Jul 29, 2007

Japanese Particle Practice

By adding the syllable mo (inclusive particle) to the following interrogatives supplement will help you increase your Japanese vocabulary by showing how to branch off known words to make many new ones. First, memorize the question words. Who, what, where ,when, how many, Have fun!

Question word + mo with + positive verb with – negative verb
dare + mo anyone nobody
nani +mo anything nothing
doko + mo everywhere, anywhere nowhere
itsu + mo all the time, always none of the time, never
nannin + mo many people, a bunch of people not many people

Question word +demo with + positive verb with – negative verb
dochi + demo whichever none of them
nani +demo anything nothing
doko + demo wherever nowhere
itsu + demo whenever none of the time, never
nannin + demo however many people not many people

Verb(base TE) + mo with + positive verb with – negative verb
dare + mo anyone nobody
nani +mo anything nothing
doko + mo everywhere, anywhere nowhere
itsu + mo all the time, always none of the time, never
nannin + mo many people, a bunch of people not many people

Dochi or which? If asked as a question The participle mo represents inclusiveness. The English equivalent being the words also or too. The mo particle does much mnore than it would seem at first glance. Mo might seem like just some your run of the mill uninspiring particle like ka, ga, wa, o, or no. However this very unordinary syllable has so many functions, mo is a grammar book unto itself.

Lets discuss some uses via example.
Example sentances using the mo particle

Ex. 1. Daremo imasen. Nobody is home
Ex. 2. Watakushi mo motte iru. I have one too, or I got one too.
Ex. 3. Nihongo no benkyo wa itsumo shite iru no desu ka? Itsumo to iu yori wa tama ni benkyo shika shinai. A so desu ka? Dakara mada nihongo ga heta nan desu yo ne!

Are you always studying your Japanese. Well, not quite always, occasionally would be a better word for my study. Is that right? That's why your Japanese still sucks so bad.

Ex. 4 Nanika motte kita? Gomen jikan ga nakute nanimo motte konakatta.
Did you bring something? I'm sorry, I didn't have time so I couldn't bring anything.



Jul 25, 2007

Essential Japanese Language training

Don't Know where to look to find essential words to enhance your Japanese vocabulary list. Look no further. The first 100 essential tango for your list.

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Jul 16, 2007

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Some Japanese Grammar base TA

Have you ever verbed before?
Put a verb into base TA then add koto ga arimasu ka?
To ask the question, have you ever verbed before?

VTA + ことがありますか? Have you ever verb'ed' before?

ex.1. Disneyland に行った ことがありますか? (Disneyland ni itta koto ga
arimasu ka?) Have you ever been to Disneyland before?

Occasionally the が in the above example is omitted or exchanged for a ha
as may be expedient. In plain form or less polite language you might hear
VTA + こと ある(koto aru.)

ex. 2. 納豆 を食べた ことが あります か?( natto o tabeta koto ga arimasu
ka?) Have you ever eaten natto before.

Bonus Word - (before eating at the table in Japan you always say)

