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Japanese words and phrases
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Referring to people
1. To talk to, or about, a person you don't know (a stranger), attach -san to their last name.
Tanaka-san wa nihonjin desu.
Mr. (Mrs.) Tanaka is a Japanese.
Pronounce "desu" as "des".
nihonjin = Japanese person.
2. When you are very good friends with someone, drop -san and use the name alone. Also, when you talk to or about your family or close friends, or about yourself, drop -san and use the name alone.
3. If the person has a high social status (like the emperor for example), or is someone you admire highly (perhaps your favorite singer), use -sama instead of -san. Indicates high respect.
4. A speaker can refer to males younger than him, or of about his age, with -kun instead of -san.
5. A speaker can refer to females younger than him, or of about his age, with -chan instead of -san.


Referring to oneself
In English we say, "I". In Japanese there are various words.
1. "watashi" can be used by anybody. When in doubt, use this.
2. "watakushi" is a "humble" version, you can use it when addressing superiors and want to be extra respectful.
3. "atashi" is used by females.
4. "boku" and "ore" are used by males. "boku" is used more by younger people, and "ore" is used more by older people, but they can be used by both really.


Referring to the other person
In English we say, "you". In Japanese there are various words.
1. "anata" is used much in textbooks (as well as real life of course), but be careful, since it could also mean "dear" (typically from wife to husband) and is best if you are familiar with the other person.
2. "kimi" can also be used if you know the other person.
3. To address a stranger (someone you just met), it's best to use LastName-san, instead of a "you" word such as "anata" or "kimi".
4. To address someone you don't know very well, you can also speak simply without using any "you" word or his name. So instead of saying "Which food do you like?" (Kimi wa donna tabemono ga suki desu ka?) you can say something like "Donna tabemono ga suki desu ka?" (dropped "kimi").
5. "anta" can be a bit insulting, use it with a close friend or if you like trouble.
6. "omae" is very informal, use it with people you know.


He/She/Boyfriend/Girlfriend/That person
1. He = kare
2. Boyfriend = kareshi
3. She = kanojo. Unfortunately, girlfriend is also kanojo so be careful of this word.
4. boifurendo = boyfriend (Japanglish, pronounced boifrendo)
5. gaarufurendo = girlfriend (pronounced gaarfrendo)
6. A common term used is "ano hito", which means "that person over there". They use it more often than kare or kanojo.
7. ano ko = that kid over there


Plurality -- usually attach -tachi
watashitachi = us
watakushitachi = us
atashitachi = us
bokutachi
oretachi
anatatachi = you (multiple people)
kimitachi
antatachi
Tanaka-san-tachi = this means "Tanaka-san and the people with him/her"
Sometimes attach -ra instead of -tachi
karera = they
omaera = you (for several people all of whom you know)
Also, "minna-san" means "all of you" or "all of them" (used with people only). Drop -san if you personally know all of them.
Speaking of "allness", "subete" means "all" for objects, and "zenbu" means "all parts", for example "keeki o zenbu tabemashita" (= I ate all the cake.)


Names
The Japanese word for name is "namae" but for people you don't know, use the extra respectful word "o-namae".
O-namae wa nan desu ka?
What is your name?
nani / nan = what


Again, for good grammar lessons go to http://www.learn-japanese.info/indexg.html
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Posted 9/16/14
I've been thinking about something. In many (most?) Asian languages the sentence structure is very different from ours and, at least for Thai, very simplified, so I would love to see the subtitles for the opening and closing songs in Japanese and English, but where the English words are placed in the same order as the Japanese and a direct translation is used. It would make the English text rather strange, but it would help imemsly for those of us who wants to learn a little Japanese.
To those who say we have to learn the Japanese alphabet at the same time, I learned the Thai alphabet, including all the strange placings of wovels, so I could read signs and whatever, but I had limited understanding of the meaning of those words. For those who only want to learn everyday Japanese, learning the alphabet is a total waste of time, but if you want to be able to write and read that's a whole differen ballgame.
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Posted 9/16/14
So, I'm sitting here on my iPad playing around with a Japanese keyboard.

gomennasai <--- Please forgive me (formal)
ごめん浅い
ごめん浅井
ゴメン浅井
ゴメン浅い
ゴメンアサイ
ごめんあさい

The big question here is: What's the correct word/phrase?

Sincerely
まごまご
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Posted 9/16/14 , edited 9/16/14

SverreMunthe wrote:

So, I'm sitting here on my iPad playing around with a Japanese keyboard.

gomennasai <--- Please forgive me (formal)
ごめん浅い
ごめん浅井
ゴメン浅井
ゴメン浅い
ゴメンアサイ
ごめんあさい

The big question here is: What's the correct word/phrase?

