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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Word Thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:18 pm 
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Running late today so, as a quick supplement to yesterday's post.

iru いる is a Class 2 verb and conjugates accordingly.

aru ある is a Class 1 verb and conjugates accordingly with one exception. It's -nai form is just nai ない, NOT aranai あらない.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Word Thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:50 pm 
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Since a lot of your probably aren't familiar with it...

Japanese Writing Systems

Japanese has three written languages, all of which are used in normal writing. Hiragana and katakana are to the two main written languages. Each letter represents a syllabal, rather than a single sound like in English. Hiragana and katakana are made up of the same letters but are written differently. Hiragana is used for words of Japanese origin. Katakana is used for words of foreign origin and occasional Japanese words when the writer wants to give them special emphasis (like sound effects in manga). Finally there's kanji. Kanji are Chinese characters. There around 2000 which are commonly used in Japanese. Each kanji can represent anywhere between one and several hiragana and they can be used seperately, together with other kanjir, or together with hiragana to form words. Most kanji have multiple possible meanings and/or pronunciations, so knowing the context is often important.

I'll go over some pronunciation basics tomorrow and then do a list of the hiragana and katakana characters.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Word Thread
PostPosted: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:55 pm 
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Japanese Pronunciation

As a note, unlike in English, Japanese letters are always pronounced that same way. Emphasis and inflection can change, but there aren't any silent letters and each letter always makes the same sound. Keep in mind the following when pronouncing Japanese.

1. The a あ vowel makes the ah sound like in mah.
2. The i い vowel makes the ee sound as in meet.
3. The u う vowel makes the ew sound as in mew.
4. The e え vowel makes the eh sound as in meh.
5. The o お vowel makes the oh sound as in go.
6. Vowels can be short or long. Long vowels make the same sound, you just hold it longer.
7. When writing in hiragana long vowels are shown by writing the same vowel twice in a row (as a note, oo おお and ou おう are the same). In katakana, you add a dash after the vowel like a- アー.
8. The chi ち sound is pronounced as in cheese.
9. The tsu つ sound doesn't really have a good English equivalent but is something like t'sue.
10. The nn ん sound is the only Japanese letter without a vowel and is pronounced nnnnn.
11. The Japanese r sound is about halfway between an English r and an English l.
12. A small tsu is used to indicate that the following consonent should be doubleded (here's a small tsu followed by a large one っつ). Doubled consonents are said with emphasis something like tak'ko.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Word Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 05, 2010 7:55 pm 
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Hiragana Chart
a あ i い u う e え o お
ka か ki き ku く ke け ko こ
sa さ shi し su す se せ so そ
ta た chi ち tsu つ te て to と
na な ni に nu ぬ ne ね no の
ha は hi ひ hu ふ he へ ho ほ
ma ま mi み mu む me め mo も
ya や yu ゆ yo よ
ra ら ri り ru る re れ ro ろ
wa わ wo を
n ん

ga が gi ぎ gu ぐ ge げ go ご
za ざ ji じ zu ず ze ぞ zo ぞ
da だ di ぢ du づ de で do ど
ba ば bi び bu ぶ be べ bo ぼ
pa ぱ pi ぴ pu ぷ pe ぺ po ぽ

kya きゃ kyu きゅ kyo きょ
sha しゃ shu しゅ sho しょ
cha ちゃ chu ちゅ cho ちょ
nya にゃ nyu にゅ nyo にょ
hya ひゃ hyu ひゅ hyo ひょ
mya みゃ myu みゅ myo みょ
rya りゃ ryu りゅ ryo りょ
gya ぎゃ gyu ぎゅ gyo ぎょ
jya じゃ jyu じゅ jyo じょ
bya びゃ byu びゅ bo びょ
pya ぴゃ pyu ぴゅ pyo ぴょ

