Sunday, October 16, 2011

日本語 - Week 2 (Contemporary Japanese Vol. 1)

The book I am using is Contemporary Japanese Vol. 1 by Eriko Sato from the Tuttle Language Library. This is not a Japanese language learning program and I am no teacher. This is a personalized journal of my Japanese language journey, and the target audience would be other students of Japanese, beginners if possible. If you are an advanced learner, kindly give us tips and correct some of the errors we are bound to make. Your feedback is important to us since books could not teach all. Let’s start! But before we do please watch the video after or while reading, it’s meant to complement the content of this blog article. If you watch just the video and not read, you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about. Volume 1 of the book has 61 lessons. I only study Monday to Friday, two days for each lesson, which means it will take us 122 days or 24 weeks and 2 days to finish the whole book. Target end date is March 20, 2012.

MONDAY: Lesson Three - Numbers in Japanese and Phrases for Greeting
We left this chapter hanging last week by counting from one to ten. What I did today was move on to the dialogues, all three of them, which contain expressions on how to greet people and how to say goodbye. For greetings, “Good Morning” would be おはよう ございます. You could cut the second part if you are talking to a friend, informal, in short. Saying “Goodbye” has two different formulas for informal and formal situations. じゃあ、また is the informal or more colloquial way while しつれいします is for superiors like teachers and bosses, a more formal way. What about さようなら? Well, according to the book it is not used that much as the other two. It seems to be used for long term goodbyes. We have two greetings more: こんいちは is “Good Afternoon” while “Good Evening” would be こんばんは. This is the segue to our five hiragana characters of the day: ha (wa), hi, fu, he (e), and ho. The hiragana equivalents are: は、ひ、ふ、へ、ほ. Special note to remember? is the subject particle which is often used in most expressions like that of Good Afternoon and Good Evening. Instead of using the other character which really sound like wa, the hiragana for ha is mostly used.

TUESDAY: Lesson Four - Classroom Expressions
For the new vocabs, watch the video. I have realized that I usually duplicate what is already written here by saying it again there. The two should be complementary, not supplementary. Hiragana again! Five new for today: ま、み、む、め、も which are ma, mi, mu, me, mo respectively! Be careful with め because it resembles to some extent. It might be confusing at times. The vocabulary list for today is quite interesting, they are for school! Okay, maybe boring on second thought.

WEDNESDAY: Lesson Four - Classroom Expressions
We only have three new Hiragana today: ya, yu, yo (や、ゆ、よ). For some reason, they don’t have ye and yi sounds in Japanese. Okay, so now let’s just focus on grammar here. We use the -te form of the verb and add ください to form a request. For example, もういちどいっください which means “Say it one more time, please.” Another option is to add おねがいします if you are not using verbs, such as もういちどおねがいします which would roughly translate to “one more time, please.”

THURSDAY: Lesson Five - Words for Body Parts and Phrases for Apology
Five new Hiragana characters today! ら、り、る、れ、ろ correspond to the syllables ra, ri, ru, re, ro. Since I already provided the Hiragana for some body parts in the video, I would specify their Kanji characters here in case you want to know how they look like. (ear), (eye), (hand), (foot/leg), (nose), (mouth).

FRIDAY: Lesson Five - Words for Body Parts and Phrases for Apology
Let’s do the set phrases for apologies first. You only have to remember すみません (Sorry) and you could add the intensifier どうも just like you would when saying thank you very much to someone, to mean that you are very sorry. Most would reply with いえ if they don’t mind. If someone is pissed, he or she might say はい which means he or she thinks that yes, you did something wrong! だいじょうぶ ですか is a way of asking if “Are you okay?” To answer affirmatively, just omit the last syllable which denotes a question to make it as statement.

See you next weekend! For next week I would be covering the lesson six until the first half of lesson eight. We can do this guys! The goal is to pass the N5 examination of the JLPT in December 2012! =)

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