Author Topic: Teach me Japanese!  (Read 13355 times)

Offline BilliumMoto

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Re: Teach me Japanese!
« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2011, 08:40:25 pm »
Deka/Oki - Big
大き = Ooki

Watashi/Atashi - I (female)
Watashi (私) is neutral. Anyone can use it.

Kimi/Anta - You
Anata - Dear
Anta (あんた) is slang. The actual term is anata (あなた), which also means "Dear" or "Honey". I don't know how that came to be but...

Youkai - Roger!
It's actually ryoukai (了解). It just sounds like "youkai" to native English speakers.
~~~~~~
<0014> I told them to escort the injured people.
<0015> The other deserted house became prettier, so people \nnow occasionally take a peek at it.
^ Worst lines ever edited.

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Offline Chadwicke

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Re: Teach me Japanese!
« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2011, 07:21:51 am »
After a bit of preview of some of the recently started anime, I remembered some questions I wanted to ask and also came up with some new ones:

Aho = it seems to be a more cruel version of Baka (Idiot) but I'm not sure; it might even mean a totally different thing

Wakaranai being shortened to Wakaran - it seems some others that also end with -nai can be shortened to end with just -n. Is this applicable to all that end with -nai (Not)?

Nai = seems to also mean "Not Here". Encountered when someone stole Edward Elric's Alchemist Badge/Watch, he just said "Nai"

Elements:
Water = Mizu
Wind = Kaze
Fire = ?
Earth = ?
Ice = ?
Wood = ?
Metal = Hagareno?
- I could look for it in Zero no Tsukaima but I wouldn't know where to even start...

Tsubasa - Wings (I don't know if this serves only as organic wings as I've never encountered the term for airplane's wings)

Chiisai/Chibi - Small
Osoi = Slow/Late
Hayai = Quick/Fast - is this also Early, as Osoi is also Late?

Ikeru = to go
Gorosu = to kill

Ojamashimasu or something - said when entering another person's home

Err... I kinda have an idea but I can't explain it in words: What's the difference between Itsumo, Zutto and Zettai?

As for the particles, I guess "Wa" is a rough equivalent to am/is/are, while "No" as far as my encounters go, is almost an exact equivalent for -'s- (aphostrophe and S) -- this way we don't need to transpose nouns (Chado no Tsubasa = Chad's Wings). Of course sometimes particle "Of" is necessary, so that's where it sometimes becomes confusing for me during the transposition of nouns, especially when the nouns are stuck with adjectives. Argh, those are cause for my brain chaos. Also, is "To" always used as "And"?

Statements ending with Yo = are these impolite? I often see these statements when the speakers are close but sometimes I also see this in a conversation between strangers, though a bit more seldom.

Oh yeah, that last question also applies to statements ending with Da. I think this is a substitute to Desu but whether Da or Desu was used, it seems Yo can still be used in the end, so I don't know what Yo is a substitute for. Wild guess: Yo becomes Rou when used with Da (Da Rou = Desu Yo/Deshou)?

Argh. Another one is when a statement ends with "Janai No" frequently used by Kyouraku of Bleach. I guess it is roughly the equivalent of "Isn't It?" used in the end of English sentences. Confirmed?

Naze = Another alternative to Nande/Doushite (Why)?

Mo = Too/Also? Encountered Watashi Mo/Atashi Mo as "Me Too" quite a few times.



Mentioned only a few words and I'm alredy experiencing a brain earthquake. I won't give up though. More tomorrow. For now I gotta go do some relaxing stuff...

Offline Krozam

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Re: Teach me Japanese!
« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2011, 10:02:49 am »
Aho - pretty much synonymous to "baka".

Quote
Wakaranai being shortened to Wakaran - it seems some others that also end with -nai can be shortened to end with just -n. Is this applicable to all that end with -nai (Not)?
I'm afraid I don't know the answer to this. :-\ I'm not very knowledgeable about the spoken language.

Quote
Nai = seems to also mean "Not Here". Encountered when someone stole Edward Elric's Alchemist Badge/Watch, he just said "Nai"
As far as I know, "nai" is simply a word indicating negative, so if you're looking for something and see that it's not where it should be, it's a simple way of stating that it's not there.

