Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Japanguage 1

One of my friends asked me, before I left, to relay the Japanese I would learn so that he could keep up. How realistic this is may be questionable, but it’s a good way a) for me to practise my skills and b) for you to get a glimpse under the remarkable skin of this country. So I shall endeavour, then, to give you a few Japanese lessons (though I wouldn’t dare pretend to lecture on Japanter itself).
We started our lessons this Monday with the lovely Ikehara-sensei. The plan is to get the kana down first (hiragana and katakana) before heading up to the deep end of the Japool: the kanji. I won’t bore by writing out the kana here. If you’re interested: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/katakana and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/hiragana. Look at, and memorise the tables! Being a massive swot, I learned these before I came. Of course, my pronunciation and recall are, well, wanting.

Lesson 1

I - Nothing in Japan is satisfying without ritual. So here’re our classroom rituals:
At the beginning of the lesson, when all are present:
All stand, bow, and say “ohayo gozaimasu (
おはよございまあす)”. Good morning!
At the end of the first period:
All stand, bow and say “arigato gozaimashita (
ありがとございました)”. Thanks for that!
At the beginning of the second lesson:
All stand, bow, and say onegai shimasu (
おねがいします)”. Please!
At the end of the second lesson:
All stand, bow and say “arigato gozaimashita (
ありがとございました)”. Thanks for that!

II – Some greeting phrases
Watashi wa Grahame desu わたしはグレイハムです) = I am Grahame.

Dôzo yoroshiku onegai shimasu (どぞよろしくおねがいします) = Pleased to meet you (lit. Please let’s take care of one another).

Watashi wa gakusei desu (わたしわ学生です) = I’m a student
Other things you might be:
Kaisha-in (
会社員) = Office worker
Isha / Sensei (
医者) = Doctor
Engeeneea (
エンギニア) = Engineer (good guess!)
Ginko-in (
) = Person what works in a Bank
Kyoshi / Sensei (
巨視) = Teacher
Kenkyusha (
研究者) = Researcher

Igirisu-jin desu / Igirisu-kara kimashita (イギリス人です/イギルスから着ました) = I’m English / I come from England
Other places you might be from:
R
ukusenburugu (ルクセンブルグ) = Luxembourg
Burajiru (
ブラジル) = Brazil
S
ebiria (セビリア) = Seville
Doitsu (
ドイツ) = Germany

III – Numbers
Super-logical:
Ichi – Ni – San – Shi/yon – Go – Roku – Shichi/nana – Hachi – Kyu/ku – Ju
Ju-ichi – Ju-ni – Ju-san - &c.
Ni-ju-ichi – Ni-ju-ni - &c.
San-ju
Yon-ju
Go-ju
&c…….

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