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Saturday, December 17th, 2005
5:57 pm - 日本語のレッソン4

Hiragana lesson time!

Mk, here is the super amazing hiragana chart which is *essential* for Japanese. Learn it very well!

あ い う え お
か き く け こ
さ し す せ そ
た ち つ て と
な に ぬ ね の
は ひ ふ へ ほ
ま み む め も
や   ゆ   よ
ら り る れ ろ
わ        を

In roomaji, that's
a i u e o
ka ki ku ke ko
sa shi su se so
ta chi tsu te to
na ni nu ne no
ha hi fu he ho
ma mi mu me mo
ya yu yo
ra ri ru re ro
wa wo

Taking the hiragana from the "k", "s", "t", and "h" rows and adding ゛(tenten) to them. This makes the "k" row into "g", the "s" into "z", the "t" into "d", and the "h" into "b" (with a few exceptions that I'll get to later).

が ぎ ぐ げ ご
ざ じ ず ぜ ぞ
だ ぢ づ で ど
ば び ぶ べ ぼ

ga gi gu ge go
za ji zu ze zo
da (ji) dzu de do
ba bi bu be bo

The exceptions:

し(shi) with tenten makes (ji) - this is the "ji" that is normally used. (chi) with tenten also makes a ji (or dzi) sound, but it is used only rarely in special cases.

with tenten makes (dzu or zu) - this is only used in special cases (such as つづく - tsudzuku, to continue). It makes a sound similar to the (su with tenten - zu), but is the one regularly used.

The "h" column with a small circle (mini maru!) makes a "p" column:
ぱ ぴ ぷ ぺ ぽ

pa pi pu pe po

It is the only hirgana that use the mini maru.

To make sounds such as pya, nyu, hyo, etc, you combine the "i" column of a hiragana with a mini "y" row - (ya) (yu) (yo).

きゃ きゅ きょ
にゃ にゅ にょ
ひゃ ひゅ ひょ
びゃ びゅ びょ
ぴゃ ぴゅ ぴょ
りゃ りゅ りょ

kya kyu kyo
nya nyu nyo
hya hyu hyo
bya byu byo
pya pyu pyo
rya ryu ryo

Things like "kye" and "kyi" are not used.

There are special combinations also.
To make sha, shu, sho, use the (shi) hiragana and combine it with a mini hiragana from the "y" row.
sha - しゃ
shu - しゅ
sho - しょ

To make ja, ju, jo, use the (ji) hiragana and combine it with a mini hiragana from the "y" row.
ja - じゃ
ju - じゅ
jo - じょ

To make cha, chu, cho, use the (chi) hiragana and combine it with a mini hiragana from the "y" row.
cha - ちゃ
chu - ちゅ
cho - ちょ

All my formatting went away. x.x Sorry!

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Monday, November 28th, 2005
8:20 pm - 日本語のレッソン3

Alright, let's do the は/が and です thing! Now, no one will ever completely understand the mystery that is and , especially not an inexperienced student like me, but I shall try my best to explain.

is the hiragana for "ha". However, when is the topic marking particle, it is pronounced "wa" for reasons unknown to pretty much everyone. Now in the future, you shall see sentences like this:

Seika wa hito desu.
Seika is a person.

is marking Seika as the "topic" of the sentence - when literally translated to English, most professors agree that it should be translated something like "As for Seika, he is a person". Just because is marking something, it does not necessary mean that it's the subject of the sentence. It is what the speaker is talking about. also serves to emphasize the predicate of the sentence, drawing attention away from Seika and more towards the fact that he is a person. Taken from japanese.about.com " 'wa' is used to mark something that has already been introduced into the conversation, or is familiar with both a speaker and a listener." Now look at this sentence:

Seika ga hito desu.
Seika is a person.

Here, marks Seika as the "subject" of the sentence - the sentence is actually Seika is a person. It is emphasizing the subject, bringing attention to the fact that it is Seika that is a person. Taken from japanese.about.com " 'ga' is used when a situation or happening is just noticed or newly introduced."

