Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Lesson Five - Bamen Go: Ongaku Ga Suki Desu Ka.

[By now, you should be able to correctly pronounce Japanese words, so I'm going to stop writing out the pronunciation for each word, except in special cases where I think it may be needed.]

Lesson 5 Vocabulary

ongaku - music

yo - Word added to the end of a sentence to give it emphasis, rather like an exclamation mark or italics in English.

Ongaku desu yo - "It is music!"

rokku - Rock music.

suki desu - I like (it). Note that the -u- is hardly sounded, and the pronunciation is rather like s'ki.

dai-suki desu - I like (it) very much.

Ii desu, ii desu! - That's enough, it's okay!

kirai desu - I dislike (it).

dai-kirai desu - I dislike (it) very much.

sensei wa, ongaku ga kirai desu ka - "Do you dislike music, teacher?" Note that the thing liked or disliked is usualy followed by ga, another little word which, like wa, does not have any meaning in itself, but which is a pointer to the word or phrase it follows. Sentences about liking or disliking something usually follow the pattern (Person) wa (thing) ga suki/kirai desu.

ja - well, in that case.

ongaku wa nani ga suki desu ka - "What music do you like?" Literally: As for music, what is liked (by you)?

kurashikku - Classical music.

jazu - Jazz

opera - Opera.

rokku wa suki ja arimasen - "I don't like rock music." In negative sentences, the subject is followed by wa, rather than ga.

supootsu - Sport. Note that there are no separate forms for singular and plural nouns in Japanese, so supootsu can mean both "a sport," and "sports."

tenisu - Tennis.

gorufu - Golf.

sakkaa - Soccer.

basukettobooru - Basketball.

jogingu - Jogging.

supootsuman - Sportsman.

amari - (not) very much. Always followed by a negative verb.

sumoo - Sumo wrestling. The traditional sport of Japan.

hito - Person.

otoko no hito - Man, male person.

Otoko no hito no supootsu - A man's sport.

kyoo - Today.

-pun - Minute.

ni-ji jup-pun - 2:10, ten minutes past two.

jup-pun - Ten minutes.

ni-jup-pun - Twenty minutes.

san-jup-pun - Thirty minutes.

yon-jup-pun - Forty minutes.

go-jup-pun - Fifty minutes.

Lesson Five Dialogue

Sensei: Harison san, sore wa nan desu ka.
Harrison: Ongaku desu. Doozo, sensei, kiite kudasai. Ii desu ne. Kore wa ii ongaku desu ne.
Sensei: Ongaku? Sore wa ongaku ja arimasen yo.
Harrison: Ongaku desu yo. Amerika no rokku desu. Suki desu. Dai-suki desu.
Sensei: Ii desu, ii desu! Rokku wa ongaku ja arimasen yo. Dai-kirai desu.
Harrison: Kirai desu ka. Sensei wa, ongaku ga kirai desu ka.
Sensei: Chigaimasu, Harison san. Watashi wa ongaku ga suki desu. Demo sore wa ongaku ja arimasen.
Harrison: Soo desu ka. Ja, ongaku wa, nani ga suki desu ka.
Sensei: Soo desu ne. Kurashikku ga skui desu. Jazu ga suki desu. Opera mo suki desu. Demo rokku wa suki ja arimsen ne. Kirai desu.

Sensei: Hiru san wa supootsu ga suki desu ka.
Hill: Hai, sui desu.
Sensei: Nani ga suki desu ka. Tenisu?
Hill: Hai, tenisu ga dai-suki desu. Basukettobooru mo suki desu. Jogingu mo suki desu ne.
Sensei: Soo desu ka. Supoostuman desu ne.
Hill: Sensei wa?
Sensei: Watashi wa supootsu ga amari suki ja arimasen. Harison san wa?
Harrison: Soo desu ne. Watashi mo amari suki ja arimasen.
Sensei: Ja, Pasukaru san wa?
Pascal: Watashi? Watashi wa, sumoo ga suki desu. Dai-suki desu.
Hill: Ee? Sumoo?