Water - mizu, sui
Wind - kaze, fuu
Fire - ka, hi, ho
Earth - do, tsuchi
Ice - koori, hyou, hi
Wood - moku, ki
Metal - kin

An interesting thing relating to the elements is that five of the seven days of the week are named after them.
Getsuyoubi - Monday, "Moon day"
Kayoubi - Tuesday, "Fire day"
Suiyoubi - Wednesday, "Water day"
Mokuyoubi - Thursday, "Wood day"
Kinyoubi - Friday, "Metal day"
Doyoubi - Saturday, "Earth day"
Nichiyoubi - Sunday, "Sun day"

BTW, "kin" also means "gold". "Gin" means "silver".

Tsubasa - wings
Chiisai - small
Osoi - slow, late
Hayai - fast, early
You got these right.

Kuru/kimasu - to come
iku/ikimasu - to go
Note that in Japanese, these verbs are sometimes used differently from how they're used in English (or Finnish, my mothertongue). What is important is the speaker's point of view. You can only speak of "coming" into a place where you are already, anywhere else you speak of "going". When you are in a party and call someone to ask if they're coming to the party, you can use "kimasu", but the other person would have to use "ikimasu", because they speak from their own point of view about going to a place where they aren't yet. However, when you're going home or to your home country, you can only "return" (kaerimasu).

Korosu - to kill

Quote
Err... I kinda have an idea but I can't explain it in words: What's the difference between Itsumo, Zutto and Zettai?
"Itsumo" means "always". "Zutto", I'm not entirely sure, but it seems to mean something pretty close to that, too. Zettai means "absolute".

Quote
As for the particles, I guess "Wa" is a rough equivalent to am/is/are, while "No" as far as my encounters go, is almost an exact equivalent for -'s- (aphostrophe and S) -- this way we don't need to transpose nouns (Chado no Tsubasa = Chad's Wings). Of course sometimes particle "Of" is necessary, so that's where it sometimes becomes confusing for me during the transposition of nouns, especially when the nouns are stuck with adjectives. Argh, those are cause for my brain chaos. Also, is "To" always used as "And"?
"Wa", as I said, marks the "theme", usually the subject, of the sentence. "Watashi wa --" would translate directly into something like "concerning me" or "speaking of me". In practise, the wa-desu copula often translates into "to be", as I said earlier. "No" is usually the possessive case, either "'s" or "of", but its got a few other uses as well, I may write more about those later. "To" is something that often gets translated "and", but it can also mean "with". "Haha to issho ni" = "Together with (my) mother" ("issho ni" = "together").

"Yo" is a rough equivalent of an exclamation mark, used in spoken language. It's not particularly rude or anything, it's just something you can add to the end of the sentence when you raise your voice to, for example, catch someone's attention from a distance.

"Darou" and "deshou", in my experience, hold a meaning similar to "right?" or "don't you agree?"

Quote
Argh. Another one is when a statement ends with "Janai No" frequently used by Kyouraku of Bleach. I guess it is roughly the equivalent of "Isn't It?" used in the end of English sentences. Confirmed?
Another one I can't answer with my limited knowledge.

Naze - why
Mo - a particle with the meaning of "too/also/as well"
« Last Edit: October 10, 2011, 10:13:38 am by Krozam »

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Offline Assasin_Cross

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Re: Teach me Japanese!
« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2011, 10:41:42 am »
:/ minna-san kusai
Shouganai ne~

Offline kenjinsakura

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Re: Teach me Japanese!
« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2011, 02:33:45 pm »
Aho is used mainly by people in the kansai area.

wakaran, shiran, and the like are just colloquial forms of wakaranai (or the more polite wakarimasen)

I suggest learning the common conjugations in japanese first or at the same time as vocabulary. A structured approach will give better results than asking yourself, "what does this mean?" every time you encounter a new "word"

Recommended site for beginner to advanced learners:
http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/grammar

Offline Chadwicke

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Re: Teach me Japanese!
« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2011, 08:12:15 am »
Meh, we're just having fun here. Plus it's actually fun having someone teach you. So if I was that serious about learning Japanese, I'd definitely go for a classroom setting. I'm so bad at studying by myself.

Some others that I could squeeze off my head:

Kane - money

Is Katana the only word for sword? Even those English broadswords or those jeweled one-handed swords, they call katana.

