Apr 30, 2008

After Verbing in Base TE + KARA

Japanese Plug and Play Ghetto Grammar 109
JPPGG #109
Three Ways of Saying “After Verb’ing” in Japanese.

After, After, and After - 3 ways to say, “after verb’ing” in Japanese –
There are 3 easy ways to say to “after verb’ing” in Japanese

1. verb (base TE) + KARA
2. verb (base TA) + ATO DE
3. verb (base TA) + NOCHI NI

By themselves KARA, ATO DE, NOCHI NI all mean, after similar equivalent expressions for the English terms following or later.

To say that you will do something after doing something else in Japanese, use the following grammar constructions:

1. Verb (Base TE) + KARA – after verb’ing

Take verbs and put them into base TE.

Verbs ending in KU become ITE  ~ITE
Verbs ending in GU become IDE  ~IDE
Verbs ending in U, TSU, or RU  ~ TTE
Verbs ending in BU, MU or NU  ~NDE
The verb suru or verbs ending in SU become SHITE  ~SHITE

Then add + KARA (after)

HANASU (v. to speak)  HANASHITE

Let’s go after we talk a little.

YOMU (v. to speak) YONDE

I think I’ll sleep after reading a book.

TABERU (v. to eat)  TABETE

After I eat, I’m going to do homework.

I like to take a shower after I do my exercise.

2. verb (base TA) + ATO DE - after verb’ing

Take verbs and put them into base TA

NOMU (v. to drink)  NONDA

Verb ending in either BU, MU or NU
ta  nda
NOMU in base TA is NONDA

I got sleepy after drinking some* sake.


3. verb ( base TA) + NOCHI NI - after verb’ing

I went home after drinking some sake.

(After I drank some sake I took the dog for a walk.)

As you can see from these examples, there are two sides with two verbs comprising this construction. (Predicates and the like.)

Verb 1 in base TE +KARA and Verb 2

Verb 2 can be past, present, negative or positive, but Verb 1 must be in base TE.

As Always,
Ganbatte Ne!
Do Your Best!
Makurasuki Sensei

Japanese Vocabulary Blaster 15
or to continue the training, see
Japanese Vocabulary Blaster 17

Apr 29, 2008

kamo ne

Japanese Plug and Play Ghetto Grammar (JPPGG) #109
PLAIN FORM + KAMOSHIRENAI - to probably verb

In Japanese, to say that something will most likely happen in the future or to say that something has probably already occurred, we use the word ~kamoshirenai. Both Japanese nouns and Japanese verbs in plain form (i.e. Base III) can be used to which we can attach one of three variable endings which vary in politeness.
When used after nouns, or verbs in plain form, KAMOSHIREMASEN means: maybe noun, maybe verb, might have been noun, might have verb'ed, or probably noun, or probably verb etc. Although by definition, KAMO, by itself, is the word for duck, the origin or roots of the word KAMOSHIREMASEN come mainly from the verb to know, or, SHIRU. In this case, SHIRENAI means unable to know. The KA and the MO pose even more uncertainty when put together because KA is the question mark (?) particle, and MO is the also particle.
KAMO without SHIRENAI or SHIREMASEN is less polite but still understood. To use KAMO by itself is permissible when speaking with close friends or acquaintances. However, since saying just KAMO is less polite, beginners should avoid saying it. Its best to always use the most polite form KAMOSHIREMASEN, but it's ok to say KAMOSHIRENAI when you are in company of close friends etc.
If you were to listen to 10 minutes of any random Japanese conversation, you would most likely or probably (pun intended) hear the word KAMOSHIRENAI within that time. KAMOSHIRENAI is always used in Japanese conversation. Verbs in base III are equivalent to what is known as plain form, of the verb, sometimes designated in JPPGG© Ghetto Grammar as P.F.
P.F. Verb+ KAMOSHIRENAI - most common, but less polite
P.F. Verb+ KAMOSHIREMASEN - more polite
P.F. Verb+ KAMO - least polite and funny to the ear

It might have been stolen

Are you going to graduate?
It's possible! (Maybe!)

It's a duck, probably.-or-
It's most likely a duck.-or-
It's probably a duck.-etc.

