Monday, August 31, 2009

Nagoya's FuA-Men Robo Ramen

Nagoya's FuA-Men (Fully Automated raMen) restaurant features chef and assistant robots that can dish out 80 bowls of noodles a day.

Ramen Noodles in Nagoya
営業時間Business hours: 11:30~15:30 17:00~20:00
定休日Closed: 水曜日Wednesdays
TEL: 052-253-6532
住所Address: 愛知県名古屋市中区大須3-14-43 第2アメ横ビル2F
2nd Ameyoko Bldg 2nd Fl, 3-14-43 Osu, Naka-ku, Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture

Japanese verbs ~te + iru (~て+いる) form usage

In my previous post on ~te (~て) form before this long weekend, I was conjugating verbs and learned simple command usage for ~te:
  • 食べ (Tabete): "Eat."
  • 読ん (Yonde): "Read."
as well as polite request usage ~te + kudasai (equal to "verb + please"):
  • Please eat = tabete kudasai
Today I'll be learning ~て+いる usage.

Continuous Actions ~て+いる

A verb's te form with iru is used to show continuous action. This is probably the most used verb form of them all. Iru by itself is an ichidan verb meaning "to be; to exist," and when connected to another verb using the Te Form means "to be doing (something)."
  • 待っている matte iru: "I am waiting",
  • 知っている shitte iru: "I'm knowing" = "I know",
  • 持っている matte iru: "I'm having" = "I have",
  • ここに住んでいる koko ni sunde iru: "I'm living here" = "I live here".
The "i" in "iru" often disappears, so
  • 待っている matte iru becomes 待ってる matteru "I'm having" = "I have",
  • 知っている shitte iru becomes 知ってる shitteru "I'm knowing" = "I know"
  • Watashi wa koko ni iru. (I am here.)
  • Watashi wa aruite iru. (I am walking.)
  • Karera wa zasshi o yonde iru. (They are reading a magazine.)
  • Watashitachi wa Takamatsu ni sunde iru. (We are living in Takamatsu.)
  • Shizuko wa tabete iru. (Shizuko is eating.)
  • Kanojo wa sushi o tabetei ru. (She is eating sushi.)
  • Bill wa nihongo o benkyou shiteru. (Bill is studying Japanese.)
Japanese use the continuous form much more than English does (link).
"What did you do last night?" becomes "What were you doing last night?" Accordingly, the answer will be in the same tense.
  • Sakuban nani o shite imashita ka. (What were you doing last night?)
  • Terebi o mite imashita. (I was watching TV.)
Difference between English and Japanese continuous actions

A "V-te iru" form in Japanese is widely believed to be a grammatical equivalent of "be V-ing" (progressive form) in English. Here are instances found at: A Study of "V-te iru" in Japanese by Taeko Tomioka:
  • Hanako wa ima hon o yondeiru. 花子は今本を読んでいる。Hanako is now reading a book.
  • Hikoki ga sora o tondeiru. 飛行機が空を飛んでいる。An airplane is flying in the sky.
Cases above are a perfect Japanese - English match. However, quite often, this is not the case. Japanese "V-te iru" usually doesn't have a "progressive" meaning, but it shows that some activity was done and now the speaker is focusing on the result of that activity. To get some flavor of this, here are few sentences:
  • Sono inu wa shindeiru. その犬は死んでいる。The dog is dead. (Not: The dog is dying.)
  • Kare wa futotteiru. 彼は太っている。 He is fat. (Not: He is getting fat.)
  • Okane ga michi ni ochiteiru. お金が道に落ちている。Somebody dropped money on the street. (Not: Money is falling onto the street.)
  • Chichi wa shujutsu-shitsu ni haitteiru. 父は手術室に入っている。My father is in an operating room. (Not: My father is entering an operating room.)
  • Otto wa totemo tsukareteiru. 夫はとても疲れている。My husband is very tired. (Not: My husband is getting very tired.)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Applied Kanji Lesson 2: 馬 駐 車 林 示 禁 止


In this post I'll be trying to read a street sign above. :)

I see a white helmet UN peacekeeper under a great stress. His yellow face may be a result of Hepatitis A-type. Also there are 4 vertical red ink kanji. Does he warn me on hepatits pandemy danger!?

Or may this be a no-parking sign? Let's see...

  • horse
  • バ ba
  • うま、ま uma, ma

This one I already know.
  • master; lord; chief; owner; main thing; principal matter
  • シュ、ス shu, su
  • ぬし、おも nushi, omo

  • stop; stay; resident
  • チュウ chu
  • *
Master's Horse Stop. Hm... Parking?

The next one is:

  • car; vehicle; automobile; wheel
  • シャ sha
  • くるま kuruma
Looks like an electric motor with two coaxial wheels when looking from above. How did they know? Strangely it's also a chariot.

駐車 ?

Chusha... chariot stop ... Car Parking... I think it's a Parking Lot!

  • woods; forest; grove
  • リン rin
  • はやし hayashi

  • indicate; show; point out; express; display
  • ジ、シ
  • しめ.す
"T" was a primitive altar sign. / \ was for blood drops. A stroke above an altar was for sacrifice items that placed on the altar. So originally this kanji "show" was an "outcome of the sacrifice showing the will of gods".

means: Altar in forbidden forest. Or, religious taboo, or in modern words:
  • prohibition; ban; forbid
  • キン kin
  • *

駐車禁 ?

Chusha kin... I'm 100% sure that I can't stop my horse chariot in a forbidden forest.

So what is the last one about?

  • stop; halt; end
  • シ shi
  • と.まる、と.める tomaru, tomeru
It really resembles injured legs to me.

I'm done:


Chusha kin shi

Two stops - stop at the beginning and stop at the end. I think I can skip first stop and read the first kanji as "horse master", not as a "horse master stop".
Horse Master! Don't stop your chariot in a forbidden forest!

In fact, 駐車 in the beginning is a "parking/parking lot".
So alltogether: Parking Is Prohibited!

I've learned 7 more kanji: 馬 駐 車 林 示 禁 止 !