Hill: Pasukaru san wa sumoo ga skui desu ka.
Pascal: Hai, soo desu. Sumoo ga dai-suki desu.
Harrison: Demo sumoo wa, otoko no hito no supootsu desu ne.
Pascal: Soo desu yo. Watashi wa otoko no hito mo suki desu.
Harrison: Nani? Otoko no hito?
Pascal: Hai, otoko no hito ga skui desu yo.
Sensei: Hai, juu-ji han desu yo, Harison san. Daigaku no kurasu no jikan desu ne. Daigaku no kurasu wa ju-ji han kara desu ne.
Harrison: Iie, kyoo wa chigaimasu, sensei. Kyoo no kurasu wa ni-ji jup-pun kara desu.
Sensei: Soo desu ka. Ni-ji jup-pun kara desu ka.

End of Lesson Five

Friday, October 22, 2004

Lesson Four - Bamen Yon: Shigoto no Hanashi Desu.

Lesson Four Vocabulary

shigoto (shee-goh-toh) - Work, job.

hanashi (hah-nah-shee) - A talk, conversation.

shigoto no hanashi - Conversation about work.

shigoto wa nan desu ka - What do you do? Literally: Regarding your job, what is it?

repootaa (ree-pooh-taah) - Reporter.

shinbun (sheen-boon) - Newspaper.

enjinia (ayn-jeen-ee-ah) - Engineer.

demo (day-moh) - But, however.

daigakusei (die-gah-koo-say) - University student.

gakusei (gah-koo-say) - Student, pupil.

kaisha (kie-sha) - Company, corporation.

arimasu (ah-ree-mahss) - Be, exist, be located.

ni (nee) - In, at. Always comes after the name of the place to which it refers, e.g. Tookyoo ni - In Tokyo.

doko ni arimasu ka - Where is it?

Yokohama (yoh-koh-hah-mah) - One of the largest cities in Japan; now joined to Tokyo.

Kawasaki (kah-wah-sah-kee) - A city near Tokyo.

daigaku (die-gah-koo) - University

mo (moh) - Both ... and ... [This definition is confusing, see note below at the point in the lesson where mo appears.]

tesuto (tay-soo-toh) - Test.

muzukasii (moo-zoo-kah-sheee) - Difficult.

kantan (kahn-tahn) - Easy, simple.

Piramiddo (Pee-rah-meed-doh) - The Pyramids. Hold the sound for an extra beat on the -dd- sound, as in "a hard day."

Ejiputo (ay-jee-poo-toh) - Egypt.

Temuzu-gawa (tay-moo-zoo-gah-wah) - The River Thames. The word for "river" is kawa, but it changes to -gawa when it is used as a suffix in proper names.

Koroshiamu (koh-roh-shee-ah-moo) - The Colisseum.

Girisha (gee-ree-sha) - Greece.

arimasen (ah-ree-mah-sin) - Isn't/Aren't located. Doesn't/Don't exist. The negative form of arimasu. The -masen ending always shows a negative verb.

Taji Mahaaru (tah-jee mah-haah-roo) - Taj Mahal.

Pakisutan (pah-kee-soo-tahn) - Pakistan.

Indo (een-doh) - India.

Madoriddo (mah-do-reed-doh) - Madrid.

Nairu-gawa (nie-roo-gah-wah) - River Nile.

Burajiru (boo-rah-jee-roo) - Brazil.

han (hahn) - Half, half past.

shitsurei shimasu (shee-tsoo-ray shee-mahss) - Excuse me. Often used to mean "goodbye" when parting. Note that the pronunciation of the first word is almost sh'tsurei.