Its probably tastes pretty good! (Doesn't it?)
(Tasty duck hunh)

As always, Ganbatte Ne!
Do your Best!
Makurasuki Sensei.
for more on Japanese Grammar please see http://squidoo.com/japanesegrammar89

Brett McCluskey Enjoys sharing his knowledge of Japanese grammar with those serious about second language acquistion. See more of his unorthodox learning methods at http://www.jappermon.com/ or http://squidoo.com/japanesejoy further Japanese grammar study can be found at How to count in Japanese - http://squidoo.com/ichinisan

Incomplete thoughts and sentences I will make in Native tongue

Deal the Zeal : Enthusiasm and its effects on second language Acquisition
Goals for Japanese Fluency
By Makurasuki, Brett McCluskey

This article was created to help those that need a boost to start or re-continue there quest for the acquisition and mastery of Japanese unto fluency.

You can improve your Japanese by following a few techniques I will show you and briefly outline here. In no time your Japanese speaking skills will be better than you ever thought possible. Your success in second language acquisition should you accept the challenge, will be dependant upon the commitments you make to yourself to memorizing words part1, understanding, learning, memorizing then applying the basic Japanese grammar principles part3+4 and finally your total amount of zeal you put into your efforts. The amount of success or failure you have in second language acquisition starts with you. The power is within you, now lets try to unlock

I want to share with you my zeal for learning another language and perhaps you might catch a little part of it and it might burn like the California fires of 2007 until you too have inspired others through your zeal and mastery of a foreign language. My roommates hated me when I was studying, because not only would I ask them to help me by quizzing me from my vocabulary list from which I studied without fail daily, but I would wake up very early in the morning to practice speaking Japanese. I would repeat sentences I learned like mantras until I got the chance to use what I learned in real life to see which ones actually worked. My roommates hated me. I had zeal for learning Japanese. It takes a great bit of it to be a successful language learner.
You MUST HAVE ZEAL for learning the language or you will become complacent and lazy. Determine within yourself now that you will find a way to harness zeal and enthusiasm towards the improvement of your Japanese unto acquisition. You must also have a purpose for your zeal. My purpose was to be able to speak with the Japanese people themselves, to communicate with them with no impediments of speech. Like they say Quitters Never Win, and Winners Never Quit. So get going now and find your purpose and zeal it up.
The following is just one way and one example of what kind of language goals a person could set and realistically achieve, while at the same time making it challenging enough to maintain their interest. You might emulate these goals if you were learning Japanese, they are modeled after my own goals. They are in no way the only way to go, but they are, as I said, just one set of possible goals that tha you can use to help you attain fluency. They helped me acquire that ever elusive second language (Japanese) and if they are couple with enough zeal it will be very possible that they will help you get fluency too.
Remember though, the amount of zeal you put into your work is exactly how much success you will achieve out of it. With the right amount of zeal, you are bound to be speaking native like a Japanese senator in no time flat. May your Nihongo wa jozu ni naru.

It has been said to be fluent a person must know a minimum 4000 words

Vocabulary –n. a list of words, and often phrases, abbreviations, inflectional forms, etc., usually arranged in alphabetical order and defined or otherwise identified as in a dictionary, or glossary.
It goes on to say that vocabulary is also all the words recognized and understood by a particular person although not necessarily used by him, these may be an interrelated group of nonverbal symbols, signs, gestures, etc. used for communication or expression.

Now let’s do some math to see how long it will take us to learn 4000 words or what some have called the minimum amount of vocabulary one must have to be considered fluent.

7 days a week
52 weeks per annum
4 weeks per month
12 months per annum

How long will it take to obtain a 4000 word vocabulary?

Well if we learned 4000 words in one day it would only take us one day, but is it reasonable to assume that we will retain those words? Unless you have a photographic memory we should consider something else. How about 4000 words in 1 month? Is that a reasonable goal? I don’t think either of those goals are within a typical realizable amount attainable possible. We need a reasonable goal that is attainable that leaves us some breathing room to assimilate the vocabulary into our own speech system. I feel 6-8 words a day might be stretching us thin a little bit but it is the one I will recommend. Actually, the way I did it was to learn 15 words every two days but for sake of clarity lets stick with words/day.
We don’t want to memorize to many words because we will end up worse than learning only 1 word a week. At one word a week it would take us 4000 days, or almost 11 years to have such a vocabulary. That’s too long if you figure that for an accelerated college degree program you will be spending 4-6 years to obtain your B.A. and still would’t be fluent either way, 11 years is too long. These goals will be set for you to learn 4000 vocabulary terms in 1 year and 1 month from your starting date. This is still a very lofty goal. In order to learn 4000 vocabulary in 1 year and 1 month you will need to learn 10-11 words / day
That is the goal 10-11 words / day, that is everyday with no rest.