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Japanese Verbs ~て (~Te) form

Most "learn japanese" web sites proceed to a ~te form(~て)(or some call it ~te base or base 6) right after the dictionary form. Some say "If there is one type of verb conjugation to learn and learn extremely well it would be this".

I feel bit guilty (or guil~te :) for ignoring it for so long. So, what is the ~て form/base?

Surprisingly, most sources tend to avoid direct definition of ~ て, saying something like:
  • "The -te form of a verb which does not have a tense or mood combines with other verb forms."
  • "It does not indicate tense by itself, however it combines with other verb forms to create other tenses."
  • "The ~て form of a Japanese verb is used when the verb has some kind of connection to the following words."
Fundamentally dissatisfied with such a "negative" definition, I tried to figure out what ~て IS rather than what it IS NOT. So here is what I found:

~て form definition / usage


The ~て form has the same meaning as continuous tenses in English that use the auxiliary verbs am, are, is, was and were:
  • I am riding the train.
  • I was riding the train.
  • He is talking to a friend.
  • He was talking to a friend.
Continuous Actions
Actions that occur in the present or occurred in the past. The ~て form has the same meaning as the English continuous tense:
  • I am watching television.
  • I am listening to music.
  • I was doing my homework.
  • I was eating with a friend.
Incomplete tasks
You're left with a sense an action not taking place:
  • I haven't done any studying for the test.
  • I haven't done the homework yet.
This form may also be used to describe a habitual activity.
  • I read the USA Today newspaper.
Stative vs Non-stative verbs
Much like English, there are verbs that describe a state of the subject, rather than an action. These type of verbs are called stative. You may want to think of these as actions that started in the past, arrived to a state, and this state persists to the present.
  • The library is open.
  • ~ has come, has gone, has returned
There are few other cases where ~て is in use (most likely will be discussed later).

~て form conjugation

The conjugation of the ~て form is similar to the conjugation of the past tense.

Since ~ください kudasai (please) is one of the most useful ~て endings, one that is indispensable for polite and proper speech, I have decided to learn it first, along with the ~て conjugation.

To say "please + verb" form you add~てください (te+kudasai) to the verb stem. ~て (te) plus ください (kudasai) someimes called Polite Affirmative . So when using "te+kudasai" you politely ask/allow/command your counterpart to do/proceed (with)something.

Group 1: ~ U ending verbs (godan)

to speak(話す) hanasu はな hanashimasu はなします  
hanashite はなして hanashitekudasai はな
to write(書く) kaku kakimasuきます
kaiteいて kaitekudasaiいてください
to listen (聞く) kiku kikimasuきます
kiiteいて kiitekudasaiいてください
to wait(待つ) matsu machimasuちます
matteって mattekudasaiってください
to drink(飲む)momimasu のみま nomimashimasu のみまします
nomimashite のみまして nomimashitekudasai のみましてください

Group 2: ~ Iru and ~ Eru ending verbs (yodan)

to wear (着る) kiru kimasuます
kite kitekudasaiてください
to see (見る) miru mimasuます
mite mitekudasaiてください
to get up (起きる) okiru おき okimasu おきます
okite おき okitekudasai おきてください
to get off (降りる) oriru おり orimasu おります
orite おり oritekudasai おりてください
to believe(信じる) shinjiru しんじ shinjimasu しんじます
shinjite しんじ shinjitekudasai しんじてください

As always, yodan is a snap.

Group 3: Irregular Verbs くる (kuru) and ~する (~suru)

to come (来る) kuru kimasuます
kite kitekudasaiてください
to do (する) suru shimasuます
shite shitekudasaiてください
to study(勉強する)benkyou-suru べんきょうする benkyou-shimasu べんきょうします
benkyou-shite べんきょうし benkyou-shitekudasai べんきょうしてください

I'll be digging both ~て (that is in wide use) and ~kudasai (that comes with other verb forms also) in my next posts.

Stupid 日本語 Lessons on Youtube

Gotcha! Japanese is just a broken English! Or not?

And another one:

Both girls are nice, but what's the point of making videos using borrowed words only? Then should I just stop learning and simply start speaking Japanese like this: ノグラッマオウァツォエヴェラーか。Or is this a practical 日本の joke to mislead stupid アメリカジン’s?

What do you think? Please leave a comment...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Applied Kanji Lesson One: 氵水 主 王 注 心 音 意

In this post I decided to break the series of Japanese verbs-related posts and learn some kanji. I did not figured out "my" best way to learn kanji yet, so, I'll be experimenting.
I'm not using but videos they produce are fun and professional. I will use few of them as my study subject. Let's start!

So here is the first kanji I'm going to learn:

What I see here is a universal "don't touch it" pictogram followed by a hiragana word that means "burn": やけど(yakedo) – burn. It's quite easy to remember - it's reminds me a barbecue word "yakitori" やきとり焼き鳥

彼は手にやけどをしました。 かれ は て に やけど を しました means "He burned his hand"

BTW, a verb I learned recently was "to do" (来る) suru. And...Suru…. Makes any noun into a verb...やけどする(yakedosuru) – get burned. Easy enough right?

OK. Back to the topic. The first kanji I see here is

I found it. It happens to be in the first 500 kanji set here and it means "pour". Kids learn this kanji in 3rd grade.

  • pour; irrigate; shed (tears); flow into; concentrate on; notes; comment; annotate
  • チュウ (chu) - "on" reading
  • そそ.ぐ (soso gu) - "kun" reading

It see two readings for all japanese kanji. The first called "on" reading and it's a chinese reading. What "kun" reading is for? Hmm... I guess it is a japanese reading?

It also visually appears to me that this 注 "pour" kanji has two parts - left vertical set of 3 short strokes and a bigger symbol on the right. Short research ...and yes I'm right.

The left three strokes is a "radical" of kanji "sui", or "shui" in chinese reading that stands for "water" in chinese. "Water" in japanese is "mizu" みず and kanji for it is 水.

A kanji radical is a common sub-element found in different kanji characters. Radicals express the general nature of the kanji characters.

is a "radical" of

  • water
  • スイ sui
  • みず mizu
What chinese themselves say about this kanji?

