よ・yo (Vocabulary)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gyvl-IhgjsU

愛子 (aiko):

こんにちは!konnichi wa - Good afternoon!

こんにちは(konnichi wa) means ‘Good Afternoon’.

ハナ (hana) & アレクサンドラ (arekusandora):

こんにちは! konnichi wa - Good afternoon!

ハナ (hana):

あれ?知り合いですか are? shiriai desu ka - Huh? Are you acquaintances?

知り合い(shiriai) means ‘acquaintance’.

アレクサンドラ (arekusandora):

ええ、愛子さんはあたしのチューターですよ
ee, aiko san wa atashi no chuutaa desu yo
- Yeah, Aiko’s my tutor.

ハナ (hana):

へぇ、そうですか hee, sou desu ka - Huh, is that so?

私のルームメートですよ  watashi no ruumu meeto desu yo - She’s my roommate.

アレクサンドラ (arekusandora):

偶然ですね guuzen desu ne - That’s a coincidence, isn’t it?

偶然(guuzen) means ‘coincidence’. 偶然(guuzen) can also be a な(na) adjective and means along the lines of ‘coincidental’ or ‘unexpected’.

ハナ (hana):

そうですね sou desu ne - It is, isn’t it?

愛子 (aiko):

日本語の宿題ですか nihongo no shukudai desu ka - Is that Japanese homework?

宿題(shukudai) means ‘homework’.

アレクサンドラ (arekusandora):

ええ、漢字ですよ ee, kanji desu yo - Yeah, it’s kanji.

漢字(kanji) is the Japanese words for ‘Chinese characters’.

愛子 (aiko):

うーん、漢字は大変ですよね uun, kanji wa taihen desu yo ne - Hmm, kanji is tough, isn’t it?

大変(taihen) is a な(na) adjective meaning along the lines of ‘difficult’, ‘hard’ or ‘tough’.

ハナ (hana):

そうですよ sou desu yo - It is!

愛子 (aiko):

うーん、高いレベルですね uun, takai reberu desu ne - Hmm, this is a high level, isn’t it?!

高い(takai) is an い(i) adjective meaning ‘high’ or ‘tall’.

ハナ (hana):

うん、難しいですよ un, muzukashii desu yo - Yeah, it’s difficult!

難しい(muzukashii) is an い(i) adjective meaning along the lines of ‘difficult’, ‘troublesome’ and ‘complicated’.

愛子(aiko):

まぁ…ガンバですよ! maa…ganba desu yo - Well…Keep at it!

ガンバ(ganba) is a colloquialism taken from the verb 頑張る(ganbaru) meaning ‘to do one’s best’. ガンバ(ganba) can mean ‘keep at it’, ‘do your best’ or ‘good luck’.

バイバイ! bai bai - Bye bye!!

バイバイ(bai bai) means ‘bye bye’ and is used a lot by Japanese girls in particular when saying goodbye to friends.

アレクサンドラ (arekusandora):

おい!あたしのチューターですよ! oi! atashi no chuutaa desu yo - Oi! You’re my tutor, you know!

おい(oi) means ‘oi’.

 

I hope you found this useful. If there’s anything you’re unsure of then feel free to comment.

ψ

よ・yo

Hi! I’m Hannah from Japanesejoshi.com and welcome to lesson 6 of my Japanese language tutorials! In this tutorial I’m going to teach you about the particle よ(yo). よ(yo) is added to the end of sentences like か(ka) and ね(ne). It has various uses but is usually used when giving information.

よ(yo) can be used to indicate certainty or a fact.

これはじゃが芋ですよ kore wa jagaimo desu yo – This is a potato.

It can also be used to show contempt.

当たり前ですよ atarimae desu yo – That’s obvious!

Like ね(ne), よ(yo) can also be used to indicate emphasis.

じゃが芋は美味しいですよ jagaimo wa oishii desu yo – Potatoes are tasty!

You can also put よ(yo) and ね(ne) together. It keeps the ね(ne) usage of requesting confirmation but gives the impression that you are fairly confident that what you are saying is in fact correct.

これはハナさんのじゃが芋ですよね
kore wa hana san no jagaimo desu yo ne
- This is your (Hannah’s) potato, isn’t it?

Now you know how to use よ(yo), let’s have a look at how it’s used in normal conversation!

 

愛子 (aiko):

こんにちは!konnichi wa – Good afternoon!

ハナ (hana) & アレクサンドラ (arekusandora):

こんにちは! konnichi wa - Good afternoon!

ハナ (hana):

あれ?知り合いですか are? shiriai desu ka – Huh? Are you acquaintances?

アレクサンドラ (arekusandora):

ええ、愛子さんはあたしのチューターですよ
ee, aiko san wa atashi no chuutaa desu yo
- Yeah, Aiko’s my tutor.

ハナ (hana):

へぇ、そうですか hee, sou desu ka – Huh, is that so?

