Tuesday, December 6, 2011

日本語 - Week 8 (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. Target end date is March 20, 2012.

No Earthlings, I am not enrolling in any kind of Japanese course in the near future. Everything Japan is expensive, even courses held here in the Philippines. This is sad because it puts Japanese behind Mandarin and Korean on my priority list. Unfortunately, this is reality. I love Japanese the most if I am to choose among the three, if pronunciation is the only criterion. Nihongo does not give me the headaches that Mandarin tones and ambiguous Korean vowels/consonants do. Maybe that’s why it would be best that I study it on my own, because it has been manageable so far.

MONDAY: Lesson Eighteen – それはいくらですか
We have two grammar points to tackle to conclude this chapter and the first one is the particle ~ which means and/also and is used to enumerate items when there are more than one. Please give me this and that would be これそれください. As you can see, the particle is no longer added at the ends of the last item because the last item usually takes another particle, in this case the direct object particle highlighted in bold. That sentence is cool because it also serves as an example for our other grammar point today which is Please give me... をください.

TUESDAY: Lesson Nineteen - カタカナ
I’ve always hated the Katakana, and I hate the fact that this book tackles all of them in just one lesson. How insane is that. I prefer hiragana but we cannot disregard the Katakana and pretend that it wouldn’t exist if we ignored it. Anyway I do a rushed version of it in the video so let’s just watch that one to know how to write this new syllabary.

WEDNESDAY: Lesson Nineteen - カタカナ
Again, let’s go and watch the video. I am not writing any Katakana in here! Let’s reserve that for tomorrow’s lesson where we would study some loan words. Yes, loan words. The Katakana functions as italics to the Japanese. They use it to write words they want to emphasize and as mentioned, words that are foreign. Because of this even if you have not memorized all of the Katakana characters, once you recognize a few of them it would be easy to find out what the word is because you know it is a loan word. This is mostly true for country names.

THURSDAY: Lesson Twentyがいらいご
Lesson twenty is all about loan words where we apply the use of Katakatana, meaning today and tomorrow would be practice lessons both here and in the video. English loan words in Japanese sometimes undergo weird mutations that they are hard to recognize at first, but one you know the underlying mechanism, you’ll slowly get used to it. Our tip for the day would be about consonant clusters. Japanese does not have them, and English has many, which results in Japanese adapting some sort of pronunciation system where they add a “u” or “o” sound to the consonant to break them into two different syllables. Example? Necktie has clashing consonant sounds (“k” and “t”) so they pronounce this as “nekutai” and in Katakana, is written like ネクタイ. The word strike has a three cluster consonant at the very beginning. In Japanese, they form three syllables: sutoraiku which is written as ストライク. When in doubt, observe the consonants and assign one syllable for each.

FRIDAY: Lesson Twentyがいらいご
The Katakana is also used to write names, since not all of us have Japanese names. I would just give you some examples of how Western names are written with Katakana. Example number one: Susan Brown would be written as スーザン ブラウン (Su­uzan Buraun). Take note that when you key this in via Microsoft Word, you have to spell it as you pronounce it. A weirder example would be: Robert Webster which is written as ロバート ウエブスター (Robaato Uebusutaa). I know, it could be hard and you don’t really know at once when some vowel sounds should be long or what vowel to use in the first place. For now I would suggest that you just find out how you write your own name in Katakana. That’s what’s important for now. Mine is Alfred so it would be written like: アルフレッド (Arufureddo).
For next week I would be covering lesson twenty one until the first half of lesson twenty three. We can do this guys! The goal is to pass the N5 examination of the JLPT in December 2012! =)

2 creature(s) gave a damn:

RarusuChin said...

こんにちは~はじめまして!セブ市のジェムです。私も日本語勉強中なので、よろしくお願いします~!このブログはいいね!!私がブログも出来たばかりですけど、http://japanheartcebu.wordpress.com/ どうぞご覧ください~!リンク/ブログロール交換してはどうでしょか?:D

ihcahieh said...

@Rarusuchin - こんばんは! Rarusuchinは 日本語の先生ですか? Rarusuchinの BLOGは みましたよ! 今まで will follow it! Sorry, among my three East Asian languages, my Japanese is the weakest. :)

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