The second part is

  • master; lord; chief; owner; main thing; principal matter
  • シュ、ス shu, su
  • ぬし、おも nushi, omo

Digging little bit deeper earned me a similar kanji:

  • king; rule; magnate
  • オウ o(u)
  • *
So, "King 王 with bit extra is a real master 主"

And,氵(water) and 主 (master) together make "master of water" ...
Nop! Write answer is:
Pours Water . They make 注 (pour) together.

Now the second kanji barely seen on the picture above:

  • idea; intention; mind; heart; taste; thought; desire; care; attention; liking
  • イ i
  • *
It obviously means "attention" in this case. It also happens to be in the first 500 kanji set here.
This symbol looks a way too complex to me to be a radical. Short research... and!
The lower part of this kanji is:

  • heart; mind; spirit
  • シン shin
  • こころ kokoro

The upper part of this kanji is:

  • sound; noise
  • オン、イン on, in
  • おと、ね oto, ne
The sound of mind is an idea 意. Wow. That was cool.
A thought is a sound from the heart. Even cooler.

Now, to finish this, let's combine everything together.

Two kanji together 注意 pronounced as ちゅうい (chui).

やけど(yakido) + 注意 (chui) = やけど注意 "burn pour attention" or "be careful not to burn yourself"

So, what was the kanji we learned today?

氵, 水 - water - sui - みず - mizu
主 - master - shu - ぬし - nushi 
王 - king - o(u) - オウ - * - ou
注 - pour - chu - そそ。ぐ - soso gu
心 - heart/feelings - shin - ここる - kokoru
音 - sound - on/in - おと, ね - oto/ne
意 - attention/idea - i - イ- i

Seven kanji and one radical! Not bad for a start!

Plus we learned:
やけど - burn - yakedo
やきとり - yakitori

Japanese Verbs Past Negative ~ なかった (nakatta), ~ませんでした (masen deshita)

In this post I want to learn past tense both for plain negative form ~ ない (nai), and for polite negative form ~ ません (masen).
  • Plain: The past tense of ~ない (nai) is なかった (nakatta). ~Nai with its i dropped and ~kattaな (na) is the negative element and かった (katta) is for past tense will be a big help later on.
  • Polite: To make polite negative form ません (masen) past tense just add でした (deshita).
Group 1: ~ U ending verbs (godan)

not to speak(話す) hanasanai はなさない hanashimasen はなしません 
not spoke - hanasanakatta はななかった hanashimasendeshita はなませんでした

not to write(書く)kakanaiかない kakimasenきません
not wrote - kakanakattaなかった kakimasendeshitaませんでした

not to listen (聞く) kikanaiかない kikimasenきません
not listened - kikanakattaなかった kikimasendeshitaませんでした

not to wait(待つ) matanaiたない machimasenちません
not waited - matanakattaなかった machimasendeshitaませんでした

not to drink(飲む)nomimasanai のみまさない nomimashimasen のみましません
not drunk - nomimasanakatta のみまなかった nomimashimasendeshita のみまませんでした

Group 2: ~ Iru and ~ Eru ending verbs (yodan)

not to wear (着る)kinaiない kimasenません
not wore - kinakattaない kimasendeshitaませんでした

not to see (見る)minaiない mimasenません
not saw - minakatta みなかった mimasendeshitaませんでした

not to get up (起きる)okinai おきない okimasen おきません
not got up - okinakatta おきなかった okimasendeshita おきませんでした

not to get off (降りる)orinai おりない orimasen おりません
not got off - orinakatta おりなかった orimasendeshita おりませんでした

not to believe(信じる)shinjinai しんじない shinjimasen しんじません
not beleived - shinjinakatta しんじなかった shinjimasendeshita しんじませんでした

Group 3: Irregular Verbs くる (kuru) and ~する (~suru)

not to come (来る) konaiない kimasenません
not came (来る) konakattaなかった kimasendeshitaませんでした

not to do (来る) shinaiない shimasenません
did not (来る) shinakattaなかった shimasendeshitaませんでした

not to study(勉強する)benkyoushinai べんきょうしない benkyoushimasen べんきょうしません
not studied(勉強する)benkyoushinakatta べんきょうしなかった benkyoushimasendeshita べんきょうしませんでした

Monday, August 24, 2009

Japanese Verbs Past Tense ~た (~ta), ~ました (~mashita)

After I figured out verb stems as a Japanese verbs LEGO building blocks, my conjugation study should go faster. In this post I want to learn past tense both for plain/dictionary ~u (う) form, and for polite form ~ ます(masu).

To form past tense you add ~た (~ta), ~ました (mashita) to the verb stem.

Group 1: ~ U ending verbs (godan)

to speak(話す) hanasu はな hanashimasu はなします  
spoke - hanashita はなした hanashimashita はなしました
to write(書く) kaku kakimasuきます
wrote - kaitaいた kakimashitaきました
to listen (聞く) kiku kikimasuきます
listened - kiitaいた kikimashitaきました
to wait(待つ) matsu machimasuちます
waited - mattaった machimashitaちました
to drink(飲む)momimasu のみま nomimashimasu のみまします
drunk nomimashita のみました nomimashimashita のみましました

Again, I'm not going to pay too much attention to exact romaji stem end - nomimashita/nomimashita makes no difference to me since my purpose is to learn Japanese, not to earn a degree. If you want to explore this deeper, here is a link to a great article on the history of Japanese verbs stems definition sent to me by my twitter friend @blackcat009 in response to my previous post. Here is the article's google translation I'm only able to read for now.

Group 2: ~ Iru and ~ Eru ending verbs (yodan)

to wear (着る) kiru kimasuます
wore - kitaいた kimashitaました
to see (見る) miru mimasuます
saw - mitaいた mimashitaました
to get up (起きる) okiru おき okimasu おきます
got up - okita おき okimashita おきました
to get off (降りる) oriru おり orimasu おります
got off - orita おり orimashita おりました
to believe(信じる) shinjiru しんじ shinjimasu しんじます
believed - shinjita しんじ shinjimashita しんじました

As always, yodan are student's best friends.

