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 Daily Japanese, because I'mma spread the love!
W
 Posted: May 17 2017, 06:59 PM
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Welcome to Daily Japanese

Since I'm heading off to Japan, I've been working on my grammar, writing and reading (prior to this, I've been doing Rosetta Stone which works wonders for speaking and listening, but not so much in the other sections). So, I've pulled out my handy-dandy text books from College, and voila. Japanese studies!

Here, I'll be giving crash courses every day about Japanese culture, stories and even teach you Japanese! You guys can comment, question, talk, chat and even try your own hand at things here! I'll give a basic run down on certain things (like grammar, questions, etc) and then even give you examples -- and maybe even some problems or challenges for you to do!

And don't worry -- this is a complete no judgment zone! Take what you want from here! If you do every day, that's cool; if you don't, no stress.

To keep it simple, I'll be using Romanji instead of pure Hiragana, Katakana or Kanji -- although the natural writing alphabet will be present!

Notes:

  • I don't expect anyone to use hiragana or katakana! using romanji is perfectly fine!
  • Try to not rely on Google Translate. It isn't always accurate (I know from experience!)
  • Ask. Questions. Always. Especially if you're confused!
  • There's never a time limit! You can skip days, stack days, and re-do days at any point!


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W
 Posted: May 17 2017, 06:59 PM
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W
 Posted: May 17 2017, 07:51 PM
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Lesson One: Writing Systems
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

In Japanese, there are three writing systems. They're all used in conjunction, and one sentence can have all three present in use. There is also a fourth "writing system" that is more for English speaking people, which is primarily what I'll use to pass on my knowledge of Japanese. Let's get started.

Fun Fact!
Japanese doesn't have the sound "L", so all the "L" sounds are changed to "R" sounds. It's also the same with "V" sounds, which are most often turned to "B" sounds.

Kanji
Kanji is the hardest of the three Japanese writing systems. Kanji was brought over from Japan, and are pictorial symbols that are assigned sound syllables to create words. Unlike in Chinese, which primarily uses tonal sounds, Japanese has a more "monotone" sound (ie: all the sounds naturally sound, at least to me, like 'English'). Sometimes, the symbols (or pictures) match up with what they're trying to say -- such as the Kanji for niku, or meat: 肉. Personally, that kanji looks like a cow from above. There are plenty of Kanji, though, that don't always match up. For example, the Kanji for yon / shi -- the number four -- is 四 (which actually has five strokes) compared to the three numbers before: one (一), 2 (二) and 3 (三).

Hiragana
Hiragana is Japan's actual writing system. Some of the characters come from simplified Kanji. This is the first writing children are often taught, as it's simple, and it's the basic sounds being written. Japanese has 72 "sound clusters" -- instead of a twenty-six letter alphabet, they have 72. They have the standard vowels (A, I, U, E, and O) and it always falls in the same order (for example, the K sounds are Ka, Ki, Ku, Ke, Ko and the H sounds are Ha, Hi, Hu, He, Ho). Japanese also has ten-tens and uses the degree sign on their hiragana and katakana letters to change the sounds. For example, the sound た (ta) with the ten-tens becomes だ (da).

There's also a special character, N (ん). Besides the five singular vowels, this is the only letter that isn't followed by a vowel!

Here's a cute little video on the hiragana / katakana sounds! click me click me!

Katakana
Katakana, in long story short, is just a buffed up, different version of Hiragana. Katakana is most often used in loan words (words brought over to Japan), such as Ramen (ラメん) and people's names and places of foreign countries and towns!

Romanji
Romanji is the English way of writing most Japanese words or sounds. For example, the sentence in the gif is this:
[わたし は ねこ です]
which translates into Romaji as:
Watashi wa neko desu.

By using Romanji alongside hiragana, katakana and kanji, even non-Japanese speakers can at least follow along!

Sound Clusters
As I said, Japanese has sound clusters, which include a "vowel" and "consonants." The only exceptions is the vowels and the special character "N". Therefore, words which are generally, in English, clustered as consonant against consonant to vowel words will have consonant vowel consonant unless a vowel or special N is used. A good example of this would be Harper Harper, in Japanese sounds, would be [ha] [ru] [pe] [ru] (ハルペル). Long "vowel" sounds are often used double vowels, or even the long hold sound: jeans becomes jjiinzu (ジーンス).

