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> LEARNING JAPANESE!, LEARNING JAPANESE!! (General)

jhcj
post Nov 30 2005, 04:26 PM
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I'm planning on preparing basic japanese lessons by adapting them from a book that I'm reading. Hopefully, this'll be carried out on a "3 days a week" basis, although I cant promise much in case I'm busy. To start it of, we shall first look at the basics of the japanese language.

Try to keep spam to a minimum here, so that reading through the thread is easier. And while it is good to be able to learn hiragana, katakana and kanji, everything here will be romanji, cause I figured it'd be easier that way for the casual reader. Of course, those who are capable of reading japanese can feel free to contribute with japanese text for everyone's benefit, and also to correct me if I made any mistakes. sweat.gif

LESSON 1
Pronounciation guide
The japanese alphabet is made up of sounds created by mixing the 5 vowels (a, e, i, o, u) with a consonant (letters which are not vowels). While it is quite easy to pronounce most words, sometimes special care is taken when dealing with certain elements. These are a) long syllables, B) the letter n, c) double consonants, d) silent vowels and e) pronounciation of non-japanese words. I will cover each of these in order.

a) Long syllables
Whenever the - symbol is written above a particular vowel, it indicates that the sound is a long sound. An example of this is the word Tōkyō, which when spoken sounds like to-o-kyo-o. In other words, you hold the sound for twice the normal length.

B) The letter "n"
In the japanese language, the letter "n" is a syllable by itself. For example, konnichiwa (hello) is spoken as ko-n-ni-chi-wa and not ko-ni-chi-wa or kon-ni-chi-wa. Also, when n is followed by p, b or m, its sound softens to a "m" sound. For example, ganbatte (good luck) is spoken as gambatte, and sanpaku (three nights) is spoken as sampaku.

Where n is followed by a vowel, an apostrophe (') is used to distinguish the sound "n" from the sounds na, ni, nu, ne and no. For example, ten'in (shopkeeper) is pronounced as te-n-i-n and not te-ni-n.

c) Double consonants
A double consonant indicates that you should pause slightly before saying it, as you would in the english words headdress (pause after the hea- not head dress) and bookcase (pause after boo). In japanese, these are the double consonants that are usually encountered: -kk, ss, tt, tc, pp. For example, the words gambatte (good luck), hokkaido (north island of japan), massugu (straight on).

d) Silent vowels
Sometimes, the vowels i and u are silent and almost unvoiced. This will be indicated as brackets around the vowel. For example, des(u) (it is) is almost always pronounced as des, s(u)ki as s-ki, and ikimas(u) as ikimas.

e) Pronounciation of non-japanese words
Foreign words often have to be adapted to the japanese sound system. For example: Sukotto - Scott, Furansu - France, Satchā - Thatcher, etc. There is no th sound in japanese, so s is used instead (just as b is used to replace v e.g. Ba-ra-ri-i for Valerie.

----------------------------------------------
Links to other lessons:
LESSON 2: How to pronounce syllables, here
LESSON 3: Hajimemashite - how do you do?, here
LESSON 4: Marēshia-jin desu - I'm Malaysian, here
LESSON 5: O-shigoto wa nan desu ka - what is your occupation?, here
LESSON 6: Sūji - numbers (Part 1), here
LESSON 7: Kazoku wa gonin desu = there are five people in my family, here
LESSON 8: Ima nanji desu ka = what time is it now?, here
LESSON 9: Ikura desu ka = how much is it?, here
LESSON 10: Yūbinkyoku wa doko desu ka = where is the post office?, here
LESSON 11: Nichiyōbi ni nani o shimasu ka = what do you do on Sundays?, here
LESSON 12: Pāti o shimashō = let's have a party!, here
LESSON 13: Sūji - numbers (Part 2), here
LESSON 14: Senshū Kyōto ni ikimashita = last week I went to Kyoto, here
LESSON 15: Ii o-tenki desu ne = it's nice weather, isn't it?, here
LESSON 16: Supōtsu wa tenisu ga suki desu = the sport I like is tennis, here
LESSON 17a: Kaimono = shopping, here
LESSON 17b: Kaimono = shopping, here
LESSON 18: Bīru o ippon kudasai = a bottle of beer, please, here
LESSON 19: O-kane = money, here
LESSON 20: Yoyaku shitai desu = I want to make a reservation, here
LESSON 21: Asobi ni kite kudasai = please come and visit, here

----------------------------------------------
Places offering Japanese language classes in Malaysia
Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur's directory: here (Contributed by boringpig)