Group 3: Irregular Verbs くる (kuru) and ~する (~suru)

to come (来る) kiru kimasuます
kita kimashitaました
to do (来る) suru shimasuます
shita shimashitaました
to study(勉強する)benkyou-suru べんきょうする benkyou-shimasu べんきょうします
benkyou-shita べんきょうし benkyou-shimashita べんきょうしました

I found a great tool for Japanese verbs conjugation. I used it to write my last two posts.
The Ultra Handy Japanese Verb Conjugator - Recommended!

It's is interesting how the site uses API to build lists of example sentences like this for the verb "kaku" - to write:

  • 彼に手紙を書きました。
  • かれ に てがみ を かきました
  • kare ni tegami wo kakimashita
  • I wrote him a letter.

  • お名前を片仮名で書いてください。
  • おなまえ を かたかな で かいて ください
  • onamae wo katakana de kaite kudasai
  • Please write your name in katakana.

  • 壁に文字が書いてあった。
  • かべ に もじ が かいて あった
  • kabe ni moji ga kaite atta
  • There was some writing on the wall.

  • 5行以内で答えを書いてください。
  • 5ぎょう いない で こたえ を かいて ください 。
  • 5gyou inai de kotae wo kaite kudasai .
  • Please write your answer within five lines.

  • ここに住所と氏名を書いてください。
  • ここ に じゅうしょ と しめい を かいて ください
  • koko ni juusho to shimei wo kaite kudasai
  • Please write your name and address here.

  • 彼女にお礼の手紙を書きました。
  • かのじょ に おれい の てがみ を かきました
  • kanojo ni orei no tegami wo kakimashita
  • I wrote her a thank you letter.

  • もっと大きく字を書いてください。
  • もっと おおきく じ を かいて ください
  • motto ookiku ji wo kaite kudasai
  • Please write the letters larger.

  • 家族に葉書を書いています。
  • かぞく に はがき を かいて います
  • kazoku ni hagaki wo kaite imasu
  • I wrote a postcard to my family.

  • 姉は毎晩日記を書いています。
  • あね は まいばん にっき を かいて います
  • ane ha maiban nikki wo kaite imasu
  • My older sister writes in her diary every evening.

  • 面接のために履歴書を書きました。
  • めんせつ の ため に りれき しょ を かきました 。
  • mensetsu no tame ni rireki sho wo kakimashita .
  • I wrote out my resume for the interview.

  • 紙に大きな丸を書きました。
  • かみ に おおき な まる を かきました
  • kami ni ooki na maru wo kakimashita
  • I drew a big circle on the paper.

  • カレンダーに予定を書いた。
  • かれんだー に よてい を かいた
  • karenda- ni yotei wo kaita
  • I wrote my schedule on the calendar.

  • 日本語で作文を書きました。
  • にほんご で さくぶん を かきました
  • nihongo de sakubun wo kakimashita
  • I wrote an essay in Japanese.

  • 彼女は左手で字を書く。
  • かのじょ は ひだりて で じ を かく
  • kanojo ha hidarite de ji wo kaku
  • She writes left-handed.

  • 答えを黒板に書いてください。
  • こたえ を こくばん に かいて ください
  • kotae wo kokuban ni kaite kudasai
  • Please write the answer on the blackboard.

  • 外来語は一般にカタカナで書かれます。
  • がいらい ご は いっぱん に カタカナ で かかれます 。
  • gairai go ha ippan ni katakana de kakaremasu .
  • In general, loan words are written in katakana.

  • 私は右手で字を書きます。
  • わたし は みぎて で じ を かきます
  • watashi ha migite de ji wo kakimasu
  • I write right-handed.

  • ボールペンで名前を書いてください。
  • ぼーるぺん で なまえ を かいて ください
  • bo-rupen de namae wo kaite kudasai
  • Please write your name with a ballpoint pen.

  • チョークで黒板に字を書きました。
  • ちょーく で こくばん に じ を かきました
  • cho-ku de kokuban ni ji wo kakimashita
  • I wrote letters on the blackboard with chalk.

  • 彼女は愛をこめて手紙を書いた。
  • かのじょ は あい を こめて てがみ を かいた
  • kanojo ha ai wo komete tegami wo kaita
  • She wrote a loving letter.

  • View related example sentences from>>

    Sunday, August 23, 2009

    Japanese Verbs Are Like LEGO Blocks

    Now, after four posts on Japanese verbs I've got an idea that Japanese verbs are like a blocks of LEGO.
    And, looking at my previous posts, I see that the plain (dictionary) form is not a single LEGO block but rather a combination of two blocks: a vowel or few that form a "stem" and following vowel(s) that ends with U. This U ending vowel gets lost every time you conjugate a verb.

    From now on I'm going to use a stem as a verb conjugation building block, rather than build everything the "dictionary" form. Look how easy it becomes:

    Group 1: ~ U ending verbs (godan)

    to speak(話す) hanasu はな hanashimasu はなします hanasanai はなさない hanashimasen はなしません
    to write(書く) kaku kakimasuきます kakanaiかない kakimasenきません
    to listen (聞く) kiku kikimasuきます kikanaiかない kikimasenきません
    to wait(待つ) matsu machimasuちます matanaiたない machimasenちません
    to drink(飲む)momimasu のみま nomimashimasu のみまします nomimasanai のみまさない nomimashimasen のみましません

    Notice that sometimes romaji LEGO is no 100% match to kana LEGO - you can't make stems "kak" or "kik" in kana. And, "shimasu" definitely looks much better in kana :)
    Also the stems I figured out do not match to common definitions of stems sometimes.
    Common definition of "matsu" stem is double definition "mat -" "mach-", not "ma-" like I used above. Same for "hana-" and for other "su" ending verbs.

    My guess is that this minor trouble with stem digging is caused by the fact that the stem is actually a kanji part of the verb, and that kanji-stem changes it's phonetics on reading. Since I did not mastered kanji yet (my deepest apologies come here), I may need to pay attention to the dictionary form to manage verbs with "su" endings that transforms to "shi" and "chi" for now.