Lesson Four Dialogue

Sensei: Mina san, shigoto no hanashi desu. Watashi wa sensei desu ne. Nihongo no sensei desu. Hiru san wa? Shigoto wa nan desu ka?
Hill: Repootaa desu. Shinbun no repootaa desu.
Sensei: Soo desu ka. Shinbun no repootaa desu ka. Ii desu ne. Pasukaru san? Pasukaru san no shigoto wa nan desu ka.
Pascal: Enjinia desu. Watashi wa enjinia desu.
Harrison: Ee? Enjinia? Demo... [As if he doesn't believe that she's an engineer. Perhaps a Dilbert-esque reference to the fact that there are not very many female engineers?]
Pascal: Hai, enjinia desu! Watashi wa enjinia desu.
Harrison: Hai, hai, sumimasen ne.
Sensei: Harison san no shigoto wa nan desu ka.
Harison: Watashi wa daigakusei desu.
Sensei: Aa, daigakusei desu ka.

Sensei: Hiru san wa shinbun no repootaa desu ne.
Hill: Hai, soo desu.
Sensei: Kaisha wa? Kaisha wa doko ni arimasu ka.
Hill: Yokohama ni arimasu. Kaisha wa Yokohama ni arimasu.
Sensei: Soo desu ka. Pasukaru san wa? Pasukaru san no kaisha wa doko ni arimasu ka.
Pascal: Kawasaki ni arimasu.
Sensei: Soo desu ka. Kawasaki desu ka. Sa, Harison san wa? Daigaku wa doko ni arimasu ka.
Harrison: Watashi no daigaku mo Kawasaki ni arimasu.
Sensei: Soo desu ka. Pasukaru san no kaisha mo, Harison san no daigaku mo, Kawasaki ni arimasu ne.
[Okay, if I'm understanding the mo correctly, this last sentence would bascially mean: "Is that so? Both Pascal's company, and Harrison's University, are located in Kawasaki, aren't they?"]

Sensei: Hai, tsugi wa tesuto desu.
All: Tesuto?
Hill: Muzukasii desu ka.
Sensei: Iie, iie, kantan desu. Kantan desu. Hai, shitsumon ichi. Piramiddo wa doko ni arimasu ka. Pasukaru san?
Pascal: Piramiddo wa... Ejiputo ni arimasu ne.
Sensei: Hai, ii desu. Shitsumon ni. Temuzu-gawa wa doko ni arimasu ka.
Harrison: Hai, hai sensei!
Sensei: Harison san?
Harrison: Temuzu-gawa wa Rondon ni arimasu.
Pascal: Kantan desu ne!
Sensei: Hai. Shitsumon san. Koroshiamu wa doko ni arimasu ka.
Harrison: Girisha ni arimasu.
Hill: Iie, Girisha ni arimasen. Itaria ni arimasu.
Sensei: Soo desu. Itaria ni arimasu ne. Shitsumon yon. Taji Mahaaru wa doko ni arimasu ka.
Harrison: Aa, muzukashii. Muzukashii shitsumon desu ne. Pakisutan?
Pascal: Pakisutan ni arimasen. Indo desu. Taji Mahaaru wa Indo ni arimasu.

Harrison: Sensei, sumimasen ga, ima nan-ji desu ka.
Sensei: Juu-ji han desu. Ima juu-ji han desu.
Harrison: Ee? Juu-jii han? Daigaku no kurasu wa juu-ji han kara desu. Mina san, shitsurei shimasu. Shitsurei shimasu!

[Poor Harrison. He can't do anything right, and no one likes him. The writers of these lessons must've been sadistic, they love to pick on Harrison.]

End of Lesson Four.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Gadget Helps Bathroom-Bashful Women

Gadget Helps Bathroom-Bashful Women - EarthLink - Strange News: "

TOKYO - When Naoko Ito uses a public bathroom, she cringes in embarrassment at the thought that other patrons can hear the sounds coming from her stall. That's when she turns to the 'Sound Princess.'

"Ito, like a rapidly growing number of Japanese women, presses a device installed in public toilets to simulate the sound of water flushing - and mask the cruder noises of nature..."

