Post Reply Japanese Lesson 1
Posted 10/19/08 , edited 10/22/08
Yosh! Minnasan, kyou wa jyuugyou wa hajimemasu! Hajimemashite to yoroshiku onegai shimasu! (Okay everyone, today class is starting! It’s nice to meet you all and I hope we take care of each other well!)

Nihongo (日本語 / にほんご)

Japanese is a fairly popular language that is spoken in the world today. There are around 125-140 million people that speak this language on a daily basis! It is ranked around the 9th most popular language around the world! This is pretty amazing considering how small Japan is in comparison to the rest of the world. On the internet, Japanese is an even more popular language, ranking 4th. This is probably due to the number of programs and everything else that was made in Japan and published in Japanese. As you are all probably aware, Japan is very famous for being very high-tech in many areas of the country. However, there are still many rural parts of the country that still rely on old methods. I’ll teach you more about this later on though… this lesson will just cover the basics of the language.

Japanese can be written out in a number of ways. The simplest way for us to read Japanese is probably the form of writing known as Romaji, or Roomaji. Romaji is the style of writing in Japanese that I use most of the time, because it’s easier for everyone to see. The characters are the English alphabet. It is similar to what we call Pin Yin in Chinese. An example of Romaji (in case you didn’t already get the picture xD) would be “konnichi wa” meaning hello.

Writing with Japanese characters is both similar and different to writing in English. Like in English, the Japanese have a certain number of characters that they use to form words. However, their form of the alphabet has many more characters. The two forms of writing that are used as letters are called Hiragana and Katakana. Japanese writing consists of a mix between Hiragana, Katakana, and something else called Kanji. For example:

テレビ   です
Katakana kanji hiragana

Hiragana (ひらがな) is what we could call the ‘brush’ style of writing. These characters are the make up most of the words that we would write in a sentence. It is known as the brush style of writing, because all of the characters are very elegant, and look similar to the Chinese calligraphy, and can be compared to English cursive writing. In fact, Hiragana is said to have originated from the Chinese writing man’yōgana. It is said to have been created somewhere around 800 AD.

Hiragana is most commonly used to express
* Simple words, like the verb aru or the noun neko.
* Conjugations at the ends of verbs, like mimasu (I see) and mimashita (I saw.)
* Particles of speech, such as wa, e, and o. Note that the particle wa is the same as the hiragana ha, eis the same as the hiragana he, and the particle o is different from the normal hiragana o.
* Hiragana is the first writing system taught to Japanese children, so low-level children's books are written exclusively in hiragana, and even in more advanced level texts, difficult kanji will have the pronunciation written above in hiragana.

Katakana (カタカナ)is also known as the ‘block’ style of writing. This is easy to remember, because if you look at the characters (when I give you the charts) then they look far more block-like than the Hiragana.

Katakana is most commonly used to express
* Foreign names, like mine.
* Borrowed foreign words, like computer or beer.
* Company names, like Toyota or Yamaha.
* New words in Japanese, like pachinko or karaoke

Kanji is the third part of Japanese writing. Unlike Hiragana and Katakana, these characters form entire words, and are more complicated. Many of these words originated from Chinese words, so those of you who can read Chinese will be at an advantage here ^^ For example, you may have noticed beside the word ‘Ni hon go’ at the very beginning of the lesson, the word was written in kanji in the brackets. In Japanese it is pronounced ‘Ni hon go’, however, in Chinese it would be pronounced “Ri ben hua”.

Kanji is most commonly used to express
* Place names, like Tokyo or Osaka.
* The names of people, like my wife.
* Most nouns, as well as verb and adjective stems.
* You should notice, though, that over the years the Japanese system has diverged from the Chinese, often simplifying characters, as in the Chinese and Japanese characters for country.

Feel free to ask if you have any questions.

~Taken from various groups and my textbook.
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Posted 5/10/09
ummm....do you have all the charaters (like japenses's abc)
chart thingy...o.o
if you know what i am talkiong about
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Posted 7/27/09 , edited 7/27/09

wrote:

Yosh! Minnasan, kyou wa jyuugyou wa hajimemasu! Hajimemashite to yoroshiku onegai shimasu! (Okay everyone, today class is starting! It’s nice to meet you all and I hope we take care of each other well!)