    Let's continue to exercise this bloody vivisection...

    Group 2: ~ Iru and ~ Eru ending verbs (yodan)

    to wear (着る) kiru kimasuます kinaiない kimasenません
    to see (見る) miru mimasuます minaiない mimasenません
    to get up (起きる) okiru おき okimasu おきます okinai おきない okimasen おきません
    to get off (降りる) oriru おり orimasu おります orinai おりない orimasen おりません
    to believe(信じる) shinjiru しんじ shinjimasu しんじます shinjinai しんじない shinjimasen しんじません

    Wow, some kanji stick to kana to form a stem, 起き for instance. And, as always yodan are a snap! Thanks to Yoda!

    Group 3: Irregular Verbs くる (kuru) and ~する (~suru)

    to come (来る) kiru kimasuます konaiない kimasenません
    to do (来る) suru shimasuます shinaiない shimasenません
    to study(勉強する)benkyou-suru べんきょうする benkyou-shimasu べんきょうします benkyou-shinai べんきょうしない benkyou-shimasen べんきょうしません

    Kiru was weird, "to wear" sounds exactly like "to come" in 3 cases of 4. Suru is weird also. So they are an irregulars for real.

    Saturday, August 22, 2009

    Japanese Verbs Polite Form Negative: ~ ません (masen)

    Now that we're familiar with plain/dictionary ~u (う) form, polite ~ ます(masu) and Plain Form Negative: ~ ない (nai), let's try ~ません (masen), which is the negative of polite ~ます form.

    Adding ~ません is no diffeent from adding ~ます. If you master polite form, simply change ~masu to ~masen. If not clear, read below:

    Group 1: ~ U ending verbs (godan) plain negative form:
    • To make negative ません form out of Type 1 verbs (godan), ~u ending to ~i and add masen: verb~u ---> verb~i+masen (plain form ---> present polite negative form)
    • when making a negative form for the verb ending in ~つ(tsu) change it to ち(chi) first: matsu (待つ) ---> ma~chi ---> machimasen (待ちません)
    • when making a polite form for the verb ending in ~す(su) change it to し(chi) first: kasu (貸す) ---> ka~shi ---> kashimasen (貸しません)
    Watashi wa kasa o kaimasen. (I'm not going to buy an umbrella.)
    Kare wa machimasen. (He won't wait.)
    Kimiko wa Osaka ni ikimasen. (Kimiko isn't going to Osaka.)

    And here are some ichidan:

    Group 2: ~ Iru and ~ Eru ending verbs:
    • Change ichidan (~Iru and ~Eru) verbs by dropping the ~ru at the end and adding ~masen.
    ~ Iru ending verbs

    kiru (着る) kimasen - not going to wear
    miru (見る) mimasen - not going to see
    okiru (起きる) okimasen - not going to get up
    oriru (降りる) orimasen - not going to get off
    shinjiru (信じる) shinjimasen - not going to believe

    ~ Eru ending verbs

    akeru (開ける) akemasen - not going to open
    ageru (あげる) agemasen - not going to give
    deru (出る) demasen - not going to go out
    neru (寝る) nemasen - not going to sleep
    taberu (食べる) tabemasen - not going to eat

    Watashi wa ima tabemasen. (I'm not going to eat now.)
    Kanojo wa kasa o karimasen. (She isn't going to borrow an umbrella.)

    Group 3: Irregular Verbs くる (kuru) and ~する (~suru)
    • To make ~ません form out of kuru, change kuru to kimasen
    • To make ません form out of suru, change suru to shimasen
    • To make ~ません form out of ~suru verbs, change ~suru ending to ~shimasen
    benkyousuru (勉強する)benkyoshimasen - not going to study
    ryokousuru (旅行する)ryokoushimasen - not going to travel

    ARIMASEN - The polite form of DESU's opposite JA NAI

    When you want to say something ISN'T, you use "ja nai" じゃない, "janai des" じゃない です . Or, If you want to be polite and formal, use ありません (arimasen):
    • arimasen is a polite and formal form of nai
    • formal way of ja is dewa
    If you want to be polite but not formal, use nai desu.

    You can mix them like these. Example: That's not food.

    Sore wa tabemono ja nai. (informal)
    Sore wa tabemono dewa nai. (written informal)
    Sore wa tabemono ja nai desu. (polite, informal)
    Sore wa tabemono ja arimasen. (affirmative informal, from mother to child)
    Sore wa tabemono dewa arimasen. (polite, formal)

    Find "dewa arimasen" below.

    You may notice that dewa is では, not でわ!

    And, I found another valid hybrid:
    Sore wa tabemono dewa nai desu. (???)

    This is something I don't get, please leave a comment below if you know what situations it fits. My guess it's OK between not-too-close relatives... am I right?

    Friday, August 21, 2009

    Beethoven-no (ベートーヴェンの) Breakfast/Rice (ごはん【御飯】)

    An amazing video (free), breakfast (around $6.50)!

    and the same - no subs but better quality

    Japanese Verbs Plain Form Negative: ~ ない (nai)

    Previous posts on verbs were about plain/dictionary ~u (う) form and polite ~ ます(masu) forms. Now I learn how to make negative out of the plain ~う form.

    Group 1: ~ U ending verbs (godan) plain negative form:
    • To make negative ~ない form out of Type 1 verbs (godan), change ~u (う)ending to ~a (あ)and add nai(ない): verb~u ---> verb~a+nai (plain form ---> plain negative form)
    hanasu (話す) ---> hanasanai - not speak
    kaku (書く) ---> kakanai - not write
    kiku (聞く)---> kikanai - not listen
    matsu (待つ)---> matsanai - not wait
    kasu(貸す)---> kasanai - not lend
    nomu (飲む)---> nomanai - not drink

    John wa kasa o kawanai. (John isn't going to buy an umbrella.)
    Jim wa manga o yomanai.
    (Jim doesn't read comic books.)
    Daremo korosanai yo!
    (I won't kill anyone!)
    Makudonarudo nashi-ja ikirarenai! (I can't live without my McDonalds!)

