Japanese Language, Lesson 19、日本語

I am getting closer and closer to the time for me to visit Japan.  Creating these lessons has been good practice for me, and I hope it has been good for you too.  While you are studying what I write, one thing you have to keep in mind is that I am not Japanese. I lived in Japan for a while. I was a student at a Japanese university and later taught for a while in a language school in Japan.  I have a Japanese son in law who likes to speak with me in Japanese. I have also taught Japanese at two different universities.  The first time I taught, I was very hesitant because I knew I could carry on a conversation in Japanese, but didn’t consider myself a Japanese teacher. However, they talked me into it.  In the second university where I taught Japanese, I was lucky because my Japanese son in law was my helper.  He and I modeled Japanese conversations for the students, and he graded the homework.  I am sure a native speaker of Japanese could read my Japanese and find mistakes, but where I live, there is no native speaker right now. I am in Korea, and my Japanese son in law is in Washington D. C. However, don’t let that deter you from studying what is here.  I speak Japanese, and I have been double checking myself. Remember that I was in Japanese 2 with another student, and I learned to speak, and he didn’t. I practice, and I am practicing Japanese like this. I haven’t had a chance to speak for a while, but will need to speak Japanese again soon.  This really is helping me to force my Japanese back to the surface, and I hope it is helping you too-I have decided this time to forgo the diary a little and cover a topic I realize we have only barely touched.–Here I go again!  I am going to put a lot of Japanese out there again.  Let’s get started!  Hajimemasho! はじめましょう!



  1. Kore wa nan desuka? これは何ですか。

Answer: ___________________________________________________________________________________

2.  Nippon no tabemono o suki desuka? 日本の 食べ物を 好きですか。

Answer: ___________________________________________________________________________________

3.  Anata wa gohan o suki desuka? あなたは ご半を 好き ですか。か。

Answer: ___________________________________________________________________________________

4.  Asahan ni gohan o tabemasuka? 朝はんに ごはんを 食べますか。

Answer: ___________________________________________________________________________________

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5. kiyoukai e ikimasuka? きようかいへ 行きますか。

Answer: ___________________________________________________________________________________

6.  Inorimasuka? 祈りますか。

Answer: ___________________________________________________________________________________

7. Seishiyo o yomimasuka? せいしよを よみますか。\

Answer: ________________________________________________________________________________

8.  Anata wa kami o shinjimasuka?  あんたは かみを しじますか。

Answer: ________________________________________________________________________________________


 Family/ kazoku かぞく     Other Relationships/hoka no shinseki ほか の しんせき

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1.kore wa nan desuka?  Sore wa kazoku desu. これは何ですか。 それは かぞく です。What is this? This is a family.

2.  Kono kazoku e otoosan to okaasan to musume ga imasu. このかぞく へ おとおさん と おかあさん と むすめ が います。。In this family, there is a father, a mother, and a daughter.

3.  Shiyujin wa oksan ga imasu.  しゆじん は おくさん が います。The husband has a wife.

4. Musume wa otoosan to okaasan ga imasu. 娘 は お父さん と お母さん が います。

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5. Kono okaasan wa musuko ga imasu. この お母さん は 息子が います。This mother has a son.

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6. Kono okaasan wa akachiyan imasu. この お母さん は あかちやん います。This mother has a baby.

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7. Kono shimai wa kiyoudai ga imasu. この しまい は きようだい が います。This sister has a brother.

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8. Kono oneesan wa imooto ga imasu. この おねえさん は いもおと が います。This older sister has a younger sister.

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9. Kono oniisan wa imooto ga imasu.  この おにいさん は いもおと が います。This older brother has a younger sister.

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10.  Kono oniisan wa otooto ga imasu. この おにいさん は おとおと が います。This older brother has a younger brother.

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11.  Kono ono no ko wa ojiisan ga imasu. この 小名の子 は おじいさん が います。This little girl has a grandfather.