itadakimasu - いただきます ー to humbly partake

The Japanese verb Hiku in many tenses

Verb Dictionary Form:
引く [ひく] hiku - (v5k,vi,vt) (1) to pull; (2) to draw back; (3) to
draw (a card); (4) to draw (plan, line, etc.); (5) to catch (cold); (6)
to play (string instr.); (7) to look up (e.g., dictionary); to consult;
(P).
Verb Infinitive:
引き [ひき] hiki
Verb Gerund:
引いて [ひいて] hiite
Verb Gerund Negative:
引かないで [ひかないで] hikanaide
Verb Gerund Negative:
引かなくて [ひかなくて] hikanakute
Verb Present Plain:
引く [ひく] hiku
Verb Present Plain Negative:
引かない [ひかない] hikanai
Verb Present Polite:
引きます [ひきます] hikimasu
Verb Present Polite Negative:
引きません [ひきません] hikimasen
Verb Past Plain:
引いた [ひいた] hiita
Verb Past Plain Negative:
引かなかった [ひかなかった] hikanakatta
Verb Past Polite:
引きました [ひきました] hikimashita
Verb Past Polite Negative:
引きませんでした [ひきませんでした] hikimasen deshita
Verb Present Progressive Plain:
引いている [ひいている] hiite iru
Verb Present Progressive Plain Negative:
引いていない [ひいていない] hiite inai
Verb Present Progressive Polite:
引いています [ひいています] hiite imasu
Verb Present Progressive Polite Negative:
引いていません [ひいていません] hiite imasen
Verb Past Progressive:
引いていました [ひいていました] hiite imashita
Verb Past Progressive Negative:
引いていませんでした [ひいていませんでした] hiite imasen deshita
Verb Present Presumptive Plain:
引くだろう [ひくだろう] hiku darou
Verb Present Presumptive Plain Negative:
引かないだろう [ひかないだろう] hikanai darou
Verb Present Presumptive Polite:
引くでしょう [ひくでしょう] hiku deshou
Verb Present Presumptive Polite Negative:
引かないでしょう [ひかないでしょう] hikanai deshou
Verb Past Presumptive Plain:
引いただろう [ひいただろう] hiita darou
Verb Past Presumptive Plain Negative:
引かなかっただろう [ひかなかっただろう] hikanakatta darou
Verb Past Presumptive Polite:
引いたでしょう [ひいたでしょう] hiita deshou
Verb Past Presumptive Polite Negative:
引かなかったでしょう [ひかなかったでしょう] hikanakatta deshou
Verb Future Presumptive Plain:
引こう [ひこう] hikou
Verb Future Presumptive Polite:
引きましょう [ひきましょう] hikimashou
Verb Imperative Plain:
引け [ひけ] hike
Verb Imperative Plain (Less):
引きなさい [ひきなさい] hikinasai
Verb Imperative Plain Negative:
引くな [ひくな] hikuna
Verb Imperative Polite:
引いてください [ひいてください] hiite kudasai
Verb Imperative Polite Negative:
引かないでください [ひかないでください] hikanaide kudasai
Verb Conditional If:
引けば [ひけば] hikeba
Verb Conditional If Negative:
引かなければ [ひかなければ] hikanakereba
Verb Conditional When/if:
引いたら [ひいたら] hiitara
Verb Conditional When/if Negative:
引かなかったら [ひかなかったら] hikanakattara
Verb Potential Plain:
引ける [ひける] hikeru
Verb Potential Plain Negative:
引けない [ひけない] hikenai
Verb Potential Polite:
引けます [ひけます] hikemasu
Verb Potential Polite Negative:
引けません [ひけません] hikemasen
Verb Passive Plain:
引かれる [ひかれる] hikareru
Verb Passive Plain Negative:
引かれない [ひかれない] hikarenai
Verb Passive Polite:
引かれます [ひかれます] hikaremasu
Verb Passive Polite Negative:
引かれません [ひかれません] hikaremasen
Verb Causative Plain:
引かせる [ひかせる] hikaseru
Verb Causative Plain Negative:
引かせない [ひかせない] hikasenai
Verb Causative Polite:
引かせます [ひかせます] hikasemasu
Verb Causative Polite Negative:
引かせません [ひかせません] hikasemasen
Verb Causative Passive Plain:
引かせられる [ひかせられる] hikaserareru
Verb Causative Passive Plain Negative:
引かせられない [ひかせられない] hikaserarenai
Verb Causative Passive Polite:
引かせられます [ひかせられます] hikaseraremasu
Verb Causative Passive Polite Negative:
引かせられません [ひかせられません] hikaseraremasen

4 Facets to every Language - Including Japanese

The 4 facets I feel are in every language are these:

Writing skills -

Reading skills -

Listening skills -

Speaking skills -

Writing and Speaking are opposites and are harder to learn than their counterparts Reading and Listening.