    And the type of conversation I like very much:
    - Konya wa uchini kaeritakunai! (I don't wanna go home tonight!)
    - Issho-ni yoake-no kohi nomanai?” (Would you like to have coffee with me in the morning?)

    Group 2: ~ Iru and ~ Eru ending verbs plain negative form:
    • Ichidan (~Iru and ~Eru) verbs are a snap again, because you change them by just dropping the ~ru and adding ~nai (ない)
    ~ Iru ending verbs

    kiru (着る) kinai - to wear not
    miru (見る) minai - to see not
    okiru (起きる) okinai - not going to get up
    oriru (降りる) orinai - not going to get off
    shinjiru (信じる) shinjinai - to believe not

    ~ Eru ending verbs

    akeru (開ける) akenai - not going to open
    ageru (あげる) agenai - not going to give
    deru (出る) denai - not going to go out
    neru (寝る) nenai - not going to sleep
    taberu (食べる) tabenai - not going to eat

    Watashi wa terebi o minai. (I'm not going to watch TV.)
    Ore wa daremo tabenai desu. (I don't eat anybody!)

    Notice that ~nai means "not going to do (something) for the time being" as well as "don't do at all" as a matter of personal policy:

    Jim wa manga o yomanai
    (Could mean that Jim never reads comic books, or that he just isn't going to read a comic book now or in the near future.)

    Please remember that the ending ~nai should only be used in informal settings. Depending on the situation, you may want to upgrade it to a polite form by simply adding です (desu) after nai:

    Aitsu wa nanimo tabenai desu. (He eats nothing.)

    Or use ~ ません (masen) form that will be covered in next post.
    And, as ususal, Baka iwanai deyo! (Don't say stupid things!)

    Group 3: Irregular Verbs くる (kuru) and ~する (~suru)
    • To make negative form out of kuru, change kuru to konai
    • To make negative form out of suru, change suru to shinai
    • To make negative form out of ~suru verbs, change ~suru ending to ~shinai
    benkyousuru (勉強する)benkyoshinai - not going to study
    ryokousuru (旅行する)ryokoushinai - not going to travel

    Ja nai - The opposite of DESU

    When you want to say something ISN'T, you use "ja nai" じゃない or "janai des" じゃない です . じゃない would be used in sentences such as:

    niau ja nai? (Doesn't it suit (look good on) me?)
    omae wa tsuyoi ja nai desu (You are NOT strong.)
    kisama wa ore no kashira ja nai yo! (You are not my leader!)

    Japanese Verbs: Polite ~ ます (masu) form

    My first post on Japanese verbs was about plain/dictionary ~u form that only kids or people speaking with family or friends would use.
    Time to grow! The first ending you'll want to master is the polite form masu.

    Group 1: ~ U ending verbs:

    • To make ~ます form out of Type 1 verbs (godan), change ~u ending to ~i and add masu: verb~u ---> verb~i+masu (plain form ---> present polite form)
    • when making a polite form for the verb ending in ~つ(tsu) change it to ち(chi) first: matsu (待つ) ---> ma~chi ---> machimasu (待ちます)
    • when making a polite form for the verb ending in ~す(su) change it to し(chi) first: kasu (貸す) ---> ka~shi ---> kashimasu (貸します)
    hanasu (話す) ---> hanasimasu - to speak
    kaku (書く) ---> kakimasu - to write
    kiku (聞く)---> kikimasu - to listen
    matsu (待つ)---> machimasu - to wait
    kasu(貸す)---> kashimasu - to lend
    nomu (飲む)---> nomimasu - to drink

    Now we are ready to speak "adult" Japanese:

    • Mama wa mise de banana o kaimasu. (Mom buys/will buy bananas at the store.)
    • Jim wa manga o yomimasu. (Jim read/will read a comic book.)
    • Ojii-san wa sugu kaerimasu. (Grandpa return/will return soon.)
    • 彼は方言で話します かれ は ほうげん で はなします 。(He speaks a dialect.)
    Group 2: ~ Iru and ~ Eru ending verbs:
    • Ichidan (~Iru and ~Eru) verbs are a snap, because you change them by just dropping the ~ru at the end and adding ~masu.
    ~ Iru ending verbs

    kiru (着る) kimasu - to wear
    miru (見る) mimasu - to see
    okiru (起きる) okimasu - to get up
    oriru (降りる) orimasu - to get off
    shinjiru (信じる) shinjimasu - to believe

    ~ Eru ending verbs

    akeru (開ける) akemasu - to open
    ageru (あげる) agemasu - to give
    deru (出る) demasu - to go out
    neru (寝る) nemasu - to sleep
    taberu (食べる) tabemasu - to eat

    Here are some examples:

    • Watashi wa ashita kimemasu. (I'll decide tomorrow.)
    • Jerry wa sugu heya kara demasu. (Jerry will come out of the room soon.)
    • Ayako wa mainichi terebi o mimasu. (Ayako watches the TV every day.)
    • 私は毎日たくさん野菜を食べますわたし は まいにち たくさん やさい を たべます (I eat a lot of vegetables every day)
    Group 3: Irregular Verbs くる (kuru) and ~する (~suru):
    • To make ~ます form out of kuru, change kuru to kimasu
    • To make ~ます form out of suru, change suru to shimasu
    • To make ~ます form out of ~suru verbs, change ~suru ending to ~shimasu
    benkyousuru (勉強する)benkyoshimasu - to study
    ryokousuru (旅行する)ryokoushimasu - to travel

    Now, you are probably thinking: How can I tell ichidan verbs from godan? True, there are also godan verbs that end in eru or iru, but with practice and experience they will gradually be mastered. A mistake made from not knowing whether a verb is godan or ichidan is a very minor one, and should not be worried about now.

    Thursday, August 20, 2009

    Difference Between Particles は (WA) and が (GA)

    This is just a brilliant short explanation of difference between は (WA) and が (GA).
    ありがとうございます Koichi san!