Is Shoganai and Shikatanai the same?

Oh yeah, uh, this one still needs confirmation; I'd repeat this because it might come in handy someday.
Ojamashimasu or something - said when entering another person's home

Still need to organize all these productive conversations into the top post but it's peak season at work, so I barely and will barely have time 'til the middle of November.

Offline Haxton Fale

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Re: Teach me Japanese!
« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2011, 09:45:22 am »
Katana refers to any single-bladed sword, and Japanese swords in general are called nihonto. IIRC, the word for a sword in general would be ken.
Then again, katana is also a separate type of nihonto - moderately curved (in contrast to tachi), with a 60-70cm long blade.
Digging deeper info Japanese swords, it becomes slightly complicated. Different categories, measurements, usages... If you'd like, I could break it down here in several lists, as it would make it a little bit clear, I'm not sure whether it'll be useful though.

I'd also like to ask a question here, or maybe even two. What's with the 'o-' put before some nouns? I know that in some contexts it can be translated as 'great', but sometimes this translation clearly doesn't make sense and would be the last thing I'd think about.
And another one: I know there's a difference between harakiri and seppuku. I even know that one of them is about severing the head of the one committing suicide after the person in question takes a good look at his intestines. I don't know one thing though: which one is which?

Offline Krozam

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Re: Teach me Japanese!
« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2011, 10:23:27 am »
"Kane" means "money", yes, but it's customary to add the respectful "o-" prefix, making it "o-kane" in normal, respectful language.

Ojamashimasu is right. Carries the meaning "Sorry for bothering you". Another very similar idiom is "shitsurei shimasu", which translates directly into something like "I'm being rude", but carries the meaning "I apologize for my rudeness". Although, it's not used when entering another's home, it's often used for example when entering or leaving a room occupied by someone.

Can't answer the shouganai/shikatanai question with anything definite. In my experience, they seem to be quite synonymous.

The "o-" prefix has no other meaning, it simply means "honourable" and it's customarily added to many words, such as "o-kane", "o-sake", "o-miyage" (souvenir)... There's also another prefix with a similar meaning and purpose: "go-", used in words like "go-han" (cooked rice), "go-shujin" etc. The difference is that "o-" is for the Japanese readings and "go-" is for the Chinese readings. Many kanji have more than one reading, a Japanese one, a Chinese one and possibly more of each. Usually one or the other has established itself as the commonly used reading, but in some cases they're both used commonly.

Harakiri and Seppuku mean exactly the same thing. They're even written with the same kanji. It seems seppuku is a more formal (and Chinese) reading, while harakiri is more of a spoken language thing. Seriously, why not just Google things like this?

I might write more later today, if I find the time.

Edit: By the way, I checked the "hanashite" thing with my teacher. It does indeed mean "let go" as well as "speak". Different kanji, but same phonetic form.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2011, 10:48:04 am by Krozam »

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Offline Krozam

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Re: Teach me Japanese!
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2011, 09:06:27 am »
Quote
Nai = seems to also mean "Not Here". Encountered when someone stole Edward Elric's Alchemist Badge/Watch, he just said "Nai"
As far as I know, "nai" is simply a word indicating negative, so if you're looking for something and see that it's not where it should be, it's a simple way of stating that it's not there.
I have a new theory on this. I heard this again somewhere, and I think they said "inai". I suspect that's a spoken language negative form of "iru/imasu", "to be/to exist". The thing is, this is supposed to be only used when speaking of living things, people and animals. The equivalent for non-living things would be... "arienai", I think.

Now, a little more about grammar: "Kore", "sore" and "are"
"Kore" translates to "this/these", it's used to refer to things that are close to you.
"Sore" and "are" both translate to "that/those/it" in most cases, but "sore" refers to things close to the person you're talking to and "are" refers to things not close to either of you.

Examples from my book (translated, since the book's in Finnish):
"Kore wa watashi no pasupooto desu." = This is my passport.
"Sore wa omiyage desu." = They/Those are souvenirs.
"Are wa watashi no baggu desu." = Those are my bags.

As I've said before, they don't often make a difference between singular and plural in Japanese, and so it is with these words as well.

