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Basic Info

Basic Info

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Published by sangeethajaikumar

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Published by: sangeethajaikumar on Jul 09, 2008
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JAPANESENow that you've got the Japanese alphabets down, let's learn some vocabulary words andsimple phrases. I will list the Kanji, Hiragana, Romaji (the word sounded out using Englishletters), and the English meaning for each word or phrase. Most words have Kanji for them but Iwill only include the Kanji if the word is regularly written that way.Keep in mind that the Japanese language has different levels of politeness that change basedon who you are talking to. I will refer to these as "ultra-formal", "formal" (or "polite form"),"normal" (or "plain form"), "informal", and "rude" (we won't be covering too much of the rudeform, however).
- Kanji
-HiraganaRomaji(English Letters)English Meaning
watashiI (formal for males, normal fofemales)
bokuI (normal for males)
anatayou (singular/normal)
korethis (object)
konothis (ex. this pen)
sorethat (object)
sonothat (ex. that pen)
arigatouThank you. (normal)
arigatougozaimasuThank you. (formal)
どういたしまして どういたしまして
douitashimashiteYou're welcome. (normal)
ohayou(sounds like Ohio)Good morning. (informal)
ohayou gozaimauGood morning.(normal and formal)
konnichi waHello. (normal)
konban waGood evening. (normal)
sayonaraGoodbye. (normal)
Grammar -
Japanese grammar is quite simple and straight forward but very different from English grammar so most English speakers find it rather confusing. For instance, the verb always comes at theend. The best thing you can do when learning Japanese grammar is to learn it from the bottomup and not compare it to English grammar.Japanese grammar uses what we will refer to as particles to mark the various parts of thesentence. The main particles are: (These particles will be described in more detail below)
wa(as mentioned in lesson 1, the Hiragana "ha"is pronounced "wa" when it immediatelyfollows the subject)subject marker 
gatopic marke
wo(pronounced "o")direct object marker 
nidirection/time marker,indirect object marker 
e(as mentioned in lesson 1, the Hiragana "he"is pronounced "e" when it immediately followsa place or direction)direction marker 
The particles "wa" (
) and "ga" (
The particle "wa" marks the subject of the sentence andthe particle "ga" marks the topic of the sentence. In the example, "I know where you live"(watashi wa anata ga doko ni sunde iru ka shitte iru), "I" would be the subject while "you" wouldbe the topic.Not all sentences have both a subject and topic and, in many cases, the subject is implied inJapanese (for example, the "I" (watashi wa) would be left out of this sentence because it isimplied that since I am talking I am the one that knows where you live). Many Japanese booksand teachers teach that "wa" and "ga" are the same thing and it doesn't matter which you usewhen. This is not the case but I wouldn't worry too much about keeping them straight at first.
The particle "wo" (
The particle "wo" (or "o") marks the direct object of the sentence. In the
example, "I'm going to take her home" (watashi wa kanojo wo ie ni okuru), "her" would be thedirect object.
The particle "ni" (
The particle "ni" can be used to mark the direction, time, or the indirectobject of a sentence.An example of a direction marker can be seen in the previous example "I'm going to take her home" (watashi wa kanojo wo ie ni okuru). In this case, the "ni" acts like a "to" - "I'm going totake her 'to' home". The particle "e" (
) can be used in this as well but usually implies more of ageneral direction as opposed to a specific places.The particle "ni" is also used to mark time in a sentence. For example, "I'm leaving at 3 o'clock"(watashi wa sanji ni hanareru).The final use for the particle "ni" is that of indirect object marker. In the example, "I was takenhome by him" (watashi wa kare ni ie made okurareta), "him" is the indirect object.
The "watashi wa" in all of the example sentenced used above would normally be left outas it is implied.
Numbers, Time, and Days of the Week
Before we get too much further into grammar and verb conjugation, I thought it would be a goodidea to teach numbers, time, days of the week, etc.

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