Sincerely
まごまご


ごめんなさい
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Posted 9/16/14

Masafuta wrote:


SverreMunthe wrote:

So, I'm sitting here on my iPad playing around with a Japanese keyboard.

gomennasai <--- Please forgive me (formal)
ごめん浅い
ごめん浅井
ゴメン浅井
ゴメン浅い
ゴメンアサイ
ごめんあさい

The big question here is: What's the correct word/phrase?

Sincerely
まごまご


ごめんなさい


How do I know? Checking them with Google Translate gives almost the same result. Shallow sorry and Sorry shallow. And, is that to mean it's an excuse of little imortance without any conviction?
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櫻府
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Posted 9/16/14

SverreMunthe wrote:


Masafuta wrote:


SverreMunthe wrote:

So, I'm sitting here on my iPad playing around with a Japanese keyboard.

gomennasai <--- Please forgive me (formal)
ごめん浅い
ごめん浅井
ゴメン浅井
ゴメン浅い
ゴメンアサイ
ごめんあさい

The big question here is: What's the correct word/phrase?

Sincerely
まごまご


ごめんなさい


How do I know? Checking them with Google Translate gives almost the same result. Shallow sorry and Sorry shallow. And, is that to mean it's an excuse of little imortance without any conviction?


The kanji is different. ご免なさい.  なさる is a polite verb.
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Posted 9/16/14
If I can jump in...

All of the examples you listed are "gomenasai," (single n) rather than "gomennasai" (double n), so google is reading it as gomen (sorry) + asai (shallow), but it's not a real phrase. ごめんなさい has the double n though, and that is the one you're looking for.
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Posted 9/16/14

aListers wrote:

It's not easy to translate Japanese into English. Sometimes the translation is too weeabooy and sometimes people complain that it's not weeabooy enough.

Basically there's 2 types of translation: Translation and Localisation. Translation is explaining the meaning in a different language - such as translating "onii-chan" into "big brother." Localisation is giving as good a meaning that makes sense in a different language. As we don't call our big brothers "big brother" we could use the words "brother" or "bro" to give a more localised meaning.

Each has their flaws and each person prefers different methods - but at least they're not translating "onii-chan" as "onii-chan" which I've seen some subbers do.


It depends on the preferences of the translator and the target audience. Sometimes leaving "onii-chan" as it is can be perfectly acceptable. Personally, I'm partial to translations that leave such terms of address as they are. But if you're targeting a wider audience then that is infeasible, and you have to come up with a more localized translation.
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Posted 9/16/14

Luggage10 wrote:

If I can jump in...

All of the examples you listed are "gomenasai," (single n) rather than "gomennasai" (double n), so google is reading it as gomen (sorry) + asai (shallow), but it's not a real phrase. ごめんなさい has the double n though, and that is the one you're looking for.


Here's me writing Gomennasai with a Japanese keyboard on my iPad.
ご めん あ さい
Go menn a sai
Writing them syllable by syllable.

What it should be written as is
ご めん な さい
Go menn na sai
That's a tripple N

No wonder I get confused. And that's a big problem when writing a logographic language in an alphabetic language, it should be written syllable by syllable with a hyphen connecting them.

Go-menn-na-sai an-o-ther word :)

Still
まごまご
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Posted 9/16/14 , edited 9/16/14

IgnatiusSp wrote:

ローマ字で書くのは意味がありませんし。同音語がいっぱいだけど、書き方は違う。だから、ローマ字はだめです。

早いと速い葉同音語です。でも意味と書き方が違うんだし。。。

There´s no point in writing in romaji. There´s a lot of homophones, but the way of writing differs. So using romaji is useless.

早い and 速い are homophones (hayai). But the meaning and writing is different.
Early and Fast.


The romaji is something to avoid, It hinders the learning of japanese. If someone want to learn japanese should start as fast as he/she can to learn the two types of kana.

Also Tangorin is as good as (Denshi) Jisho as a dictionary...

P.S: If you want I can write this in spanish too.
My class is pretty slow paced. I am very conflicted about using romaji, but I can't help it. When I try to take notes I instinctively write in romaji because 1. I'm super slow at writing out the hiragana 2. my professor haven't gone through all the hiragana...but it's super cool when I'm typing it in, the kaji types itself out :D

My professor is teaching japanese 1 with a heavy emphasis on spoken Japanese. During the first day of class it caught me off guard to learn how to say sentences without first learning what the meaning of each word was. Right now I have trouble with voicing consonances and identifying glides like ya yu yo. Everytime I come across a word with " or the small circle I have to pause for like 10 seconds to convert the sound in my mind before reading it out loud. Any advice? or...is this just pure memorization? D:
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Posted 9/16/14

SverreMunthe wrote:

Here's me writing Gomennasai with a Japanese keyboard on my iPad.
ご めん あ さい
Go menn a sai
Writing them syllable by syllable.

