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Intro to Japanese

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16 Re: Intro to Japanese on Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:54 pm

@ Previous questions. We cleared up some of the remaining ones on skype, but thanks for clarifying my suspicious on "mono".

Anyway, verbs. Always exciting! You say not to worry about the forms yet, so I assume we'll learn other conjugations and forms... such as te form (which is the command form, iirc?), and we'll get your special song! I am curious if plain form is ever used in conversation. Actually, relating to plain form and "suru", I swear I remember hearing how there's the "o" particle that's used with "suru" to combine with certain nouns to make a verb. Or, rather, to make it into what would be a verb in English. But, that's probably getting ahead of your lessons.

I am, naturally, immediately curious how multiple verbs would get placed into a sentence, or even how multiple subjects are handled. Then again, in our conversation you talked about how subjects are usually dropped. I've been looking out for that while watching anime, actually. I like to try to apply my Japanese learning to the shows I watch to see if I can catch words and grammar within sentences, and I also try to read signs in the background, too... It's kind of silly, I know, but it's also fun.

Anyway, with that forced segue... from Genki and anime I've picked up on certain phrases that seem connected to the verbs you introduced. Specifically, わかる and かえる. As far as I know, おかえり is what you would say to greet someone when they return home (ただいま!) ((Do/does Japanese use exclamation marks?)). I can't help but notice "okaeri" is essentially the "masu" conjugation without the actual "masu" and an "o" added onto it. I wonder what the connection is. Actually, I just googled this and noticed that "tadaima" is actually shortened from "tadaima kaerimashita".... And also noticing that kaerimashita is kaeru -> kaerimasu -> kaerimashita.

.......

Okay, I am getting way too ahead, aren't I? Feel free to save these for later.

For wakaru (slacking on hiragana/italics/quotations now because I'm lazy. I can write it properly, don't worry), I've always heard "wagata" as a way to say, "I understand". Is is actually "wakata" in that instance and I'm just completely mishearing it? Wouldn't be the first time.


P.S.

There are other verbs that have some weird spelling quirks when conjugated, just to make them easier to pronounce and shit.

Mangeons immediately came to mind.

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17 Re: Intro to Japanese on Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:19 pm

Kiyoko

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Gonna skip on answering a lot of your verb questions for now, since I'll get to them in later lessons. They're all really good questions though. I'll touch on some of them at a really high level, but rest assured, I'm not ignoring you or anything.

Plain form is used in casual conversation with friends. Using plain form is equivalent to using "tu" in Spanish/French or "du" in German.

You can stick する (suru) at the end of a lot of nouns to mean "do [noun]," e.g. べんきょう (benkyou) means "studies" and べんきょうする (benkyou suru) means "to study." Not every noun, but a lot of them. Will touch on this more in a later lesson.

Re: verbs getting strung together, you actually do that with the て (te) form, so that's another thing I'll get to later, haha. So while you're right in that the て (te) form is used as the imperative, it's also used for a lot of other grammatical things.

おかえり (okaeri) is actually short for おかえりなさい (okaerinasai) which is another form of imperative. なさい (nasai) form is for like, a mother telling her kids to go clean their rooms. The phrases おかえりなさい (okaerinasai) meaning "welcome home," lit. "please return" and おやすみなさい (oyasuminasai) "good night," lit. "please rest" are just kind of set phrases, so don't try to think about them too literally.

ただいま (tadaima) means "just now," which comes from ただいまかえりました (tadaima kaerimashita) like you said, which means "I returned just now."

わかった (wakatta) is the past tense plain form of わかる (wakaru). :>

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18 Re: Intro to Japanese on Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:18 pm

Kiyoko

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LESSON 7: OBJECT MARKER を

I introduced verbs last time, but didn't really ask you to pay attention to any specific verbs. Let's pick one.

たべる
taberu
to eat

So you already know how to say, "I eat," which would be

わたし は たべます。
watashi wa tabemasu.
I eat.