私のルームメートですよ  watashi no ruumu meeto desu yo – She’s my roommate.

アレクサンドラ (arekusandora):

偶然ですね guuzen desu ne – That’s a coincidence, isn’t it?

ハナ (hana):

そうですね sou desu ne – It is, isn’t it?

愛子 (aiko):

日本語の宿題ですか nihongo no shukudai desu ka – Is that Japanese homework?

アレクサンドラ (arekusandora):

ええ、漢字ですよ ee, kanji desu yo – Yeah, it’s kanji.

愛子 (aiko):

うーん、漢字は大変ですよね uun, kanji wa taihen desu yo ne – Hmm, kanji is tough, isn’t it?

ハナ (hana):

そうですよ sou desu yo – It is!

愛子 (aiko):

うーん、高いレベルですね uun, takai reberu desu ne – Hmm, this is a high level, isn’t it?!

ハナ (hana):

うん、難しいですよ un, muzukashii desu yo – Yeah, it’s difficult.

愛子(aiko):

まぁ…ガンバですよ! maa…ganba desu yo – Well…Keep at it!

バイバーイ! bai bai – Bye bye!!

アレクサンドラ (arekusandora):

おい!あたしのチューターですよ! oi! atashi no chuutaa desu yo – Oi! You’re my tutor, you know!

 

I hope you found this useful. If there’s anything you’re unsure of then feel free to comment.

ψ

How To Say “You” – てめえ(temee) & そちら(sochira) & そっち(socchi)

Hi! I’m Hannah from Japanesejoshi.com! Welcome to part 3 of my video series on how to say ‘you’ in Japanese! In this video I’m going to tell you about てめえ(temee), そちら(sochira) and そっち(socchi). Let’s start with てめえ(temee)!

てめえ(temee)

If you’re a fan of Japanese dramas or anime then it’s highly likely that you’ve heard the word てめえ(temee) being used in arguments or fights. This is because, like お前(omae), てめえ(temee) is derogatory. It’s also generally only used by men and since てめえ(temee) is quite a bit harsher than お前(omae) I really wouldn’t recommend that a girl use it. [Even I don’t say it] However, unlike お前(omae), てめえ(temee) tends to only be used in a derogatory way.

敬太 (keita):

てめえ、俺の女に手出してんじゃねえよ temee, ore no onna ni te dashiten ja nee yo
temee, don’t touch my woman

キュードン (kyuu don):

図書館の場所を尋ねただけです toshokan no basho wo tazuneta dake desu
- I only asked where there library was.

そちら(sochira)

So far all of the words for ‘you’ that I’ve mentioned are offensive or can be taken offensively by someone, one way or another. So what’s a polite way to say ‘you’? The answer is そちら(sochira). Now some of you may be thinking “Hang on, doesn’t そちら(sochira) mean ‘that way’ or ‘there’” and the answer would be yes. Yes, it does. However, it is also used as a polite way of saying ‘you’ and is therefore often used in business.

鈴木さん (suzuki san):

はい hai – Yes.

はい hai – Yes.

はい、畏まりました hai, kashikomarimashita – Yes, certainly.

では、月曜日にそちらに電話いたします de wa, getsuyoubi ni sochira ni denwa itashimasu
– Well then, I shall telephone sochira on Monday.

はい、失礼します hai, shitsurei shimasu – If you’ll excuse me then.

おい、!これもなんとかしてくれ!oi, kimi! kore mo nantoka shite kure!
– Oi, kimi! Sort these out too!

It depends on who you talk to…

そっち(socchi)

You may or may not be aware that there is also a shortened, more informal way of saying そちら(sochira) which is そっち(socchi) and yes, this can also be used to mean ‘you’. However, as I said a moment ago, it’s a lot more informal and is usually only used between friends and couples.

敬太 (keita):

電話そっちから切れよ denwa socchi kara kire yosocchi hang up the phone

愛子(aiko):

嫌だよぉ~ iya da yo – I don’t wanna~

そっちから切って socchi kara kittesocchi hang up.

敬太 (keita):

オッケー okkee – Okay.

So that’s あなた(anata)、あんた(anta)、君(kimi)、お前(omae)、てめえ(temee)、そちら(sochira) and そっち(socchi). These are the most common ways of saying ‘you’ in Japanese…

HOWEVER!

Not only is it quite a lot to remember but as a general rule it’s also a LOT more common and sounds far more natural to either use people’s names or not specify at all. If you’re looking directly at the person you’re talking to then it should be pretty obvious that you’re talking to them. It’s also a lot easier than deciding which is the most appropriate word to use in different situations and far less risky; especially when it comes to romance…

I hope you found this useful. If there’s anything you’re unsure of then feel free to comment.

ψ

How To Say “You” – 君(kimi) & お前(omae)

Hi! I’m Hannah from Japanesejoshi.com! Welcome to part 2 of my video series on how to say ‘you’ in Japanese! In this video I’m going to tell you about 君(kimi) and お前(omae). Let’s start with 君(kimi)!

