Thursday, May 28, 2015

Loan Words in Japanese

*Japanese word of the day*

Guess what this word means! As you see, it consists of 3 Kanji characters: 外(がい) + 来(らい) + 語(ご). Perhaps you've learnt each Kanji of it. , which is also read as /soto/, means "outside".
You know the verb 来(く)る /kuru/, "to come", don't you? And the last Kanji , it means "words" or "language". 日本語(にほんご) Japanese, 英語(えいご) English, 中国語(ちゅうごくご) Chinese...

The words came from outside? Yes, 外来語 means "loan words"!

There're many 外来語 in Japanese. Most of them are from English words. Here're some tips to make good use of them to build your vocabulary!

(1) They're written in Katakana

/atarashiku oopun shita kafe de, ranchi setto wo oodaa shita./
I ordered lunch set in the newly opened cafe.

オープン(おーぷん) /o-pun/ open
カフェ(かふぇ) /kafe/ cafe
ランチセット(らんちせっと) /ranchi setto/ lunch set
オーダー(おーだー) /oodaa/ order

I do recommend you to learn Katakana since it is written everywhere!

(2) Just add vowels

In Japanese, consonants aren't pronounced independently.  That's why all sylabbles in Japanese , except 5 vowels あ/a/ い/i/ う/u/ え/e/ お/o/ and ん/n/, are consist of a consonant and a vowel. You'll get it if you see 50 sounds table!

/sumairu wa puraisu resu/
Smile is priceless!

スマイル(すまいる) /sumairu/ smile
プライスレス(ぷらいすれす) /puraisu resu/ priceless

It seems that if the first syllable of the word is sequence of consonants, like "smile" or "price", we tend to add the vowel sound "u". The pronounciation of "s" of "smile" becomes /su/, and "p" of "price" becomes /pu/. Isn't it? :D

Also, when a consonant ends a word, we have to add a vowel to pronounce it. The word "lunch" ends with "ch", but we pronounce it as /ranchi/. Let's see other loan words that end in "ch" or "tch".

ビーチ(びーち)/biichi/ beach
キャッチ(きゃっち) /kyacchi/ catch
コーチ(こーち)/koochi/ coach
スクラッチ(すくらっち)/sukuracchi/ scratch

Now I found that the pronunciation of "ch" wich is at the end of the word is usually changes into チ/chi/ in Japanese.

How about the words ending in "t"?
ポリグロット(ぽりぐろっと)/porigurotto/ polyglot
リスト(りすと)/risuto/ list
ホット(ほっと)/hotto/ hot
カット(かっと)/katto/ cut

And the words ending in "s" or "x"?
サーカス(さーかす)/saakasu/ circus
ミックス(みっくす)/mikkusu/ mix
リラックス(りらっくす)/rirakkusu/ relax
ワックス(わっくす)/wakkusu/ wax

Yeah, there must be some patterns!

The words ending in "l".
コントロール(こんとろーる)/kontorooru/ controll
ルール(るーる)/ruuru/ rule
ショッピングモール(しょっぴんぐもーる)/shoppingu mooru/ shopping mall

The syllable ん/n/ is kind of speciall. It's a consonant without vowels but you can use it at the end of the word.
カン(かん)/kan/ can
トーン(とーん)/toon/ tone

If the original word ends in "ng", it will be ん/n/ or んぐ/ngu/.
バン!(ばん)/ban/ bang!
ピンポン(ぴんぽん)/pinpon/ pingpong
ホンコン(ほんこん)/honkon/ Hongkong
キングコング(きんぐこんぐ)/kingu kongu/ king kong

And "m" inside the word is also pronounced as ん/n/.
ハンバーガー(はんばーがー)/hanbaagaa/ hamburger
コンプレックス(こんぷれっくす)/konpurekkusu/ complex
*In Japanese コンプレックス usually indicates "inferiority complex"
コンピューター(こんぴゅーたー)/konpyuutaa/ computer

How do you pronounce these words as loan words in Japanese?

(1) Princess
(2) Camp
(3) Punch

That's all for today! Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you like this post! Please try the quize and feel free to leave a comment. See you again ; )

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Who Gives It To Whom?

*Japanese Word of the Day*
/oshiete kurete arigatou/
Thank you for letting me know!

The other day, my friend asked me that what くれて in this sentence means.
I think it's a very good question, so I'd like to share my answer with you guys. ;)

You know ありがとう/arigatou/ means "thank you", and 教(おし)える/oshieru/ means "to teach" or "to tell". This phrase can be translated as "thank you for teaching me" or "I appreciate your advice".

教えてくれて is consist of two verbs, 教える and くれる.
Let me show you some example sentences to see what the verb くれる/kureru/ means when it is used alone.

/ojiichan wa itsumo okashi wo kureru/
Grandpa always gives me some snacks.

/kareshi ga purezento wo kureta/
My boyfriend gave me a present.
*Here, くれた is the past tense of くれる.

/haha ga okozukai wo kureta/
My mother gave me some allowance.

/hayaku mizu wo kure/
Give me water quickly!!
*くれ is the imperative (command) form of くれる. It sounds very rude. If you want something, you'd better to use the polite form of it, ください.

/reshiito wo kudasai/
Please give me a receipt.