----------------------------------------------
Useful links to other Japanese self-study websites
ECIS (an audio and video progamme): here (Contributed by ninjamerah)
Free Japanese Lessons: here (Contributed by netfan)
Japanese-Online.com: here (Contributed by netfan)
Learn Japanese Online: here (Contributed by netfan)
Meguro Language Center (Tokyo) Free Study Materials: here (Contributed by ninjamerah)
mic-J Audio Visual Resources for Japanese Instruction: here (Contributed by ninjamerah)
NHK World Japanese Lessons: here (Contributed by ninjamerah)
Nihongo.3Yen.com: here
Nihongo o oshiete: here
Real World Japanese: here (Contributed by ninjamerah)
TheJapanesePage.com: here

----------------------------------------------
Online resources e.g. dictionaries, etc.
Free Japanese Dictionary: here (Contributed by xxboxx)
Improve your kanji: here (Contributed by oe_kintaro)
Japanese-English Learner's Dictionary: here (Contributed by Zeten)
Japanese<->English Dictionary: here
Kanji Converter: here (Contributed by shinchan^^)

----------------------------------------------
Online proficiency tests
English-Japanese Vocabulary Quizzes: here (Contributed by ninjamerah)
Internet Japanese test: here (Contributed by ninjamerah)
Sample questions for JLPT (Level 1-4): here (Contributed by ninjamerah)
Some review questions: here (Contributed by aburex)

----------------------------------------------
Downloads
Head on over to Gmail and use the following information to access some e-books.

Username: japlesson
Password: japlesson123


So far the following e-books are uploaded:
1. Japanese for Busy People - Kana Workbook
2. Lets Learn Japanese Basic 1 - Volume 1
3. Lets Learn Japanese Basic 1 - Volume 2
4. Lets Learn Japanese Basic 1 - Volume 3
5. JLPT 1991-1999 Level 1 Test Papers (Contributed by ninjamerah)
6. JLPT 1991-1999 Level 2 Test Papers (Contributed by ninjamerah)
7. JLPT 1991-1999 Level 3 Test Papers (Contributed by ninjamerah)
8. JLPT 1991-1999 Level 4 Test Papers (Contributed by ninjamerah)
9. 1000 Kanji

PLEASE PLEASE do not misuse this email address. Just get the files you need, and dont do anything else. Thanks!

Files have been deleted by an unknown person(s). sad.gif

Special download!
Declan's Flashcard software for learning Kanji. Download here! Many thanks to Dark Steno for the file hosting!

----------------------------------------------
Video Lessons! (DEFINITELY not 56k friendly sweat.gif)
Streaming videos of japanese lessons hosted at www.youtube.com. These videos go hand in hand with the Let's Learn Japanese Basic 1 series of e-books which you can get from the Gmail account above.

If you want to view the videos, my advice is that you allow the videos to load, read up the appropriate chapter (print them out if possible), and use the readings as a guide when you watch the videos. It'll really help! smile.gif

All videos have been removed by Youtube.com cry.gif

----------------------------------------------
Tips (Contributed by netfan)
Try searching for and entering Japanese chat rooms on MSN or Yahoo that offer Japanese lessons, or have native japanese who are willing to practise with you. But er...no hanky panky ok? sweat.gif

----------------------------------------------
Learn hiragana,katakana and kanji (Contributed by shinmei88)
http://forum.lowyat.net/index.php?showtopi...&#entry18040984
(edited by HMMaster)

This post has been edited by jhcj: Sep 14 2008, 01:11 AM
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ellimist
post Nov 30 2005, 04:55 PM
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Asked on ur bloggie but I'll ask it here anyways tongue.gif

1.I have no idea how to pronounce "n" by itself (ko-n-ni-chi-wa <--whoa woot?) How do you do it? (lol maybe u could pronounce it for me over the weekend)

2.How bout the whole "r" and "l" thingie.Like roku (six?) is spelled tat way but pronounced as "lok" rite?
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seaotter
post Nov 30 2005, 05:07 PM
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From: I can hear Planes taking off...

well...from what I'VE learned:

1. 'n' is prounounced "nnn", basicaly the N without the 'e'. we all say n "enn" what tongue.gif this n is the sanem as how you pronounce n in "name" or "naik".

