WELCOME!

Minna-san Konnichiwa! (みなさんこんにちは)

Thanks for stumbling onto our page! We dedicate this blog to Japan and all the great stuff that comes out of it.

This blog is here for those interested in seeing what the ACMT Japanese Club has been up to and what we're learning step-by-step. It's a self-study club to enrich our lives and give us better opportunities for our future.

If you decide to follow this blog and learn alongside us, don't hesitate to send us questions. We may only officially have members who are a part of ACMT Zagreb, but unofficially the amount, who want to be a part of this, is limitless.

Thanks for your time and effort.

Sincerely,

Japanese Club

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New to the site? Click here to get started.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Lesson 1 - Homework and Extras

CONTINUATION OF LESSON 1

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HOMEWORK AND EXTRAS

Let me introduce you to a lovely little document called genkoyoushi. This is a type of Japanese paper used for writing vertically.


Homework

Hiragana

Print out the genkoyoushi 6 times (front and back to save paper).
Per side, practice one hiragana character.
Example: on one side, on the other, one one side, on the other, and on one side (This should leave you with one side left).

Kanji

On the last genkoyoushi practice your kanji. Since there are 3 kanji, use one column per kanji to practice writing them. With the spare columns, use it for whichever character (kanji or hiragana) that you are still having trouble with.

Learn the meanings of each kanji (kun-yomi and on-yomi + translation).

Conversational Pieces

Read the conversational pieces out loud. For now, try to sound out each letter.

Learn the pieces and their translations.

Grammar

Learn what to, ya and ka mean.


Extra credit: Practice writing the sentences (in the Grammar post) in hiragana and katakana. This helps you learn the kana a lot better.


QUIZZES, TESTS & EXTRA

If you are interested in challenging yourself and adding a bit of motivation to your studying, send us a request through our e-mail for a quiz (short) or a test (long).

It's always nice to receive a good grade for your hard work and it motivates you to learn more.

As for the extras, we will be posting crossword puzzles, wordsearch, etc. at a later time, but if you are interested in having them right away, send us a request through our e-mail address.

COMING SOON: we will be posting a downloadable version of Lesson 1!  So you can have an easier time if you want to print out your lessons.

Extras

1 Question: Why are we only learning hiragana?
Answer: At this point in time, we'll only be learning hiragana (not katakana) because for beginners, if you want to read Japanese, hiragana is what's most important to learn right now.
Do you remember when you were young, you learned block letters first and then cursive came later? That's because the block letters were most important. You can't read without knowing them. It's the same with hiragana. Katakana is important, but we'll leave that for later since we can be mostly literate in Japanese with just hiragana.

2 Question: What's this long sentence even mean?
Answer:
The romaji of this sentence is:
Iu made mo nai koto desu ga, kono kaisha no keiei-joutai wa, kanari akka shite imasu.

Translation:
Needless to say [it goes without saying that], this company's operations have deteriorated considerably.


ANY MORE QUESTIONS? Confused about certain parts, don't know how to pronounce certain words, want to know more? Then just send us an e-mail to acmtjapaneseclub@yahoo.com. We'll try to get back to you as soon as we can.

Lesson 1 - Grammar

CONTINUATION OF LESSON 1
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GRAMMAR

I know, I know...this is your favorite part of every language, isn't it?

Since you are so anxious, let's get started.



Key Structures

To Name Things

watashi, watashi-tachi; anata, anata-gata
I, we; you <sing.>, you <pl.>

Amerika-jin to Nippon-jin
an American and a Japanese

Igirisu-jin-tachi ya Kanada-jin-tachi
Englishmen, Canadians, and others

Ōsutoraria-jin ka Nyū-jīrando-jin
an Australian or a New Zealander

kore, sore, are; kore-ra, sore-ra, are-ra
this, that, that; these, those, those

Sumisu-san to Jōnzu-san
Mr. Smith and Ms. Jones


MORE EXAMPLES

Examples of 'to'
anata to watashi
you and I

Igirisu-jin to Furansu-jin
an Englishman and a Frenchman

inu to neko
a dog and a cat

Examples of 'ya'
inu ya neko
dogs, cats and other animals

Nippon-jin ya Chūgoku-jin
Japanese, Chinese and others

watashi-tachi ya anata-gata
we, you and the rest

Examples of 'ka'
Igirisu-jin ka Kanada-jin
an Englishman or a Canadian

pen ka enpitsu
a pen or a pencil

kyō ka asu
today or tomorrow

Other Examples
kore to sore to are
this, that and that one there

are ya kore
that, this and others

are ka sore
that one over there or that one

Tanaka Kaoru-san
Mr./Mrs./Miss Kaoru Tanaka

Biru-san to Emirī-san
Bill and Emily

Sumisu-san to Gurīn-san
Mr. Smith and Ms. Greene


Further Study

I. Compare the usages of to and ya

 II. Indicating things.

Lesson 1 - Conversational Pieces (Expressions)

CONTINUATION OF LESSON 1
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CONVERSATIONAL PIECES

Are you ready to learn some greetings and expressions? I'm sure that even if you've never learned Japanese before, some of them will be familiar.