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Word Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:27 pm 
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Katakana Chart
a ア i イ u ウ e エ o オ
ka カ ki キ ku ク ke ケ ko コ
sa サ shi シ su ス se セ so ソ
ta タ chi チ tsu ツ te テ to ト
na ナ ni ニ nu ヌ ne ネ no ノ
ha ハ hi ヒ hu フ he ヘ ho ホ
ma マ mi ミ mu ム me メ mo モ
ya ヤ yu ユ yo ヨ
ra ラ ri リ ru ル re レ ro ロ
wa ワ wo ヲ
n ン

ga ガ gi ギ gu グ ge ゲ go ゴ
za ザ ji ジ zu ズ ze ゼ zo ゾ
da ダ di ヂ du ヅ de デ do ド
ba バ bi ビ bu ブ be ベ bo ボ
pa パ pi ピ pu ピ pe ペ po ポ

kya キャ kyu キュ kyo キョ
sha シャ shu シュ sho ショ
cha チャ chu チュ cho チョ
nya ニャ nyu ニュ nyo ニョ
hya ヒャ hyu ヒュ hyo ヒョ
mya ミャ myu ミュ myo ミョ
rya リャ ryu リュ ryo リョ
gya ギャ gyu ギュ gyo ギョ
jya ジャ jyu ジュ jyo ジョ
bya ビャ byu ビュ bo ビョ
pya ピャ pyu ビュ pyo ビョ

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Word Thread
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:39 pm 
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Japanese Puncuation Marks
。 The Japanese period.
、 The Japanese comma.
ー Used to show long vowels in katakana.
「 」 The Japanese quotation marks.
? Question marks are occasionally used in less formal Japanese writing but ARE NOT the normal way to mark a sentence as a question.
!Exclamation marks are occasionally used in less formal Japanese writing but ARE NOT the normal way to add emphasis or excitement to a sentence.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Word Thread
PostPosted: Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:47 pm 
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I bet you were going to post these tomorrow, weren't you?
"Ka" added to the end of a sentence makes it a question; it's the question mark equivalent.
"Yo" makes it more excited, like an exclamation point.

So, "Sore wa saru desu" means "That's a monkey." "Sore wa saru desu ka" means "Is that a monkey?" and "Sore wa saru desu yo" means "That's a monkey!"

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"Irregardless" and "Over exaggerated" are NEVER CORRECT EVER because they are redundant
Regardless means "without regard", and adding "ir" on the front actually makes it a double negative; exaggerate means "to overstate" so you're literally saying "over overstate."
Example: I can not exaggerate the importance of this fact enough, regardless of how often people ignore it.
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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Word Thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:58 am 
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<.<

FYI: ka か and yo よ are written using their normal hiragana letters.

A couple other useful sentence endings...

ne ね Means something along the lines of "isn't it?" So, using Silver's example, "sore wa saru desu ne" 「そらは猿ですね。」 is "That's a monkey, isn't it?" It's usually used not so much to ask a question but to look for confirmation.

na な Is pretty much the same as ne but is a bit more manly (in Japanese, men and women tend to speak a bit differently), it can also imply that someone is talking to himself.

And since I just wrote a whole sentence in Japanese I should point out that written Japanese does not have spaces between words.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Word Thread
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:24 pm 
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Gender Variations
One last thing before I get into some more grammar points. You should keep in mind that in Japanese men and women tend to speak a little differently. I'm not going to make a whole list but, for a few examples...

1. Women often use atashi あたし instead of watashi 私 when saying I and rarely use the more casual forms of I such as boku ぼく and ore おれ unless they're trying to sound tough or tomboyish.
2. Women rarely use certain rough and rude words and verb forms (I'll explain what some of those words and forms are in the future).
3. Women will occasionally add o お, wo を or other sounds to the end of certain words to make them sound more cute and feminine.
4. Some girls and young women refer to themselves exclusively in third person because it's considered rather cute and childlike to do so.

As a note, any Japanese I use in posts is in either gender neutral or masculine form, though I'll try and note specific instances when women would tend to say things differently.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Word Thread
PostPosted: Wed Nov 10, 2010 1:04 pm 
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Politeness Levels
I've mentioned before that Japan has different politeness levels and got into the formal and non-formal verbs too, but I realized I never really explained the basics of when to use polite speech. Japan has a very structured social scale that affects how you act and speak to others. A complete explanation would take far too long, but here's some basic tips.

