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

Vocabulary
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.

Example:
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.

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

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