A Japanese adjective thought

ADJECTIVES ALWAYS END IN A DIPTHONG OR TWO VOWEL SOUNDS TOGETHER. they can end in -
 ai, ei, oi, ii, ui,

The adjectives ending in ei somehow came to be irregular and don't follow the nice pattern set up for us by the other vowel comination endings.

akai, kirei, aoi, utsukushii, atsui
akai ending in ai
kirei ending in ei
aoi ending in oi
utsukushii ending in the double ii
and lastly
atsui ending in ui
These are in the order of the syllables a i u e o

In like manner  when we add + ku + naru to the stems of adjectives we have a grammar that becomes the adjective. They are set up to become verb bumpo like
akakunaru, even kirekunaru, atsukunaru, aokunaru - its turning red, pretty, hot or its turning blue,
okikunaru- its growing larger or getting bigger"

Japanese thoughts

There is spoken language and the written language. Kanji has deep meanings contained within each one. Much different than what us who are stifled by the alphabet. We can see the meaning of things inside the kanji. Therefore from the get go, we should try to ween ouselves from the temptation to look up words in romaji to decipher meaning. We should use a dictionary like sanseidos daily concise.
Week 1 verbs - Drink, Sleep,Eat, go hataraku. Put verbs in all bases. Nouns: coffee, tea , milk m water,m coca cola , sake , aqquarius, beer, juice. Adjectives - oishii, sutekina, benri na, okiim nagaim samui, atsui, chisaii, mijikai. Grammer masu, masen, masen deshita etc, BII +tai desu = I want to. polite form, lets = BII+masho long o etc
Adjectives- are fun to play with Practive putting the adjectives in fron of a noun etfc

Some thoughts on Japanese

In the majority of known languages there seems to exist within each of their forms of communication a division of it into one that is uttered with a spoken language and its converse skill of listening and comprehending (interpreting the meaning, understanding of the message that is being sent, written language.

In Japanese the need arose in around the year 600 A.D. or so that a system of writing be established to more unitize the many warlords who were scattered across the various districts of Japan. Kanji (plural Kanji) are pictographs, borrowed from the chinese scripts and borrowed their system of writing to an exten. Kanji are capable of relaying and expressing much more meaning than can be gained through description of an idea or object with the phoenician alphabet.

Westerners grow up in a world where our writing system is now such that we write our words alphabetically. a purely due to each kanji's graphical nature. and evolution a much deeper meaning contained within each one. It is usually difficult for westerners to comprehend such a a writing system wherein the words are still more ideographic than Much different than what us who are stifled by the alphabet. Kanji can be written in as many as 1 to 100 strokes of the pen of the stenographer. The simplest kanji are 1 stroke and there are six kanji that can be written in as few as 1 stroke(s)We can see the meaning of things inside the kanji. Therefore from the get go, we should try to ween ouselves from the temptation to look up words in romaji to decipher meaning. We should use a dictionary like sanseidos daily concise.

Week 1 verbs - Drink, Sleep,Eat, go hataraku. Put verbs in all bases. Nouns:coffee;tea;milk; water,coca cola,sake,aquarius,beer,juice.