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Lesson Three - Bamen San: Ohayoo Gozaimasu!

Lesson Three Vocabulary

asa (ah-sah) - Morning.

asa juu-ji (ah-sah jooo-jee) - Ten o'clock in the morning.

ohayoo gozaimasu (oh-hi-yooh go-zie-mass) - Good morning.

mada (mah-dah) - Not yet, still not.

mada desu ka (mah-dah dess kah) - Isn't he (here) yet?

ii desu, ii desu (eee dess eee dess) - It's okay, don't worry!

yoru (yoh-roo) - Evening, night.

Konbanwa (cone-bahn-wah) - Good evening. You may also sometimes see it spelled Kombanwa. I don't know why.

mata (mah-tah) - Again, once more.

sore (soh-ray) - That thing

kore (koh-ray) - This thing.

are (ah-ray) - That thing over there. In English, things are divided only into the two groups of "this" and "that," but Japanese has three groups: kore - this thing near me, sore - that thing there, near you, and are - that thing over there, away from both of us.

kamera (kah-may-rah) - Camera.

kore wa kamera desu - This is a camera.

chiisai (cheee-sie) - Small.

Pasukaru san no kamera - Ms. Pascal's camera. No is used like the english 's to show possession.

watashi no (wah-tah-shee noh) - My.

mo (moh) - Too, also.

Takushii (tah-koo-sheee) - Taxi.

ja arimasen (jah ah-ree-mah-sin) - Isn't, aren't. Although it looks completely unrelated, this is in fact the negative form of desu.

Doko no kamera desu ka - Where is the camera from? Literally: A where camera?

Furansu no kamera - A French camera.

ii desu ka (eee dess kah) - May I? Is it okay? Harrison is using the sentence in this lesson in the sense of "Is it okay if I look at the camera?"

nani (nah-nee) - What? An alternative way of pronouncing nan.

ara (ah-rah) - Oh!

Lesson Three Dialogue

Sensei: Mina san, ohayoo gozaimasu.
Hill/Pascal: Ohayoo gozaimasu, sensei.
Sensei: Harison san wa? Mada desu ka.
Hill: Hai, soo desu. Mada desu.
Harrison: Sumimasen, sensei! Juu-ji desu ka.
Sensei: Iie, mada desu. Ii desu, ii desu. Ohayoo gozaimasu, Harison san.
Harrison: Ohayoo gozaimasu.
Sensei: Aa, ima juu-ji desu ne. Sa, Nihongo no jikan desu.

Sensei: Nan desu ka. Sore wa nan desu ka.
Pascal: Kamera desu. Kore wa kamera desu.
Sensei: Ee? Sore wa kamera desu ka. Chiisai desu ne.
Pascal: Soo desu ne. Chiisai desu ne.
Harrison: Doko? Doko desu ka. Kamera wa doko desu ka. Ee? Sore wa kamera desu ka. Chiisai desu ne!
Sensei: Pasukaru san no kamera desu ka.
Pascal: Hai, soo desu. Watashi no kamera desu.

Harrison: Kore wa sensei no kamera desu ka? Ii desu ne!
Sensei: Iie, chigaimasu, Harison san. Watashi no kamera ja arimasen. Pasukaru san no kamera desu.
Harrison: Soo desu ka. Pasukaru san no kamera desu ka. Doko no kamera desu ka, pasukaru san. Furansu no kamera?
Pascal: Iie, iie. Furansu no kamera ja arimasen. Nihon no kamera desu.
Harrison: Soo desu ka. Nihon no kamera desu ka.

Harrison: Ii kamera desu ne. Pasukaru san, ii desu ka.
Pascal: Hai, doozo, doozo.
Harrison: Chiisai desu ne. Aa! Nani?
Pascal: Ara! Kamera! Watashi no kamera!
Harrison: Pasukaru san, sumimasen ne!