Now, did you notice that the object of くれる is always "me"?
Grandpa gives me blablabla, my boyfriend gave me blablabla, please give me blablabla... You don't have to add 私に/watasi ni/ "to me" when you use くれる because I know くれる always indicates that the speaker is the one who's given something.

But, in the other words, くれる basically cannot be used when the object is not yourself. It sounds a bit strange if you say 母が妹におこづかいをくれた. Sometimes we'd say like this but it implies another meaning.

Well, then how should I say "to give something to someone else"?

In this case, you should use あげる/ageru/ instead.

/haha ga imouto ni okozukai wo ageta/
My mother gave my sister some allowance.

Both くれる and あげる mean "to give", but the point of view is totally different. Let's look at some example sentences of あげる.

/ato de ageru ne/
I'll give it to you later.

/inu ni tamanegi wo agete wa ikenai/
You must not give a dog onions.

/mado kara pankuzu wo ageta/
I gave (fed) crumbs through the window.

You know, Japanese language often omit the subject of the sentence. So it might be "I gave crumbs through the window" or "An old lady gave crumbs through the window" or somebody else did. It depends on the context. Also, this sentence doesn't mention that to whom I (or somebody else) gave crumbs.

Please have a look at the sentence below.

/mado kara pankuzu wo kureta/

Now I changed the verb of the sentence (あげたくれた). You still don't know the subject of the sentence, but you can guess who got crumbs. It's me (the speaker of the sentence)! As I said, くれる suggests that the speaker is the one who gets something.

We won't say あげる when the speaker is the one who gets something. So 彼氏が私にプレゼントをあげる sounds unnatural.

And one more important property of this verb―gratitude! :)
When I say パンくずをくれた, it implies that I appreciate the one who gave me crumbs. Maybe I was too hungry? Or I love crumbs? Who cares! XD Anyway, this verb くれる shows that you feel thankful, or you are happy to get something.

What to say when you're not happy to get something? Or you don't want to use the words which contain gratitude? For example, your dad gave you a thick math book for your birthday. If you love math (do you?!), then you can say:

/chichi ga tanjoubi ni suugaku no hon wo kureta/
My father gave me a thick math book. (and I'm happy to get it)

But if you don't like math and you're not happy at all to get such a present, you should say like this:

/chichi kara tanjoubi ni suugaku no hon wo moratta/

もらう/morau/ is a verb which means "to get" or "to receive". So the subject of this sentence is "I", but I just omitted it. The full sentence is: 私(わたし)は父(ちち)から誕生日(たんじょうび)に数学(すうがく)の本(ほん)をもらった You can say もらう orからもらう. Here I used から to avoid repetition of (父誕生日に...).

See more explanation of から!

By the way, I guess you've learnt ください as "please". Yes, it means "please" when it's used with other verbs. You can also use くれ to ask someone to do something, but it sounds arrogant.

/mado wo shimete kudasai/
Please close the window.

/issho ni kite kudasai/
Please come with me.

/hottoite kure/
Leave me alone, please.

OK, now let's look at the first sentence 教えてくれてありがとう. What くれる of 教えてくれる means? The role of くれる isn't same as ください in above sentences, I think.

Let's compare two sentences.

(1) 友達(ともだち)が私(わたし)におもしろいゲーム(げーむ)を教(おし)えた。
/tomodachi ga watashi ni omoshiroi geemu wo oshiete kureta/

(2) 友達(ともだち)がおもしろいゲーム(げーむ)を教(おし)えてくれた
/tomodachi ga omoshiroi geemu wo oshiete kureta/

Both can be translated as "My friend told me about an interesting game." What are the differences between them? I want you to remember that くれる implies the speaker feel thankful about it. You can see that the speaker of (2) probably feels happy to know about the game. Or, he thinks what his 友達 did was good for him.

Do you get the picture? :)

/ane ga issho ni kite kureta/
My sister came with me. (And I appreciate about it)

/kare wa itsumo watashi ni hanashi kakete kureru/
He always speaks to me. (And I think he's very kind)

/kite kurete ureshii yo/
I'm glad you came.

We often use it with other verbs when we ask something casually.

/chotto mado wo akete kureru/
Can you open the window? (And I'd be appreciate if you'd do that)

/kono bunshou wo naoshite kureru/
Can you correct these sentences for me? (And it'd be very helpful if you could)

Sometimes it sounds a biiiiit arrogant. So we tend to use くれない, which is the negative form of くれる. If you want to make it more polite, you can say くれますか instead of くれる. And also, くれませんか sounds more soft.

Agh, I know it's confusing though...

くれる? < くれない?くれますか くれませんか?
Casual  -----------------------------> Polite
Which should I use? Well, it depends on how close you guys are. :P

/raishuu no nichiyou, boku to deeto shite kuremasen ka/
Will you please go on a date with me?

/isogashii kara, mata kondo ni shite kurenai/
I'm busy, can't it be at some other time?

By the way, when Japanese people say また今度 "maybe next time", most of the time it implies that she doesn't want to go. :(

Ohh, I wrote a lot! I did it! haha
I hope it would be of your help. :) Please let me know if you have any questions or if you want more examples. Thank you for reading, 読(よ)んでくれてありがとう!;)

See ya!