If the thing they're referring to is named right after, the words change form: "kono", "sono" and "ano"
"Kono kamera o kudasai." = I'll take this camera. (In a purchasing situation.)
"Kono kasa wa watashi no desu." = That umbrella is mine.
"Ano kudamono wa nashi desu." = That fruit is a Japanese pear.

Now, I was thinking of listing some words for a change. Is there something in particular you're interested in? Verbs? Adjectives? A particular subject?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2011, 11:09:40 am by Krozam »

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Offline Chadwicke

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Re: Teach me Japanese!
« Reply #24 on: October 17, 2011, 03:09:25 am »
I would definitely appreciate a bit of introduction with the verb suffixes. Nouns and adjectives seem to have a few suffixes I usually encounter, like the -mono in nouns and -i of adjectives, but by far the suffixes of verbs seem so many I can't even keep track of them all. I've encountered -te (you gave me pointers for this), -ta, -shite, -shiteru and some others that I probably didn't notice. I think they have different suffixes for tenses, but that's just a guess -- based on my observations, of course -- but nonetheless still just a guess.

Along with that, I'd like to know normal, everyday verbs. I mean, look at what I know -- tatakau, mamoru, nigeru, taberu (definitely anime knowledge, right?) -- aside from taberu they're not normally used in a normal, modern-day conversation. Well, a few things that you can easily squeeze off your knowledge would be nice.

Thanks man!

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Re: Teach me Japanese!
« Reply #25 on: October 17, 2011, 01:00:29 pm »
Right, let's see, I'll start with listing some verbs. I'll bold the ones I consider really important, you might want to start with them and ignore the others at first, in order to avoid overwhelming your brain, lol.

There are three groups of verbs in Japanese. Group III:

Kuru - to come
Suru - to do


That's right, those are the only two members in the group. Now, members of group II all end with either -iru or -eru. Some examples:

Akeru - to open
Iru - to be/to exist (living things)
Kotaeru - to answer
Kureru - to give (familiar)
Miru - to look
Mitsukeru - to find
Neru - to sleep
Okiru - to awaken
Oshieru - to advise, to teach

Shimeru - to close
Taberu - to eat
Wasureru - to forget


Group I is more difficult, there are more words and there's a variety of endings. Some of them also end -eru or -iru, so they can be confused with group II verbs. Examples:

Au - to meet
Aru - to be, to exist (non-living)
Asobu - to play (as a child plays, none of the other meanings the verb has in English)
Chigau - to differ
Furu - to rain
Hairu - to enter
Hakobu - to carry
Hanasu - to speak
Iku - to go
Kaeru - to return
Kau - to buy
Kaku - to write
Kiku - to listen, to ask
Matsu - to wait
Narau - to learn

Noboru - to climb
Nomu - to drink
Oku - to put

Okuru - to send
Oyogu - to swim
Shinu - to die

Shiru - to know someone
Sumu - to live somewhere, to dwell
Tetsudau - to help

Tobu - to fly
Todoku - to arrive, to reach a destination
Toru - to take
Tsukau - to use
Tsuku - to arrive (not sure what's the difference to Todoku)
Uru - to sell
Wakaru - to understand
Yobu - to invite, to call out (I think it means both, not sure, the Finnish word for this is the same...)
Yomu - to read

Now, I've already told you that the -masu form is more respectful than the basic form. It's what's usually used in well-mannered conversation between adults who don't know each other very well. Group III is irregular, so just memorize their inflections.

Kuru - kimasu
Suru - shimasu

Group II, just change the -ru into -masu:

Iru - imasu
Miru - mimasu
etc.

Group I is, as usual, more difficult. Usually, when the basic form ends with a consonant and u, the consonant remains but the u changes to i. If the letter before the u is a vowel, it usually doesn't change. Then, the -masu is added. But there are exceptions, because the Japanese system is different from ours. Examples:

Aru - arimasu (this is an example of what usually happens when there's a consonant before the u)
Chigau - chigaimasu (this is an example of what usually happens when there's a vowel before the u)
Hanasu - hanashimasu (there's no "si" in the hiragana, there's only "shi")
Matsu - machimasu (no "tu" or "ti" in hiragana, but "tsu" and "chi")

The negative form of -masu is -masen. The past tense is -mashita. The negative form of the past tense is -masen deshita.