But you don't yet know how to say what exactly it is that you're eating. For this, you will first need to learn some English grammar.

DIRECT OBJECTS

What is a direct object? According to google, it's "a noun phrase denoting a person or thing that is the recipient of the action of a transitive verb." But in actual normal people English, a direct object is just "the thing you do stuff to."

So when we're talking about what we're eating, the direct object is usually the food. In the sentence, "I eat sushi," I am the subject and sushi is the direct object.

THE PARTICLE を

Just like how there's a marker for subjects, は (wa), there is also a marker for objects を (wo). Continuing the trend of particles being really weird pronunciation-wise, this one can either be pronounced "wo" like "woah dude I'm tripping balls" or "o" like "oh crap." Except with Japanese accents or something.

So like は (wa), を (wo) goes behind the object that it's referencing.

わたし は すし を たべます。
watashi wa sushi wo tabemasu.
I eat sushi.

Naturally, you can use を (wo) in any kind of sentence that involves a direct object.

わたし は ほん を よみます。
watashi wa hon wo yomimasu.
I read a book.

ねこはみずをのみます。
neko wa mizu wo nomimasu.
The cat drinks water.

かれはマフィアをあそびます。
kare wa mafia wo asobimasu.
He plays mafia.

A NOTE ON PHRASE ORDER

So you'll notice in the above sentences that I use the following structure:

subject は object を verb.

While this is I think the most common way to structure it, it's actually not completely wrong to put the object in the front.

object を subject は verb.

Which would emphasize the object in a way that translates to something like, "The sushi, I eat it."

So in English, we have a fairly strict subject-object-verb ordering. "The dog eats the cat" is a valid sentence. "The cat eats the dog" is also a valid sentence, but with a completely different meaning. We're used to the thing that comes first being the one that does the eating.

In Japanese and quite a few other languages, the exact ordering of the phrases isn't as important as in English, because you've got those handy particle markers to tell you what is what.

It's like saying:

The dog (the one doing the eating), the cat (the one being eaten), eats.
The cat (the one being eaten), the dog (the one doing the eating), eats.

No matter what order it's in, you still know which creature is the one verbing and which one is being verbed.

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19 Re: Intro to Japanese on Sun Aug 02, 2015 7:36 pm

Kiyoko

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LESSON 8: OBJECTS, CONTINUED

Since I'm marketing this thread as an Intro to Japanese: The Language and not just Intro to Japanese: The Grammar, I'm going to give you some useful vocab so that you can actually use this を thing you keep hearing about. I'm going to group this by verb.

たべる (TABERU) - TO EAT

As a reminder, the ます (masu) form of たべる (taberu) is たべます (tabemasu).

Here's some food vocab for you. I'm not including things like すし (sushi) or うどん (udon) which are already Japanese, because then I would be saying the same word three times.

A lot of food is really just the English word in Katakana. I included a few of those below just because they're common, but chances are, if you don't know what a food is called in Japanese, say the English word with a Japanese accent and you're probably right.

Food Vocab:

hiragana/katakanapronunciationmeaning
__________________________________________________
たべものtabemonofood
あさごはんasagohanbreakfast
ひるごはんhirugohanlunch
ばんごはんbangohandinner
りんごringoapple
バナナbananabanana
ぎゅうにくgyuunikubeef
パンpanbread
にんじんninjincarrot
チーズchiizucheese
とりにくtorinikuchicken
たまごtamagoegg
さかなsakanafish
ぶどうbudougrape
にくnikumeat
ピザpizapizza
ぶたにくbutanikupork
ごはんgohanrice
いちごichigostrawberry
すいかsuikawatermelon

And just for completion's sake, here are a few examples.

わたし は いちご を たべます。
watashi wa ichigo wo tabemasu.
I eat strawberries. / I eat a strawberry.

あなた は あさごはん を たべます。
anata wa asagohan wo tabemasu.
You eat breakfast.

かれ は なに を たべます か。
kare wa nani wo tabemasu ka.
What is he eating?