What it should be written as is
ご めん な さい
Go menn na sai
That's a tripple N

No wonder I get confused. And that's a big problem when writing a logographic language in an alphabetic language, it should be written syllable by syllable with a hyphen connecting them.

Go-menn-na-sai an-o-ther word :)



Oh it's one of those keyboards. My Japanese input works a similar way. If you want the ん character by itself, you have to press n twice, because otherwise it assumes you're going to put a vowel after it and make one of the なにぬねの characters. Japanese input will always wait for you to make a syllable that works in Japanese, and since n is the start of a bunch of syllables as well as a stand alone character that was pretty much the only way they could program that on a romaji keyboard. ん is always romanized as n though, never nn.

So long story short, you have to press n three times, but it's still technically a double n.

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Posted 9/16/14
Another strange thing. su-ki da ne (好きだね). su-ki (好き) is love/lile. su-ki da (好きだ) is I love/like you. su-ki da ne (好きだね) is I love/like you. So, what is ne (ね) in that context. As both だ and ね means I.

Also, is U allways silent, or just in certain cases?
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Posted 9/16/14 , edited 9/16/14
The U actually is not silent, it's just super not emphasized. If you listen to music you might pick up on the singer actually pronouncing sounds that sort of disappear in normal speaking.

Grammar explanation!!! whoo hoo!!

だ and ね do not mean I. It's hard to provide a direct translation because Japanese has very different grammar than English. だ is the informal version of です. If you say, suki da, you are literally saying, like. Everything else is implied. Since you are speaking, the subject of the sentence must be 'I' and since you are presumably addressing another person, not speaking into your mirror, the object of the sentence is 'you'. ね provides a sort of um, hmm. In this context I would say it means almost like, 'I like you, you know?" It's not a big thing, it just alters the emphasis or something of the sentence.

If you want the whole sentence spelled out with all the implied grammar added, it will look like 私はきみが好きだね。Watashi wa kimi ga suki da ne. {I] subject [wa] subject particle [you] object [ga] object particle [like] adjective [da] to be (sort of) [ne] right?/you know? In Japanese like is not a verb, it is a type of adjective. In makes the grammar somewhat crazy from an English speaker's perspective.
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Posted 9/16/14 , edited 9/16/14

FlyinDumpling wrote:


IgnatiusSp wrote:

ローマ字で書くのは意味がありませんし。同音語がいっぱいだけど、書き方は違う。だから、ローマ字はだめです。

早いと速い葉同音語です。でも意味と書き方が違うんだし。。。

There´s no point in writing in romaji. There´s a lot of homophones, but the way of writing differs. So using romaji is useless.

早い and 速い are homophones (hayai). But the meaning and writing is different.
Early and Fast.


The romaji is something to avoid, It hinders the learning of japanese. If someone want to learn japanese should start as fast as he/she can to learn the two types of kana.

Also Tangorin is as good as (Denshi) Jisho as a dictionary...

P.S: If you want I can write this in spanish too.
My class is pretty slow paced. I am very conflicted about using romaji, but I can't help it. When I try to take notes I instinctively write in romaji because 1. I'm super slow at writing out the hiragana 2. my professor haven't gone through all the hiragana...but it's super cool when I'm typing it in, the kaji types itself out :D

My professor is teaching japanese 1 with a heavy emphasis on spoken Japanese. During the first day of class it caught me off guard to learn how to say sentences without first learning what the meaning of each word was. Right now I have trouble with voicing consonances and identifying glides like ya yu yo. Everytime I come across a word with " or the small circle I have to pause for like 10 seconds to convert the sound in my mind before reading it out loud. Any advice? or...is this just pure memorization? D:


I think, at the start, reading the Kana is hard for some. Practice, as always, is the best, so read things in kana as much as you can, even if you don´t understand what you read. And practice the writing if the kana everyday, doesn´t need to be a lot of time. With 10 or 15 minutes everyday, should be ok. You´ll get accustomed to it fast. As you write, should be engarved in your head the sound (as long as you learnt it in class). If you write a syllabel, try to pronounce it. This should help.

I liked a kid´s manga called Kocchi muite! Miiko こっちむいて!みい子 (Look here! I´m Miiko). My teacher lent me one of the books. It was full of kana. The first manga series of Miiko was called みい子で〜す! Miiko de~su! (I~'m Miiko!). With a total of 6 books. Kocchi muite! Miiko is on serialization, with 26 books up to now. And had an anime on 1998.