Adjectives - oishii, sutekina, benri na, okiim nagai samui, atsui, chisaii, mijikai. Grammer masu, masen, masen deshita etc, BII +tai desu = I want to. polite form, lets = BII+masho long o etc
Adjectives- are fun to play with Practice putting the adjectives in front of a noun etc
日 This is the Kanji for the word, Sun. Words that use radicals1 containg this ji2 日are related to or usually have something to do with things of the sun, bright things, things that give off light, things that glow. Do you get the point? Japanese isn't that difficult to read, but it is our predisposition to believe that it is so that is why we fail before we even try. We look at the mess of Kanji or the Hieroglyphs and cower in self stupidity. If someone could just show others as I had learned on my own. The learning of another language wouldn't be such a daunting or formidable task. having in someway a connection with the light, bright etc. These words too have also have the kanji hi in them.
There seems to be so much more meaning contained in an ideograph than do letters that represent sounds that together represent meaning. Here is one example of a kanji that looks fairly difficult. This kanji is made in 9 strokes of the pen and after learning that 日means the sun, or signifies words related to the sun then we could make a fairly good estimate at what this next kanji means . 星 has the sun kanji in it as well as the kanji for the word birth, or to give life to. 生 is the kanji sei which means depending on tense of the word, life. In its future use tense this it contains one other syllable mu む、Put 生and mu or む together and you have Umu or in Japanese 生む which according to Sanseido's Daily Concise Japanese- English Dictionary means 1. to bear a child, to give birth to a baby. 2 to lay eggs or spawn.(49) Now before reading the answer on pg 8 take an educated guess at what the meaning is. Think or ponder for a second how these two kanji put together make a different yet totally logical word out of two other words. Just like Englishes prefixes and suffixes in words like lithograph, literally stone write, or engraving . The words birth of something and the word hi fused together make the word star. Now next time you see a couple of kanji just take a guess, your chances of being right are better than 50%.
Better than 50% chance is usually all that linguists worry about when trying to find the similarities of language. if you can guess more than 50% of the words given some system like the above then the language is said to be related to your own family of languages.
There are 6 main language families from whence all other languages stem. These are the Indo-Eurasiatic, the Urallic, the Anuit eskimo, and the ..
Since it has never been proven that there was once an all powerful mighty mother tongue, that gave birth to all the languages the world now utilizes (what is otherwise called the nostratic tongue), I have a hunch that there was such a mother tongue.
The languages of the world appear vastly different, and it is true that we are confounded by them, one culture are confounded by the words of another. You have heard at least once in your life the expression, “ Its all Greek to me”. How could I prove the existence of this nostratic tongue. The proof is difficult because the medium through which language has evolved has never been permanent. When the world passes away who would know? There is no evidence of the mother tongue, neither are there any ever lasting writings or digital recordings of any ancient civiliazation that we now have in our museums that sow us hey, look we all at one time back in the day, we used the same language.
I would like to show my belief in the ancestry of languages coming from only one source. And back into that same source we will go. One thing we can say for fact is that there were less people. That is fairly obvious. Therefore on that assumption, we can assume that there were less languages than there are now. Can we deduce that less people = less language counts …? I say it further as f(x) Can't we further say then that the further back we go there were still less and less people.Therefore as x ( the number of people on the earth at any certain time) approaches 2, y =1. Because there is no communication without two person. There isn't much need for a language if there is nobody to communicate with. From 2 people perhaps came 16 others, children of those 2 people therefore now it is possible to start having different languages.

While Verbing - Base II + Nagara

Japanese Bunpo (grammar) lesson #106


Today’s lesson focuses in on the grammar principle:

Verb (base II) + nagara - to do while 'verb'ing.

You are able to express past tense and current tenses with this bunpo. After reading the following examples, plug in your favorite Japanese verbs and play, it makes learning Japanese fun!

Example.1. sara o arainagara, kuchibue o fuku. – While doing the dishes, I whistle.

Example 2. enka o kikinagara, sake o nomu – While listening to an enka , I drink sake.

Grammar Formulation Breakdown –

1. Put verb in base II
a. The verb arau (to wash) with direct object sara (dishes) is sara o arau - to do the dishes.
b. arau in base II becomes arai.

2. Fuse arai and nagara to make arainagara, or the phrase while washing… plugged
And played

Past tense, non-polite (familiar), plain-form ending –

Ex. 1 sara o arainagara kuchibue of fuita. I whistled while doing the dishes.

Past tense, polite ending –

Ex.1 sara o arainagara, kuchibue of fukimashita. – While doing the dishes, I
whistled.

Past tense, non-polite (familiar), plain-form ending –

Ex.2 enka o kikinagara, sake o nonda.