Usually, Japanese books tend to skim over the differences between wa/ga and just use wa to mark the subject at first, but that's just confusing and wrong. So always remember is the topic marker, not the subject marker, and can mark other things. Using the "As for ____" format for is usually helpful.

Moving on to です - as I said before, it is an equal sign, not a verb. It does not mean "to be", which is reserved for two other verbs which will come about soon. I'm not sure how to explain it...it is used when convenient. ^^; For the above sentences, the desu is setting Seika equal to person - Seika=person. It can be used in many similar sentences:

Maru wa otoko desu.
Maru is a man.

Shunsuke wa kakkoii desu.
Shunsuke is cool.

I don't think there's really anything more to be explained about desu...at least not yet. ^^; So that ends lesson 3!

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8:02 pm - 日本語のレッソン2

Lesson 2! Mk, setting: まる meets せいか (for unknown reasons XD). This is my own made up dialogue! *is proud*

まる: すみません。せいかさんですか。
せいか: はい、そうです。おなまえは?
まる: まるです。はじめまして。
せいか: せいかです。はじめまして。

Maru: Excuse me. Are you Seika-san?
Seika: Yes, I am. And you are? (lit. your name is?)
Maru: I'm Maru. Nice to meet you.
Seika: I'm Seika. Nice to meet you.

すみません is multi-purposeful. Mostly excuse me/I'm sorry...it's used when wanting to attract someone's attention or when apologizing. The さん Maru puts after Seika's name shows that they have just met and so is being polite - さん is a pretty neutral honorific, used for anyone on your same social level and safe for most people above and below your level.

The そうです is a common phrase meaning "yes, that's right" or "yes, it is". Adding (ne) on to it makes it one of the most common phrases in the Japanese language, an agreeing phrase like "mhm, i see" or "yes i agree with you" and is used almost constantly. XD You'll notice that later.

The おなまえは is made from the honorific O (to make it more polite) and namae (name) - the wa is the "topic marker", which will be covered in next lesson (yes, I promised this lesson, but well...) The full question would be おなまえはなんですか (What is your name?) The です is that equal sign I mentioned before, putting namae equal to nan (what). is a question marker. The full question sounds...funny though. Japanese people have a tendency of trailing off their sentences, so leaving it at おなまえは? is much more natural.

Roomaji cheat:
Maru: Sumimasen. Seika-san desu ka?
Seika: Hai, sou desu. O-namae wa?
Maru: Maru desu. Hajimemashite.
Seika: Seika desu. Hajimemashite.

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7:41 pm - 日本語のレッソン1

Yay, lesson 1 starts...woo! Here are the characters:

えぇとね...mk, let's start with the place everything starts. The beginning! Here is つかさ and 瞬介's first meeting:
瞬介: はじめまして。瞬介です。
つかさ: はじめまして。つかさです。
瞬介: どうぞよろしく。
つかさ: どうぞよろしく。

Shunsuke: How do you do? I'm Shunsuke.
Tsukasa: How do you do? I'm Tsukasa.
Shunsuke: It's nice to meet you.
Tsukasa: It's nice to meet you too.
(Shush, it's the first thing in ようこそ...not my fault that it's so dumb. XD)

Mk, explanation time! はじめまして and どうぞよろしく are both things said when meeting someone. hajimemashite is literally "for the first time" and douzo yoroshiku is just a blob of politeness that my book says "please regard me favorably". This is a dumb lesson, but now we have bis meeting, and that's good right? Anyways, you don't have to say both はじめまして and どうぞよろしく, one or the other is usually fine (but I guess the book wanted to cram both into one little dialogue).

です is one of the most important non-verbs ever. It's a "copula" or pretty much an "equal sign". But that comes later, with wa/ga etc. Second lesson, I promise. XD For now, just know that it's important.

The first lesson is always useless anyways. I'll right another one right now. XD

Roomaji cheat:
Shunsuke: Hajimemashite. Shunsuke desu.
Tsukasa: Hajimemashite. Tsukasa desu.
Shunsuke: Douzo yoroshiku.
Tsukasa: Douzo yoroshiku.

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