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Post Reply Lesson 1 ~ the basics
sensei
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Posted 12/30/09
Hello, guys.

I thought I'd share with you guys a lesson every week or month (depends on how much time I have on my hands). I hope the structure of the lessons will be useful in helping you guys obtain a firm grasp on the basics of the Japanese language.

Each lesson will start off with some vocabulary terms, followed by some grammar notes. For the first few lessons, I'll provide the equivalent Romaji for the entries, but as the lessons unfold, I'll only supply the kana and kanji. This way, I hope it helps you guys in memorizing the kana, as it is vital in learning the language. :)

I'll also include some Kanji equivalents for your reference, but in writing the sentences, I'll place the kanji equivalents in spoiler boxes, since we can't type with furigana in BB code.

That said, I hope you guys enjoy these lessons. 始まるぞ!
sensei
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Posted 12/30/09 , edited 12/30/09
第一果:単語
Lesson 1: Vocabulary


Nouns

わたし     > 私   > watashi > I
あなた     >     > anata > you
きみ      > 君   > kimi > you (polite)
じん      > 人   > jin > nationality (of person)
じ       > 時   > ji > ~ o'clock
さい      > 歳   > sai > ~ years old
ねんせい    > 年生  > nensei > ~ year (in high school/college)
せんもん    > 専門  > senmon > degree/course
がくせい    > 学生  > gakusei > student
りゅうがくせい > 留学生 > ryuugakusei > foreign student
せんせい    > 先生  > sensei > teacher

コンピューター >    > konpyuutaa > computer
れきし     > 歴史 > rekishi > history
けいざい    > 経済 > keizai > economics
すうがく    > 数学 > suugaku > mathematics
かがく     > 科学 > kagaku > science
ぶんがく    > 文学 > bungaku > literature

Countries

にほん   > 日本 > nihon > Japan
ちゅうごく > 中国 > chuugoku > China
かんこく  > 韓国 > kankoku > Korea
イギリス  >    > igirisu > England
ドイツ   >    > doitsu > Germany
マレーシア >    > mareeshia > Malaysia

Numbers

いち    > 一  > ichi > one
に     > ニ  > ni > two
さん    > 三  > san > three
よん    > 四  > yon > four
ご     > 五  > go > five
ろく    > 六  > roku > six
なな    > 七  > nana > seven
はち    > 八  > hachi > eight
きゅう   > 九  > kyuu > nine
じゅう   > 十  > juu > ten
じゅういち > 十一 > juuichi > eleven
じゅうに  > 十ニ > juuni > twelve

Adverbs and other expressions

はい   >    > hai > yes
いいえ  >    > iie > no
そうです >    > soudesu > It is so
です   >    > desu > copula for being
なに   > 何  > nani > what
なんじ  > 何時 > nanji > what time...
なんさい > 何歳 > nansai > how old...
なんねん > 何年 > nannen > what year...
いま   > 今  > ima > now
あの   >    > ano > well...
さん   >    > san > Mr./Ms./Mrs. (suffix for names)
senpai
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Posted 12/30/09

edsamac wrote:

第一果:単語
Lesson 1: Vocabulary


Nouns
わたし > 私


owhhh.... that's mean we also can use hiragana or kanji?? but which the most people use??
senpai
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Posted 12/30/09

edsamac wrote:

第一果:単語
Lesson 1: Vocabulary


Nouns

わたし  > 私  > watashi > I
あなた  >    > anata > you
じん   > 人  > jin > nationality (of person)
じ    > 時  > ji > ~ o'clock
さい   > 歳  > sai > ~ years old
ねん   > 年  > nen > ~ year (in high school/college)
せんもん > 専門 > senmon > degree/course
がくせい > 学生 > gakusei > student
せんせい > 先生 > sensei > teacher

コンピュータ >    > konpyuuta > computer
れきし    > 歴史 > rekishi > history
けいざい   > 経済 > keizai > economics
すうがく   > 数学 > suugaku > mathematics
かがく    > 科学 > kagaku > science
ぶんがく   > 文学 > bungaku > literature