君(kimi)

Many people learning Japanese believe that 君(kimi) is only used by men since this was its original use. Though it is primarily used by men; these days women have started to use it too.

  • Lower Ranking

One of the most common places to hear 君(kimi) is in the work place. It’s often said by people with higher status to those with lower status to show authority. So, it’s not unusual for a boss to call their subordinates 君(kimi).

鈴木さん (suzuki san):

、この書類頼むよ kimi, kono shorui tanomu yokimi, take care of these documents.

  • Songs/Dramas

However the place most foreigners with an interest in Japan will have heard 君(kimi) being used is affectionately in songs and dramas.

真一様 (shinichi sama):

のこと...好きかも!kimi no koto…suki kamo! – I think…I love kimi!

  • Couples

This may be why, as well as あなた(anata) and あんた(anta),  some couples call each other 君(kimi). Again, you really need to be careful with this since some people only think of 君(kimi) as being used by someone of authority; so they may think you’re looking down on them.

鈴木さん (suzuki san):

、コーヒー入れてくれないか kimi, koohii irete kurenai kakimi, could you put the coffee on?

鈴木先生 (suzuki sensei):

私はあなたの部下じゃないから!watashi wa anata no buka ja nai kara!
- I am not anata’s subordinate!

  • Hitting On Chicks

Another reason why people may not like being called 君(kimi) is because it tends to be used by sleazy guys when they hit on girls.

蓮 (ren):

、かわうぃーね kimi, kawawii nekimi are a cutie!

アレクサンドラ (arekusandora):

あっ、ありがとうございます a, arigatou gozaimasu – Oh, thank you.

お前 (omae)

Another Japanese word for ‘you’ that you may have heard of is お前(omae). Like 君(kimi), お前(omae) tends to be said more by males than females and お前(omae) in particular is not a very lady-like thing to say. However these days girls have started to use it too but if you’re a girl and you want to be thought of in a good light then I’d advise staying away from this particular word. [I say it sometimes though…] Long, long ago お前(omae) was an incredibly polite way of referring to someone, hence why it has the polite お(o) at the beginning of it, but these days お前(omae) is quite the opposite.

  • Derogatory

The majority of the time お前(omae) is used in a derogatory way.

彩子 (saiko):

あたしね、先週ね、買い物行って、
atashi ne, senshuu ne, kaimono itte,
So I went shopping last week…

この指輪見つけて、可愛いなって思って、買っちゃったんだけどさ・・・
kono yubiwa mitsukete, kawaii na tte omotte, kacchattan dakedo sa
…and I found this ring and thought it was cute so I bought it but-

康太 (kouta):

うるせぇよ、お前 urusee yo, omae – Shut up, omae

  • Friends

However, お前(omae) isn’t always taken offensively. It’s common for men in particular to call their close friends お前(omae) in a friendly, joking way.

*ピンポン* *pin pon* – Ding Dong

敬太 (keita):

あっ!愛子だ!a! aiko da! – Ah! That’s Aiko!

*Trips & Falls*

ハンター (hantaa):

お前、バカだな omae, baka da naomae are an idiot!

  • Couples

Like every other Japanese word meaning ‘you’ so far, お前(omae) can also be used by couples. Many guys call their girlfriends or wives お前(omae) but, like あんた(anta) and 君(kimi), it’s not always well received. Since お前(omae) is most commonly used in a derogatory way, a lot of girls have an explicit hatred of being referred to in this manner.

鈴木先生 (suzuki sensei):

ただいま tadaima - I’m home.

鈴木さん (suzuki san):

お前、帰るの早いな omae kaeru no hayai naomae are home early!

鈴木先生 (suzuki sensei):

離婚!rikon! – Divorce!

鈴木さん (suzuki san):

ちょっ、ちょっと待ってよ! cho, chotto matte yo! – Ha-Hang on a second!

Then again, there are those who love it…

敬太 (keita):

お前、何やってんの? omae, nani yatten no? – What are omae doing?

愛子 (aiko):

初めて「お前」って言われた!hajimete “omae” tte iwareta!
– That’s the first time you called me “omae“!

嬉しい!ureshii! – I’m so happy!

So those are the uses of君(kimi) and お前(omae). To find out how to use てめえ(temee), そちら(sochira) and そっち(socchi) click here for part 3.

I hope you found this useful. If there’s anything you’re unsure of then feel free to comment.

ψ

How To Say “You” – あなた(anata) & あんた(anta)

Hi! I’m Hannah from Japanesejoshi.com and today I’m going to tell you about the different ways of saying ‘you’ in Japanese and how and when to use them. Since there are so many ways to say ‘you’, I’m going to split this video into three parts. In this video I’m going to cover あなた(anata) and あんた(anta) So, let’s start with the word most commonly taught to beginners of Japanese:

あなた(anata)

Despite many textbooks, websites and who knows what else telling you that あなた(anata) means ‘you’; it’s not quite as easy to use as they make it out to be. The first thing you should know about あなた(anata) is that you should only really say it if you:

  • Don’t know a person’s name

直美 (naomi):

あなたの名前何て言うの? anata no namae nante iu no? – What’s anata’s name?