Doraemon ドラえもん or other kid´s manga/kodomo-muke manga/子供向け漫画, are always good options to read. At first, the point is just read the sillables. That´s all.

The japanese sounds are similar to spanish ones, so for me, I had no need to pronounce them over and over. I did just wrote all the syllables a lot.

When you´re confident with the two kana, then you can move to learn the Kanji.

The Kanji have two kinds of reading: the japanese pronunciation, when learning kanji, the original japanese pronunciation of the word, is written in hiragana. And the "chinese" pronunciation of a kanji, which is used commonly in compound words, is written in katakana.

This chinese pronunciation is weird as it´s derived from old chinese pronunciations of the kanjis. Also, the sounds were changed in japanese. Japanese has no tones, and lack some sounds of chinese...

Keep in mind a japanese kanji can have a lot of original japanese pronunciations, chinese pronunciations, or both.

Also, you can read japanese manga for free and 100% legal, on Zeppan, Zeppan Manga Toshokan, obviously, in japanese, of course.

http://www.zeppan.com//

The problem is they seem to have no kid´s manga. But you can read there, old manga, and not famous ones. The authors lend their works for the web page.
Ken Akamatsu (Akamatsu Ken in japanese order) put there Love Hina ラブひな for free. A famous, and big hit, comedic love story (and kinda ecchi/risqué/racy manga) he made around 1999 or so. I don´t remember when exactly. Also a lot of shônen manga has furigana (written readings of the kanji). So those, as Love Hina, are too, posible options to read sillables, even if you don´t understand what the words mean. Also a few manga on Zeppan are downloadable in pdf, as this Love Hina manga series.

He, Ken Akamatsu, started the free manga web J-comi, but what was there was moved recently to Zeppan. J-comi doesn´t exist anymore.

You can pay to be able to zoom and other things, but... You can enjoy it for free.

If you use Mozilla Firefox I recommend you to use the Rikaichan application, search for it on the web. When using it you can point a japanese word with your mouse and you´ll see and english translation above, but no grammatical explanation. This should help you to navigate through this Zeppan web. But bear in mind, when you open a book there, Rikaichan will be useless...
CaelK 
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Posted 9/17/14 , edited 9/17/14
To those who need a Japanese dictionary: since I'm sometimes without internet, I use Tagaini Jisho, which is a Windows program. You can use it to make word lists you can go over later as well. Whenever I see a word I don't know, I add it to my list so I don't forget it.


FlyinDumpling wrote:I am very conflicted about using romaji, but I can't help it.


You can use it as a crutch when you first start out, but understand that you can only use it to do so much. As long as you know what it can't help you with, you can still use it to help you with things it can. But you'll eventually have to ditch it, preferably sooner rather than later.

In my case, I self-studied with romaji at first, but I focused on understanding grammar structures and conjugation, and didn't even think about vocabulary at all. You can understand the basics of these without focusing too much on Japanese script, and when I officially took first year Japanese and even into my second year, nothing was really that difficult. I knew I had to drop it though, and did that as soon as I could.

Also, sheer memorization will always be involved when learning a language. It doesn't matter how you feel about it, if you want to learn Japanese, you'll have to memorize things... but memorization is only a matter of brute force. Anyone can do it, all it takes is time and determination.

It's good that you're getting into enunciation pretty early, though. It's better than pronouncing Japanese with a southern drawl for years, and keeping that drawl forever.


Aethix0 wrote:
It depends on the preferences of the translator and the target audience. Sometimes leaving "onii-chan" as it is can be perfectly acceptable. Personally, I'm partial to translations that leave such terms of address as they are. But if you're targeting a wider audience then that is infeasible, and you have to come up with a more localized translation.


Here's something that rocked my world one day.

I once asked myself, "How would I address my sister in Japanese?" The unsurprising answer was nee-chan, but I thought a little more about it. In English, I address her with just her first name. Not only that, calling her sister (or big sister) would be hella awkward.

So, what if I were translating a brother-sister conversation between us into Japanese? I might translate my sister's name into just nee-chan. But, would it make sense to go the other way? If I were instead translating that conversation to English, would I still use nee-chan, knowing that most English-speaking people would call their siblings by their first names?

... Once this thought struck me, I decided not to worry about rules and stuff and just do what felt right to me. No matter what happens, any translation will be based on its translator's interpretation of what's being said, and different people will interpret things in slightly different ways.

I've said it before: there are right translations and wrong translations, and some translations are better than others, but there is no single best translation. In fact, when you get to a certain point, what makes one translation better than another differs from person to person.

And that's when I stopped freaking out about translating stuff, and started having fun.
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