Numbers

いち    > 一  > ichi > one
に     > ニ  > ni > two
さん    > 三  > san > three
よん    > 四  > yon > four
ご     > 五  > go > five
ろく    > 六  > roku > six
なな    > 七  > nana > seven
はち    > 八  > hachi > eight
きゅう   > 九  > kyuu > nine
じゅう   > 十  > juu > ten
じゅういち > 十一 > juuichi > eleven
じゅうに  > 十ニ > juuni > twelve

Adverbs and other expressions

はい   >    > hai > yes
いいえ  >    > iie > no
そうです >    > soudesu > It is so
です   >    > desu > copula for being
なに   > 何  > nani > what
なんじ  > 何時 > nanji > what time...
なんさい > 何歳 > nansai > how old...
なんねん > 何年 > nannen > what year...


wow!! shugoi!! there's a lot of kanjies here!! i like it!! can u add more?? hehehe...
sensei
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Posted 12/30/09 , edited 12/31/09
Noun-1 は Noun-2 です。

When you wish to make an objective statement, you can say something is the case by saying Noun-1 は Noun-2 です. (pronounced "wa") is what is known as a particle, and indicates that Noun-1, or anything before it, is the topic of the sentence. A Noun-1 は Noun-2 です sentence, therefore, simply means Noun-1 is Noun-2 or as for Noun-1, it is Noun-2. The topics, in the following examples, have been underlined:

Example
わたしはがくせいです。
watashi wa gakusei desu
I am a student

きょうこさんはにねんせいです。
kyouko san wa ni nen sei desu
Kyouko is a sophomore (lit. "Kyouko is a second year student")


Noun-1 の Noun-2

The particle serves to bridge two nouns. In a Noun-1 の Noun-2 statement, Noun-1 describes further the qualities of Noun-2. Take a look at the following example:

Example
わたしせんもんはぶんがくです。
watashi no senmon wa bungaku desu
My major is literature.

In this example, if there's any major we're talking about, it's "my" major, and nothing else. Here are some more examples:

Example
わたしはれきしのがくせいです。
watashi wa rekishi no gakusei desu
I am a student of history

たけしさんのせんもんはコンピューターです。
takeshi-san no senmon wa konpyuuta desu
Takeshi's major is in computers (information technology)

わたしのせんせいはけいざいのせんせいです。
watashi no sensei wa keizai no sensei desu
My professor is an economics teacher



The particle is added at the end of a sentence to turn it into a question, or an interrogative sentence. In the following example, therefore, the objective statement "Takeshi's major is literature" becomes a question:

Example
たけしさんのせんもんはぶんがくです。
takeshi-san no senmon wa bungaku desu
Takeshi's major is literature.

たけしさんのせんもんはぶんがくですか。
takeshi-san no senmon wa bungaku desu ka
Is Takeshi's major literature?

Note that it is not customary for a Japanese question statement to end with a question mark. Furthermore, you place at the end of questions that ask for things like the time, one's year (in college or high school), or one's age.

Example
すずきさんはなんさいですか。
suzuki-san wa nansai desu ka?
How old is Suzuki-san?

いまなんじですか。
ima nan ji desu ka
What time is it now?

トムさんはなんねんせいですか。
tomu-san wa nan nensei desu ka
What year is Tom in?


〜人

(read as "jin"), when used as a suffix for a country name, indicates one's nationality.

Example
ケートさんはアメリカ人です。
Keeto-san wa amerika jin desu
Kate is an American.


〜時

(read as "ji") is a suffix counter for time, and is the rough equivalent of "o'clock" in English. To tell the time, simply stick the number next to 時. Note, however, that four o'clock, seven o'clock, and nine o'clock undergo sound changes, which differ from their original readings.