[Yes, Harrison broke her camera, but you all saw that coming, didn't you?]

End of Lesson Three.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

So You Want to Learn Japanese...

This is another site that has the same name as mine. There are several listed on Google, maybe I should change the name of this site?

Anyway, I hate to say it, but everything this guy says about the Japanese language is true. But, as he also says at the end, if you really want to learn Japanese, you shouldn't let this stop you. Just be ready for a lot of pain.

So you want to learn Japanese...

Monday, September 06, 2004

Lesson Two - Bamen Ni: Ima nan-ji desu ka

Lesson Two- Vocabulary

nan-ji (nahn-jee) - What time?

ima (ee-mah) - Now.

Ima nan-ji desu ka - What time is it now?

ichi-ji (ee-chee-jee) - One o'clock. Ichi means "one," and the suffix -ji added to a number means "o'clock."

ni (nee) - Two.

san (sahn) - Three.

yon (yohn) - Four. There is also another form, shi (shee), but yon/yo is used when telling time.

yo-ji (yoh-jee) - Four o'clock. The word for four is yon, but it drops the final -n when telling the time.

go (goh) - Five.

roku (roh-koo) - Six.

shichi (shee-chee) - Seven. You may also come across the alternative form, nana (nah-nah).

hachi (hah-chee) - Eight.

ku (koo) - Nine. Also has an alternative form, kyuu (kyooo), but ku is used when telling the time.

juu (jooo) - Ten.

juu-ichi (jooo-ee-chee) - Eleven. Literally: ten-one. All the numbers up to nineteen are formed in this way, i.e. juu-ni, juu-san, juu-yon, juu-go, juu-roku, juu-shichi, juu-hachi, juu-ku.

ne (nay) - isn't it? This can be used for all the many different tags which come at the end of English sentences, such as, "don't they?," "aren't you?," "wasn't she?," "didn't he?" etc.

konnichiwa (kohn-nee-chee-wah) - Hello, good day.

jikan (jee-kahn) - Hour, time.

ee (Aay) - Eh? What?

ii (eee) - Good, fine.

ii desu ne (eee dess nay) - As used in the below lesson: "You're doing well, aren't you!" Literally "It's good, isn't it."

tsugi (tsue-gee) - Next.

sumimasen (sue-mee-mah-sin) - I'm sorry, excuse me.

geemu (gaay-moo) Game. All Japanese words end with a vowel, or n, so when foreign words are said in Japanese, a vowel sound is added to theend if they don't already have one.

kiite kudasai (keee-tay koo-dah-sigh) - Please listen.

(nahn) - What? The alternative form nani is used in some situations.

kuruma (koo-roo-mah) - Car.

tokei (toh-kaye) - Watch, clock.

denwa (den-wah) - Telephone.

rajio (rah-jee-oh) - Radio. From the English.

terebi (tay-ray-bee) - Television. This is a shortened form of terebijon (tay-ray-bee-jone), the Japanese pronunciation of "television."

konpyuutaa (kone-pyoo-taah) - Computer.

teepu rekoodaa (taay-poo re-kooh-daah) - Tape recorder.

soo desu ne (soh dess nay) - So it is, you're right.

moshi moshi (moe-shee moe-shee) Hello? Only used to answer the telephone.

Miitingu (meee-teen-goo) - Meeting.

Lesson Two Dialogue

Pascal: Konnichiwa, Hiru san.
Hill: Aa, Pasukaru san, konnichiwa. Aa, ni-ji desu. Nihongo no kurasu wa ni-ji kara desu ne.
Pascal: Hai, soo desu. Aa, sensei desu.
Sensei: Mina san, konnichiwa.
Pascal/Hill: Konnichiwa.
Sensei: Sa, ni-ji desu ne. Nihongo no kurasu no jikan desu. Ee? Harison san wa doko desu ka?