The Challenge!
Alright, because as I said, I was going to give you a challenge. Today's challenge is to use this chart (here!!) to write your name or your character's name (or both!) with Romanji. Good luck! http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/Emoticons/3.png


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Flight
 Posted: May 17 2017, 09:06 PM
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May 17, 2017 - Challenge

Phonetically "Flight" is pronounced as "Furaito" in Japanese! Pretty different from Korean http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/Emoticons/3.png

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please refer to me with they/them pronouns!

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Astraea
 Posted: May 17 2017, 09:18 PM
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So according to W, my real name is チルシー, pronounced "chi ru shii"!

I have yet to figure out what Astraea would be.

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W
 Posted: May 17 2017, 09:23 PM
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@Flight -- Flight brought up a good point in their first rendition of their name. "Hu" on the hiragana chart provided is more or less phonetically said as "fu" hence why they used it. http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/Emoticons/8.png

@Astraea - just pretend every consonant that doesn't have a vowel after it automatically has a '-oo' ending after it. 's' becomes 'su' and t becomes 'tsu'...

except for the 't' ... pretend that has something like a 'te' sound. >.>

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Saladin
 Posted: May 17 2017, 09:27 PM
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I may have gotten this wrong, but my name is apparently ばりあん in Hiragana? I have zero aptitude for Asiatic languages so forgive me >.> NO IDEA HOW IT'S PRONOUNCED IF ITS ANY DIFFERENT

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Carni: Nothing is impossible as long as there's enough BS to cushion it.
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W
 Posted: May 17 2017, 09:32 PM
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QUOTE (Saladin @ May 17 2017, 09:27 PM)
I may have gotten this wrong, but my name is apparently ばりあん in Hiragana? I have zero aptitude for Asiatic languages so forgive me >.> NO IDEA HOW IT'S PRONOUNCED IF ITS ANY DIFFERENT

I'm unsure of what you're trying to write, @Saladin! Are you writing your real name, or your handle online? because right now that's phonetically spells Barian which, mind you, is... not Saladin at all. http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/Emoticons/13.png

Saladin is actually a lot easier than you'd think. Sa is a cluster. L changes to R and Ra is a cluster, Di is a cluster, and you have the special N so. Try again!

Put it all together in Romanji! You can do it!

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Saladin
 Posted: May 17 2017, 09:38 PM
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One of my real names http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/Emoticons/13.png (Middle to be exact, which is Balian.)

I think... sue me, I'm using Google Translate, let me know if there's any specific errors.

サラダン I believe it is in Romanji? Which I think says "Saradan?" Would it be pronounced Sa-ra-dan or Sar-ad-an or something else? I'm tired but I'm willing to learn even if my brain already has too many languages! @.W.

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QUOTE BOX:

Carni: Nothing is impossible as long as there's enough BS to cushion it.
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W
 Posted: May 17 2017, 09:46 PM
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@Saladin - my only suggestion, lovebug, is to re-read what I have in the first lesson. It covers both what Romanji is, as well as sound clusters (each 'hiragana' is a sound cluster. You can use the link in the challenge to see what ones go together). http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/Emoticons/1.png

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jadedragonette
 Posted: May 17 2017, 09:59 PM
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ジャッデヅラゴネッテ
Jya dde du ra go ne tte

To be fair, I studied the language in school, and though I'm incredibly rusty, this part is relatively easy. It's not exact and small bits could be tweaked better, but it's a decent attempt at least.

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Ray
 Posted: May 17 2017, 10:58 PM
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I believe Ray would just be れ (re).

Rachel would be ...
れ - チュ-る
(re) (chu) (ru)

I guess?


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W
 Posted: May 18 2017, 06:27 AM
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@jadedragonette - I would personally use 'da' instead of 'du' but that might be a phonetic thing and how you pronounce 'dragon'! But over all, looks pretty good http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/Emoticons/8.png

@Ray - close! I'd personally use rei for 'ray' (れい) but I have an accent that naturally holds out the 'y' sound of Ray! http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/Emoticons/1.png

Likewise, you have hiragana and katakana mixed in your full name, which isn't common. You could use れちゅる in all hiragana or レチュル in all katakana! http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/Emoticons/1.png

y'all are doing so good! keep up the questions, or the challenge!

I'm making a new note; you can do these every day, or you can skip and come back; there's no time limit on doing these!