2. well.....coz they dont have the consonant L in their language, every l is somewhat pronounced "rr"...and true the other way round coz of the way our brain is . and the 'u' int he "roku" is sometimes silent, or bately heard. same as "tsu" and "su" so, roku can be pronounced "roku" or "rok-u" where the 'u' is silent. this 'u' is pronounced something like you say 'u' in "udang" or "udon" or "ular"

lol...i kind of hijacked the thread. sorry jhcj tongue.gif
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xxboxx
post Nov 30 2005, 08:45 PM
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yo, promoting japanese is the way to go in anime-shrine thumbup.gif
to speak japanese, get "Pimsleur's Comprehensive Japanese (Ogg)(complete)" from piratebay. better fast, coz only left 4 seeders.

and if you think you're "yabai" enough, get "Remembering the kanji" from piratebay to learn kanji.
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Dark Steno
post Nov 30 2005, 08:49 PM
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I dont find pronunciation is that hard for Japanese. French and Russian are among the hardest.
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linkinstreet
post Nov 30 2005, 08:52 PM
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i never learnt the pronouncations T.T
just have limited knowledge in that.
and i only have mangas and a dictionary to learn how to read..
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Dark Steno
post Nov 30 2005, 08:55 PM
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QUOTE(linkinstreet @ Nov 30 2005, 08:52 PM)
i never learnt the pronouncations T.T
just have limited knowledge in that.
and i only have mangas and a dictionary to learn how to read..
*
Dictionary not enough. I need the bloody kanji cards. laugh.gif
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linkinstreet
post Nov 30 2005, 08:59 PM
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manga got many kanji, but they also have furigana at the side.
amazingly, the 1st kanji that i remembered was "Shi" as in dead, die, or death tongue.gif
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ellimist
post Nov 30 2005, 09:00 PM
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I can't read or speak Jap for nuts. (can only say few of those command words,lol)
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Dark Steno
post Nov 30 2005, 09:03 PM
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QUOTE(linkinstreet @ Nov 30 2005, 08:59 PM)
manga got many kanji, but they also have furigana at the side.
amazingly, the 1st kanji that i remembered was "Shi" as in dead, die, or death tongue.gif
*
cool.gif Yeah but for a guy like, it would take a whole week to decrypt a single chapter.
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linkinstreet
post Nov 30 2005, 09:12 PM
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I buy shounen jump,
and when i started, it took a chapter 3 hours T.T
nowadays can read okay
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igor_is300
post Dec 1 2005, 09:09 AM
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QUOTE(linkinstreet @ Nov 30 2005, 09:12 PM)
I buy shounen jump,
and when i started, it took a chapter 3 hours T.T
nowadays can read okay
*
You done very well
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jhcj
post Dec 1 2005, 09:10 AM
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QUOTE(ellimist @ Nov 30 2005, 04:55 PM)
Asked on ur bloggie but I'll ask it here anyways tongue.gif

1.I have no idea how to pronounce "n" by itself (ko-n-ni-chi-wa <--whoa woot?) How do you do it? (lol maybe u could pronounce it for me over the weekend)

2.How bout the whole "r" and "l" thingie.Like roku (six?) is spelled tat way but pronounced as "lok" rite?
*
Read below for the syllable pronounciation guide. And yeah, I'll fill you in over the weekend. tongue.gif

QUOTE(seaotter @ Nov 30 2005, 05:07 PM)
well...from what I'VE learned:

1. 'n' is prounounced "nnn", basicaly the N without the 'e'. we all say n "enn" what tongue.gif this n is the sanem as how you pronounce n in "name" or "naik".

2. well.....coz they dont have the consonant L in their language, every l is somewhat pronounced "rr"...and true the other way round coz of the way our brain is . and the 'u' int he "roku" is sometimes silent, or bately heard. same as "tsu" and "su" so, roku can be pronounced "roku" or "rok-u" where the 'u' is silent. this 'u' is pronounced something like you say 'u' in "udang" or "udon" or "ular"

lol...i kind of hijacked the thread. sorry jhcj tongue.gif
*
Hey nice explanation dude. And nah, you didnt hijack the thread. Thanks for helping! thumbup.gif

QUOTE(xxboxx @ Nov 30 2005, 08:45 PM)
yo, promoting japanese is the way to go in anime-shrine thumbup.gif
to speak japanese, get "Pimsleur's Comprehensive Japanese (Ogg)(complete)" from piratebay. better fast, coz only left 4 seeders.

and if you think you're "yabai" enough, get "Remembering the kanji" from piratebay to learn kanji.
*
There are about 2000 kanji in the japanese language, of which 1945 is considered essential. ph34r.gif Out of this, 1006 is taught in schools. If you ask me, I'd say...HOLY SH- laugh.gif
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jhcj
post Dec 1 2005, 10:25 AM
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LESSON 2
How to pronounce syllables
In the english language, sometimes certain syllables are stressed when you speak. For example, the letter a can vary as follows:

man, mate, mayor.