敬太 (keita):

俺? ore? - Me?

If you know the person’s name – It’s best to avoid using あなた(anata) at all costs since it sounds unnatural to call someone あなた(anata) when you already know who they are…Unless you’re a couple.

  • Couples

A lot of couples tend to call each other あなた(anata) as a term of endearment; similar to cringe-worthy ‘darling’ or ‘honey’ in English.

鈴木先生 (suzuki sensei):

あなた、あたしのこと好きでしょ? anata, atashi no koto suki desho?anata love me, don’t you?

鈴木さん (suzuki san):

う、うん、まぁね  u, un, maa ne – Y-Yeah, I guess

Of course it isn’t always used in a flattering way, so you might need to keep an ear out for the tone in which it’s said.

鈴木先生 (suzuki sensei):

あなた!ちゃんと言いなさいよ!anata! chanto iinasai yo!anata! Say it properly!

鈴木さん (suzuki san):

ああ、ああ、好きだよ aa, aa, suki da yo – Okay, okay, I love you

  • Surveys / Questionnaires

Surveys and questionnaires also tend to use あなた(anata) since they can’t possibly know the name of every individual reader.

アンバー (anbaa):

あなたは、今日結婚します anata wa kyou kekkon shimasu
anata are getting married today

あなたの隣にいる人物は誰ですか?anata no tonari ni iru jinbutsu wa dare desu ka 
– Who is the person by anata’s side?

Although it’s perfectly acceptable to use あなた(anata) in a formal situation like this; there are some times when it can come off as incredibly rude.

  • Can be rude

If you say あなた(anata) to someone in a higher position than you for example, it can be interpreted as impolite and could offend.

アレクサンドラ (arekusandora):

この文章は大丈夫だと思いますが、あなたはどう思いますか
kono bunshou wa daijoubu da to omoimasu ga, anata wa dou omoimasu ka
– I think this sentence is okay but what do anata think?

鈴木先生 (suzuki sensei):

私は「あなた」じゃないです watashi wa “anata” ja nai desu – I am not “anata“.

「先生」です “sensei” desu – I am “teacher”.

This is why it’s incredibly important to be careful and aware of whom it’s acceptable to call あなた(anata).

あんた(anta)

Another way of saying ‘you’ in Japanese is あんた(anta). Although あんた(anta) comes from あなた(anata); it’s not as polite. So I would not advise saying this to someone you’ve only just met. It’s often used within family.

  • Family

Elder family members in particular say あんた(anta) when talking to the younger members of their family.

婆ちゃん (baa chan):

今日はあんたの食べたいものにしよ kyou wa anta no tabetai mono ni shiyo
– Today, let’s have what anta want to eat.

愛子 (aiko):

ありがとう、婆ちゃん!arigatou, baa chan! - Thanks, Granny!

じゃあ、じゃが芋にしましょ!jaa, jagaimo ni shimasho! – Well then…Let’s have potatoes!

  • Friends

Friends also refer to each other as あんた(anta) on occasion; this is particularly common in the 関西(kansai) area of Japan it seems. However, you have to be careful with this since some people don’t like being called あんた(anta) by their friends:

彩子(saiko):

あんた、何してんの? anta, nani shiten no? – What are anta doing?

康太(kouta):

あんた」って言うなよ anta tte iu na yo – Don’t call me “anta“.

  • Derogatory

The reason why some people don’t like being called あんた(anta) is because あんた(anta) can also be said in a derogatory way.

愛子(aiko):

あんた、誰?!anta, dare?! – Who are anta?!

  • Couples

That being said, あんた(anta) can also be used by couples in the same way あなた(anata) is used. However, it really depends on the people. The same with friends, some people don’t really like being called あんた(anta) by their loved one because of the derogatory connotations it holds. So you may end up getting a punch in the face depending on your partner’s personal feelings towards the word.

敬太(keita):

あんた、何やってんの?anta, nani yatten no? – What are anta doing?

愛子(aiko):

初めて「あんた」って言われた! hajimete “anta” tte iwareta!
– That’s the first time you called me “anta“!

嬉しい!ureshii! I’m so happy!

So those are the uses of あなた(anata) and あんた(anta).

To find out how to use 君(kimi) and お前(omae) click here for part 2.

I hope you found this useful. If there’s anything you’re unsure of then feel free to comment.

ψ

Lesson 1 – 5 Recap (Vocabulary)

Original:

Vocabulary Explanations:

Hi! I’m Hannah from Japanesejoshi.com! Today I’m going to give you a little recap of lessons 1 to 5, to make sure you’re comfortable using the Aは(wa) Bです(desu) sentence structure, か(ka), の(no), adjectives and ね(ne)! Here’s a conversation which includes everything we’ve learnt so far!