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W
 Posted: May 18 2017, 06:49 PM
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Lesson Two: Crazy about Numbers
Thursday, May 18, 2017

Japanese numbers are extremely easy, especially once one understands the basic concept of them. For numbers, besides the few pronunciation differences, Japan only has fourteen "numbers" that you can stack and set together to make other numbers. In this lesson, I'll give you the basics of numbers, how to set numbers together, and explain about the special (no) character used in phone numbers.

The Numbers
As I said previously, Japanese only has fourteen numbers. The first eleven are the standard zero to ten.



zero / rei - 0 | ichi - 1 | ni - 2 | san - 3
yon / shi - 4 | go - 5 | roku - 6 | nana / shichi - 7
hachi - 8 | kyuu - 9 | jyuu - 10


The other three numbers that Japan uses are Hyaku - 100; Sen - 1,000 and Man - 10,000.

Stacking Numbers
Once you understand the basics of numbers, writing Japanese numbers is extremely easy. Unlike in English, the pronunciation of Japanese numbers is, well... stacking. Stacking is the use of the "tens," "hundreds," "thousands" and "ten thousand" markers. By adding in the first number you want, and then adding the marker, you have a bigger number. For example, having three tens in English becomes thirty, but in Japanese it's san which is the three, and the marker for ten, which is jyuu. Put it together, and you get san jyuu. 30. You're basically just adding all the numbers together!

The same works for even bigger numbers, and especially with numbers larger than 99,999. By continuously stacking up the same four markers, you can create any number humanly possible. Here's a good example of a random 5 digit number and how it's broken down in Japanese:



The number is: 42,561
In Japanese it's:
Yon Man - 40,000
Ni Sen - 2,000
Go Hyaku - 500
Roku Jyuu - 60
Ichi - 1
All together:
Yon Man Ni Sen Go Hyaku Roku Jyuu Ichi


Special Pronunciations
Some numbers change depending on how they're used. Rei can be interchangeable effortlessly with Zero, as can Yon and Shi and Nana and Shichi. Some of these changes come with later lessons, such as time, age and object counting, so don't worry about it just yet!

The big point I will make is about the 3, 6 and 8 sounds when stacked with the "hundred" and "thousand" markers:



300 - sanbyaku | 600 - roppyaku | 800 - happyaku
3,000 - sanzen | 8,000 - hassen


Special Character
As said before, the special character no (の) deals primarily with telephone numbers. For example, if I give you the number 666-1865, the dash between before the four digits is where no would be. In Japanese, phone numbers are always the zero through nine digits, and aren't stacked! The special character no is used to show any sort of breaks in the phone number:



9-183-123-4567
kyuu no ichi hachi san no ichi ni san no yon go roku nana


Bad Omens
There's on number used far frequently, and it's the number "4". In Japan, "4" is actually the number of bad luck, omens and death -- specifically the pronunciation of "shi". This is because the word for death in Japanese is, well, shi. Just stick with yon unless otherwise stated! Japanese floors don't have a "fourth" floor, nor do they have "four" addresses! Just a little fun fact for you!

Today's Challenge!
Notes!

  • Do this challenge in Romanji!
  • There's never a time limit! You can skip days, stack days, and re-do days at any point!
Part A Write the following fourteen numbers in Japanese! Put it in a hide tag so others can't just copy your work! Remember, it's okay to make mistakes!

(a) 34 (b) 67 © 83 (d) 99 (e) 125 (f) 515 (g) 603
(h) 850 (i) 1,300 (j) 3,400 (k) 8,900 (l) 35,000 (m) 64,500 (n) 92,340

Part B Write the following four phone numbers in Japanese! Put it in a hide tag so others can't just copy your work! Remember, it's still okay to make mistakes!

(a) 3-951-0326 (b) 7-362-4519 © 1-6914236 (d) 6-852-1032


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Thirdmind
 Posted: May 19 2017, 03:19 PM
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It's been a while since I did this, so took a little too long to find my old setting for the keyboard language. Thank you for forcing me to correct my computer's lack of the thing. I love getting Japanese refreshed from time to time.

My name is written クリスティーナ (KuRiSuTiina)
As for Thirdmind, that's a bit more tricky, but I would assume something like フォードマインド (Foodomaindo)

Shouldn't Harper rather be written like it sounds, than how it's spelled? So Ha-a-pa-a, instead of Haruperu?

numbers

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