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Text: Telling Time Part 1
I highly suggest you visit these two pages before continuing on:
(Teaches you how to count)
(Good visual reference)
Telling time in Japanese is not too difficult, actually. It just takes practice to get used to it.
Learning how to say the hours is the easiest and first step:
いちじ (ichiji)= one o'clock
にじ (niji) = two o'clock
さんじ (sanji) = three o'clock
よじ (yoji) = four o'clock
ごじ (goji) = five o'clock
ろくじ (rokuji) = six o'clock
しちじ (shichiji) = seven o'clock
はちじ (hachiji) = eight o'clock
くじ (kuji) = nine o'clock
じゅうじ (juuji) = ten o'clock
じゅういちじ (juuichiji) = eleven o'clock
Text: Particle No: Basics
'No' is a particle, just as 'ka' is. However it serves a different purpose. 'No' is the particle that connects two nouns. You can think of it as the 'possessive' particle or as the apostrophe 's'. (It has other meanings as well, but that will come at a later time.)
Let's see some examples.
Takeshi san no denwa bangou
Takeshi's phone number
Daigaku no gakusei
A college student (literally: the college's student)
The first noun is always the noun that owns the second. Takeshi owns the phone number, the college owns the student. Let's try with some complete sentences now.
Watashi no senmon wa eigo desu.
My major is English.
Notice the change in the subject. 'Watashi' is no longer the
Text: Learning to Count
ゼロ / れい
zero / rei
一 二 三 四 五 六 七 八 九 十
いち に さん よん ご ろく なな はち きゆう じゅう
Ichi ni san yon go roku nana hachi kyuu juu
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
It's crucial to know these ten numbers as they are your way to making it to 99.
So, how do we get 11? Let's find out. (The rest of this will be in romaji, fyi. I do emphasize practicing both kanji and the hiragana.)
Think of it as going in order. Start at the beginning of the number 11, we have ten, right? What's next? One. So, that's 11.
Text: Question Particle Ka
Probably the easiest thing to do in the Japanese language is make a question sentence. Basically, all you need to do is add 'ka' at the end of the sentence. 'Ka' turns the sentence into a question and is often (jokingly) referred to as "the question mark".
Time for some examples!
りゅうがくせいです。 > りゅうがくせいですか。
Ryuugakusei desu. > Ryuugakusei desu ka?
(I am a) international student. > (Are you an) international student?
This is a simple yes or no question (hai/iie). But you can also have questions that ask for something specific. See below:
Senmon wa nan desu ka?
What is your major?
(Senmon wa) eigo desu.
(My major) is English.
The 'senmon wa
Text: Basic Sentence Structure
x は y です .
x wa y desu.
This is the (most) basic sentence structure you will probably see. The "x" in that sentence is the subject of the sentence. "は/wa" is a particle which marks the subject of the sentence. Notice how the hiragana "ha" is used instead of the hiragana "wa". This won't be the only time a particle does something similar (I'll go more into particles at a later time). But please remember to write "ha" but pronounce "wa". The "y" in that sentence is most often the object of the sentence. "Desu" is the verb of the sentence that means "is/am/are" depending on the sentence.
Now, you might be wondering "why is the verb at the end of the sentence?" Well, the simplest answer is that the Japanese have a different sentence structure than we use in English. Verbs will always go at the end of the sentence (of course there are exceptions, but that's more advance, for now, just focus on this.) The good news is that the verbs will always stay the same no ma
Text: Suffixes for Names
In Japan, people very often call someone by their family name and then an added on suffix depending on their relationship. Japanese people are extremely formal and rarely call someone by their first name unless they are close friends, family, etc.
The most commonly used suffix is -さん (-san). It is basically the same thing as adding Mr., Mrs., or Ms. to English names. たかなさん (Tanakasan) is "Mr. Tanaka" for example. It is a regular occurrence to add -san to the end of names and it is NEVER used to refer to oneself. No suffix is EVER added on to ones own name when referring to yourself.
For example, I would never say this:
Watashi wa Samu-san desu.
I am Ms. Sam.
I would instead, say this:
Watashi wa Samu desu.
I am Sam.
To add a suffix to your name makes you look extremely arrogant
Text:General Kanji Tutorial
About 5000 years ago, the Chinese invented a writing system based on drawings. Their original writing system consisted of more or less detailed/realistic images which were later simplified and eventually turned into the characters they have now.
Now, why do we care about China? Well, a long time ago (about 4th century), Japan didn't have a writing system. (Sad, but true). When Chinese writing was first introduced, only a spare few educated people could read it. The characters gradually became more and more used, however, Japan already had their own language (obviously). But not only were the characters imported, but their pronunciation as well. So now, there are at least two readings for each character. They are called on'yomi and kun'yomi.
On'yomi is the reading which comes from China. Kun'yomi is the original Japanese reading. The most difficult, or at least what I find most difficult, is determining how to read it. There is no real way to tell how something is read, however, there a
Text: Basic Phrases
Ohayou gozaimasu / ohayou
Good morning (formal) / 'Morning (informal)
Often said until 11 AM
Often said from about 11 AM to 6 PM
Often said from about 6 PM and on
さようなら / じゃね、また / またね / バイバイ
Sayounara / ja ne, mata / mata ne / baibai
Good bye (formal) / Well, see you later (informal) / See you later (informal) / Bye bye (informal)
おやすみなさい / おやすみ
Oyasumi nasai / Oyasumi
Good night (formal) / 'Night (informal)
Said only when going to bed.
Text:General Katakana Tutorial
Katakana is the second alphabet and isn't used too too often. It's only used for words that come from outside of Japan, basically foreign to Japan. Those words can come from any country and are not just limited to English. Therefore, you may see words written in katakana but do not mean what you think. (Aka, those words could've come from Germany, Spain, etc. I'll show you examples later.)
You do have to be careful though! Most words in katakana already have a particular spelling. You can easily make any word into Japanese by using katakana, but since so many are already transcribed, you could unintentionally spell a word wrong. (Examples later.)
This isn't just limited to words, this can also include foreign names. Any name not native to Japan is written in katakana. Another instance of katakana can be seen in Japanese comic books (manga) in which onomatopoeia is typed/written in katakana.
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