12.Kono ojiisan wa magosume ga imasu. この おじいさん は まごすめ が います。This grandfather has a grand daughter.

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13.Kono ona no ko ha obaasan ga imasu. この 小名の子 は おばあさん が いまます。This girl has a grandmother.

14.  Kono obaasan wa  magosume ga imasu. この おばあさん は まごすめ が います。

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15. Kono obaasan wa magomusuko ga imasu.  この おばあさん は まごむすこ が います。This grandmother has a grandson.

16.  Kono magomusuko ga obaassan ga imasu. この まごむすこ が おばあさん が います。This grandson has a grandmother.


  1.  Japanese families have names for more relationships than we do. This is an outgrowth of the Confucian culture.  In a Confucian culture, it is very important who the oldest is.  The person who is the oldest is always in charge.  Therefore, you have relationships like “oniisan” = “older brother,” “otooto” = “younger brother,” “oneesan” =”older sister,” and “imooto” = “younger sister.” You also have just the words “shimai” = “sister,” and “kiyodai” – “brother.” However, I haven’t heard anyone use those words because they are very focused on how old everyone is is relation to the others.
  2. A mistake you won’t want to make:  “obaasan” = “grandmother.”  I didn’t give you the word for “aunt.”  However, you need to know it so you won’t get “aunt” and “grandmother” mixed up” “aunt” = “obasan.” There is only the difference of one “a.”  When you hear it spoken, you will hear that “obasan” is said much quicker than “obaasan.”Since you have “obasan,” I will also give you “ojisan” = “uncle.”And also, “mei” = “niece” and “oi” = “nephew.”
  3. When you hear “san” on the end of a name, it is a term of respect like “Mr., Mrs. Ms. Mam, or Sir.”  When you hear “chan” on the end of a name, it is a term of endearment for someone small.  “akachan” means baby, but it also means “sweet little red face.”  “Oneesan” may become “oneechan” if they are wanting to talk about the older sister as a child and that she is sweet.  You can also put this on people’s names: Rieko san = Miss or Mrs. Rieko However, Rieko chan = Sweet little Miss Rieko.  A boy’s name may be “Hideki,” and if you put “Hideki san,” that means “Mr. Hideki.”  You could also call him “Hideki chan” if he were a little boy meaning “sweet little Mr. Hideki.”  You could also put “koon” on a boy’s name to make it affectionate. If you say: “Hideki koon,” it would mean that you are close to Hideki, and he is a little boy.
  4. There are another couple of relationships you should know, but they are not family:  “simpai” and “kohai.”  If there are two students in a school, the one in the higher grade would be “simpai,” and the one in the lower grade is “kohai.”  If there is a new foreigner, the Japanese would expect the foreigner who has been there for a while to function as “simpai” for the new foreigner, and the new foreigner would be a “kohai.”  “Simpai” is the person who has already done what the “kohai” has done, and it is their job to help the new or younger person.  These come from the Confucian culture, and we don’t have these relationships in the west.  They think of them like older and younger siblings, but they are not actually family.
  5. Some of the family relationships have more than one word, and to use the appropriate word, you use it according to your relationship to that person. For example, if you are talking about someone else’s father, you can say “otoosan.”  However, if you are talking about your own father, you will say “chchi.” If you are talking about someone else’s mother, you will say “okaasan,” but if you are talking about your mother, you will say “haha.”  If you are talking about someone else’s husband, you will say, “shiyujin.”  However, if you are talking about your husband, you will say “otto.”  If you are talking about someone else’s wife, you will say, “oksan.”  However, if you are talking about your wife, you will say, “kanai” or tsuma.”\
  6. In Japan, the relationship with the grandmother and grandfather will usually be closer than in the west.  Often, the grandmother or the grandfather live with their kids and grand kids.  I had a friend who had a small apartment on the back of her house, and her grandmother lived there.  That is normal.  Here in Korea, where I am, it is normal too.  My Korean son in law and my daughter both really want me in the house with them, so they offered me a room and asked me to live with them, so I do.  It is normal in Korea and Japan.
  7. Another relationship that is different in Japan and Korea that we don’t have in the west is the strong relationships that form between teachers and students.  If a student finds a teacher they really respect and like, they may attach themselves to the teacher.  They will take whatever class that teacher teaches.  They may hang out with the teacher where ever they go. They will constantly be looking to that teacher for words of wisdom or knowledge even outside of the classroom, and even after they are not their student anymore. Some teachers in the orient get big followings among their students. The students become like their disciples.  Teacher in Japanese is “sensei, and student in Japanese is gakusei. If they are an elementary school student, they are called “seito.” A professor in Japan is “kyouju.”