のむ (NOMU) - TO DRINK

The ます (masu) form of のむ (nomu) is のみます (nomimasu).

Drink Vocab:

hiragana/katakanapronunciationmeaning
__________________________________________________
のみものnomimonodrink
さけsakealcohol/sake
ビールbiirubeer
こうちゃkouchablack tea
コーヒーkoohiicoffee
ジュースjyuusujuice
ぎゅうにゅうgyuunyuumilk
おちゃochatea (usually green tea)
みずmizuwater

Some cultural notes here. さけ (sake) generally means all alcohol in general, but it can also mean literally sake. It's like how in South Carolina they ask you if you want a Coke and when you say yes, they're like "Coke or Pepsi?" and you're like "What the actual hell I thought I just said Coke" and they're like "Oh sorry, in your strange foreign tongue I meant do you want a soda?"

In any case, some example sentences.

ねこ は みず を のみます。
neko wa mizu wo nomimasu.
The cat drinks water.

あなた は さけ を のみます か。
anata wa sake wo nomimasu ka.
Are you drinking alcohol?

かう (KAU) - TO BUY

The ます (masu) form of かう (kau) is かいます (kaimasu).

General Buying Things Vocab:

hiragana/katakanapronunciationmeaning
__________________________________________________
ふくfukuclothing
でんちdenchibattery
ほんhonbook
じしょjishodictionary
はなhanaflowers
しょくりょうひんshokuryouhingroceries/foodstuffs
ふうとうfuutouenvelope
くすりkusurimedicine
しんぶんshinbunnewspaper
ノートnootonotebook
ぺんpenpen
プレゼントpurezentopresent/gift
くつkutsushoes
みやげmiyagesouvenir
おもちゃomochatoy

Okay so you can basically buy anything on the planet except, apparently, happiness. So I'm not going to list everything here. In case you're wondering where the hell this random assortment of vocab came from... it's my Amazon shopping history, okay?

Also here:

たなかさん は ふく を かいます。
Tanaka-san wa fuku wo kaimasu.
Mr. Tanaka buys clothing.

かのじょ は なに を かいます か。
kanojo wa nani wo kaimasu ka.
What is she buying?

PRACTICE

Translate the following into Japanese:


  1. I eat an apple.
  2. He drinks milk.
  3. They eat meat.
  4. We buy clothing.
  5. You buy a gift.
  6. What is he eating?
  7. Are they buying alcohol?
  8. You guys drink tea.


Translate the following into English:


  1. かのじょたち は コーヒー を のみます。
  2. かれら は おちゃ を のみますか。
  3. あなた は おもちゃ を かいます。
  4. かれ は すいか を かいます。
  5. わたしたち は みず を のみます。
  6. かのじょ は ひるごはん を たべます。
  7. あなたたち は なに を かいますか。
  8. わたし は くつ を かいます。


Go ahead and make up a few sentences of your own, if you want.



Last edited by Kiyoko on Mon Aug 03, 2015 2:10 am; edited 2 times in total

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20 Re: Intro to Japanese on Sun Aug 02, 2015 8:44 pm

Kiyoko

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LESSON 9: NEGATIVE MASU FORM ません

So the reason all these Japanese courses want you to start with the ます (masu) form is partially because it's what you'll most commonly be using in polite conversation, but also partially because it's really, really easy to conjugate.

LESSON 3 REFRESHER: NEGATIVE SENTENCES

So if you remember back in Lesson 3, I mentioned how to negate the word です (desu), which is to change it to じゃ ありません (ja arimasen).

あれ は いぬ です か。いいえ、あれ は いぬ じゃ ありません。
are wa inu desu ka? iie, are wa inu ja arimasen.
Is that a dog? No, that is not a dog.

Pay attention to that "arimasen" part, it's gonna look really familiar soon.

NEGATING ます (MASU)

Okay, get this. To make a verb negative, you take the ます part, and turn it into ません.