When to use polite speech:
1. When talking to a stranger (since you don't know them well enough to know if they're above or below you socially). The exception to this rule (if you're an adult) is kids, since there's virtually no chance they'll be above you socially.
2. When talking to someone you don't know very well, regardless of other factors (if you want to be polite, which you usually do).
3. When talking to someone you know who is older than you (including older family members).
4. When talking to someone you know who is higher than you socially (your teacher, boss, a senior student or co-worker, etc), regardless of age.
5. When talking to someone you greatly respect (regardless of age or social standing).
6. When you're not sure whether or not to use polite speech (better safe than sorry).

As a note, there are much higher levels of politeness than standard polite speech, but they're pretty advanced Japanese so I probably won't get into them here.

When to use casual speech:
1. When talking to someone you know who is younger than you (as long as they don't have a higher social standing).
2. When talking to someone you know with a lower social standing (students, underclassmen, employees, lower ranking co-workers, etc).
3. When talking to someone you're pretty close to who is of a similar social standing (friends, equal level co-workers, etc).
4. When talking to someone you're pretty close to who is of a higher social standing in private conversations (never in formal or public situations).
5. When you want to sound rude or tough and are talking to someone who doesn't fit the above criteria.

As a note, using casual speech with someone who isn't your social inferior implies a certain degree of closeness to that person (friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, family member or relative, etc). Similarily, if you wish to distance yourself from someone close to you (say breaking up with your girlfriend or boyfriend), speaking to them in polite speech can emphasize that, as it's more formal and distant.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Word Thread
PostPosted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 12:07 pm 
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Personal Pronouns
Here's the most commonly used personal pronouns in Japanese.

watashi 私 = I (general polite)
atashi あたし = I (polite, feminine)
boku ぼく = I (casual, masculine)
ore おれ = I (very casual, masculine)
anata あなた = you (Note: anata あなた is rarely used in normal speech as it implies a certain degree of closeness between the speaker and person being spoken to. Instead, you usually just use the person's name or, if it's obvious from the context, just leave out that part of the sentence entirely. anata あなた is most commonly used as a term of endearment between married couples (like dear or honey) because, as I said before, it implies a degree of closeness.)

As a note, girls mostly use atashi あたし and occasionally watashi 私. They never use boku ぼく or ore おれ unless they're trying to sound tough or tomboyish.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Word Thread
PostPosted: Fri Nov 12, 2010 8:11 pm 
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Japanese Names
As long as we're talking about politeness and personal pronouns, this seems like a good time to bring up Japanese names. First, a few general rules.

1. When saying a full name in Japanese you say the last name (or family name) first then the first name (or given name). That said, they know people from English speaking countries do it the opposite way so, when talking to or about foreigners use of this rule becomes very inconsistent.
2. Unless you know someone very well, you should always call them by their last name. Even if you do know them very well, it's often best to call them by their last name unless they specifically ask you to use their first name. Once again, they know foreigners do it differently so some Japanese people are more likely to use first names when they're talking with or about foreigners.
3. When saying someone else's name you should almost always add a suffix to the end (more on that in my next post).
4. You should NEVER add a suffix to the end of your own name.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Word Thread
PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:38 pm 
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Japanese Name Suffixs
The following are added to the end of someone's name (either first of last). Note that this isn't by any means a complete list, but it covers the more common ones.

