Given the nature of shuushuu and the fact that many of us are already pursuing our own studies of Japanese, I figured a "learn Japanese" thread might be of some use. Although mastering the language will be far out of the scope of this thread, I hope to convey the basics such that one could take them and progress to the level they desire.
Learning Japanese, of course, means learning the written form as well. Yes, I intend to go over hiragana (46 characters), katakana (46), and some kanji (over 9000!). Honestly, from what I have heard, the normal college course will tell the students to master kana (hiragana and katakana) within one week or drop from the class. Hiragana and katakana are that
essential. I can tell you from my own experience that most of my knowledge comes from after mastering kana, and they remain one of the most important tools I've obtained.
So, how will this work? I intend to write lessons in themes; the first being aisatsu (挨拶 - あいさつ), or greetings. Simultaneously, I will introduce the kana sets. Kana start being incorporated into the lessons one week after they are introduced, and romaji will be completely phased out after two weeks. Every few days (to a maximum of one week), I will (try to) post a new lesson. On occasion, advanced lessons on specific subjects might be done. If another person would like to submit a lesson of their own, I would greatly appreciate it. ^^
If there is an image with Japanese in it on the board, and it seems like it could serve as an interesting lesson, I will translate it here (or someone else can) and explain why it was translated how it was. Discussions on these translations will be open. ^^
If you need to, questions can be PMed (though I hardly check them), sent by MSN (email@example.com
), or preferably, via the e-shuushuu chat (see http://e-shuushuu.net/chat.php
). I tend to be out most of the time, though. Otherwise, questions and comments should ideally be handled on a seperate thread to avoid too much clutter.
Finally, who am I to make this kind of thread? Well... just a normal person who was interested in learning Japanese, like many of you. I've never taken a class of Japanese, pretty much all of my knowledge is self-taught, and it's not perfect. I'm making this thread to strengthen my own understanding, learn more Japanese, and possibly teach a few people.
Well, that's enough explanation. On to the actual lesson!挨拶等 - あいさつなどGreetings, etc.
Some aisatsu and the like:ohayou (gozaimasu)
- good morning (gozaimasu is used here to be more polite)konnichiwa
- good afternoonkonbanwa
- good eveningoyasumi (nasai)
- good night (nasai is also used to be more polite) - used when going to sleepsayo(u)nara
- farewell - this has a deeper meaning than what a lot of people use it for (goodbye). Sayonara means that you and the person you're using it on will not see each other for a long period of time (or so you assume). The difference between sayonara and sayounara is slight, but I've heard sayounara is more polite.yoroshiku (onegai shimasu)
- (yoroshiku) this is a common word with multiple meanings. "Let's get along", "I will be in your care", even "Nice to meet you", etc. are common translations. A word you'll just 'get' as you study more. Onegai shimasu (please - in the meaning of asking a favor - more on this later) makes it more like, "Please take care of / look after me", etc.omedetou
- congratulationsarigatou (gozaimasu)
- thank you (more polite)dou itashimashite
- you're welcomegomen (nasai)
- I'm sorry (more polite)sumimasen
- a catch-all phrase, can mean I'm sorry, thank you, excuse me, etc.o-genki desu ka
- how are you?/are you well? (more literal). The 'o' is honorific (for politeness), genki is well (health)/in 'good spirits', desu is desu (see below), ka is a particle used to indicate the sentence is a question.
Additionally, one can say genki desu
(literally 'I am well') to indicate that they are well, or o-genki de
to say stay/get well (when parting).dou shimashita ka
- what happened?o-daiji ni
- take carePractical usage
Ohayou gozaimasu, watashi wa Fuwari to moushimasu. Nijuunisai desu.Ohayou gozaimasu
- good morningwatashi
- I - most polite, neutral way of saying I; others will be introduced laterwa
- topic marker, particle; let us translate this as 'am' for nowFuwari
- Fuwarito moushimasu
- ...I should have used 'desu'. orz
- Let us merely say this is 'called' (as in named)Ni-juu-ni-sai
- two - ten - two - years old
- when counting (under 100), only the ten main digits are used
- to express twenty, you would use two - ten (seen here)
- so, nijuuni = twenty-two.
- -sai is used here are 'years old'desu
- Ah, the copula just about everyone knows. Suiseiseki fans, rejoice.
- Essentially means 'to be'.
Full translation: "Good morning, I am called Fuwari. I am twenty-two years old."
A bit of jiko shoukai (自己紹介 - じこしょうかい), or self introduction there; what the next lesson will be about.
With the level of Japanese introduced thus far, we can't really have practice sentences. Expect them in the future, though. ^^
Also, I imagine most of you know the vocabulary introduced here. However, I think it would probably be best to start from the beginning. Things will eventually get more interesting for you guys, too. ^^
Now for the good part: kana!
Q: How does one study kana?
A: Rote memorization! I found it useful to write out some of the basic phrases I knew at the time. Writing out lyrics to songs you know, etc. would also be a good way to memorize them.http://www.kanjisite.com/
has an excellent chart for the kana - both hiragana
Wikipedia has excellent pages for reading their history as well as some basic charts: hiragana
(For those of you who have studied kana recently and have a site they'd like to recommend, please PM/IM/chat me the link(s) and I will update accordingly. ^^ )
Also, you only really need to study the 92 characters. I will slowly introduce and explain special cases as we progress through the lessons.
The other half of memorizing the written language: learning how to pronounce it!
Most of you should actually have this down due to frequent exposure to the language. For the rest of you, here are some links:http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~best ... iation.htmhttp://www.angelfire.com/geek/tetrisnom ... ation.html
Or just Google it
So, how was the lesson? Suggestions, ideas, etc? Post away (in the comment thread, of course)!