Mothers say the darnest things

14 04 2010

My mother always complains that I say things that are infuriating sometimes, like telling a friend that I’ll tough it out like a real man when he told me to take shelter from the rain for a while or telling another one that he should be more manly like me… But this amusing but annoying personality factor has to come from somewhere right?

So I got home last night for a couple days of breather time between exams and when I saw my mom I was excited to tell her about the results so far from my work out…

Me: LOOK! I got skinnier, I’m pretty sure I GAINED weight but I know I definitely got skinnier because like, my shorts are looser now! *shows off tummy*
Mom: *looks at me for a long time* So does that mean your face is swollen?

I don’t know what to do with her sometimes…

But seriously, I don’t like how I’m gaining weight, getting fatter in the FACE but slimming down elsewhere? How does this even happen?


Japanese 003

11 04 2010

Sometimes I include things that aren’t strictly taught in the chapter listed but are relevant, like the negative form of asking a question.

Nakama 1: ch2 – Greetings & Introductions

Section II – ~は~ですか。

Affirmative – Noun は Noun ですか。
Alternative – Noun ですか。
Negative – Noun は Noun じゃないですか。

This is a simple question: Is noun, noun? The negative form is a bit weird to use. Normally when a question is in the negative it’s really like a confirmation of something you think is true: Are you not Suzuki-san? Anyways, just don’t use the negative question at this point.

すずきさんですか。 suzuki san desu ka. Are you Suzuki-san? (when asked to Suzuki) OR Is it Suzuki-san?
すずきさんはがくせいですか。 suzuki san ha gakusei desu ka. Is Suzuki-san a student? OR Are you a student? (when asked to Suzuki)

There are different ways of translating Japanese depending on who it was spoken to. The Japanese rarely fully refer to ‘you’ as ‘you’ because for them, vagueness is politeness. So even when speaking directly to Suzuki-san, the speaker will address the person by their name in a weird “I know you’re Suzuki but I’ll refer to you as if we’re talking about you in the 3rd person” type of way.

The alternative way of asking is a little brisk because it lacks proper structure. Or something like that. Normally when talking, you’d want to include as much extra info as possible because that’s just how the Japanese roll. So to say anything or ask anything in the Nounです form is a little curt. But, it’s not wrong, you can use it every now and then.

Affirmative – はい、そうです。
Negative – いいえ、そうじゃありません。

By the way, negatives almost always have the two ways of saying it: ~じゃありません and ~じゃないです. Sometimes you can only use one due to grammar rules but most of the time it’s interchangeable. As with above, you can just say a yes or no without the extra bit at the end, but that sounds as cold as it does in English.

Section III – relations using の

Bigger noun の smaller noun です。

I really can’t explain this clearly but when you’re talking about something ‘belonging’ to something else, whatever it is that belongs to whatever else goes second. This also denotes possession so the order is: possessor の possessed. The Japanese order for things always seems to go from big to small, vague to specific.

やまださんは____だいがくのがくせいです。 Yamada-san is a student at ____ university.
わたしのともだちはいちねんせいです。 My friend is a 1st year.
とうきょうだいがくのスミスさん Tokyo University’s Smith-san OR Smith-san from Tokyo U. Notice that without the ~です ending, this is not a real sentence.
わたしのなまえは。。。 My name is…

Section IV – question words

なん – what
だれ・どんなた – who/who(polite)
どこ・どちら -where/where(polite)
いつ – when

These words ask for specific information. Just replace the Nouns you don’t know of from the previous section with one of these question words.

すずきさんはなんですか。 すずきさんはがくせいです。 What is Suzuki? Suzuki is a student.
やまださんはなんのがくせいですか。 やまださんは___だいがくのがくせいです。 Yamada is a student of what? Yamada is ____ university’s student.
だれのともだちはいちねんせいですか。 わたしのともだちはいちねんせいです。 Who’s friend is a 1st year? My friend is a first year.
やまださんのだいがくはどこですか。 Where is Yamada’s university? (lit. Yamada’s university is where?)

