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Japanese Language, Lesson 4 日本語

When I was living in Romania, the rector of the university where I taught said to me that language was my gift to the world. My whole life, at times I have been paid to teach language, but often, I end up giving language away for free too, and this is one time I am giving it away for free.  I had to pay to learn this, and I worked hard, but you are getting it as a gift if you want it. If you have any questions, you can leave a comment in the comment section. You must realize, though, that even though I studied Japanese at the university  learned to speak, and was asked to teach Japanese, I am not a native speaker, and there are better speakers of Japanese out there than I am, but I have made a lot of people speak Japanese, and my Japanese son in law is thrilled because he can have conversations with me in Japanese. When I was studying Japanese, my Japanese teacher told me it would take 12 years of school in Japan to learn the Chinese characters (kanji), and I knew I didn’t have 12 years to spend studying in Japan, so I concentrated on learning to speak.  That is the best route to go, but as you go, you pick up a few kanji here and there. You need the hiragana to understand the pronunciation better.  Let’s begin with a review to help you remember what you are supposed to have already learned if you are following these lessons.

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  1.  Kore wa nan desuka? これ は なんですか。

Answer: ___________________________________________________________________________________

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2. Kami wa doko desuka? 神は どこ ですか

Answer: ___________________________________________________________________________________

3.  Hon wa doko desuka? 本は どこ ですか

Answer:___________________________________________________________________________________

4.  Pen wa doko desuka? ペンは どこ ですか

Answer:___________________________________________________________________________________

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5. Kore ha nan desuka? これ は なん ですか

Answer:___________________________________________________________________________________

Beginning of Lesson 4:

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Enpitsu wa hon no naka desu. えんぴつは ほんのなかです。(The pencil is in the book).  Enpitsu wa hon no naka ga arimasu. 鉛筆は本の中があります。.(There is a pencil in the book.)
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Enpitsu wa hon no soba desu.  えんぴつは ほんの そばです。(The pencil is beside the book.)  Enpitsu wa hon no soba ni arimasu. 鉛筆は 本の そばに あります。 . (There is a pencil beside the book.)
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Enpitsu wa hon no aida desu. 鉛筆は 本の間 です。 (The pencil is between the books.)  Enpitsu wa hon no aida ni arimasu. 鉛筆は 本の 間に あります。(There is a pencil between the books.)
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Ona no ko desu. (It is a girl.) 小名の子です。(The app has chosen to insert the kanji (Chinese characters) on this one.  The first character actually means “small.”  The second character means “woman,”  then you have the hiragana, “no,” and then another kanji that is pronounced “ko.”  You often see this “ko” on the end of girl’s names.  It means “child.”

Ona no ko ga imasu. (There is a girl.) 小名の子 が います。

Kore wa ona no ko desu. (This is a girl.) これ は おな の こ です。

Kore wa hito desu. (This is a person.)  これ は ひと です。

Kore wa kodomo desu. (This is a child.)  これ は こども です。

Kodomo imasu. (There is a child.) こども います。

Ona no ko wa neko ga imasu. (The girl has a cat.)  小名の子は 猫が います (Again, the app was uncooperative and inserted kani, but I have decided it is okay because if you are around Japanese, you have to get used to kani, and this way, you will see some and learn to read some of it slowly.)

Neko wa ona no ko no soba desu. (The cat is beside the girl.) ねこ は おなのこ の そばです。

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Otoko no ko desu. (It is a boy.) おとこ の こ です。

Otoko no ko ga imasu. (There is a boy.) おとこ の こ が います。

kore wa otoko no ko desu. (This is a boy.) これは おとこ の こ です。

Kore wa hito desu. (This is a person.) これ は 人 です。(Again, the app has given us a kanji, the kani for “person” pronounced “hito” in this case, but it can also be pronounced “jin.” in other words.

Kore wa kodomo desu. (This is a child.) これ は こども です。

Otoko no ko wa kaban ga imasu. (The boy has a bag.) おとこ の こ は かばん が います。

Kaban wa otoko no ko no ushiro desu. (The bag is behind the boy.) かばん は おとこ の こ の うしろ です。

Kaban wa otoko no ko no ushiro ni arimasu. (There is a bag on the boy’s back.) かばん は おとこ の こ の うしろ に あります。

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Kore wa kodomotachi desu. (These are children.) これ は 子供たち です。(another kanji)

Kono hitotachi wa kodomotachi desu. (These people are children.) この ひとたち は こどもたち です。

Kodomotachi ga imasu. (There are children.) 子供たち が います。

Ona no ko wa kaban ga arimsu. (The girl has a bag.) おな の こ は かばん が あります。

Ona no ko wa otoko no ko no tomodachi desu. (The girl is the boy’s friend.) おな の こ は おとこ の こ の ともだち です。

Otoko no ko wa ona no ko no tomodachi desu.  (The boy is the girl’s friend.) 男の子 は小名の子 の友達 です。(This is convenient for you because the first kanji means “man.”  Later on in this sentence, you also see the kanji for “woman.”  You need to know these kanji if you go to Japan to get into the right restroom.  The kanji before “woman,” in other places, is pronounced “chisai” which means “small.”