Example
いちじ    > 一時  > ichiji > one o'clock
にじ     > ニ時  > niji > two o'clock
さんじ    > 三時  > sanji > three o'clock
よじ     > 四時  > yoji > four o'clock
ごじ     > 五時  > goji > five o'clock
ろくじ    > 六時  > rokuji > six o'clock
しちじ    > 七時  > shichiji > seven o'clock
はちじ    > 八時  > hachiji > eight o'clock
くじ     > 九時  > kuji > nine o'clock
じゅうじ   > 十時  > juuji > ten o'clock
じゅういちじ > 十一時 > juuichiji > eleven o'clock
じゅうにじ  > 十ニ時 > juuniji > twelve o'clock


〜歳

(read as "sai"; alternative 才) is a suffix for age. You can use regular counting terms to indicate your age, but ages ending with 1 (i.e. 1 year old, 11 years old, etc.) undergo a sound change. The same goes for ages ending with 8 and tens. The age 20 is also special, and is said differently:

Example
いっさい    > 一歳  > issai > one year old
にさい     > ニ歳  > nisai > two years old
さんさい    > 三歳  > sansai > three years old
はっさい    > 八歳  > hassai > eight years old
じゅっさい   > 十歳  > jussai > ten years old
じゅうはっさい > 十八歳 > juuhassai > eighteen years old
はたち     > 二十歳 > hatachi > twenty years old
sensei
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Posted 12/30/09 , edited 12/30/09
会話(例)
Sample Dialogue



ケート:すみません。いまなんじですか。
keeto: sumimasen. ima nanji desu ka

あきら:いまはさんじです。
akira: ima wa san ji desu.

ケート:ありがとうございます。
keeto: arigatou gozaimasu.

あきら:あの、りゅうがくせいですか。
akira: ano, ryuugakusei desu ka

ケート:はい。アメリカじんです。
keeto: hai. amerika jin desu.

あきら:そうですか。いま、なんねんせいですか。
akira: soudesu ka. Ima, nan nen sei desu ka

ケート:ぶんがくのにねんせいです。きみは?
keeto: bungaku no ni nen sei desu. kimi wa

あきら:コンピューターのさんねんせいです。あっ、すみません。はじめまして、わたしはあきらです。
akira: konpyuuta no san nen sei desu. Aa, sumimasen. Hajimemashite, watashi wa akira desu.

ケート:ケートです。どうぞよろしく。
keeto: keeto desu. douzoyoroshiku.
sensei
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Posted 12/30/09 , edited 12/30/09
表現ノート
Expression notes


Regarding sentence topics
Most of the time, the topic of a sentence is omitted if it is understood by context. In the dialogue, for example, Akira asks Kate if she is a foreign student, but the topic (namely Kate) is nowhere to be found. Of course, it would not be incorrect to say あなた/きみはりゅうがくせいですか, but explicitly stating the topic is not necessary. Another example of this omission of the topic is seen in Kate's response, アメリカじんです - again, she need not say explicitly that the topic of the sentence is herself.


あなた and 君
Both these pronouns are used to refer to "you", but the Japanese tend to reserve these pronouns in favor of the actual person's name. If you were speaking to someone you knew, for example, it would be more appropriate to simply say their name, such as in the following example:

ケートさんのせんもんはなんですか。
keeto san no senmon wa nan desu ka?
What is your major, Kate?

あなた is not that commonly used, and tends to imply distance when used to refer to the person you are talking to. 君 (read as "kimi") is slightly more polite compared to あなた, and is commonly used when talking to strangers.


あの
あの is a word of modesty, and shows that you have some slight reservations regarding what your are about to say next. You can use it, as well, to get someone's attention, just as much as you would using すみません.


あっ
あっ is an expression that implies surprise, like when you suddenly remembered something. The small っ indicates that it is said quickly, just like the English exclamation, "ah!"


More uses of the particle は
は as a particle always indicates the topic of a sentence. Note, however, that the particle appears in Kate's question きみは? This is an example of an incomplete sentence, and is a form of introducing a new topic. The question, itself, invites one to complete it - so in this case, Kate is politely requesting Akira to complete the sentence. Since they were talking about Kate's major, the question is simply returned to Akira. A rough English equivalent would be "as for you..." with an implied question of "what is your major?".
senpai
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Posted 12/30/09
wow!! good dialog!! but there's a little bit that i don't understand!! is it true japanese or foregn dialog??
sensei
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Posted 12/30/09 , edited 12/30/09

zudo_mon wrote:

wow!! good dialog!! but there's a little bit that i don't understand!! is it true japanese or foregn dialog??


