Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Beautiful Woman

Hey guys! It's really hot recently, I'm sure Summer has come!!
It's not the cherry blossom season anymore, but I'd like to share this video today.
  千本桜(せんぼんざくら) /sen-bon-zakura/
*千(せん)/sen/ a thousand(1,000)
*本(ぼん)/bon/ This is so called "counters" in Japanese language.
When we count long things (such as pens, trees, sticks) use 本.
It's a little confusing because we pronounce it in three different ways (ほん/hon/ ぼん/bon/ぽん/pon/). It depends on the number.

For example:

I found a useful video!! Check it out and learn Japanese counters. ;)

If you got depressed because it seems hard, I have a good news for you. These "counters" aren't so many as Chinese! Haha

*桜(ざくら)/zakura/ cherry blossom
さくら/sakura/ becomes ざくら/zakura/ in a compound word. It changes because /zakura/ is easier to pronounce after /bon/.

By the way in this video they're playing Japanese traditional instrumentals. Did you notice? Japanese traditional music is considered as old, boring and sluggish, but there're some nice songs which arranged traditional music. Do you like it?

The vocal girl wears 着物(きもの)/kimono/. Can you see? I've introduced 振袖(ふりそで)/furisode/ before, which is also one kind of 着物. It's gorgeous, isn't it!!

Recently I became a fan of 竹下夢二/Takeshita Yumeji/, who is a Japanese painter. Women he painted are very beautiful and fascinating.

*Japanese Word of the Day*
a beautiful woman

The Kanji character has a meaning of "bauty". And means "a person".


Friday, June 13, 2014

Common Greeting Phrases in Japanese

Youtube is one of the awesome tools for learning a foreign language. I've studied basic Chinese on Youtube. There're also many videos which help you learn Japanese. I want to share one of it.

The title of the first lesson is はじめてのあいさつ. (First-meeting Greetings)
It has English subtitles from 1:40~. You can see its skit and key phrases on this website:

Lesson one :

So I'm gonna pick up one phrase from this video to introduce you.
みんな、よろしく頼(たの)むな (2:35~)
/minnna, yoroshiku tanomu-na/
I want you all to welcome her.

You guys may already know, but Japanese people really love to use this phrase. Not only when you meet someone for the first time, but also when you ask someone to do something, or when you want to show someone your cooperative attitude, you can say よろしく.

/nihon no koto wo takusan benkyou shitai node/
I want to learn all about Japan
よろしくお願(ねが)いします。 (02:56~)
/yoroshiku onegaishimasu/
I'm pleased to meet you.

お願(ねが)いします can be translated as "please" in English. The informal, casual form of it is お願い.

/onegai!! hyaku-man-en kashite!/
Please!! Lend me a million yen!

1 /ichi/
10 /juu/
100 /hyaku/
1,000 /sen/
10,000 /ichi-man/
100,000 /huaku-man/

円/yen/ is a Japanese currency.

あ、「さき」で良いから。よろしくね! (03:24~)
/a, saki de ii kara. yoroshiku ne/
Oh, "Saki" is fine. Nice to meet you!
Saki is a girl's name. (How Can I Call You?)  at the end of the sentence makes the sentence friendly. (See more explanation about ね in this post!)

These よろしく are used as greetings. As I said, we often use よろしく to ask someone to do something.

/kono purojekuto wa kimi ni makaseta. yoroshiku tanomu yo/
I'm leaving this project to you. I'm counting on you.

/tsuideni kore mo yoroshiku/
While you are at it, do me this favor!
When I'm washing dishes, my husband often comes over and hands me a mug that he used and says this phrase. Or, when I want him to mail a letter for me on his way, I hand him a letter and say it.

An the last phrase is;
/korekara mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu/
Please continue your support. Please keep in touch. I look forward our continued acquaintance. Be my friends all the time. I ask you further kindness... and so on!!


Saturday, June 7, 2014

Hardest Languages?

Learning a foreign language is not easy. If you've learned several languages, you may have found that some languages are comparatively harder than others. For native English speakers, to pick up Spanish is easier than to pick up Japanese. You'd feel more difficult to learn a certain language because it has less similarities to your mother tongue. Or, there're few materials to learn that language.

I want to share this infographic, which shows THE HARDEST LANGUAGES TO LEARN (for native English speakers). It's interesting. :)

Via: Voxy Blog

Well, according to this infographic, Japanese is categorized as HARD language. What do you think? It also means, it is very hard to learn English for me (a native Japanese speaker), right? It is, it is. So I'd be really appreciate it if you would help me with my English!X)

But it won't matter if it is the hardest language, if you really want to learn it.
"If you believe Japanese is difficult, vague, and illogical, it will be for you. But if you focus on the easy, concrete, logical bits first, you will learn much faster, and have a hell of lot more fun along the way. " ~John Fotheringham, Fluent in 3 Months: Is Japanese Hard? Why Japanese is easier than you think!

*Japanese Word of the Day*
/yareba dekiru/
I can do it if I do!!!

As you see, it doesn't have a subject. So it can be "YOU can do it" "WE can do it", or someone else can do it. It depends on the situation. Japanese language really loves to omit its subject in a sentence.

*やれば/yareba/ is the ba-conditional form of やる(to do). This form indicates the meaning of "if" "when" or "in case".

*できる/dekiru/ can do

ex) 正直(しょうじき)、できるかどうか、自信(じしん)がない。
/shoujiki, dekiru ka douka, jishin ga nai/
Frankly, I'm not sure whether I can do or not.

*~かどうか/...ka douka/ whether or not
*自信/jishin/ confidence
*ない/nai/ don't have, there aren't ⇔ ある/aru/ to have, there are

We never succeed if we don't try it. :)
Anyway, have a happy weekend!!