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 Daily Japanese, because I'mma spread the love!
W
 Posted: May 19 2017, 04:43 PM
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@Thirdmind - in the question about 'Harper' being written how it sounds, that depends on how you pronounce it. I pronounce it 'har-pehr' hence why I wrote it like I did. If you don't pronounce hard "R" sounds, then it could most definitely be 'Haapaa' http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/Emoticons/1.png

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W
 Posted: May 21 2017, 09:19 PM
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Lesson Three: Basic Sentence Structures
Sunday, May 21, 2017

Okay, so before you give up on me, let's work through this. Japanese sentence structure, compared to English, is quite different. In English, a basic sentence is generally a noun followed by a verb, and adjectives, adverbs, pronouns and conjunctions are thrown in. A good example is "The red fox jumped quickly over the bright moon." Everyone knows that "jumped" is the verb, and it belongs, well, firmly in the middle of the sentence (in this case), right? Right.

In Japanese, that's not the case.

In Japanese, the verb is always at the end. But the best thing about Japanese is that everything before the verb can be re-arranged however you want. For this lesson, I'll use the simple verb "to be" -- or in most cases, seen as "desu."

But before I confuse you too much, let's jump right into the juicy stuff.

The Main Structure
There's on basic, main structure in Japanese, which is similar to the basic independent clause in English: A ha B Verb. In this case, the ha (は) is pronounced as wa. This is a particle in Japanese. It actually just tells the subject (most commonly a noun). Anything that comes before "wa" (in this case, "A") iis often what you're talking about -- yourself, a friend, your mother, your dog, a cat, that cat, that purse, that toy etc. Anything. The part that goes in "B" is usually an object, another noun, a place, etc. In the terms of simplicity, we'll stick with other nouns or numbers, since we've already covered that.

As I said previously, our verb right now is "desu" which means 'to be' or 'am' or 'is'. It covers all those bases. "Wa" doesn't mean "is" or "am." It's just something that tells you 'hey, look, this is what we're talking about!

The gif in the first post of "Daily Japanese" is a really good example of a basic sentence structure: it's basically the first sentence most English-speaking Japanese students learn (and I know from experience!). Here's the Romanji:



watashi wa neko desu


Alright, let's break it down step by step. First we have the "wa" that comes after "watashi" which is our subject. "watashi" is one of the ways of saying "I" or "myself" or "the speaker / writer." We already know that "desu" is "to be" or "is" or "am" -- "I to be" "I is" -- no, those don't sound right. How about "I am". Alright, so now we just need to figure out the last part of the sentence. "Neko" is actually the Japanese word for cat (if you couldn't tell by the gif itself!). So the entire sentence is "I am a cat."

This works in other ways, too:

"I am twenty four" would be:



watashi wa ni jyuu yon sai desu.


I put sai in italics because it's the counter for age or years old. You can also forgo the "watashi wa" part completely. If it's obvious of what or who you're talking about, you don't even have to write (or say!) it. This also works with objects and other nouns.

Other Basic Particles
Remember in the last lesson, I brought up the special character no (の)? Well, it plays a part in simple sentences, too. In this case, it doesn't mean the dash between a phone number -- in fact, it means a possessive -- "W's pen", "Flight's tea set," "Koro's students." All of these would use the person's (or object's) word, "no" and then the other word. IE:



kore wa watashi no pen desu


Don't worry about "Kore" because we'll cover it later, but it basically means "this". Paired up with "Desu" we already have the start of the sentence: "This is." Remember how "watashi" means "I" or "myself"? In the case of this sentence, it means "my" -- because of the no. Can you guess what "pen" is? Yup. It's the same in English. The sentence reads "this is my pen."

Questions Galore
Questions in Japanese are extremely easy. If you want to ask a question, you follow the simple sentence structure, and then just... add ka to the end. ka at the end (after the verb) acts like a giant question mark. You're looking for an answer, and your conversational partner is expected to give you one. For example, you can say:



nan sai desu ka


Nan means what. Since I don't have a subject, and I do have the ka, one can assume I am asking about my conversational partner -- or you, the reader. We know all the words -- "What is your age?" or "How old are you?" is a good translation of this sentence. You can also use "namae" (name), "nensei" (year in school) and "denwa-bango" (telephone number) instead of "sai", for example!*

Nan is most often used for nani, which is also a correct word for "what." For the questions, it's 99% "nan!"