 

Ona no ko wa tomodachi ga imasu. (The girl has a friend.) おな の こ は ともだち が います。

Otoko no ko wa tomodachi ga imasu. (The boy has a friend.) 男の子 は 友達 が います。

Explanations:

  1.  If you only use “desu,” it means is, am, are, or will be and you won’t need a post position article. Yes, you just use the present tense Japanese verb if you want to use the verb in the future tense.  (Later, I will teach you how not to get present tense and future tense mixed up.) If you use “arimasu,” it means “there is, there are, or there will be” for things and it also means “has, have, or will have.”  If you use “arimasu,” you use a post position article in front of it.  The other “be” verb here, “imasu” is used for “there is, there are, there will be, has, have, or will have” when you are talking about people.
  2. You can find the post position article “no” here again.  It is used after “ona” and “otoko.”  “Ona” means woman, and “otoko” means man, but if you use the post position article “no” after them and use “ko,” it changes them into “girl” and “boy” because “ko” denotes a child.  The other use of “no” is possessive. You can think of it like the English apostrophe. “the child’s book” becomes “Kodomo no hon.”
  3. The actual word for child is “kodomo.”  You can make it “children” by saying “kodomotachi.” There is no equivalent of “s” for plural in Japanese, but at times, there are ways to make things plural if you want.
  4. “hito” means person, and “hitotachi” means people.
  5. “Tomodachi” means “friend.”  If you want to talk about more than one friend, use the “tachi” and say “tomodachitachi.”
  6. In several places, I have used the post position article “ga.”  “Ga” can be used after the subject and after the object.  It puts emphasis on the noun it comes after. Often “o” or “wo” is also used after a direct object. It is written “wo,” but usually said “o” as a post position article.
  7. I have used “kono.”  “Kono” means “this” or “these” before a noun.  “Kono hon wa koko  desu” means “This book is here.”  These are like “kore, sore, and are.” You have “kono, sono, and ano” which mean “this, that, and that over there” in front of a noun.
  8. You have “doko” for “where” and “nan” for “what,” and also “nani” means “what.  “Donata” means “who.”
  9. If you are looking for the word “it,” it doesn’t exist in Japanese.  Just leave “it” out, and they will understand.

Exercises:

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  1.  Enpitsu wa doko desuka? 鉛筆 は どこ ですか
  2. Hon no aida ni wa nani ga arimasuka? ほん の あいだ には なに が ありますか
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3. Koko ni wa nani ga imasuka? ここ に は どなた が いますか。

4.  Kono otoko no ko no ushiro ni wa nani ga arimasuka? この おとこのこ の うしろ に は なにが ありますか。

5.  Kono hito wa donata desuka?  この ひと は どなた ですか。

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6. Kore wa nan desuka? これ は なん ですか。

7. Kono ona no ko no soba ni wa nan desuka? この おなのこ の そば に は なんですか。

8.  Kono hito wa donata desuka? この ひと は どなた ですか。

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9.  Kono ona no ko wa nani o imasuka? この おなのこ は なに を いますか。

10.  Kono otoko no ko wa doko desuka? この おとこのこ は どこ ですか。

11.  Kono hitotachi wa donata desuka? この ひとたち は どなた ですか。

____________________________________________________________________________________________

Answers:

Review Answers:

  1.  Sore wa mizu desu. それ は みず です。
  2. Kami wa pen no shita desu.  神 は ペン の 下 です。(you got some more kanji as well as katakana here. If you remember, “pen” is written with katakana. The kanji for “shita” is easy to remember because it is pointing down.  If that same kanji is pointing up, it means “up” or in Japanese “ue.”)
  3. Hon wa kami no ue desu.  Hon wa pen no ushiro desu. ほん は かみ の うえ です。
  4. Pen wa kami no ue desu.  Pen wa hon no mae desu. ぺん は かみ の うえ です。
  5. Sore wa enpitsu desu. それ は えんぴつ  です。

Exercise Answers:  

  1. Enpitsu wa hon no aida desu. えんぴつ は ほん の あいだです。
  2. Enpitsu was hon no aida ni arimasu. 猿臂 は ほん の あいだ に あります。
  3.  Otoko no ko desu.  Otoko no ko ga imasu. おとこのこ です。おとこのこ が います。
  4.  Otoko no ko no ushiro ni wa kaban desu./Kono otoko no ko wa ushiro ni wa kaban o imasu. おとこのこ の うしろ に は かばん です。この 男の子 は 後ろ に は かばん を います。
  5. Sono hito wa otoko no ko desu. Sono hito wa kodomo desu. その ひと は おとこのこ です。その ひと は こども です。
  6. Ona no ko desu. おなのこ です。
  7. Kono ona no ko no soba ni wa neko desu. この 小名の子 の そば に は 猫です。
  8. Sono hito wa ona no ko desu. その 人 は 小名の子 です。
  9. Sono ona no ko wa kaban o imasu.  その おなのこ は かば を います。
  10. Sono otoko no ko wa ona no ko no soba desu. その おとこのこ は おなのこ のそば です。
  11. Sono hitotachi wa kodomotachi desu.  Sono hitotachi wa tomodachitachi desu. その ひとたち は こどもたち です。その ひとたち は こどもたち です。

 

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