So let's get started!

First of all, let's explain some things about the Japanese language. There different ways to speak in Japanese. Three of them are - plain, formal and informal.

It's very important to know that there is a difference because in Japanese society, politeness is held in high regard. They value politeness and if you inappropriately use informal (aka casual) lanugage, then it could be taken as rude or offensive. You don't want to piss off potential clients or business partners!

Plain style is the neutral form and is accepted in society, that is until you learn more Japanese and can distinguish when to use the formal style (it's called 'keigo' in Japanese).
This style is standard textbook language and newscasters on Japanese TV speak in this style as well.

Informal style is a casual form of speaking that should only be used in close relationships such as with friends or family members.
Informal may be tempting to use because in most cases it's a shorter way of saying different expressions (example: ohayou gozaimasu, informal: ohayou), but it's best to only use them outside of your business environment.

Formal style (keigo) is incredibly polite. You can't get more polite than with keigo. It's mainly used when talking to someone who is highly respected or has high status.

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GOOD TO KNOW: It's important to know that in Japanese, there are no lower-case or upper-case letters. There are also no spaces in between words.

You may be wondering how you will even be able to tell what's what in a sentence, but not to worry. As you get used to things more and more and expand your knowledge of the language as time goes on, by the time we get to that stuff, you'll be prepared.

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こんにちは
Konnichiwa
Hello. or Good afternoon.
It depends on when and how it's used.
TIP: Pronounce 'n' and 'ni' speparately.

Example:
こんにちは、スミスさん
Konnichiwa, Sumisu-san
Hello, Mr. Smith.

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おはよう
Ohayō.
Morning.
<Casual>

おはようございます
Ohayō gozaimasu.
Good morning.
<Plain/Formal>
TIP: The last vowel in gozaimasu is not pronounced.
Pronounced as go-zai-mas 

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こんばんは
Konbanwa.
Good evening.
TIP: Used at the beginning of a conversation, not at the end.

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おやすみ
Oyasumi.
Night.
<Casual>

おやすみなさい
Oyasumi-nasai.
Good night.
<Plain/Formal>

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さようなら
Sayōnara.
Good-bye.
TIP: Used only if you won't be seeing the other person for some time.

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どうも
Dōmo.
Thanks.
<Casual>
TIP: To thank for a small favor.

ありがとう
Arigatō.
Thank you.
<Casual>

ありがとうございます
Arigatō gozaimasu.
Thank you.
<Plain>

どうもありがとう
Dōmo arigatō.
Thank you very much.
<Plain>

どうもありがとうございます
Dōmo arigatō gozaimasu.
Thank you very much.
<Formal>
TIP: Use when you want to emphasize how thankful you are.

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どういたしまして
Dō-itashimashite.
You are welcome.

はい
Hai.*
Yes.
<Plain>

うん/ウン
Un.
Yeah.
<Casual>

いいえ
Iie.**
No.

すみません
Sumimasen.
Excuse me.
TIP: Used when you talk to someone, and to apologize for small faults.

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いただきます
Itadakimasu.
Lit. trans. I accept (the food)
TIP: Used when you start eating as a signal “Let's start.”
Also can be said to the person who is treating you the meal.

ごちそうさまでした
Gochisōsamadeshita.
Lit. trans. It was a wonderful feast.
TIP: Used when you finished eating.
You can say this to thank the person who treated you the meal.

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*Hai. Unlike in English, 'hai' can be used in many different contexts.
Example: It can also be used to answer someone's call.

**Iie. Unlike in English, 'iie' can be used in many different contexts.
Examples:
It can mean “Don't mention it.” by raising the end of the word when something's not a big deal.
If someone is apologizing for something small, you can say “iie” as in to say “Don't be sorry.”, “No problem.”

Extras!
If you feel like knowing a bit more besides yes and no, check out these words:

そうねえ。
Sō nē.
Well...

たぶん。
Tabun.
Maybe.

まあまあ。
Mā mā.
 So so.

いいよ。 
Ii yo.
Okay.

おそらく。
Osoraku.
Probably.

べつに。
Betsuni.
Nothing.

ありうることです。
Ariuru koto desu.
Possibly.