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Japanese lessons.

 
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Mengxia Yu
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 4:42 am    Post subject: Japanese lessons. Reply with quote

All Japanese lessons will go in this thread. Topics may be a little scattered until I can retrieve my Japanese textbook for structure.

I will try to provide a new lesson every Monday.

We are doing the lessons in the Fora rather than real-time lessons so that new girls can join us without getting lost.
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Mengxia Yu
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Location: Arkadya

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:07 am    Post subject: Lesson 1: Pronunciation and greetings Reply with quote

Lesson 1: Pronunciation and Greetings

Pronunciation

If you have studied Spanish, you ought to take to Japanese pronunciation easily.

A: Ah, as in "water"
E: Eh, as in "connect"
I: Ee, as in "free"
O: Oh, as in "throw"
U: Ooh, as in "tulip"

Vowels do not have the explosive start that vowels in English have. Try whispering the "a" in "anata" instead of pronouncing it by closing the back of your throat.

Double vowels are pronounced separately. For example, one word can be romanized "soo" or "sou". The double "o" does not make the "ooh" sound of English, but two "o" sounds. (Often, a double "o" is written as "ou" because that is how it is written in kana.)

R: Is a cross between the English "l" and "r". To make the sound, shape your lips to form the "r", but position your tongue to form the "l" and blow.

F: Is a softer sound than in English. Position your lips to form a "p" sound, but blow through them instead of pressing them together.

Emphasis always goes on the first syllable of the word unless otherwise indicated.

Often, the vowels at the end of a word (especially "desu") are whispered rather than spoken clearly. However, no letters in Japanese are silent. If you speak a letter clearly rather than whisper it, the worst that can happen is that you may speak with a dialect. (The women of Kyoto, for example, pronounce the full "u" of "desu".)

If we get a chance, we will practice pronunciation in voice chat.


Greetings

Ohayou gozaimasu. - Good morning.
This greeting is used before 10:00 AM.

Konnichi wa. - Good day/hello.
This greeting is generally used between 10:00 AM and 5:00 PM, but to use it at a different time would not constitute a great breach of etiquette.

Konban wa. - Good afternoon/good evening.
This greeting is used after 10:00 AM.

Oyasumi nasai. - Good night.
This farewell is only used before going to bed. Literally, "konya wa" would also translate to "good night", but this is not a greeting.

Moshi moshi. - Hello when answering the telephone.
Literally, "hello with intent to start a conversation," so you can also use "moshi moshi" when attempting to catch a maiden's attention.

Ogenki desu ka? - How are you?
Literally, "are you healthy/energetic"?

Hai, genki desu. - Yes, I am well.
Literally "yes, I am healthy/energetic".

Iie, genki dewa arimasen. - No, I am not well.
Literally "no, I am not energetic".

Hajimemashite. - It is a pleasure to meet you for the first time.

Vocabulary: That you'll rarely use
At the end of each lesson, I will give three or so obscure vocabulary words. They will rarely come up in regular conversation, but they are such fun to know! You will not be expected to memorize these.

Fuafua – Onomatopoeia for the sound of something fluffy.
Garagara – Onomatopoeia for the sound of something rusty scraping.
Zuruzuru – Onomatopoeia for the sound of something being dragged.

Kansai Ben
Of all of Japanese dialects, the dialect of the Kansai region (which includes Osaka and Kyoto) is the most well-known. Often equated with a Culverian southern drawl, it is softer and less explosive than standard Japanese. It is the standard language of the Kyoto geisha, and fun to learn! I would like to include a word or two of Kansai Ben with each lesson as well, just for fun. You will not be expected to memorize these either.

Kansai ben: Okini.
Standard Japanese: Arigatou.
English: Thank you.