    Japanese を (O) and の (NO) Particles


    The Particle "" (O)

    Direct Object Marker

    "O" (を) is placed after a noun, and indicates that the noun is the direct object.
    • Neko ga esa o tabeta. 猫が餌を食べた。 The cat ate the food.
    • Kinou eiga o mimashita. 昨日映画を見ました。I watched the movie yesterday.
    • Kutsu o kaimashita. 靴を買いました。I bought shoes.
    always follows the direct object of the sentence, and since it is only ever used for this purpose, is the Japanese reader's best friend. When you see , you can be sure that what precedes it is the direct object.

    For example,

    How do we translate this into English? さかな (fish) is the direct object of the verb たべます (eat). In English statements (but not necessarily questions), the direct object is what goes after the verb. So we can translate the sentence by putting "fish" after "eat" and writing:
    [I/you/he/she/...] eat fish.
    Click here to learn other terrible things people do to fish using を particle...

    Route of Motion

    Verbs such as walk, run, pass, turn, drive, go through etc., take the particle "" to indicate the route which the movement follows.
    • Sora o tobu 空を飛ぶ fly through the sky
    • Basu wa toshokan no mae o toorimasu. バスは図書館の前を通ります。 The bus passes in front of the library.
    • Tsugi no kado o magatte kudasai. 次の角を曲がってください。 Please turn the next corner.
    Point of Departure

    Verbs such as leave, come out, get off etc., take the particle "o" to mark the place from which one gets of or leaves.
    • Hachi-ji ni ie o demasu. 八時に家を出ます。 I leave home at eight o'clock.
    • Kyonen koukou o sotsugyou shimashita. 去年高校を卒業しました。 I graduated from high school last year.
    This is unrelated to the honorific (politeness) prefix o, written お or 御.

    The Particle "" (No)

    Possessive Marker

    "No" indicates ownership or attribution. It is similar to the English "apostrophe s ('s). "
    • sensei no kuruma 先生のthe teacher's car
    • watashi no konpyuuta 私のコンピュータ My computer
    • anata no shukudai あなたの宿題
    • Kore wa watashi no hon desu. これは私の本です。 This is my book.
    • Watashi no ane wa Tokyo ni sunde imasu. 私の姉は東京に住んでいます。 My sister lives in Tokyo.

    Similar, but not the same:
    • kuruma no Toyota 車のトヨタ Toyota the car [company]

    The final noun can be omitted if it is clear to both speaker and listener.
    • Are wa watashi no (kuruma) desu. あれは私の(車)です。 That is mine (my car).
    "No" can be used many times in one sentence. In this usage the order of nouns in Japanese is the reverse of the English structure. The normal Japanese order is from large to small, or general to specific.
    • Osaka daigaku no nihongo no sensei 大阪大学の日本語の先生 a teacher of Japanese at Osaka university
    • yooroppa no kuni no namae ヨーロッパの国の名前 the names of the countries in Europe

    What Is Your Favorite Japanese Word?


    Notice a lots of "NO" particles used and few "O" also.

    Wednesday, August 19, 2009

    FUA-KIN or "How to speak Japanese without saying a word" #3

    Japanese people like to abbreviate foreign words. Sometimes it gets weird. Here is a video:

    Japanese Verbs Types, Plain Form, ~う (U), ~る (RU)

    Japanese verbs basic forms ends in "u", to be more precise, "u" is an ending of the last syllable of the basic verb form.

    There are 3 types of verbs in Japanese. Why there are divided to 3 types will become clear in next few posts:

    Group 1: ~ U ending verbs, such as:

    hanasu (話す) - to speak
    kaku (書く) - to write
    kiku (聞く) - to listen
    matsu (待つ) - to wait
    nomu (飲む) - to drink

    Here is a how some of the often used U-verbs or Godan-doushi (Godan verbs) sound:

    Now let's try some in sentences:
    * Mama wa mise de banana o kau. (Mom buys/will buy bananas at the store.)
    * Jim wa manga o yomu. (Jim will read a comic book.)
    * Ojii-san wa sugu kaeru. (Grandpa will return soon.)

    The function of "o" is to indicate the object of a verb. When you hear the particle o in a sentence, you know that the word before "o" is an object of the verb that comes after "o".

    Group 2: ~ Iru and ~ Eru ending verbs:

    ~ Iru ending verbs

    kiru (着る) - to wear
    miru (見る) - to see
    okiru (起きる) - to get up
    oriru (降りる) - to get off
    shinjiru (信じる) - to believe

    ~ Eru ending verbs

    akeru (開ける) - to open
    ageru (あげる) - to give
    deru (出る) - to go out
    neru (寝る) - to sleep
    taberu (食べる) - to eat

    Here is a list of some often used Iru/Eru-verbs or Ichidan-doushi (Ichidan verbs):

    Here are a couple of example sentences:

    * Watashi wa ringo o taberu. (I'll eat an apple.)
    * Naomi wa terebi o miru. (Naomi will watch TV.)

    There are some exceptions. The following verbs belong to Group 1, though they end with "~ iru" or "~ eru".

    hairu (入る) - to enter
    hashiru (走る) - to run
    iru (いる) - to need
    kaeru (帰る) - to return
    kagiru (限る) - to limit
    kiru (切る) - to cut
    shaberu (しゃべる) - to chatter
    shiru (知る) - to know

    And, There Are Irregular Verbs!

    While there are only two irregulars,
    kuru (to come) and
    suru (to do),
    the verb "suru" is the most often used verb in Japanese. It is used as "to do," "to make," or "to cost". It is also combined with many nouns (of Chinese or Western origin) to make them into verbs. Here are some examples.

    * benkyousuru (勉強する) - to study
    * ryokousuru (旅行する) - to travel
    * yushutsusuru (輸出する) - to export
    * dansusuru (ダンスする) - to dance
    * shanpuusuru (シャンプーする) - to shampoo)

    This "u"-ending form is very simple Japanese form, and also very juvenile or "familiar." Only kids or people speaking with family or friends would use this plain form.

    Before actually trying out the language you need to learn the Base 2 forms and the polite endings that go with them. We will be learning about those in the next posts.