Challenges
I'm not giving you a challenge to this one, but if you feel like it, try to come up with questions to ask each other with! I gave you a bunch of resources, and if you want to know more, just ask! http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz241/HarperRegion/Sprites/Emoticons/1.png


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W
 Posted: May 25 2017, 09:37 PM
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Lesson Four: Key Phrases
Thursday, May 25, 2017

I'm feeling a bit lazy, so today we're just going to some simple things. Today, I'm going to teach you about basic phrases that are key phrases to know if you ever visit Japan. Basically, these are super polite and are basically things you should definitely know.

Ohayo - Good Morning; this is basically used in an informal sense (friend to friend, parent to child, coworker to same-level coworker); used from sunrise to about 10 am.
Ohayo gozaimasu -Good Morning; same as above, except this is the formal version (child to teacher; worker to boss; when you first meet someone new)
Konnichiwa - Used from 10 am to roughly about sunset; both informal and formal; good afternoon
Konbanwa - used from sunset to about 9 or 10 pm, depending on where you are; both formal and informal; good night / good evening
Sayonara - fun fact, everyone probably knows this one as 'goodbye' and that's what it is, but it's really 'good bye and I will never see you again. Ever. Period.' please don't use it for your friends.
Ja Mata / Ja Ne / Mata Ashida - see you tomorrow, see you, later, etc; these are more commonly used between friends or coworkers, etc. I personally like 'ja ne' but that's just me. Please use this for your friends.
Oyasuminasai - good night; generally, you'd use this before bed to someone, or when you're leaving for the night after drinking at the bar. Commonly used more at bedtime, though.
Arigato - informal; thank you
Arigato gozaimasu - formal; thank you
Domo Arigatogozaimasu - super formal; thank you very much; i am humbled by your thanks; thank you so much i am deeply indebted to you
Sumimasen - formal; excuse me; i'm sorry; please pardon me; often said when you bump into someone, or you are entering a room, stuff like that
Iie - my boy says 'not at all' but let's be real. It means no. straight up. no.
Hai - guess what. this means yes.
Ittekimasu - said when you're leaving a place, such as your house; 'I'll leave and come back' or 'I'll go and come back'
Itterasshai - said in response to the above one; means 'please go and come back' or, in my personal opinion 'be safe'
Tadaima - said when you come home, 'i'm home' or 'i've returned' or 'i'm back'
Okaerinasai - said in response to the above one; means 'welcome back' or 'welcome home'
Itakakimasu - said before you eat; 'thanks for the meal' / 'thanks for the food'
Gochisoosama - said after you eat; 'thanks for the meal' / 'thanks for the food'
Hajimemashite - How do you do? usually said when you first meet someone, or are introducing yourself
Doozo yoroshiku - It's nice to meet you; usually said when you first meet someone, or are introducing yourself

Challenges
tell me your top three (or five?) favorite phrases.

bonus introduce yourself using the romanji for your name, your age (watashi wa ______ sai desu) and the phrases for 'how do you do' and 'nice to meet you'.


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Flight
 Posted: Jul 14 2017, 02:34 PM
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Okay so a lot of these phrases also have versions in Korean?? Which I think is pretty cool :>

My favorite are parobably "sayonara" (because my friends used to say it to each other all the time and now it just seems pretty hilarious given the Japanese meaning), "ittekimasu" (there's a version of this in Korean that'll get mangled by romanization but yeah just know that it's common for people going to work, small children, and students to be using it to their stay at home parents or what have you), and "itakakimasu" (because my mom sulks if you don't say this before you eat her food).

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please refer to me with they/them pronouns!