たべます (taberu) → たべません (tabemasen)
のみます (nomimasu) → のみません (nomimasen)
かいます (kaimasu) → かいません (kaimasen)

So, if you wanted to say, "I don't eat an apple":

わたし は りんご を たべません。
watashi wa ringo wo tabemasen.
I don't eat an apple.

That's it. Really.

WAIT BUT WHAT ABOUT じゃ ありません

じゃ ありません (ja arimasen) ends with ません (masen) so it must be a verb too, right?

Yeah. The verb in question is ある (aru), which in masu form is あります (arimasu), and means "to be" or "to exist." じゃ (ja) is a shortening of では (de wa), which is related to です (desu) in a way we will discuss later, so you can ignore it for now.

But for all intents and purposes, just treat じゃ ありません (ja arimasen) as its own phrase that means "is not."

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU ADD か (KA) TO THE END OF ません (MASEN)?

So you're smart and you remember that to ask questions, you add か (ka) to the end of a sentence.

When you add か (ka) to the end of a sentence that originally ended in ません (masen), something magical happens. You gain a social life.

ません か (masen ka) is used to extend polite invitations to someone, and roughly translates to, "won't you...?" or "would you like to...?" For example:

おちゃ を のみません か。
ocha wo nomimasen ka.
Would you like to drink tea?

The subject あなた (anata) here is dropped because you're talking directly to the person, and so it's implied. The Japanese actually really like dropping all their subjects like it's hot, and so the vast majority of Japanese sentences don't have a subject at all. But I've been including subjects in these lessons because English speakers tend to freak out when you don't have a subject.

To avoid ambiguity, you usually prepend your invitations with the phrase いっしょ に (issho ni) which means "together", e.g.

いっしょ に おちゃ を のみません か。
issho ni ocha wo nomimasen ka.
Would you like to drink tea together?

But this is just a little cultural note. If you want to be a lonely miser for the rest of your life and never invite anyone to anything ever, you can feel free to ignore this section.

PRACTICE

Take all your practice sentences from lesson 8 and negate them.

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21 Re: Intro to Japanese on Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:07 am

Kiyoko wrote:
PRACTICE

Translate the following into Japanese:


  1. I eat an apple.
  2. He drinks milk.
  3. They eat meat.
  4. We buy clothing.
  5. You buy a gift.
  6. What is he eating?
  7. Are they buying alcohol?
  8. You guys drink tea.


Translate the following into English:


  1. かのじょたち は コーヒー を のみます。
  2. かれら は おちゃ を のみますか。
  3. あなた は おもちゃ を かいます。
  4. かれ は すいか を かいます。
  5. わたしたち は みず を のみます。
  6. かのじょ は ひるごはん を たべます。
  7. あなたたち は なに を かいますか。
  8. わたし は くつ を かいます。


Go ahead and make up a few sentences of your own, if you want.


  1. わたしはりんごをたべます。
  2. かれはぎゅうにゅうをのみます。
  3. かれらはにくをたべます。
  4. わたしたちはふくをかいます。
  5. あなたはプレゼントをかいます。
  6. かれはなにをたべますか。
  7. かれらはビールをかいますか。
  8. あなたたちはおちゃをのみます。



  1. They drink coffee. / The girls drink coffee? ***
  2. They drink tea? / Do they drink tea?
  3. You buy a toy.
  4. He buys a watermelon.
  5. I drink water.
  6. She eats lunch.
  7. What did you guys buy?
  8. I buy shoes.


*** For かのじょたち does that ever get specified as "the girls"? Would かれら ever get specified as "the boys"? I feel like I asked this before... Let me check.

I already forwarded all of my questions about the lesson to you on Skype! But for others, I found it so fascinating how rice is synonymous with meal. Very neat!

I totally need to actually practice some of the vocabulary you've supplied. Let's try some...

Wait. How would I utilize numbers in these sentences? Like to say I bought buy 10 pizzas (since I don't know past tense yet, I think?).

