Friday, August 22, 2014

Japanese Phrases for Language Exchange (2)

The best way to be able to speak a foreign language fluently is to speak it a lot. It is very simple and makes sense. You can find a Language Exchange partner on the internet, and chat with him via Skype or other tools.

I know, but I still feel embarrassed. It would take a long time to speak even a simple, easy sentence, and I will make many mistakes. Don't you think so?
Well, don't worry. Your partner won't expect you to speak perfect sentences.
Do you remember this post? don't be embarrassed to make mistakes :)

I've written some basic and useful phrases for Language Exchange in a previous post. (Japanese Phrases for Language Exchange) In this post, I'm gonna introduce you some additional expressions.

/etto... chotto matte/
Let's see... Wait a moment

/so so/
Yeah, that's right

/wuun, nante iu-no kana/
Hmm... How can I say..

/n? dou iu koto?/
Hmm? What do you mean?

/etto, dakara/
Well, I mean...

/gomen, yoku kikoe-nai/
Sorry, I can't hear you well

/machigaete-tara, oshiete-kureru?/
Can you tell me if I make a mistake?

Do you understand?

/dou omou?/
What do you think?

/ah, machigaeta/
Oops, I made a mistake

/honto ni?/

/sou ja nakute/
It's not what I mean but...

I've written some basic and useful phrases for Language Exchange in a previous post. Please check it out! Japanese Phrases for Language Exchange

Let me know if you want to know how to say any phrases in Japanese. :)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Giving Responses in Japanese

If you have had a conversation with a friend from Japan, you might have noticed that Japanese people love to respond to a conversation frequently. It is called あいづち/aizuchi/.

"あいづち/aizuchi/ are phrases or responses that Japanese listeners give during a conversation to let the speaker know that they pay attention."

As she mentioned in this video, we prefer giving frequent responses to be polite. It's interesting that it makes her (and probably some of you) feel like to be rushed. What do you think? :)

Speaking of which, Taiwanese people say "Huuuh??"(in a big voice) when they don't get what I said. I was really shocked at first. (It still often happens though, my Chinese pronunciation is not so good) I depressed and lost confidence to speak Chinese every time.

This "Huuuh?!" or even "Huh?" sounds really mean for Japanese people. We say it when we really really upset, get angry or try picking a fight.

Now I know they don't mean at all, but I still feel like to be blamed. haha... Well, How about you? Do you have ever been surprised or shocked by customs in another country?

*Japanese Word of the Day*
/e? gomen, nante?/
Huh? Sorry, come again?

*なんて/nante/ is omitted phrase of なんて言(い)ったの? which means "What did you say?"

It's really common way to say between close friends.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Japanese TV Commercials and Traditional Folktale (2)

Once upon a time,

a troop of huge ogres came to a village.

The ogres were too strong

so that the villager couldn't deal with them.

Since Momotarou had it by hearsay,

he took a dog, a monkey and a pheasant along, and

headed for Ogres' island.

*Japanese Word of the Day*
/zjibun yori tsuyoi yatsu wo taose/
Beat someone stronger than you

*自分(じぶん)/jibun/ myself
*AよりB /A yori B/ B rather than A
*強(つよ)い /tsuyoi/ strong

*やつ /yatsu/ someone, something, the one
It indicates both a person or a thing, but it sounds a little impolite when it means a person.
ex) カバン取ってくれない?黄色(きいろ)いやつ
Can you pass me the bag? The yellow one.

ex) あんたってほんとに嫌(いや)なやつだね。
You are really repellent fellow.

*倒(たお)せ /taose/ the imperative form of 倒(たお)す/taosu/.

I thought it has Episode.2, but it doesn't. There're only Episode.ZERO and Episode.1. So that's all it! If you have any questions about the script above, or anything else, feel free to leave a comment.

By the way, I came back to Japan now! :D

My hometown
Kanazawa city

Thank you for reading!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Japanese TV Commercials and Traditional Folktale (1)

I've introduced some Japanese TV commercials before.
- How Japanese People Think of English
- Can You Buy Your Dream With Money?
- Have You Met an Alien Before?

