwave oven.

レンジ (renji) is the “Microwave” setting. On this setting you may be able to adjust the power (Either through adjusting the wattage or selecting “弱” (jyaku) for “weak” or “強” (kyou) for “strong,” and then select the time by turning a dial or pushing arrow buttons.

オーブン (oobun) is the “oven” setting. While on this setting, you can adjust the temperature and time as if cooking with a conventional oven.

スタット (sutaato) or 暖め (atatame) signifies the ‘Start’ or ‘Warm’ button. This is a one-push button which can be used for re-heating/heating for a short (unspecified and automated) time. This button is also used for starting to cook at the setting you’ve manually selected.

Some other words you might want to become familiar with are 温度 (ondo – “temperature”),  冷凍 (reitou – defrost), and 取消し (torikeshi – “cancel”).