Nihongo (日本語 / にほんご)

Japanese is a fairly popular language that is spoken in the world today. There are around 125-140 million people that speak this language on a daily basis! It is ranked around the 9th most popular language around the world! This is pretty amazing considering how small Japan is in comparison to the rest of the world. On the internet, Japanese is an even more popular language, ranking 4th. This is probably due to the number of programs and everything else that was made in Japan and published in Japanese. As you are all probably aware, Japan is very famous for being very high-tech in many areas of the country. However, there are still many rural parts of the country that still rely on old methods. I’ll teach you more about this later on though… this lesson will just cover the basics of the language.

Japanese can be written out in a number of ways. The simplest way for us to read Japanese is probably the form of writing known as Romaji, or Roomaji. Romaji is the style of writing in Japanese that I use most of the time, because it’s easier for everyone to see. The characters are the English alphabet. It is similar to what we call Pin Yin in Chinese. An example of Romaji (in case you didn’t already get the picture xD) would be “konnichi wa” meaning hello.

Writing with Japanese characters is both similar and different to writing in English. Like in English, the Japanese have a certain number of characters that they use to form words. However, their form of the alphabet has many more characters. The two forms of writing that are used as letters are called Hiragana and Katakana. Japanese writing consists of a mix between Hiragana, Katakana, and something else called Kanji. For example:

テレビ   です
Katakana kanji hiragana

Hiragana (ひらがな) is what we could call the ‘brush’ style of writing. These characters are the make up most of the words that we would write in a sentence. It is known as the brush style of writing, because all of the characters are very elegant, and look similar to the Chinese calligraphy, and can be compared to English cursive writing. In fact, Hiragana is said to have originated from the Chinese writing man’yōgana. It is said to have been created somewhere around 800 AD.

Hiragana is most commonly used to express
* Simple words, like the verb aru or the noun neko.
* Conjugations at the ends of verbs, like mimasu (I see) and mimashita (I saw.)
* Particles of speech, such as wa, e, and o. Note that the particle wa is the same as the hiragana ha, eis the same as the hiragana he, and the particle o is different from the normal hiragana o.
* Hiragana is the first writing system taught to Japanese children, so low-level children's books are written exclusively in hiragana, and even in more advanced level texts, difficult kanji will have the pronunciation written above in hiragana.

Katakana (カタカナ)is also known as the ‘block’ style of writing. This is easy to remember, because if you look at the characters (when I give you the charts) then they look far more block-like than the Hiragana.

Katakana is most commonly used to express
* Foreign names, like mine.
* Borrowed foreign words, like computer or beer.
* Company names, like Toyota or Yamaha.
* New words in Japanese, like pachinko or karaoke

Kanji is the third part of Japanese writing. Unlike Hiragana and Katakana, these characters form entire words, and are more complicated. Many of these words originated from Chinese words, so those of you who can read Chinese will be at an advantage here ^^ For example, you may have noticed beside the word ‘Ni hon go’ at the very beginning of the lesson, the word was written in kanji in the brackets. In Japanese it is pronounced ‘Ni hon go’, however, in Chinese it would be pronounced “Ri ben hua”.

Kanji is most commonly used to express
* Place names, like Tokyo or Osaka.
* The names of people, like my wife.
* Most nouns, as well as verb and adjective stems.
* You should notice, though, that over the years the Japanese system has diverged from the Chinese, often simplifying characters, as in the Chinese and Japanese characters for country.

Feel free to ask if you have any questions.

~Taken from various groups and my textbook.


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25 / M / Kulaijaya, Johor,...
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Posted 5/19/10
Wow, Japanese words seems pretty difficult...
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Posted 5/31/10
agree :sweatingbullets:
nvm, take ur time to learn, dun rush(:
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Posted 5/1/11
Wow this is interesting, might be difficult to learn at first
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