Monday, November 28, 2011

日本語 - Week 7 (Contemporary Japanese Vol. 1)

The book I am using is Contemporary Japanese Vol. 1 by Eriko Sato from the Tuttle Language Library. 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 Sixteen - 今、何年生ですか
Let’s continue counting. What if you need to count higher than ten? The good thing about East Asian languages is that they just juxtapose the numbers, sort of, in a way that saying twenty would be like saying two tens 二十 and saying twenty five would be like saying two tens five 二十五.  I think it is easier to remember as opposed to English or German where you have to attach –teen or –zehn and who knows what sound mutations you might encounter along the way. Just practice. You only need to know the numbers one to ten. Anything higher than that but lower than 100 would be a combination of any of those basic ten numbers.

TUESDAY: Lesson Sixteen - 今、何年生ですか
Let’s move on to counters! Japanese usually attach different endings called “counters” to their numbers to denote a different meaning. We already met 年生 in the dialogue which means “academic year”. So far there are no sound mutations for this particular counter. You just attach the counter to the number as it is. Example: “first year level” is 一年生 while “what year level” is 何年生. For “age” you use which is a rather complicated Kanji that I have not memorized yet. There are two mutations: one and eight. Instead of saying いちさい and はちさい you have to say いっさい and はっさい instead. For months you have the kanji and you just attach the numerals one to twelve before it to say the months. Example is August which is written as 八月 and is pronounced はちがつ.

WEDNESDAY: Lesson Seventeen - 今何時ですか?
Today we learn another two counters, the counters for “hour” and “minute” . For hour the one for “four o’clock” is a bit different because it is pronounced よじ instead of よんじ. For the numbers seven and nine, you use the alternate pronunciations which would give you しちじ and くじ respectively. For minutes it is a bit more complicated, the -ふん sound could become -ぷん or -っぷん depending on what numeral comes before it. Kindly refer to the book or in the Internet for the differences. I would study them on my own.

THURSDAY: Lesson Seventeen - 今何時ですか?
The words for “morning (AM)” and “afternoon (PM)” are ごぜん and ごご respectively. You say this before saying the time expression itself so that “7 AM” is ごぜん七時 and “7 PM” is ごご七時. To ask “What time is it” you just say 今何時ですか.

FRIDAY: Lesson Eighteen – それはいくらですか
If you want to ask “how much” you have to use いくらですか. There are other ways to ask how much but this is the most common so let’s stick with this for now. “How much is that” would be それはいくらですか. If you have a specific item in mind you could mention it, and then the phrase. “How much is this book” would be この本は いくらですか.
For next week I would be covering the second half of lesson eighteen until lesson twenty. We can do this guys! The goal is to pass the N5 examination of the JLPT in December 2012! =)

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