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  1.  Kore wa nan desuka? これは何ですか。

Answer: ___________________________________________________________________________________

2.  Musume wa donata ga imasuka? 娘は どなたが いますか。

Answer: __________________________________________________________________________________

3. Ona wa donata ga imasuka? 小名は どなたが いますか。

Answer: __________________________________________________________________________________

4.  otoko wa donata ga imasuka?  男は どなたが いますか。

Answer: _________________________________________________________________________________

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6.  Ojiisan wa donata ga mote imasuka? おじいさん は どなた が もて いますか。

Answer: ___________________________________________________________________________________

7.  Obaasan wa donata ga mote imasuka? おばあさん は どなた が もて いますか。

Answer: _________________________________________________________________________________

8.Ojiisan wa doko desuka? おじいさん は どこ ですか。

Answer: ___________________________________________________________________________________

9.  Oniisan wa doko desuka? おにいさん は どこ ですか。

Answer: ___________________________________________________________________________________

10. Akachiyan wa doko desuka? あかちやんはぢこですか。

Answer: ____________________________________________________________________________________________

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11. Sensei wa nani o shite imasuka? 先生は 何を してますか。

Answer: __________________________________________________________________________________


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12. Gakusei wa nani o shite imasuka? 学生は 何を していますか。

Answer: ___________________________________________________________________________________

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13. Seito wa nani o shite imasuka? 生徒は ないを していますか。

Answer: ___________________________________________________________________________________

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14. Ojiisan wa donata ga imasuka? おじいさんは どなたが いますか。

Answer: ___________________________________________________________________________________

15.  Imooto ha donata ga imasuka? いもおとは どなたが いますか。

Answer: __________________________________________________________________________________



Review Answers:

  1.  食べ物 です。
  2. はい、日本 の 食べ物を 好きです。いいえ、日本の 食べ物 を きらいです。
  3. はい、ごはんを すき です。いいえ、ごはんを きらい です。
  4. はい、あさはんに ごはんを食べます。いいえ、あさはん に ご半を 食べません。
  5. はい、きようかいへ 行きます。いいえ、きようかいへ いきません。
  6. はい、祈ります。いいえ、祈りません。
  7. はい、せいしよ を よみます。いいえ、せいしよを よみません。
  8. はい、私は 神を しんじます。いいえ、私は 神を 信じません。

Lesson Answer:


2.むすめは おかあさん と おとおさん が います。

3.小名は 娘と しゆ人 が います。

4. 男は 娘と おくさん が います。

6.おじいさんは あかちやんが もています。おじいさんは まごむすめを もて います。おじさんは いもおと を もています。

7.おばあさんは まごむすこ を もて います。おばあさんは おにいさんを もて います。

8.おじいさんは おばあさんの そば に います。

9.おにいさんは おばあさん の うえに います。おにいさんは あかちやんの そばに います。

10.あかちやんは おじいさんの 上に います。あかちやんは おにさんの そばに います。

11.せんせいは おしえて います。

12.がくせいは べんきよ して います。

13.せいとは べんきよ して います。

14.おじいさんは いもおとを います。

15.いもおとは おじいさんを います。


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