Nov 28, 2008

A So^ desu ka?

When I was a kid, I can remember trying to make fun of oriental people by pulling back on my eyes so they appeared slanted and saying," Ah so desu ka". It wasn't until I lived in Japan that I realized that Japanese kids also make fun of westerners by pointing out that we have big noses and round eyes. It turns out that that there really is a phrase, "A so^ desu ka?". It means, "Is that so?" In this instance so seems to mean the same thing in both English and Japanese.

そう です か?a so^ desu ka? - Is that so?

so^ = so

So^, is a cool little word because it seems we can use it the same way in both Japanese and English.

Nov 19, 2008

Japanese Grammar - Putting Verbs in Base TA

Japanese grammar Lesson:
Japanese Verbs in Base TA

The shortest distance between you and you speaking in Japanese isn't very far. The fastest way to learn and start conversing in the Japanese is to memorize words and then understand how to put verbs into bases.

Japanese Verbs : Verb bases – Putting Japanese verbs into the TA –form (た-form)

The ability to put Japanese verbs into the various bases quickly without pause is a qualitysought out for in fluency and acquisition. Becoming a competent and capable Japanese conversationalist takes time and commitment.

Of all the Japanese verb Bases (I, II, III, IV , V, TA-た, and TE-て) the TA - た form ranks high in usage as one of the top three most used bases for verbs only after TE-てand Base III or root form. I am focusing on it now in order to prepare you for the quick, powerful grammar secrets that employ Base TA - た verbs. Knowing these secrets will catapult your Japanese speaking ability through the roof. I’ll be discussing Japanese grammar rules that use Japanese verbs in Base TA - た.

One of the main things you should know about the TA - た form of a verb is that it is used to put verbs into past tense plain form. A verb in base TA - た form is equivalent to English’s have done or past tense perfect. The TA - た form of a verb has evolved from the classical form tari.

**** How to put a Japanese verb into Base TA ****

1. Vowel Stemmed verbs (i.e. ichidan verbs IRU, or ERU ending verbs -える.)
        a. to put a verb into the TA-た form when the verb has a vowel stem simply add TA - た

We start with the Base III of verbs or the dictionary form of five Japanese verbs

1. kanjiru - 感じる
2. oboeru - 覚える
3. kangaeru - 考える
4. deru - 出る
5. iru - 居る

In Base II or stem form (or extensor form) for these five Japanese verbs will be -

1. kanji - 感じ
2. oboe - 覚え
3. kangae - 考え
4. de - 出
5. i - 居

Base TA for five Japanese verbs

TA - た ending verbs are past tense.

1. kanjita - 感じた - felt
2. oboeta - 覚えた - remebered
3. kangaeta - 考えた thought of
4. deta - 出た left
5. ita- 居た was

Meaning transformation of five Japanese Verbs:

1. To feel becomes to have felt.
kanjiru 感じる becomes kanjita 感じた

2. To remember becomes to have remembered.
oboeru 覚える becomes oboeta 覚えた

3. To think becomes to have thought.
kangaeru 考える becomes kangaeta 考えた

4. To leave becomes to have left.
deru 出るbecomes deta 出た

5. To be becomes to have been. (was, were)
iru 居る becomes ita 居た

Try putting your favorite verb ending in iru or eru into the TA form today and get your Nihongo study going!

If you want more information on how you can use memory and the laws of attraction to master any language the please see
Master Memory

As Always,
Ganbatte ne!
Do your best!

Looking for more ways to be successful in all that you do including mastering a language?

Nov 12, 2008

How to say WTF in Japanese

Nan ba shiyo^ to^? - What the hell are you doing? This is one way to say it.

As always
Ganbatte ne!
Do Your Best!

Nov 5, 2008

Some Japanese Words for The Day

tsumari - in summary,
awabi - shell fish
kaki - persimmon
butai - the stage
kuchibiru - lips
kuchibeni 口紅 ga eri ni tsuita 付いた - lipstick got left on the collar
tashika ni 確かに- for sure
ikanai kagiri 行かない限り- to the extent that (I) don't go.
chigau to omou - It's different I think.
chigau tomou - I think it's different.
iranai! - I don't want any!
so^ iu kako^ - that kind of dress
sugoku kiken - extremely dangerous
hijo^ ni abunai 非常に危ない - extremely dangerous
sore wa nenrei towa mattaku kankei (nai)aru それは年齢とは全く関係ない
- has something (nothing) to do with age.

Towards Better Japanese
Ganbatte ne!
Do Your Best!