Ikimasen - does/will not go
Nomimashita - drank
Mimasen deshita - did not look

One more thing: the verb suru/shimasu, "to do", is often used to make a substantive into a verb. For example:

"Benkyou o shimasu" = to study (lit. "to do studying")
"Denwa o shimasu" = to call (with a phone)
"Tenisu o shimasu" = to play tennis

Enough for today. I think I overdid this. -.-' Oh well, I'm doing this in part for myself as well, this is a fun way to practise the basics... More verb inflections next time.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2011, 01:30:34 pm by Krozam »

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Offline Krozam

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Re: Teach me Japanese!
« Reply #26 on: October 19, 2011, 09:13:19 pm »
Another important verb inflection form is the -te form. It has several purposes, but at its very basic it's equivalent of the -ing suffix in English.
"Ima, nani o shite imasu ka." = What are you doing right now?

Together with "kudasai", it makes for a courteous request or command.
"Mado o akete kudasai." = Open the window, please.

In sentences with more than one verb, only the last one shows the tense, while the others are in the -te form:
"Kinou, shigoto no ato de, tomodachi ni aite, eiga ni ikimashita." = Yesterday, after work, I met with a friend and we went to the movies. (Notice the lack of an equivalent for "and" in the Japanese sentence, such a thing is often unnecessary.)

The -te form is easy enough for the groups II and III, just replace the -masu with -te:
Kuru - kimasu - kite
Suru - shimasu - shite
Iru - imasu - ite
Miru - mimasu - mite
etc.

Group I is - as usual - more complicated.
If the verb's basic form ends with -u, -tsu or -ru, it changes to -tte:
Kau - katte
Matsu - matte (everyone's familiar with the phrase "matte kudasai", right?)
Aru - atte

-bu, -mu, -nu --> -nde
Tobu - tonde
Yomu - yonde
Shinu - shinde

-su --> -shite
Hanasu - hanashite

-ku --> -ite
Kaku - kaite

Exception: iku - itte

-gu --> -ide
Oyogu - oyoide

Now, further than this, I don't have detailed information, but I know generally what some other inflections do:
-tai expresses desire. It conjugates like i-adjectives.
"Yuki ga mitai desu." = I'd like to see snow.
"Benkyou shitakunai desu." = I don't want to study.
"Soto ni ikitakatta desu." = I wanted to go out.
"Karaoke-baa de utaitakunakatta desu." = I didn't want to sing in the karaoke-bar.

-mashou is for suggestions.
"Nani o shimashou ka." = What shall we do?
"Eiga ni ikimashou." = Let's go to movies.
"Tetsudaimashou ka." = Shall I help?
"Shoppingu wa dou deshou ka." = How about shopping? (Meaning "would you like to go shopping with me?")

Next time, I was thinking of writing more about particles. It's high time I explain the o (wo) particle. Perhaps also some phrases useful when shopping or eating out...

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Offline Chadwicke

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Re: Teach me Japanese!
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2011, 08:55:29 am »
Thank you for overdoing it. Hehehe. Informative as always. The advantage of your lessons to me is when I learn some new things, I'll start to look/listen for them in anime. Hence, I learn and be more familiar with them quickly because of the encounters. And now with the verbs, I'll start pausing and skipping back to those verbs I heard. Please keep it up.

...wait, no future tense? Or is it unnecessary? I remember anime characters using present tense while the translation said it on future tense.

If so, then let's move on to particles. I only seem to hear o (wo) and ga and I thought ha (wa) was considered one of those, before you told me what actually it was. It's another topic I have no idea about.

Offline Krozam

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Re: Teach me Japanese!
« Reply #28 on: February 23, 2012, 08:06:31 am »
Now that I've regained my motivation to actively study Japanese, I might start contributing to this thread again. Anyone got any questions or requests, or should I just continue with my boring lectures on the basic grammar?

Edit: As a side note, now that I've started learning about kanji, I might be able to answer some basic questions regarding them...
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 08:23:05 am by Krozam »

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Re: Teach me Japanese!
« Reply #29 on: February 23, 2012, 07:21:35 pm »
I'm in my second semester of online Japanese.

Thus, I can help or contact someone who knows the exact answer.
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