Past tense, polite ending –

Ex.2 enka o kikinagara, sake o nomimashita.

Do your best!
Ganbatte Ne!
Makurasuki

The Japanese particle mo

By adding the syllable mo (inclusive particle) to The following words to make many new ones. First, memorize the question words. Who, what, where ,when, how many, Have fun!

Tabete mo ii desu ka?
Tabenakute mo ii desu yo!
Nikujaga mo pritz mo ippai arimasu


Question word + mo
with + positive verb
with – negative verb
dare + mo
anyone
nobody
nani +mo
anything
nothing
doko + mo
everywhere, anywhere
nowhere
itsu + mo
all the time, always
none of the time, never
nannin + mo
many people, a bunch of people
not many people

The participle mo represents inclusiveness. The English equivalent being the words also or too.

Some cuss words in Japanese

It has been said that there are few cusswords in Japanese. There are some words like baka, aho, however that if you actually heard in person, would shock you into thinking otherwise. The use of baka and aho in Japanese ranges from being a super harsh cussing term to just a mildly sarcastic remark. Just as in English, depending on what type of voice and kind of inflection displayed, and targeted intent behind the word determines how bad of a word it really is.
When translated literally the word baka means horse-dear. Baka might mean jack-ass or as it is most often translated, fool. But does fool do the word baka or horse deer justice? It really seldom suffices to translate the word baka into English by translating it as fool.

Translation becomes difficult a lot of times betwixt the two languages. Sometimes there is no equivalent translation at all. O-negai shimasu is a perfect example of a word that cannot truly be understood from a western point of view. It cannot be fully understood with an explanation in words. It must be experienced to understand fully what is meant when the Japanese say words or phrases from Japanese to English because there is no way for either culture to understand the other culture’s view without fully being born and growing up in that country. Golden Grahams, and Romper Room are to Americans what, and pokki and punky kizu are to the Japanese. But try explaining either to the other.

The word baka means so much more than just fool. Even screamed at the top of our lungs, calling somebody a fool nowadays in English means buddy or friend more than it means dickhead or asswipe. Baka is a personal term that takes on meaning through the person expressing it. The severity of the word is determined by the tone of voice which utters the two syllables ba and ka. I must admit I only really heard baka said once to realize how much meaning can be contained in one word. I think the word baka is the foulest word in the Japanese language.

I will share an experience where me and a friend were riding our bikes in Saga, Japan.My friend being a hot shot bicyclist from Arizona who was a cocky acne prone American punk with no manners but was very capable of riding wheelies longer, going faster, bunny hopping even his ten-speed and skitchin’ behind Toyotas that had wheels like the Cars at Disneyland and he liked to show off to his ill-mannered very typical of some cocky young American. At a shingou (stop light) I had already crossed and he went ahead and ran the red light to catch up to me who had already passed through. Crossing the street he was almost hit by a car or two as he swerved in and out to miss him with what great stupidity I watched as I fully heard the word BAKA loud and clear come from the window of one of the cars.

 A young college aged Japanese male spoke loud and clear intending it to reach the ears of all within hearing range. He said, “BAKA” in the most hideous of tone directed at my cocky buddy who I was riding with. It made me sink on the seat of my bike for him to hear a Japanese native use the term baka in a way I never knew existed. Now this was the first time I had heard it like a cuss word but I felt so low and embarrassed for him, I knew then and there, I would never want to be called a “BAKA” myself or have anyone around me be called it neither. Somebody told me previously that baka meant fool but they didn’t explain how much of a fool it meant. There is no way that baka meant just fool. It sounded worse than a two edged sword and could cut through to one’s core and shake it and slice the flesh off of me.