Nov 4, 2008

Put your linguistical thinking cap on for some Japanese Dialects study

Verb Base I + n(ん)

Something I often heard in Fukuoka which was never a part of my classical Japanese language training. I put it forth here for your curious perusal. I will try to break the Japanese grammar of these constructions into parts that are decipherable. This type of talk is confined mainly to northern kyushu but specifically, Fukuoka.

a. start with a Japanese verb in Plain Form like noru - v. to ride.

b. put noru 乗る into its base I + nai equivalent
noru in base I is nora 乗ら.
Add + nai --> noranai 乗らない.
take off the ai so that you are left with the brute stem of nora + n. thus
noran -

so that norande - is this stem in base TE and is equivalent to noranaide + kudasai but it is not so polite;you could even say it is more base, or even vulgar language.

noran - is the form that is made in this Fukuoka dialect Japanese.
other examples would be

ikan 行かん- not go - ikanai - iku 行く v. to go.
taben 食べん- not eat - tabenai 食ない - taberu 食べる v. to eat.
sen せん - not do - shinai しない - suru する v. to do.
noman 飲まん- not drink - nomanai 飲まない - nomu (飲む) v. to drink.

Try putting other Japanese verbs you know into this naide kudasai or please don't Japanese grammar construction.

for all base I + nai(de)ない(で) there will be the dialectical base I + n(de) ん(で)

thus we can have in dialectical form for

for every verb in base I + naide there is base I + nde

It is possible to add even more grammar constructions to the dialectical form verb stem as you would do it in other forms (polite,rude, middle of the road)

All of the below Japanese dialect variants from their standard Japanese counter-parts are possible.

ikandoki (行かんどき) - "You'd be better off, not going.", or "Make sure you don't go."
t goes to voiced d in ikande+oku
verb base I + nde (or base te rude form)+ oki (te+oku,oku in base II semi command form)

noman to akan to^ - You better take (drink) your medicine! or literally, if you don't drink it won't open up, (and thats for surely bad.)

to^ (とう)- ?

食ないで = 食べんで
する- the verb to do
せん = しない
しないで = しない + de = せんで

行く- v. to go
行かんで = 行かないで = ikanaide = don't go

please see also base te + oku ghetto grammar 101 at squidoo

How to easily tell the difference between Ichidan and Yodan verbs

I was taught that there exists three types of verbs in Japanese. The three types of verbs in Japanese are ichidan, yo^dan* and irregular. These types of verbs are unrelated to the three types of English verbs or passive, active and forms of the copula - to be.

Being able to manipulate Japanese verbs is a secret to improving our Japanese language skills. We manipulate them by putting verbs into what is called the 5 bases. But before we can put verbs into bases, it will be necessary to understand the difference between ichidan, and yo^dan verbs. 

With the exception of irregular verbs,
Ichidan verbs are any Japanese verb that end in eru, or iru.

Examples of ichidan verbs:

iru - to be
eru - to gain
oboeru - to remember
oshieru - to teach

Yo^dan verbs are any verb that does not end in eru, or iru.

Examples of yo^dan verbs:

yaru - to give, to do, to play
utsu - to hit
komu - to be congested
oyogu - to swim

*The ^ carat symbol used in the word yo^dan = the long vowel, or, double vowel sound, sometimes indicated with a ‘u’ so that yo^dan can also be written youdan.

Nov 1, 2008

Japanese Grammar Plug and Play

Japanese Lesson #95 - To verb and see
Base TE + Miru - To see about verb'ing; to verb and see.

When putting Japanese verbs into Base TE you need to remember the rules below
All verbs ending in BU,MU,or NU such as asobu, yomu, or shinu transform the respective ending syllable(s) (BU,MU,NU) to nde.BU MU NU --> NDE





Suru - shite

Hanashite miru - I'll try talking to him, (Talk to him and see.)

Hanasu - v. to speak (with), to talk

Itte miru - I'll go check it out (Go and see)

Iku - v. to go.

Tabete miyo^ ka? -Shall we try it? Let's eat and see.

Taberu - v. to eat, chow down on, to grub

Nonde mitara - What if you tried to drink it, go ahead see what it tastes like. (Drink and

Nomu - v. to drink, to ingest.

Monku o iute mitara ..? - What about voicing your complaints? (Complain and see)

Monku o iu - v. to complain, to say a 'monku'.

Yonde mireba? - Why don't you read it and see? Try reading it for yourself.

Yomu - v. to read

Tanonde miru - Ask and see.

Tanomu - v. to request, ask a favor, to ask.

Yatte miru - Try it and see.Yaru - v. to do, to try.

Mite mitara? - What if you take a look see?Miru - v. to see.

**mitara and mireba are interchangeable-- both conditional phrasings, one in base ta +ra
and the other base IV ba.

Til lates,

Mata Kondo

Ganbatte Ne!