Kurt

はじめまして hajimemashite Nice to meet you.

ルームメートのクルトです ruumu meeto no kuruto desu I’m your roommate, Kurt.

Kyu Dong

はじめまして hajimemashite Nice to meet you.

Kurt

よろしくお願いしますね yoroshiku onegai shimasu ne Please treat me kindly, kay?

Kyu Dong

こちらこそ、よろしくお願いします
kochira koso, yoroshiku onegai shimasu
Same here, please treat me kindly.

Kurt

お名前は何ですか o namae wa nan desu ka What’s your name?

Kyu Dong

キュードンです kyuu don desu Kyu Dong.

Kurt

キュードンさん!kyuu don san! Kyu Dong!

いい名前ですね ii namae desu ne That’s a nice name!

どこの出身ですか doko no shusshin desu ka Where is your place of origin?

どこ(doko) means ‘where’.
出身(shusshin) means ‘place of origin’ and though this sounds a little strange in English, it’s a very common way of asking someone where they come from in Japanese.

中国ですか chuugoku desu ka China?

中国(chuugoku) means ‘China’.

Kyu Dong

いいえ、韓国です iie, kankoku desu No, Korea.

Kurt

あっ、すいません a, suimasen Ah, sorry.

すいません(suimasen) is the same as すみません(sumimasen) which can mean ‘sorry’, ‘excuse me’ and even ‘thank you’ depending on the situation. Since it can be a bit of a mouthful to say すみません(sumimasen), over the years the M sound was occasionally dropped which is why it can also be said すいません(suimasen).

Kyu Dong

大丈夫です daijoubu desu It’s fine.

大丈夫な(daijoubu na) is a な(na) adjective and means along the lines of ‘fine’, ‘all right’ and ‘okay’.

Kurt

あの、僕はドイツ人です ano, boku wa doitsu jin desu Uhm, I’m German.

僕(boku) is a masculine way of saying ‘I’ or ‘me’, similar to 俺(ore) but 僕(boku) is much politer than 俺(ore) which should only really be said to close friends.

Kyu Dong

そうですか sou desu ka Is that so?

Kurt

ああ aa Yeah.

勉強中ですか benkyou chuu desu ka Are you in the middle of studies?

勉強(benkyou) is a noun meaning ‘study’ or ‘studies’.
中(chuu) means ‘middle’ or ‘during’ and can be added to the end of activity based nouns, like 勉強(benkyou), to show that the activity is currently in process.

Kyu Dong

はい hai Yes.

Kurt

真面目な学生ですね majime na gakusei desu ne You’re a diligent student, aren’t you?

真面目な(majime na) is a な(na) adjective meaning ‘diligent’ or ‘serious’.
学生(gakusei) means ‘student’.

Kyu Dong

ええ ee Yes.

真面目です majime desu I am diligent.

クルトさん? kuruto san? Kurt?

Kurt

はい? hai? Yes?

Kyu Dong

お邪魔です o jama desu You’re a hindrance.

邪魔な(jama na) is a な(na) adjective meaning ‘hindrance’ or ‘intrusion’.

Kurt

えっ? e? Huh?

*ピンポン* *pin pon* *Ding dong*

ピンポン(pin pon) is the onomatopoeia used for the sound of a doorbell.

Kylie

こんにちは konnichi wa Good afternoon.

こんにちは(konnichi wa) means ‘good afternoon’.

Kurt

あっ! a! Ah!

隣の部屋の方ですね
tonari no heya no kata desu ne
You’re the person from the room next door, aren’t you?

隣(tonari) means ‘next to’ or ‘neighbour’.
部屋(heya) means ‘room’.

Kylie

はい、そうです hai, sou desu Yes, that’s right.

はじめまして hajimemashite Nice to meet you.

Kurt

はじめまして hajimemashite Nice to meet you.

僕の名前はクルトです boku no namae wa kuruto desu My name is Kurt.

よろしくお願いします yoroshiku onegai shimasu Please treat me kindly.

Kylie

カイリーです kairii desu I’m Kylie.

よろしくお願いします yoroshiku onegai shimasu Please treat me kindly.

Kurt

留学生ですか ryuugakusei desu ka Are you an international student?

留学生(ryuugakusei) means ‘international student’ or ‘exchange student’.

Kylie

うん、オーストラリアの留学生です
un, oosutoraria no ryuugakusei desu
Yes, I’m an Australian international student.

Kurt

そうですか sou desu ka Is that so?!

Kylie

うん un Yeah.

クルトさんはどこの出身ですか
kuruto san wa doko no shusshin desu ka
Where is your place of origin, Kurt?

Kurt

ドイツ出身です doitsu shusshin desu I’m of German origin.