san さん is a general all purpose suffix roughly equivalent to Mr./Mrs./Ms. It's polite and suitable for most occasions.
sama 様 denotes a very high degree of respect for the person. It's mainly used for roytal and dieties, someone you really really really respect, or someone you're trying to suck up to.
dono 殿 is similar to sama, though a bit less commonly used, and denotes a very high degree of respect for the person.
kun くん is used for boys and young men who are younger than or the same age as the speaker. It's not as polite as san, but suitable when talking to younger employees and co-workerks, classmates, and kids. It can also be a term of endearment.
bouzu ぼうず is a more informal and somewhat less polite version of kun.
chan ちゃん is a cute suffix mostly used for girls and young women (though occasionally used for very young boys and pets). It's essentially the female equivalent of kun.
sensei 先生 means teacher, though it can also be used with doctors or other highly skilled people to show respect for their knowledge and skill in their field.
senpai 先輩 is used when speaker to an upperclassmen or senior co-workers to indicate that they're older and more experienced than the speaker.
kouhai 後輩 is the oppposite of sempai and is used with the name of an underclassmen or junior co-workers. However, while sempai is frequently used as a name suffix, people are more likely to use chan or kun when talking to their kohai.
Saying a name without adding any suffix implies that the speaker is very close to that person. If that's not the case, it's extremely rude. As with using first names, it's best not to do so unless the other person asks. Even then, the suffix should only be omitted when speaking to that particular person or people within the speaker and that person's close circle of family or friends.

Family relationship words (such as older brother, aunt, and grandfather, etc) are used as well. Naturally, they're mostly used when speaking to or about the family member in question (mainly if that family member is older than the speaker). However, many little kids also call older unrelated people (even strangers) older sister, uncle, grandmother, etc. I'll go over family relationship words themselves in a future post.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Word Thread
PostPosted: Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:29 pm 
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The In and Out Group
One last thing about politeness before I go back to more basic grammar stuff. Socially in Japan, people are part of various groups. For example, you and your family are a group as are you and your co-workers.

1. When talking about to someone outside of your group about people in your group you should not speak too highly about your group and its members. You shouldn't use overly polite name suffixs and should always downplay the group's accomplisments and skills (including your own).
2. In the same situation, you should be overly polite and respectful when talking about the other person's group, using very respectful suffixs and playing up their skills and accomplishments.
3. Praise for you or your group should only be accepted grudgingly, usually after politely turning it down several times.
4. This works in a similar way when talking about yourself (with someone in or out of your group). Play down your skills and accomplishments (perhaps attributing them to someone else), don't be too quick to accept compliments, and be very positive about the other person if the conversation shifts that way.
5. You do get the occasional boastful person who doesn't follow these rules, but that seems to be much more common in anime and manga than in real life Japan.

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 Post subject: Re: Japanese Word Thread
PostPosted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 1:45 pm 
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Sentence Structure
I really should have mentioned this before... Anyway the basic sentence structure in English is: subject - verb - object. The basic sentence structure in Japanese is subject - object - verb. Also, various parts of Japanese speech are marked using special little words (such as ka and yo, which I already mentioned when talking about puncuation marks). There's a lot of these marker words and some of them have multiple uses but here's a quick rundown of the most common ones with their most common use.

wa (spelled ha) は follows directly after the subject noun in a sentence.
ga が follows directly after the object noun in a sentence (generally sits right between the object and the verb).
o (spelled wo) を the same as ga が. It's a little hard to tell whether to use one or the other but in general think of wo as the one you use when you're taking the object and doing something (the verb) to it.
ga が placed at the end of a sentence it's roughly equivalent to a trailing but (e.g. "I want to go shopping but...). Makes for a polite way to end certain sentences.
yo よ goes at the end of a sentence and acts as an exclamation mark.
ka か goes at the end of a sentence and acts as a question mark.
no の goes between two nounds and acts like an apostrophe, showing ownership or posession.
to と more or less equivalent to "and", it's used to collect two or more nouns.
ya や similar to to と, except that while using to と implies that you're listing every single thing (e.g. "I like pizza and lasanga (and that's it).") ya や implies that you're including similar unlisted things as well (e.g. "I like pizza and lasanga (and other similar foods).").
ni に and e (spelled he) へ used in place of ga が / wo を when combined with verb involving travel or movement. In these situations, the two are used interchangably.
ni に used in a variety of other ways throughout sentences while I'll explain on a case by case basis.
de で follows a location or object noun to show that the action being described in the sentence either took place at that location or was accomplished due to that object.

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