Sunday, March 25, 2012

日本語 - Week 18 (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 May 12, 2012.

Instead of doing the Kanji and the vocabulary, I have decided to focus on the exercises, at least for the video. I’ll leave the Kanji to you, hahaha.

MONDAY: Lesson Forty Three – この道をまっすぐ行って下さい
How to form ordinal numbers in Japanese? Add ~ to the number. What makes it complicated are the counters that you have to add after the number. Some numbers transform in terms of orthography when followed by different counters. Third car, for example would be 三台めの車. Sorry, I forgot to mention that you also add that possessive particle to qualify the noun! Notice the use of the counter for cars. If we were talking about streets, as in third street then it would be written as 三本めの道.

TUESDAY: Lesson Forty Four かのじょは目がきれいです
Today we talk about 多い and 少ない which mean many and scarce, respectively. The book says that you could not use them before nouns, meaning they could not be used as qualifying adjectives. You could only attach them before the verb, after stating the noun. Example? There are many Japanese would be 日本人は多いです and not 多い日本人です which is considered ungrammatical. If you want it that way, use たくさん instead. It is the same case with少ない.

WEDNESDAY: Lesson Forty Four かのじょは目がきれいです
The difference between and ? The first one marks the subject. The second one marks the topic. Ifyou want to say that the mountains in Japan are beautiful, how do we say this in Japanese? There are many ways but let us give an example using the two mentioned particles. If you say 日本は山がきれいです this would roughly translate to As for Japan, the mountains are beautiful. We are talking about Japan, but in particular about its mountains. If you reverse it and you say山は日本がきれいです in my opinion it does not make much sense because we are talking about mountains and then suddenly you say that Japan is beautiful. Or maybe if we toss in a ~ there it would make sense in that you would be talking about Japan’s mountains. I am still confused but I am beginning to understand it more clearly.

THURSDAY: Lesson Forty Five – おみやげは何がいいですか
We have already learned to use ~ to list nouns in succession. There exists another particle which means almost the same thing but deals more with an inexhaustible list that means something like etcetera or so on and so forth. This particle is ~. If you say 中国や韓国や日本に行きました it means I went to China, Korea, Japan, etc. It means there are more and you got lazy to enumerate all of them. If you replace the ~ with ~ the sentence’s meaning would change to mean that you went to those three countries only.

FRIDAY: Lesson Forty Five – おみやげは何がいいですか
The particle ~ is attached as a suffix to mean or, so if you want to say That person is Chinese or Japanese, you would write it as: あの人あ中国人か日本人です. As you can see, it is no longer attached to the last option in the sentence.
For next week I would be covering lessons forty six to forty eight. We can do this guys! The goal is to pass the N5 examination of the JLPT in December 2012! =)

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