You may be wondering why he didn’t say ドイツの出身(doitsu no shusshin) and the truth is that it can be said either way in this case. You can say the name of the place you come from followed by の出身(no shusshin) or you can simply say the place you come from followed by just 出身(shusshin) – It’s up to you!

Kylie

おお、いいですね oo, ii desu ne Oh, that great!

インダストリアルロックの国ですね
indasutoriaru rokku no kuni desu ne
The country of industrial rock!

インダストリアルロック(indasutoriaru rokku) means ‘industrial rock’ though most Japanese people probably wouldn’t know the difference between インダストリアルロック(indasutoriaru rokku) and regular old ロック(rokku)!
国(kuni) means ‘country’.

Kurt

そうですね sou desu ne That’s right!

好きなバンドは?suki na bando wa? What’s your favourite band?

バンド(bando) means ‘band’.

Kylie

うーん uun Hmm…

うーん(uun) is an interjection used to show that you’re thinking about something.

シュバルツフントですかね shubarutsu funto desu ka ne Schwartzhund, I guess.

シュバルツフント(shubarutsu funto) is how Japanese people would pronounce ‘Schwartzhund’ if it was actually an existing German industrial rock band. To my knowledge it is not.

Kurt

カッコいいですね kakkoii desu ne They’re cool, aren’t they?

Kylie

うん un Yeah.

あれ? are? Huh?

クルトさんのルームメートですか
kuruto san no ruumu meeto desu ka
Is that your roommate, Kurt?

Kurt

ああ aa Yeah.

韓国のキュードンさんです kankoku no kyuu don san desu Kyu Dong of Korea.

Although this sounds strangely worded in English, in Japanese it’s just a different way of saying that Kyu Dong is Korean.

Kylie

はじめまして hajimemashite Nice to meet you.

カイリーです kairii desu I’m Kylie.

Kyu Dong

はじめまして hajimemashite Nice to meet you.

Kylie

あの、勉強中ですか ano, benkyou chuu desu ka Uhm, are you in the middle of studies?

Kyu Dong

カイリーさん? kairii san? Kylie?

Kylie

はい? hai? Yes?

Kyu Dong

お邪魔です o jama desu You’re a hindrance.

Writing Systems

Hi! I’m Hannah from JapaneseJoshi.com! I’ve received a lot of comments asking about the different Japanese writing systems. So, today I’m going to tell you a little bit about them and how they’re used. The first thing you need to know is that there are 4 different writing systems used in Japanese; 漢字(kanji), ひらがな(hiragana), カタカナ(katakana) and ローマ字(roomaji).

漢字(kanji)

漢字(kanji) was the very first writing system used for Japanese. Before 漢字(kanji), the Japanese didn’t have a way of writing anything, the language was only spoken. So when they came into contact with the Chinese they were intrigued by their hanzi, or Chinese characters and…borrowed them…Then integrated it into their own language. These days 漢字(kanji) is mainly used for ‘stems’ – the unchanging parts of verbs and adjectives:

ます                            
ました                           高くない
ません                           高くて
られます                        そう

This may not make much sense to you at the moment if you haven’t learnt much about verbs or adjectives yet but it should all become clear once you have!

漢字(kanji) is also used for most nouns like:

中国人(chuugokujin) – Chinese (person)
and
忍者(ninja) – Ninja

漢字(kanji) is also used for the occasional adverb such as:

多分(tabun) – probably
or
全然(zenzen) – Not at all

ひらがな(hiragana)

ひらがな(hiragana) was originally created for women, who weren’t allowed to use 漢字(kanji) in the olden days. They took certain parts out of 漢字(kanji) based on their readings to create 48 different symbols – Each of which represented one of the main 48 different sounding syllables which existed within Japanese. However, these days only 46 are used. The sounds ゐ(wi) and ゑ(we), which are also believed to have been pronounced as ゐ(yi) and ゑ(ye) no longer exist in modern Japanese. ゐ(wi) and ゐ(yi) both ended up being pronounced as い(i) – which already existed and ゑ(we) and ゑ(ye) ended up being pronounced as え(e), which also already existed – meaning that these characters became unnecessary.  This is why in English we call the Japanese currency ‘yen’ which was the original Japanese word for it, but the modern Japanese word for it is 円(en). Nowadays, ひらがな(hiragana) is mainly used for particles like は(wa) の(no) か(ka) and so on. It’s also used for verb and adjective endings and their variations:

ます                            
た                               くない
ません                        高くて
られる                         そう

Again, this may be confusing if you haven’t learnt about verbs and adjectives just yet but it’s important to know for when you do!

ひらがな(hiragana) is also used for most adverbs like:

ちょっと(chotto) – A little
and
いつも(itsumo) – Always

It can also be used for the occasional noun if the 漢字(kanji) for it is too complex for people to bother to learn or write…Even the word 平仮名(hiragana) itself has 漢字(kanji) but is typically just written in ひらがな(hiragana).

