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)


30 03 2010

I’m sick. Or getting there. The feeling of sand in my lungs is entirely unwelcome.

General life’s been pretty sucky for me too. I’m having a huge ongoing spat with my mother and I don’t know where I should be for this summer, which leads to if I’ll be taking an extra year in university. My closest friends ironically enough provide the least helpful or comforting advice ever.

My marks are going down the tubes and I’m struggling to keep up with my council obligations. I hate half the people I know and I can’t tell if I’m going to have a major mental melt-down soon from never talking about my problems or if I’m just temporarily stressed.

My only comfort is food and naps which severely interfere with my plans to get super fit.


More recipes will be up soon. =)

UCC Referendum

6 02 2010

Well, the referendum on the UCC gym renovations is coming up soon, Monday to be exact. While after inquiring in detail (as mentioned in the last post), I was wavering between a yes and no, I’m mostly back to a ‘no’ now. Mostly.

The reason for my indecisiveness is because I have a meeting with USC’s VPF Sacha on Monday, when voting starts, to talk about how I can apply for the position. I plan to use the opportunity and ask him some more questions in detail and formulate my vote from there on.

If anyone can wait on their vote until later Monday or even Tuesday to get an more informed vote, I’d feel very honoured.

As for the presidential election, I’m torn between Mike Tithecott and Jeff Rutledge. Both speak so so well, and have platforms I enjoy. Mike looks to me as more casual and his platform reflects as much. Jeff… well, the air about him reminds me of my faculty soph in first year, who ran and won presidency the year after.

I hated that guy.

Stephen Lecce was his name and he didn’t even know who I was after orientation week. Me, his own frosh. That kind of irresponsibility I cannot accept. I really disliked him for using sophing as a stepping stone, to casually chat with other frosh and win their vote. I don’t think he even bothered coming onto my/his floor to campaign. Either he thought he was going to get our vote or he didn’t care.

He definitely didn’t get our vote.

Back to Jeff.

He sounds like a good guy. Out of the candidates, he’s one of the top two who spoke well, with a focal point to his answers. A lot of the other candidates during the debates rambled a little bit or went off track, but he and Mike stayed focused. His speech was less casual and free-flowing compared to Mike’s but I enjoyed his platform more. The only thing holding me back is his personality, or what I perceive of it. It’s too close to my impression of Lecce and I’m really hung up on that. You can tell how much I resented Lecce from this.

Anyways. I hope to have an informed vote this year, unlike past years. I really want to seriously take part in USC from now, even if it’s only a vote. I hope it to being more since I want to run for VPF but we shall see.

Unprecedented Double Post in which I’ll Talk about More Useful Stuff

3 02 2010

Miss President, Emily Rowe and her trusty VP School Events or something along those lines, Dan Moulton, set up shop outside the Saugeen cafeteria today to increase awareness of the referendum that’s coming up. If you don’t know what it’s about, USC wants to renovate the now vacated UCC gym into club and study space. But to do that they need to increase student fees by $25. The dynamic duo gave me some satisfying answers to my questions and I was almost swayed to vote ‘Yes’ compared to my initial stance of ‘No’.

The following conversation are in indirect quotes. I forgot what exact words they said.

Me: So I was wondering, why can’t the USC take out a large loan and put off making students pay until the new place is done and then charge us to pay back the loan?

Emily: Well, we do have a loan, but we needed more money. We’ve already reduced the building cost from last year’s referendum of 3.6 Million to this year’s 2 Million so you can see we’re trying to do our best for you.

Me: I see, that’s great. But what do you think about having students pay for something they may never see?

Emily: Oh that’s a good question. Well the fee starts next year, and we’re hoping that construction will be done by September.

Me: …?????????????????????????????????????

Dan: We’re starting construction as soon as the summer starts and hopefully it’ll be done by the time school starts again in September.

Me: So basically, construction will start and end before we even start paying, so we actually ARE paying for something we’ll get to use?

Emily: Exactly! =D

Okay, that was a good mini conversation. So I took a tiny pamphlet because they’re budget and environmental, and ate my dinner of just salmon alone in my room like a social recluse while reading it carefully.

“…estabilish a $25 student fee to be collected in perpetuity for the purpose of immediately renovating…”

“Vote No: Students will continue paying rent for UCC gyms”

“Vote No: Capital deficit will continue to grow for other student-controlled spaces within the UCC.”

What does this mean? Why $25 in PERPETUITY? What’s it used for that you have to collect it FOREVER? Isn’t it just for the renovation? Could this be a sneaky way for USC to earn money in the future? What’s this rent? Don’t we pay it anyways regardless of whether or not renovation is done? Capital deficit eh? So you are making money off us to stave off a massive debt aren’t you?

To answer these questions, I trekked right back out to the cafeteria, all 100m of the hallway (or less), and demanded for an answer.

They were gone. Gone!
I swear they were there for a total of 2 minutes, but I guess it was really an hour but they’re really gone I can’t believe this howcantheydothis?!

So yes, there will be no answer to my questions until I find out where they will be and corner them at a to be determined future date and time. Such a disappointment.