Day 1 goal – memorize 10 words today, tomorrow and 10 new words everyday for the next 9 months. Don’t get discouraged after 9 months if you stick with your goals you won’t be pera pera (fluent), but you will be enabled to handle almost any conversation that comes your way.

Day 2 goal -
Day 3 goal –
Weekly goal
Monthly goal
3 month goal
6 month goal


So what exactly is fluency?

How do we measure fluency? There are no doubt quite a few ways to measure fluency. I am not aware of any fluency machine that can instantly measure your fluency like we can take your temperature. I have heard it said at least once that fluency is dependant upon total vocabulary memorized. And they put a number on it of 4000 different words. I cannot say I totally agree with that statement. No doubt, other requirements for being fluent in a language exist other than just knowledge of vocabulary. Although many other complex processes are involved in fluency we will start with how to set goals in memorizing words to increase our vocabulary power. Setting goals to memorizing vocabulary is a good place to start. So how much vocabulary power do you have under your belt?
The amount of words that you know and are able to translate those words into and out of your native tongue and into and out of your target language. Know the meaning of words so thoroughly that you can interchange them instantly. I suggest the use of mnemonics as helpful
way to memorize Japanese words.

Just as one can word or phrase or apply any manipulation to the language so that its suits our purpose and the main purpose and reason is to get our meaning across. Sharing a As long as the method we use suffices to get our message across it does’t even matter if we can speak Japanese or not. In any language, if you look like you gotta go ‘pee’ you don’t have to say a word people will understand you. If you look tired or motion your hands as if you are sleeping, our knowledge of Nihongo lets body language assume the role. What is the shortest distance between you and getting what you want. You are allowed to use any and all means necessary to get your meaning across.

Please see my article on circumlocution for sure fire ways to get your meaning across even if you don’t know the Japanese words for it. http://ezinearticles.com/?Japanese-Pronunciation-Tips-13&id=472520

Ones’s own Native tongue -
Just in mannerisms and the exact vocabulary and grammatical structure employed by the speaker can there be vast amounts of missed meanings to occur. Japanese could be spoken in any number of differing ways; intelligently, suave, brave, naive, sophisticated, charming, honorific ally, stately, manly cunning, feminine, drunk, legendary all sorts of ways to speak like and just as we have the ish to make something in nihongo the word becomes ppoi.

Noun+ ppoi = noun ‘ish’
beautifully, wonderfully or bold or any other way you can think of
The levels keigo kokugou must know how tomanipulate verbs, while memorizing and strengthening your store of Japanese words to put into your goal oriented language arsenal. With that arsenal and using all of your faculties to summon together the ability to speak inside of another tongue, and also to be able to open your ears to such an extent that they become even more sensitive to different words, consonants, vowels phonemes.

Along with your noun memorization oath.( see appendix )noun (don't take for granted any place names that are presented to you on your quest for complete Japanese mastery. You have to commit yourself to a reasonable yet challenging goal.

After verbing

Japanese Plug and Play Ghetto Grammar JPPGG #109
Verb (Base TE) + KARA – after verb’ing
After, After, and After - 3 ways to say, “after verb’ing” in Japanese

To say that you will do something after doing something else in Japanese, use the following grammar construction:

Take verbs and put them into base TE.

Verbs ending in su becomes shi-te  shite
Verbs ending in ku becomes ku-ite 
Verbs ending in gu becomes ide 

HANASU (v. to speak) – HANASHITE

HON O YONDE KARA NERU TO OMOIMASU. I think I’ll sleep after reading a book.

TABETE KARA SHUKUDAI O SURU. – after I eat I’m going to do homework.

I like to take a shower after I exercise.

After verb – verb (base TA) + ATO DE –

I got sleepy after drinking some* sake.

After verb – verb ( base TA) + NOCHI NI

Nomu - (v. To drink) –
Nomu (base ta)
Bu, mu or nu
ta  nda
Nomu in base ta is NONDA

(After I drank some sake I took the dog for a walk.)

Apr 7, 2008

Japanese Cusswords

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!

Japanetics is Language learning to the max