カタカナ(katakana)

カタカナ(katakana) was created by Buddhist monks as a form of shorthand. Like ひらがな(hiragana), each symbol was derived from 漢字(kanji) and represents one of the remaining 46 main syllables used in Japanese. Today, カタカナ(katakana) is used to emphasise words, similarly to how italics are used in English.

チョウ美味しいです!(chou tanoshii desu) – This is really fun!
マジ古いんだけど (maji furui n dakedo) – That’s seriously old.

Onomatopoeic and mimetic words – words that sound like things – also tend to be written in カタカナ(katakana):

パクパク(pakupaku) – The sound of eating
ザーザー(zaazaa) – The sound of heavy rain

Some animal and plant species are also written in カタカナ(katakana); サメ(same) – shark and ユリ(yuri) – lily, for example both have 漢字(kanji) but are more commonly written in カタカナ(katakana). However the most common use for カタカナ(katakana)is for transcribing foreign words. Of course this isn’t just for people’s names and the names of countries and places. There are a lot of foreign words which are common words in Japanese, such as:

サラリーマン(sararii man) – Salary man
and
アイドル(aidoru) – Idol

Though it’s true that a lot of the foreign words used in Japanese come from English, please bear in mind that they aren’t all English. There are also plenty of words from other languages; French and German words in particular are commonly used. For example, the Japanese word for bread is パン(pan), the same as in French and part time job is アルバイト(arubaito) taken from the German word ‘arbeit’ meaning ‘work’.

ローマ字(roomaji)

ローマ字(roomaji), sometimes incorrectly transcribed as romanji or roomanji, is the Roman alphabet used in most Western languages. Though rarely used in the Japanese language, Japanese people can still read it. It tends to be used a lot for shop names and brand logos. Other than these uses ローマ字(roomaji) is only really used for acronyms like CD, PC and DVD.

So there you have it! Those are the 4 writing systems in Japanese and their uses.

 

I hope you found this useful. If there’s anything you’re unsure of then feel free to comment.

ψ

Days of the Week

Hi! I’m Hannah from Japanesejoshi.com and today I’m going to teach you the days of the week!

Like English, and the majority of other languages, the word for each weekday ends in ‘day’. In Japanese they end with 曜日(youbi). The first kanji reads as よう(you) and means ‘weekday’ and, in this case, the second kanji reads as び(bi) and means day.

In Japanese, each day is represented by a different element of nature:

Monday is 月曜日(getsuyoubi) – moon day
Tuesday is 火曜日(kayoubi) – fire day
Wednesday is 水曜日(suiyoubi)- water day
Thursday is 木曜日(mokuyoubi) – wood day
Friday is 金曜日(kinyoubi) – gold day
Saturday is 土曜日(doyoubi) – earth (soil) day
And Sunday is 日曜日(nichiyoubi) – sun day; the same as English!

Of course it’s a little hard to remember how to say them just like that, so here’s a silly way to try and remember the days of the week in Japanese!

Monday – 月曜日(getsuyoubi)
On 月曜日(getsuyoubi) I have to 月(getsu) work early

Tuesday – 火曜日(kayoubi)
On 火曜日(kayoubi) I have to clean my 火(ka)

Wednesday – 水曜日(suiyoubi)
On 水曜日(suiyoubi) I’m going 水(sui)mming

Thursday – 木曜日(mokuyoubi)
On 木曜日(mokuyoubi) I have a 木(moku) exam

Friday – 金曜日(kinyoubi)
On 金曜日(kinyoubi) I’m going to meet a 金(kin)g

Saturday – 土曜日(doyoubi)
On 土曜日(doyoubi) I have to fix my 土(do)

Sunday – 日曜日(nichiyoubi)
And on 日曜日(nichiyoubi) I won’t have the e日(nichi) to do anything!

 

I hope you found this useful. If there’s anything you’re unsure of then feel free to comment.

ψ

ね・ne (Vocabulary)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFiGMnaxpy0

Aiko

すみません sumimasen – Excuse me

すみません (sumimasen) means ‘excuse me’ but, depending on the situation, it can also mean ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘thank you’.

アレクサンドラさんですね arekusandora san desu ne – You’re Alexandra, aren’t you?

Alexandra

はい、そうです hai, sou desu – Yes, that’s right.

Aiko

はじめまして hajimemashite – Nice to meet you.

日本語のチューターの愛子です nihongo no chuutaa no aiko desu – I’m your Japanese tutor, Aiko.

チューター(chuutaa) means ‘tutor’.

よろしくお願いしますね yoroshiku onegaishimasu ne – Please treat me kindly, ‘kay?

Alexandra

ええ ee – Yes.

こちらこそ、よろしくお願いします kochira koso, yoroshiku onegaishimasu
- Please treat me kindly as well

Aiko

ロシアの方ですね roshia no kata desu ne – You’re Russian, aren’t you?

