Tuesday, November 8, 2011

日本語 - Week 5 (Contemporary Japanese Vol. 1)

The book I am using is Contemporary Japanese Vol. 1 by Eriko Sato from the Tuttle Language Library. 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 Eleven - あのたてものは何ですか
There is just one grammar rule for lesson 11 since the other two have already been discussed last week. This grammar rule would be the question word for “who” and there are two of them depending if you have to be polite or not. The common one is だれ and the formal one is どなた. Example time! こちらはだれですか. “Who is this person?” Be polite! Just change one word. こちらはどなたですか. Easy! Remember that question words in Japanese tend to be placed before the verb, and that verb is at the end, unlike in English where the question word is always at the beginning of the sentence.

TUESDAY: Lesson Eleven - あのたてものは何ですか
No grammar for today! Yahoo! In fact almost all the dialogues and oral practice exercises accumulated today so I did not know how to make them fit in the video, hahaha. Anyway, let’s enjoy this grammar free day! Fun, fun, fun!

WEDNESDAY: Lesson Twelve - あの人は私の母です
For the three new Kanji we have for family members, check the video. We just discuss grammar here and there are four points for this lesson, so we discuss two today and two tomorrow. First stop, family members. It appears that you use different forms depending on whose family member it is you are talking about. We already know the terms for immediate family members because we already covered that. Apparently, those are used for talking about someone else’s family. For your own family, use these: “father” (ちち), “mother” (はは), “older brother” (あに), and “older sister” (あね). There is a very long list appended but I don’t like to type them. HAHAHA. I am sure you will find an exhaustive list somewhere in the Internet. The second grammar topic is easy. It is all about that word for “pretty” which could also mean “beautiful, clean, or neat”. The Japanese word is きれい. You could use this to discuss your mother or your room. Or yourself, if you are that conceited. “My mother is pretty. My room is neat/pretty too!” 母はきれいです。へやもきれいです。

THURSDAY: Lesson Twelve - あの人は私の母です
We have two particles for today. The first one is the particle - which means “isn’t it?” You just add it to any declarative sentence to solicit your interlocutor’s confirmation. Say it with a rising tone and you are asking a confirmation question. Do it with a downward intonation and you are not really trying to ask for confirmation, but rather just agreement. “It’s hot!” あついですbecomes あついですね “It’s hot, isn’t it!” The other particle is - which you add to the end of every noun to denote possession. Think of it as their version of (‘s). Let’s give an interesting example. “My mother’s father’s university’s teacher’s English language book” would be だい学先生えいご.

FRIDAY: Lesson Thirteen - 大学のえいごの先生です
We only have one grammar point today and it is all about gender. Two of the three Kanji for today are related to this so let’s discuss theme here. refers to females while refers to males. The author says that it is rude if you refer to people just by saying these two. You have to put the suffix の人. It’s weird because it would seem like saying “woman’s person” or “man’s person” but the book says that’s how it’s done.
See you next weekend! For next week I would be covering the second half of lesson thirteen until lesson fifteen. We can do this guys! The goal is to pass the N5 examination of the JLPT in December 2012! =)

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