わたしはほんをかいます。あなたはピザをかいます。あなたはピザをたべます。きよこせんせはコーヒーをのみます。

Hmm... I wanted to combine some of the yes/no, too, but now I'm curious. Your examples gave me an idea. How do you specifically say:

"That cat is drinking water."? Is it implied by context? Or... I seem to remember once reading about kono, ano, sono? I forget which is which.

このねこはみずをのみます。

Is that right?

Also, how would you do two subjects for an object? "The cat and dog are drinking water."? Or say, "The cat drank the water and the dog ate the meat."?


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22 Re: Intro to Japanese on Tue Aug 04, 2015 2:23 pm

This looks interesting. I haven't taken Japanese in years and need a refresher. I'll probably go through later. For now, I will be a terrible student and interrupt a lesson. Don't send me outside, sensei.

My interest was immediately piqued when I saw you mention teaching Japanese I for three years! In what capacity did you do this? :Oc


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23 Re: Intro to Japanese on Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:22 am

Kiyoko

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@Luxaria: All of your answers are correct! よくできました!

Luxaria wrote:For かのじょたち does that ever get specified as "the girls"? Would かれら ever get specified as "the boys"?

Well, かのじょたち (kanojo-tachi) is a pronoun, whereas "the girls" isn't. To clarify the difference, it's like saying:

"Oh hey, it's Suzy's friend group. They're going into Hot Topic."
vs.
"Oh hey, it's Suzy's friend group. The girls are going into Hot Topic."

So you can see how it wouldn't be a perfect translation.

Luxaria wrote:Wait. How would I utilize numbers in these sentences? Like to say I bought buy 10 pizzas (since I don't know past tense yet, I think?).

So Japanese, like Chinese, has a hilariously complex counting system where you have a different suffix for each number depending on the shape or quality of the objects you're counting.

For example, if there was one dog, you'd use the counter いっぴき (ippiki) meaning "one small animal," but if there was a sheet of paper you'd use the counter いちまい (ichimai) meaning "one sheet."

For obvious reasons, I'm not going to go fully into this now.


Luxaria wrote:きよこせんせはコーヒーをのみます。

Missed a character here.

Luxaria wrote:How do you specifically say: "That cat is drinking water."?

"That" would be その (sono) for something far from the speaker but somewhat close to the listener, or あの (ano) for something far from both of them. この (kono) is "this." Again, will go into this later.

Luxaria wrote:Also, how would you do two subjects for an object? "The cat and dog are drinking water."? Or say, "The cat drank the water and the dog ate the meat."?

These would be two different types of "and," so I'll go over that later, too. Sit tight.

plotstickers wrote:My interest was immediately piqued when I saw you mention teaching Japanese I for three years! In what capacity did you do this? :Oc

I used to take Japanese over the summer, and eventually I ran out of courses to take so they asked me to be a teacher's assistant for the beginner classes. Did that for a few more years, along with one-on-one Japanese tutoring on the side.

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24 Re: Intro to Japanese on Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:54 am

Kiyoko

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LESSON 10: PAST TENSE MASU FORM ました

I mentioned before how we're learning ます (masu) form because it's easy as hell to conjugate, and this continues to be true.

To make a ます (masu) form verb past tense, just change the ます (masu) to ました (mashita).

たべます (taberu) → たべました (tabemashita)
のみます (nomimasu) → のみました (nomimashita)
かいます (kaimasu) → かいました (kaimashita)

That's it really. This is the only past tense. There's no difference between imperfect and preterite and present perfect or whatever.

So continuing the trend from last lesson:

わたし は りんご を たべました。
watashi wa ringo wo tabemashita.
I ate an apple.

PAST TENSE OF です

There is a past tense of です (desu). It is でした (deshita). This should surprise no one.

わたしたち は こども です。
watashitachi wa kodomo desu.
We are children.

わたしたち は こども でした。
watashitachi wa kodomo deshita.
We were children.

PRACTICE

Take all the sentences from lesson 8 and make them past tense, I guess.


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