You may be wondering why Aiko didn’t ask Alexandra if she was ロシア人(roshia jin). Since she has never met Alexandra before, she was trying to be polite. 方(kata) is a polite way of saying ‘person’.

Alexandra

ええ ee – Yes.

Aiko

趣味は? shumi wa? – What’s your hobby?

Alexandra

バレーです baree desu – Ballet.

Aiko

おお!いいですね!oo! ii desu ne! – Oh! Isn’t that great!

いい(ii) is an い(i) adjective with a similar meaning to ‘good’, ‘nice’ or ‘great’.

Alexandra

愛子さんの趣味は? aiko san no shumi wa? – What’s your hobby, Aiko?

Aiko

彼氏です kareshi desu - My boyfriend♥

彼氏(kareshi) means ‘boyfriend’.

Alexandra

えっ?e? – Huh?

Aiko

あたしの趣味は彼氏です atashi no shumi wa kareshi desu – My hobby is my boyfriend♥

あたし(atashi) is a feminine way of saying ‘I’ or ‘me’.

Alexandra

ラブラブですね raburabu desu ne – You’re lovey-dovey, aren’t you?

ラブラブ(raburabu) comes from the English word ‘love’ and means something similar to ‘lovey-dovey’.

Aiko

そうですね sou desu ne – That’s right♥

Alexandra

名前は? namae wa? – What’s his name?

Aiko

敬太です keita desu – Keita.

Alexandra

敬太さんはかっこいいですね keita san wa kakkoii desu ne – Keita’s attractive, isn’t he?

Aiko

O\___/O

I hope you found this useful. If there’s anything you’re unsure of then feel free to comment.

ψ

ね・ne

Hi! I’m Hannah from Japanesejoshi.com! And welcome to lesson 5 of my Japanese language tutorials! In this tutorial I’m going to teach you about the particle ね(ne). ね(ne) is added to the end of sentences like か(ka). Often softening and making sentences friendlier, ね(ne) can be used in various ways. One of its uses is requesting confirmation from someone.

これはじゃが芋ですね kore wa jagaimo desu ne – This is a potato, isn’t it?

It can also be used to show agreement with someone.

はい、じゃが芋ですね hai, jagaimo desu ne – Yes, it is a potato.

It can also be used to indicate emphasis.

じゃが芋は美味しいですね! jagaimo wa oishii desu ne! – Potatoes are tasty, aren’t they?!

Although I translated this last sentence similarly to the confirmation request usage of ね(ne), in this case it’s more of a rhetorical question. ね(ne) can also be added after か(ka) to give a similar meaning to ‘I guess’

好きな食べ物は何ですか suki na jagaimo wa nan desu ka – What is your favourite food?

じゃが芋ですかね jagaimo desu ka ne – Potatoes, I guess.

It can also mean ‘I wonder’.

美味しいですかね oishii desu ka ne – I wonder if that’s tasty?

So, now you know how to use ね(ne), let’s have a look at how it’s used in normal conversation!

If you don’t understand the vocabulary, then click here for extra information.

 

Aiko

すみません sumimasen – Excuse me

アレクサンドラさんですね arekusandora san desu ne – You’re Alexandra, aren’t you?

Alexandra

はい、そうです hai, sou desu – Yes, that’s right.

Aiko

はじめまして hajimemashite – Nice to meet you.

日本語のチューターの愛子です nihongo no chuutaa no aiko desu – I’m your Japanese tutor, Aiko.

よろしくお願いしますね yoroshiku onegaishimasu ne – Please treat me kindly, ‘kay?

Alexandra

ええ ee – Yes.

こちらこそ、よろしくお願いします kochira koso, yoroshiku onegaishimasu
- Please treat me kindly as well

Aiko

ロシアの方ですね roshia no kata desu ne – You’re Russian, aren’t you?

Alexandra

ええ ee – Yes.

Aiko

趣味は? shumi wa? – What’s your hobby?

Alexandra

バレーです baree desu – Ballet.

Aiko

おお!いいですね!oo! ii desu ne! – Oh! Isn’t that great!

Alexandra

愛子さんの趣味は? aiko san no shumi wa? – What’s your hobby, Aiko?

Aiko

彼氏です kareshi desu - My boyfriend♥

Alexandra

えっ?e? – Huh?

Aiko

あたしの趣味は彼氏です atashi no shumi wa kareshi desu – My hobby is my boyfriend♥

Alexandra

ラブラブですね raburabu desu ne – You’re lovey-dovey, aren’t you?

Aiko

そうですね sou desu ne – That’s right♥

Alexandra

名前は? namae wa? – What’s his name?

Aiko

敬太です keita desu – Keita.

Alexandra

敬太さんはかっこいいですね keita san wa kakkoii desu ne – Keita’s attractive, isn’t he?

Aiko

O\___/O

 

I hope you found this useful. If there’s anything you’re unsure of then feel free to comment.

ψ