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W
 Posted: Jul 14 2017, 02:38 PM
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Lesson Five: The Subject of Kanji
Friday, July 14, 2017

So, way back when, when I first started this thread, I brought up the three writing systems: hiragana, katakana and kanji. Now, I'm no expert at Kanji; it's hard, it's challenging, and it's completely bonkers to me. I struggle with it - I'll admit, even after six years or more of practice, I can pick out the most important ones -- meat, chicken, rain, rice, mountain, the numbers, etc. But that's only a handful -- and Kanji, let me tell you, has over 2,700 characters. My goodness.

So I got a book and it helps remember the Kanji. I'm a very visual, and creative person, so linking things to creative ideals and little stories helps me remember. This book does that. To all 2,700 characters. I'm here to extend my knowledge with some of the first "basic" kanji.

Now, most kanji have multiple parts to it -- they're made up of smaller kanji (called "primitives") which are like, the super, super, super basics of Kanji. These primitives are, for example, the kanji for 1, 2, 3, 4, etc., the kanji for "mouth", and the kanjis for "day / moon / month." From there, you can stack these primitives together to form more complex kanji, and, guess what -- the Kanji actually mostly have meanings.

Because the kanji I'd type is super small, I chose four cool examples I learned today (okay, I knew two of them), and I'll break them down. These are, for example, only some really few examples. PS: excuse my crappy paint-related drawings. I also put things in the correct stroke order, so if you wanted to try it -- just remember that boxes start in the left, top corner, go to the right top corner, and then always drop down to the next corner in one motion!



user posted image

Alright, this is the first one. This first one is compromised of two basic primitives: the number ten (the top cross) and the kanji for mouth (the bottom square). This is the kanji for "old." There's two stories behind this one that I like to think of -- the first is a visual aspect, the kanji looks like a tombstone that would be in a graveyard. The story aspect I like to think of with this one is that someone has had "ten million stories" -- sort of how old people like to talk about the, ahem, 'good old days'.



user posted image

Ahem. I saved this one wrong, so don't mind that. This kanji is compromised of two other basic primitives: one being "sun" and the other being "moon." The word together is "bright." I don't have a pictorial vision for this one, but the story behind it is that the sun has to make the moon bright for night. You can't have the moon without the sun's rays, after all!

The next two Kanji are actually extremely close stroke / visual wise, but are two different words.
Don't get them confused!



user posted image

This kanji is called "nightbreak" -- Japanese people call it that, but most of us know it as "daybreak" or, more formally, dawn. This is actually really clever; you have the sun (the box) and then the 'horizon" (the kanji for "one") underneath it. It shows the sun rising above the horizon.



user posted image

If you look closely at this kanji, it looks exactly like "nightbreak" but there's an extra "one" above it. This is the kanji for "span" -- and I like to use the idea of a 24 hour span to remember it. Not only does it look like "nightbreak" visually, I remember it with the idea that the sun is going from one horizon to the other, in a span of a day.

And there you have it! Just a few cool little notes about Kanji.

Interested in learning more? Do you want to see weird ones the deeper I get into it? Do you want to know what the kanji for [insert object] is? Let me know here!

As always, discussions are always welcomed!


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W
 Posted: Dec 9 2017, 05:18 AM
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Daily Japanese update; because people don't seem interested but I still wanna share my Japanese knowledge:

Thursday, at my far away school, a fourth grader asked me what hanamizu was in English. Well, I looked at them was like flower water because 'hana' means flower, and 'mizu' means 'water'.

Nope.

No, they were talking about hana which is the word for nose.

The kid wanted to know what we call nose water. AKA Runny Nose. http://files.jcink.net/uploads/harperregion/sprites/emoticons/13.png

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Amakiir
 Posted: Jul 9 2018, 12:49 AM
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Hey W, I was derping around youtube, and found this video and was wondering how accurate this was.

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W
 Posted: Jul 12 2018, 03:27 AM
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For the most part, yeah. Depends on who you're with / where you are.

For example, whenever I do enkais with my Board of Ed (I'm a member of the Board of Education), they're super picky about using the communal chopsticks to dish out food.

My high school teachers? No care. They'll dish you food with their own chopsticks and be like "we're family this is fine."

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Amakiir
 Posted: Jul 12 2018, 11:36 PM
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Cool, thanks!

Also before I forget, how'd your big test go? You studied like a maniac for that thing.

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