Sensei: Hiru san, ima [Harrison enters the room] ...Harison san!
Harrison: Sumimasen, sensei!
Sensei: Harisonsan, ima nan-ji desu ka.
Harrison: San-ji desu.
Sensei: Hai, san-ji desu ne. Kurasu wa nan-ji kara desu ka.
Harrison: Ni-ji kara desu.
Sensei: Soo desu ne. Ni-ji kara desu.
Harrison: Sumimasen.
Sensei: Sa, doozo.

Sensei: Mina san, geemu desu. Kiite kudasai. [recording of car noises plays] Nan desu ka.
Hill: Kuruma?
Sensei: Hai, soo desu. Kuruma desu ne. Hai, tsugi. [ticking sounds] Nan desu ka.
Pascal: Tokei desu.
Sensei: Hai, tokei desu. Tsugi. [telephone ringing] Nan desu ka.
Hill: Denwa desu ne.
Sensei: Hai, soo desu. Denwa desu. Hai, tsugi. [clacking noises, like buttons being pressed] Nan desu ka.
Harrison: Rajio desu ka.
Sensei: Iie, chigaimasu.
Harrison: Terebi desu ka.
Sensei: Chigaimasu.
Harrison: Konpyuutaa desu ka.
Sensei: Chigaimasu, chigaimasu! Hiru san?
Hill: Teepu rekoodaa desu ka.
Sensei: Hai, soo desu. Teepu rekoodaa desu. Arigatoo.

[Phone rings]
Harrison: Denwa desu.
Sensei: Hai, soo desu. Denwa desu.
Harrison: Iie, iie! Sensei, doozo, denwa desu.
Sensei: Aa, soo desu ne, sumimasen! Hai, moshi moshi?... Aa, Yamada san, konnichiwa. ... Miitingu desu ka. Hai. Nan-ji? ... Yo-ji? Sumimasen. Ima Nihongo no kurasu desu. Kurasu no owari wa yo-ji desu. ... Go-ji? Hai, go-ji desu ne. Doko? ... Hai, hai. Arigatoo.

End of Lesson Two

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Interesting Japan, vol. 1

Between lessons, there will often be fun extras, such as fun Japanese words or interesting facts about Japan...

Even simple concepts like "you" and "I" are complicated in Japanese. The basic word for "I" is watashi (also pronounced "watakushi"). Girls get a cute version of this word -- atashi -- and good boys are supposed to use boku to refer to themselves. Rough and tough boys, and men who want to project their manliness, will use the men's word ore (oh-rey) to refer to themselves. For "you," the formal word is anata, but kimi (a familiar word for use among friends) and another rough man's word, omae (oh-MAH-eh), are used depending on the situation. A person's choice of what words he uses for "I" and "you" reveals much about their personality and self-image. A cute little girl will use the term atashi or watashi and play with dolls; a girl who is a rebellious tomboy might use the boy's word boku; and young boys may act tough by using the word ore.

Onsen = Hot Springs. The Japanese love baths, and have a highly developed sense of what makes a good bath, and public baths in hot springs are popular. There are many kinds of hot springs, some in small establishments that have only one spring, and others in larger hotels which may have a dozen or more, including beautifully designed outdoor baths. Some hot springs are "fake," they use boilers to heat the water, but they're just as good, and convenient to go to. In Japanese hot springs and public baths, you bathe in large baths used by everyone, with just a small towel to cover yourself. Before you get into a bath, you wash yourself thoroughly, often by sitting on a little stool or bucket, and washing yourself with soap and water. Although Japan is famous for men and women bathing together in these baths, mixed baths are in reality almost impossible to find. For those of you who are embarrassed by the idea of bathing in front of strange women, keep in mind that this does not mean there will not be any women in the area, even if it is the men's bath. There may be cleaning women working around the baths. And also, for those of you who may be embarrased by the idea of public bathing, you may not have much choice. Small apartments in Japan sometimes do not even have bathing facilites, and you may be forced to use the nearest public baths.