Like its title, it's a sample dialogue, so it simulates an actual Japanese conversation. It's meant to put together everything you've learnt in lesson 1. You should be able to understand what's happening in the dialogue if you studied the lesson well. If in any case there's something that isn't clear, just ask and I'll answer it the best way I can.
senpai
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Posted 12/30/09

edsamac wrote:


zudo_mon wrote:

wow!! good dialog!! but there's a little bit that i don't understand!! is it true japanese or foregn dialog??


Like its title, it's a sample dialogue, so it simulates an actual Japanese conversation. It's meant to put together everything you've learnt in lesson 1. You should be able to understand what's happening in the dialogue if you studied the lesson well. If in any case there's something that isn't clear, just ask and I'll answer it the best way I can.


owh... okay.. i understand it very well... i will ask you question if there i don't understand!!
senpai
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Posted 12/30/09
can i ask you one question??

if we want to make a question we must put ""at the of sentence??

example :
なんさいですか。 > nansai desuka > how old are you??
せんせいですか > sensei desu ka > are you teacher??
sensei
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Posted 12/31/09

zudo_mon wrote:

can i ask you one question??

if we want to make a question we must put ""at the of sentence??

example :
なんさいですか。 > nansai desuka > how old are you??
せんせいですか > sensei desu ka > are you teacher??


Yes, that's correct.

However, it's somewhat awkward to ask if someone is a せんせい. If you want to be really strict about it, せんせい is a title word, and is meant to suffix a person's name, such as 山田先生 (yamada sensei). If your intention is to ask whether or not someone is a teacher, by profession, the correct word to use is きょうし (教師).

So the question would be:

きょうしですか。(教師ですか。)


I left out this peculiarity in the lesson because it might have been a little complicated. But thanks for bringing it up.
senpai
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Posted 12/31/09

edsamac wrote:


zudo_mon wrote:

can i ask you one question??

if we want to make a question we must put ""at the of sentence??

example :
なんさいですか。 > nansai desuka > how old are you??
せんせいですか > sensei desu ka > are you teacher??


Yes, that's correct.

However, it's somewhat awkward to ask if someone is a せんせい. If you want to be really strict about it, せんせい is a title word, and is meant to suffix a person's name, such as 山田先生 (yamada sensei). If your intention is to ask whether or not someone is a teacher, by profession, the correct word to use is きょうし (教師).

So the question would be:

きょうしですか。(教師ですか。)


I left out this peculiarity in the lesson because it might have been a little complicated. But thanks for bringing it up.


owh thanx... so, sensei in hiragana means doctor and sensei in kanji means teacher right?? hahaha..
sensei
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Posted 12/31/09

zudo_mon wrote:

owh thanx... so, sensei in hiragana means doctor and sensei in kanji means teacher right?? hahaha..


Neither, actually.

せんせい, like I said, is a suffix to a name. It literally means "to be ahead", but is culturally linked to the meaning "honorable master". Doctors and teachers are given this title because of their position. It doesn't matter if it's written in hiragana or kanji - they mean the same thing, regardless.

So if you hear someone's name is 田中先生 (tanaka sensei), it is ambiguous between Mr. Tanaka (a teacher) and Dr. Tanaka (a doctor) if taken out of context.
senpai
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Posted 12/31/09

edsamac wrote:


zudo_mon wrote:

owh thanx... so, sensei in hiragana means doctor and sensei in kanji means teacher right?? hahaha..


Neither, actually.

せんせい, like I said, is a suffix to a name. It literally means "to be ahead", but is culturally linked to the meaning "honorable master". Doctors and teachers are given this title because of their position. It doesn't matter if it's written in hiragana or kanji - they mean the same thing, regardless.

So if you hear someone's name is 田中先生 (tanaka sensei), it is ambiguous between Mr. Tanaka (a teacher) and Dr. Tanaka (a doctor) if taken out of context.


owh... i see....非常に多くの先生に感謝!あなたの良いレッスンを維持する!
hijō ni ōku no sensei ni kansha ! anata no yoi ressun wo iji suru !
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