    Augmented Reality 1984 Japan

    I had another lesson with Eiko-san yesterday. It wasn't a piece of cake. I was introduced to Japanese verbs grammar and this first meeting wasn't a big success for me. I was told by many people that Japanese verbs is not an easy topic and it turns to be a hard thing for me too. I've Livescribe files ready to upload but I feel they are not good because all the lesson was a one big confusion for me. I decided to get verbs grammar slow in a next series of posts.

    Meanwhile, some fun stuff: creating useful content in internet becomes easier! If you watch Youtube, you probably noticed a closed captioning feature that was added in 2008. Here is quite aged "Let's Learn Japanese with Yan" video made in 1984 with captions added recently.
    I like the way it's done. Enjoy!

    Sunday, August 16, 2009

    What Happens With Anime in Hollywood

    Poor Ghost in the Shell....

    Most Popular Japanese Google Words

    What Japanese people (females) saying to other people (males) that foreigners seek to understand? I often use Google as a scientific "vox populi" machina and here is the list of the most popular "~anata" search requests Google provides:
    (Most popular words with "anata" あなた included)

    anata daisuki, anata (ga) daisuki (desu) - I love you
    anata daiteyo - Darling, hug me
    anata ga - you
    anata ga hoshii - I want you
    anata ga inai toriai - I want to hold you
    anata ga inai toriai atteieru wagamama - I want to hold you when you’re gone, i’m selfish like that
    anata ga kirai - i hate you
    anata ga natsukashii - I miss you
    anata ga suki - I love you
    anata ga suki da - I love you
    anata ga suki de - I love you
    anata ga sukidessu - I love you
    anata ga...inai - You are...not here (song title)
    anata kanji - あなた, 貴方, 貴男, 貴女
    anata kara - from you
    anata kimi, anata vs kimi - kimi (きみ;君) is used by males, and anata (あなた) is used by females
    anata koto, Anata-no-koto wasure-nai - I will never forget you
    anata mo - you too
    anata mou suki desu - I love you too
    anata ni, Anata ni mo! - Same to you!
    anata no kao, Anata no kao chotto mittai na - I want to see you(r) (face)
    anata no koto, anata no koto wasure-nai - I will not forget you
    anata no koto matteru yo - I'll be waiting for you
    anata no koto wo kangaeteiru - I'm thinking of you
    anata no manko ho nametai des - I love you
    anata no okaasan - your mother
    anata no osanazuma - Pick Me, Honey (game title)
    anata no oto - The sound of your heart (Macross Frontier anime song title)
    anata no sei janai - It's Not Your Fault (another anime song title)
    anata no shiranai kangofu sei teki byoutou 24 ji - The Nurse You don't know, 24 Hours in the Sex hospital (hentai anime title)
    anata no tomodachi, Anata no tomodachi wo shoukai - Would you introduce yourselves to us?
    anata (vs) omae - you formal/informal
    anata suki - love you
    anata tachi - plural you, you guys
    anata wa doko - where are you from
    anata wa hentai - you are pervert
    anata wa kirei (na) - You are beautiful
    anata wa omoidashimasu - you remember
    anata wa onani o shimasuka - Do you masturbate? (insulting)
    anata wa tenshi - You're an angel
    anata wa utsukushii - You are beautiful
    anata wa yasashii (desunei) - You're so kind
    anata wo ai shite iru - I love you
    anata wo aishite yamazu - You are loved Earnestly (gay manga title)
    anata wo aishiteiru - I love you
    anata wo aishiteru - I love you
    anata wo mamoritakute - I want to protect you (Yaoi mature manga title)
    hora anata ni totte - (somebody) important to you (song title)
    itsumodemo anata ga suki - forever I like you

    Why did I made such a list? Just curiosity as well as bit of SEO for my blog :) And oh... so many ways to say "I love you"....

    Saturday, August 15, 2009

    First 3+1 Lessons Vocabulary

    I finally made my first words lists:
    - Combined list of words uses in first 3 Starbucks lessons. Click "I Know" button below to run the learning application, play Livescribe records in my previous posts to refresh the word usage.

    - To prepare for my next week's Starbucks lesson, I made another lists that combines words and sentences:

    It looks like the next lesson will be about Japanese verbs. Please review the words to get prepared!

    Hurray! I Almost Understand Japanese!


    From my comrade-in-anime-twitter
    ... This is Noto Arisa (能登有沙) who is nicknamed Nocchi, this video is a regular feature on the DogaDoga7 Anime NewType Channel. I’m somewhat addicted to these videos on YouTube because Nocchi is always hanging out at anime cons and sneaking around animation studios. In the video above she’s announcing her 2nd personal manga, talking about some DVD and mentioning that she will debut as a voice actor in an animated drama titled Deba no Hime Goto. ...

    I feel I almost understand this video cause Noto is repeating everything for dumb otaku like me... Thanks Michael!

    Friday, August 14, 2009

    Time For Tests!

    Before we go any further, I need to make sure that we, you and me, are more or less on the same page.

    Ta daaa! Nice Yoko, isn't she?

    Here is the set of random basic Japanese tests I found on a web site

    First, there are some tests that look easy to me. I did try few and I can set myself a goal to pass them with A+. Will do this in 3 days, before my lessons with Ei san continue:



    Primary Greetings

    Romaji Japanese Vocabulary 1

    Basic Japanese Nouns

    Basic Japanese Nouns II

    Daily Routine Verbs Kana

    Japanese verbs part 1

    Japanese verbs part 2

    Meeting People - Kana

    Can you pass the tests above with A grades? If yes - cool! If not - work harder next few days!

    If tests above go well, I would try the tests that look bit hard to me to right now:

    Japanese Verbs
    Yr 9 Japanese Term 4 Verbs - Kana
    Basic Japanese Adjectives
    Japanese adjectives - Kana
    Japanese for Busy People I: Lesson 1 - Kana

    Hmmm...If I were a real man, I would do every test here and here. Kidding.

    P.S."" sounds really awful for my Russian ear, but the site is quite useful. I did not find a way to embed it's tests to this blog though - not so good. Does anybody know Japanese tests that come with the code to embed them into the blog like you can do with flash videos etc.?