 So terrible was its use that day and the impact that it had on my future was far reaching. It meant more than just “you fool!” it meant “you f***ing a***ole mother f***ing b**ch” or worse. But it was a very bad word to say the least. So the Japanese do have cuss words, baka being one of them. Other ways of cussing will be explained below. The way of cussing is different but still very penetrating. The way in which you cuss in Japanese is to use low level speech. What we speak in what is called plain form level or lower we are essentially without cussing it could be construed as speaking in a vulgar manner.

It’s possible to sound foul mouthed simply by staying in the lowest level of politeness. The lowest form or levels of politeness can be the same as cussing every other word in English. Like I said words are very powerful, mightier than the sword, so be extremely careful to choose the words that come out of your mouth cautiously and remember to bridle your tongue just in case.

Their are many intricacies of honorific Japanese but for ease of understanding they are usually 4 basic levels of politeness. From least polite, to talking with an Emporer, King, Duke, or magistrate, we can divide Japanese speech into 4 grades or levels that are distinctive in their use and level of politeness exhibited.
Let’s take verbs for example. The verb iku could become ukagau iu becomes ossharu, suru becomes nasaru, dictionary, but also I am a gaijin and not a native speaker. I have heard aho - similiar to asshole or dickweed perhaps. The verb to eat can be expressed in a very vulgar manner or delicately and honorably eaten like the Empress herself. Meshi of Kuu means to eat some rice, gohan o taberu, a little better, gohan o tabemasu, and finally o-kome of meshiagarimasu.

1st level - Honorific speech. The level of highest politeness. In this level you are in essence raising the status of the person with whom you are speaking. Your speech raises them above your own field of existence and exalts their very being. Words are mightier than the sword. In this case Words are powerful to exalt those with whom you speak. Exaltation never made anyone feel bad, and as such usually brings the point of o sewa, their o-tsukaresama, and kochira koso, and other points exhibited or portrayed by these words in Japanes. Honorifics involve lowering yourself and at the same time raising others. is elates them. The feeling you get when being spoken to in honorific Japanese is that you are a member of a royal family. When I was being spoken to in keigo, I felt powerful. It made me feel very wanted or in some sense loved. It also made me feel like I was needed. I felt like I belonged and that they wanted me there. I certainly had a place.

Now with the next level politeness where you have masu and desu. This is more strict and straight polite level verbs, then or an important feature of this royal family. I was important. It actually empowers you. The words spoken make you feel comfortable and you also have a feeling of responsibility that comes with this nobility. Thinking in terms of Maslowe’s heirarchy of needs, being spoken to in keigo would fit the bill of social acceptance and fulfill that level in the Maslowes pyramid of needs. I only wish we had some of this honorific speech more often in America. Here all that is flourishing is ghetto grammar. Shucks!

on Japanese trains

There are a couple of key phrases I wish I had learned earlier when visiting Japan. When traveling, I lost a lot of time because I didn't know the difference between a futsu, kyuko, or a tokkyu train was. In visiting Japan, you are more than likely, at some point, going to become familiar with the train and subway system in Japan.

The Japan Railway or JR as it is called, has various types of trains that differ in job function. For example the tokkyu densha or the (special limited express train), doesn't stop as frequently as does the kyuukou (express train). Railways are heavily relied upon in Japan. It is a big part of their lives. People are always going somewhere by train, or by subway, or bus. If you plan on getting somewhere on time you better take the train.

Aside from needing to know the word for train(densha) and train station(eki), it is helful to know how to say or be able to comprehend the three main types of trains that run throughout each day in any typical Japanese urban city. Knowing these train words will save a traveller some time.
If all else fails the best way to communicate however is in English. Japanese study English in school, and are eager to practice it when they can.

Dozo – Dozo is a fun word that you will hear more often than not. It means to go ahead with something as in this example:

Dozo tabete kudasai.(go ahead and eat).

You might hear dozo when in a que or line at the supaa. O saki ni Dozo(go ahead, after you). Or you may hear it starting with Dozo as in this example:

Dozo, O saki ni – Go ahead, you first I insist.

Japanetics is Language learning to the max

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