Vocabulary & Grammar, Mangajin #55

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 | No Comments »
Tags: , , , | Categories: Japanese |

When I first started this blog, I debated with myself on whether or not I’d post vocabulary and grammar I learned as I was learning it, as opposed to just rambling about the learning process.  The reason for the indecision is that I really don’t know very much at all, so there’d be lots of things to post, and (assuming there will eventually be readers XD) people would be Very Unimpressed at my level of knowledge overall.  “‘You didn’t know that?‘ they would think to themselves,” I would think to myself.

I ultimately decided that it’d be pretty lame to read if it was just rambling, and that there are always people who know less than I do, even if I do know very, very little.   So, have some grammar bits, and some vocab.   I’ll do three of each bit.

Some Interesting Nouns

  • 偏見(へんけん) = prejudiced view.  The Casio GW9600 tells me that へん means something to do with a side or a bias, and 見 should be relatively familiar with everyone.
  • 喧嘩(けんか) = a fight, quarrel, or argument. Both kanji mean “noisy” or something related, says the rikaichan kanji dictionary (all Japanese learners should learn how to use it, and how not to overuse it).
  • 秘密(ひみつ) = secret.  Everyone knows this word, I think, because it’s so widely used in things such as anime and manga XD.  But I didn’t know the kanji for it, and it’s always good to learn how compounds work.  First kanji means “secret” or “conceal.”  Second kanji means a bunch of things: density, thickness, secrecy, fine & minute.

Some interesting Adjectives

  • 妙な(みょうな) = strange [adj-na].  Always knew へん but didn’t know this one.  Kanji can also mean: exquisite, delicate, excellent, charming, miracle.  So a bit of a different connotation, maybe, than へん.
  • 幸運な(こううんな) = lucky, fortunate.  1st kanji is happiness, blessing and fortune; 2nd is carry, luck, fate, destiny, transport, advance, progress.  So like your luck is progressing.
  • 腹立たしい(はらだたしい)= infuriating, annoying [adj-i].  The first kanji means stomach/belly, and the second is derived from 立つ, which is “to stand.”  So, “belly rises.”  Means you’re angry, and the adjective form translates to irritating in a serious way.

Grammar-ey Things

  • While/as you are verbing something… Verb-ているうちに… Putting the うちに right after a verb in its te-iru form creates the “while doing something” sort of sentence.  So “テレビを見ているうちに私たちの問題を考えた” would translate to “As I watched television, I considered our problem.
  • Immediately after [doing something]… Verb-た早々(そうそう)… そうそう acts as a suffix that indicates the action occurs immediately after doing whatever verb comes before.  So “ニュウ・ヨークに着いた早々、図書館に行った” would translate to “As soon as I arrived in New York, I went to the library.“  (god, so geeky XP)
  • Even though/in spite of the fact that… Statement のに… So you could say “Even though he’s handsome, I don’t like him” like this: “あの人はハンサムなのに、好きじゃない.“  I added the な after the “handsome” because loan words are usually na-adjectives.

I hope this is all okay.  If anyone has any corrections or suggestions, please feel free to comment or email at thanhtam88 [at] gmail [dot] com.  Thanks!

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