どちらからいらっしゃいましたか。 Where are you from? This is a polite way of asking someone’s town/city/country/etc.
どちらからきましたか。 This is less formal than the above.
_____ にきました。 This is the way to answer. Never use いらっしゃいました when replying, it makes you sound very haughty in a bad bad way.

Don’t be shy to ask my questions if you have them!

Japanese 002

11 04 2010

Japanese is mostly learned through the ‘practical usage’ style where you learn things that will pertain to what you’ll have to use in life, unlike how French is taught in Canada. So before you even learn to count, you learn the basic sentence and some vocabulary fit for a university/college student.

Nakama 1: ch2 – Greetings & Introductions

いちねんせい – 1st year (freshman)
にねんせい – 2nd year (sophmore)
さんえんせい – 3rd year (junior)
よねんせい – 4th year (senior)
だいがくいんせい – graduate student
がくせい – student
だいがくせい – univeristy/college student
りゅうがくせい – exchange student
せんせい – teacher
ともだち – friend

せんこう – major
けいざいがく – economics
ぶんがく – philosophy
こうがく- law
けいえいがく – business admin

おとこ(のにと) – male (person)
おんな – female
わたし – I

Section I – ~は~です。

Affirmative – Noun は Noun です。
Negative – Noun は Noun じゃありません / じゃないです。

This is the most basic form of sentences: something IS something. “Desu” doesn’t translate well but it’s a polite ending to sentences and is present most of the time.

The order in which you say your nouns matter. My prof was always talking about the topic and the subject but I still don’t know which is which. My trick is, whatever you want to talk about will always be denoted by the particle “は”. Sometimes it’ll be denoted by “も” or “が” for also but that’s for later. You can also think of it the other way, “は” will always follow the thing you’re talking about.

わたしはがくせいです。 watashi wa gakusei desu. I am a student.
すずくさんはがくせいじゃありません。 suzuki san wa gakuseija arimasen. Suzuki-san is not a student.
Once we switch what gets followed by the “は”, the sentence changes in meaning the same way it does in English.
がくせいはすずきさんです。 gakusei wa suzuki san desu. The student is Suzuki-san.
がくせいはすずきさんじゃありませんです。 gakusei ha suzuki san ja arimasen. The student is not Suzuki-san.

“は” here is pronounced as “wa” but when you type it you must still type “ha” to get the proper hiragana to show up.

Japanese 001

11 04 2010

My Japanese exam is on Tuesday so I think I’ll review through posting on my blog. I’ll be going through everything I’ve learned so far in the 2 years I’ve been studying Japanese here so if anyone want to self learn they could use my review as a guide or something.

The textbook I use it Nakama, but we don’t go through a textbook per year since the Canadian university system is missing a chunk of hours compared to the States’. My review session is mostly done for me so it skims over the basics since I’ve gotten most of them down.

Nakama 1: ch1 – Hiragana

あ い う え お (a i u e o)
か き く け こ (ka ki ku ke ko)
さ し す せ そ (sa shi su se so)
た ち つ て と (ta chi tsu te to)
な に ぬ ね の (na ni nu ne no)
は ひ ふ へ ほ (ha hi fu he ho)
ま み む め も (ma mi mu me mo)
や ゆ よ (ya yu yo)
ら り る れ ろ (ra ri ru re ro)
わ を (wa o)
ん (n)

Nakama 1: ch3.5 – Katakana

ア イ ウ エ オ (a i u e o)
カ キ ク ケ コ (ka ki ku ke ko)
サ シ ス セ ソ (sa shi su se so)
タ チ ツ テ ト (ta chi tsu te to)
ナ ニ ヌ ネ ノ (na ni nu ne no)
ハ ヒ フ ヘ ホ (ha hi fu he ho)
マ ミ ム メ モ (ma mi mu me mo)
ヤ ユ ヨ (ya yu yo)
ラ リ ル レ ロ (ra ri ru re ro)
ワ ヲ (wa wo)
ン (n)