And again, I'm gonna show you a cool commercial in this post! It has subtitles but it's in Japanese. So I translated them into English for you guys. To begin with, I have to tell you about one of the old stories in Japan, called 桃太郎(ももたろう) /momotarou/Peach Boy.

All Japanese people must have heard of 桃太郎 in his or her childhood. Roughly, the story goes like this: An old lady found a giant peach floating down a river. The old lady and her husband discovered a child inside the peach when they tried to eat it, and the child was welcomed by them as their son. The child was named as 桃太郎. Years later, 桃太郎 came to know that their village was often attacked by ogres. And he decided to leave his village to fight them. On his way to the ogres' island, he met a dog, a monkey, and a pheasant. These animals agreed to help him in his quest. And yes, they succeeded in putting the ogres down.

Okay, now enjoy the video! :)

This is the story of when Momotarou hasn't met the dog, the monkey, and the pheasant yet.

Momotarou challenged the ogres to fight by himself.

However, the ogres had a greater power than he expected.

Beaten Momotarou visited a master swordsman.

その男(おとこ)の名(な)は、宮本武蔵(みやもと むさし)。
The name of that person is Miyamoto Musashi.
*Miyamoto Musashi is a very famous swordsman in Japan.
(More information: Who Is Musashi Miyamoto?)

Momotarou received his training from Musashi,

and then, became able to prove himself a good match for Musashi.

最後の日 武蔵は桃太郎に剣を授けました。
The last day, Musashi gave him a sword.

Actually, 宮本武蔵 doesn't appear in the story of 桃太郎. But it makes this commercial special, and interesting. I'll show you the following episodes in the next post! :)

If you have any questions feel free to ask me. :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

It's been a year since...!

It's been a year since I started to write  this blog!! :D
I appreciate your continued support. Thank you guys!

*Japanese Word of the Day*
/burogu wo hajimete ichi-nen tachi-masu/
It's been a year since I started this blog.

*~を始(はじ)める /...wo hajimeru/ to start...

*年(ねん) /nen/ year

1年 /ichi-nen/ a year
2年 /ni-nen/ two years
3年 /san-nen/ three years
4年 /yo-nen/ four years
5年 /go-nen/ five years
6年 /roku-nen/ six years
7年 /nana-nen/ or /shichi-nen/ seven years
8年 /hachi-nen/ eight years
9年 /kyuu-nen/ nine years
10年 /juu-nen/ ten years

半年(はんとし)/han-toshi/ half a year
1(いち)年半(ねんはん)/ichi-nenhan/ half and a year
2(に)年半 /ni-nenhan/ half and two years

Or, we also use Kanji to write the numbers. Have you seen the numbers in Kanji characters? From one to ten; 一,二,三,四,五,六,七,八,九,十.

How about the months?
一か月 /i-kkagetsu/ (How to pronounce it? Check it out here!)
二か月 /ni-kagetsu/
三か月 /san-kagetsu/
四か月 /yon-kagetu/
五か月 /go-kagetsu/
六か月 /ro-kkagetsu/
七か月 /nana-kagetsu/
八か月 /hachi-kagetsu/ or /ha-kkagetsu/
九か月 /kyuu-kagetsu/
十か月 /ju-kkagetsu/

なります is masu-form (the polite form) of なる.
*~になる / naru/ to become, to turn, to change
ex) 大人(おとな)になる /otona ni naru/ to become an adult

If it's an adjective or an adverb, ~になる changes like below.
悲(かな)しい+~になる → 悲しなる
可愛(かわい)い+~になる → 可愛なる
高(たか)い+~になる → 高なる
速(はや)い+~になる → 早なる 

ex) 去年(きょねん)より可愛(かわい)くなったね。
/kyonen yori kawai-ku natta ne/
You became cuter than last year.
*去年 /kyonen/ last year
*~より /...yori/ than...
*なった /natta/ changed (the past form of なる)

ex) 英語(えいご)が上手(うま)くなりたい。
/eigo ga umaku nari-tai/
I want to be fluent in English.
*英語 /eigo/ English
*~が上手(うま)い /umai/ good at...
*なりたい /naritai/ want to become
なる(to change) + たい(want to)

I hope my English got better. How long have you studied Japanese? Please leave your comments and practice your Japanese! I'd be glad if I can be your help. :D