At the end of this lesson, I would like some feedback. Is this a good amount of vocabulary? Too little?
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Minami Kohime



Joined: 10 Feb 2008
Posts: 39

PostPosted: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is wonderful exposition of basic japanese, Yu-chei. I liked it very much, and this amount of vocabulary for us starters seems quite fine and will not overload our studies, I believe. And, yes, the addition of such exquisite vocabulary like the kansai ben ones is such a wonderful idea!

Thank you very much for this first lesson!
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Sushuri Madonna
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doumo arigatou gozaimasu

Thank you so much for the lesson. I think it is taking it exactly right.

I do like the onomatopoeia! I was thinking that fuafua sounds fluffier in Japanese because the "f" sound is more like a gentle blowing - as of a maid blowing a puff-ball (gently - not trying to clear it in one!) - is this right?

I am not sure about how to make the non-attacking vowels though.
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Mengxia Yu
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Joined: 07 Feb 2008
Posts: 435
Location: Arkadya

PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:42 pm    Post subject: Lesson 2: Forms of Address Reply with quote

Lesson 2: Forms of Address

Prefixes and suffixes

-san: Equivalent of Miss.

-sama: Much more formal than Miss.

-chan: Despite its similarity to the Estrenne –chen and –chei, -chan is a casual suffix. It expresses affection. One might use it for a relative or a very good friend--someone with whom you are on a first-name basis.

-chin/-tan/-pi/-pin: These are actually made-up suffixes adopted by schoolgirls to sound even cuter than –chan. –chin and –tan are the most commonly used. They are only appropriate for casual conversation.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with Hello Kitty’s friend Keroppi? Her name, properly romanized Kero-pi would literally translate to something like “Little Miss Ribbety”.

O- : A prefix used to indicate that something is important. It is not used for people.

Take a look at these O- words:
Onamae - Name
Obento - Lunchbox
Ocha – Tea

Even “Otoiretto” (toilet) gets the honourific O-, because it is an important household appliance.


Pronouns

Watashi: I
Watakushi: I, more formal.
Anata: You
Kanojo: She/her
Ano hito: That person

You may sometimes hear the words "kimi", "boku", "ore", and "kare" used. "Kimi" is a less formal, more masculine form of "anata". "Boku" and "ore" are pronouns used exclusively by masculi. "Kare" is "he". We will not need these words, but you will run across them in Japanese television shows, music, and literature.

It is more appropriate to address someone by her name instead of a pronoun, if possible.


What's your name?

Onamae wa? - What is your name?

Watakushi no namae wa ____. - My name is ____.

Vocabulary: That you'll rarely use
Fumibako: A traditional box for storing stationery.
Kamakurabori: A traditional chest for storing Buddhist altar fittings.
Suzuribako: A traditional box for storing an ink stick.

Kansai Ben
Kansai ben: -han
Standard Japanese: -san
English: Miss-
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Mengxia Yu
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Posts: 435
Location: Arkadya

PostPosted: Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:47 pm    Post subject: Lesson 3: More Conversation Reply with quote

I apologize for the lack of lesson last week! I have been on spring break from university, and it totally slipped my mind!

Lesson 3: More Conversation

Ohisashiburi desu ne!: I haven't seen you for ages!

Moshi moshi: Hello (When answering the telephone.)
* Moshi moshi is "hello with the intent to start a conversation". Therefore, you can also use it when trying to get the attention of someone you want to talk to.


Gomen: Sorry

Gomen nasai: I'm sorry

Hontou ni gomen nasai: I'm truly sorry

Sumimasen: I'm sorry

Sumimasen ga...: Excuse me, but...


Ano hito wa dare desu ka?: Who is that person?

Ano: That

Hito: Person

Dare: Who


Arigatou!: Thanks!

Arigatou gozaimasu!: Thank you!

Doumo arigatou gozaimasu!: Thank you very much!


Vocabulary: That you'll rarely use
Rinzu – Damask silk with patterns woven in.
Ro – Open-weave silk.
Sha – Gauze silk that appears to have lines in it.

Kansai Ben
Kansai ben: Honma
Standard Japanese: Hontou
English: True, truly, real
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