Archive for the ‘Japanese’ Category

Expressing degrees of politeness in requests, using the Te-form of verbs

Friday, June 5th, 2009 | 3 Comments »
Tags: | Categories: Japanese |
電気を消して 下さいませんか/いただけませんか? Formal








Vocab List – Transportation

Friday, June 5th, 2009 | 2 Comments »
Tags: , | Categories: Japanese |
Hiragana Kanji English
たいへん 大変 difficult, hard
おうだんほどう 横断歩道 pedestrian crossingg
よこぎる 横切る to cross
しんごう 信号 traffic light
じこ 事故 accident
こうそくどうろ 高速道路 freeway
ちがう 違う to be different
いはん 違反 violation
こうさてん 交差点 intersection
とおる 通る to pass through
とじる 閉じる to close
こうつう 交通 traffic, transportation
いっぽうつうこう 一方通行 one-way traffic
じどうしゃ 自動車 automobile
きえる 消える to go out
ちゅうしゃじょう 駐車場 parking lot
じてんしゃ 自転車 bicycle
しょうぼうしゃ 消防車 fire engine
かえる 変える to change (trans)
こうじちゅう 工事中 under construction
はやい 速い fast
そくど 速度 rate of speed
かわる 変わる to change (intr)

Ah, btw: Japanese software

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

I compiled a very short list of useful Japanese language software a while back, and have reposted it on a page.  You can find it on the sidebar under the Links section.  It is labeled “Japanese Language Tools.”

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!

Index Cards for Kanji and Vocab

Saturday, February 14th, 2009 | No Comments »
Tags: , , | Categories: Japanese |

Today I bought index cards to use while reading the mangajin magazines.  I find the flash card system is one that works pretty well for me, though that may not be the case for other people.  The act of writing something down helps imprint it in my memory, and then I can flip through the cards and arrange them in whatever order I want.  Here’s what I do:

Unruled side: Japanese kanji or vocabulary word, large, in bold or English idiom or grammar point, also large, in bold

Ruled side: English translation, followed by an example sentence or Japanese grammar/idiom, followed by examples & explanations.

I use half-sized index cards (you can buy them at the store pre-cut, or you could buy regular index cards and cut them yourself >__>), and I usually have plenty of space to write.  When I’m on the bus going to school or walking someplace, it’s easy to just take them out and look at them, because they’re less bulky.  They fit neatly into almost any pocket.

I spent lunch copying down unfamiliar words and phrases onto the index cards, and by the end of lunch break, had about two dozen in a stack.   One of these days I’ll try the flashcard exchange website, and convert them to the web.  Though ultimately, actual tangible flashcards still seem more portable and convenient.

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