In contrast, in japanese the letter a is always pronounced as in man. The five japanese vowels in order are:

a as in man
i as in hit
u as in blue
e as in end
o as in hot.

Japanese Sound Chart
CODE
R = romanji   H = hiragana  K = katakana
-----------------
R  |  H  |  K
-----------------
a  |  あ  |  ア  
i  |  い  |  イ  
u  |  う  |  ウ  
e  |  え  |  エ  
o  |  お  |  オ  
-----------------
ka |  か  |  カ  
ki |  き  |  キ  
ku |  く  |  ク  
ke |  け  |  ケ  
ko |  こ  |  コ  
-----------------
sa |  さ  |  サ  
shi|  し  |  シ  
su |  す  |  ス  
se |  せ  |  セ  
so |  そ  |  ソ  
-----------------
ta |  た  |  タ  
chi|  ち  |  チ
tsu|  つ  |  ツ  <----- tsu is an unfamiliar sound for English speakers; it is
te |  て  |  テ         only one syllable (or beat); squash the t and s
to |  と  |  ト         together as you say them.
-----------------
na |  な  |  ナ  
ni |  に  |  ニ  
nu |  ぬ  |  ヌ  
ne |  ね  |  ネ  
no |  の  |  ノ  
-----------------
ha |  は  |  ハ  
hi |  ひ  |  ヒ  
fu |  ふ  |  フ  <----- fu is a soft sound, between f and h. Your front teeth dont
he |  へ  |  ヘ         touch your lips as you say it; air is let out between your
ho |  ほ  |  ホ         teeth and lips.
-----------------
ma |  ま  |  マ
mi |  み  |  ミ
mu |  む  |  ム
me |  め  |  メ
mo |  も  |  モ
-----------------
ya |  や  |  ヤ
yu |  ゆ  |  ユ
yo |  よ  |  ヨ
-----------------
ra |  ら  |  ラ
ri |  り  |  リ          r is a soft sound, somewhere between r and l, and not like the
ru |  る  |  ル          French r sound.
re |  れ  |  レ
ro |  ろ  |  ロ
-----------------
wa |  わ  |  ワ
n  |  ん  |  ン          n has a full beat.
-----------------
ga |  が  |  ガ
gi |  ぎ  |  ギ
gu |  ぐ  |  グ          g as in get, not gin.
ge |  げ  |  ゲ
go |  ご  |  ゴ
-----------------
za |  ざ  |  ザ
ji |  じ  |  ジ
zu |  ず  |  ズ
ze |  ぜ  |  ゼ
zo |  ぞ  |  ゾ
-----------------
ba |  ば  |  バ
bi |  び  |  ビ          There are no v sounds in Japanese; and b is substituted
bu |  ぶ  |  ブ          for foreign words.
be |  べ  |  ベ
bo |  ぼ  |  ボ
-----------------
pa |  ぱ  |  パ
pi |  ぴ  |  ピ
pu |  ぷ  |  プ
pe |  ぺ  |  ペ
po |  ぽ  |  ポ
-----------------
da |  だ  |  ダ
de |  で  |  デ
do |  ど  |  ド

The final set of sounds in the sound chart consists of a consonant plus ya, yu or yo. These also have single beats (i.e. they have one syllable), although people sometimes make the mistake of pronouncing them with two beats. For example, sometimes people pronounce the first sound in Kyoto as ki-yo instead of ky.
CODE

-----------------
R  |  H  |  K
-----------------
kya| きゃ | キャ
kyu| きゅ | キュ
kyo| きょ | キョ
-----------------
sha| しゃ | シャ
shu| しゅ | シュ
sho| しょ | ショ
-----------------
cha| ちゃ | チャ  <----- cha as in chance, not character
chu| ちゅ | チュ
cho| ちょ | チョ
-----------------
nya| にゃ | ニャ
nyu| にゅ | ニュ
nyo| にょ | ニョ
-----------------
hya| ひゃ | ヒャ
hyu| ひゅ | ヒュ
hyo| ひょ | ヒョ
-----------------
mya| みゃ | ミャ
myu| みゅ | ミュ
myo| みょ | ミョ
-----------------
rya| りゃ | リャ
ryu| りゅ | リュ
ryo| りょ | リョ
-----------------
gya| ぎゃ | ギャ
gyu| ぎゅ | ギュ
gyo| ぎょ | ギョ
-----------------
ja | じゃ | ジャ  <----- ja as in jam (not the German ja)
ju | じゅ | ジュ
jo | じょ | ジョ
-----------------
bya| びゃ | ビャ
byu| びゅ | ビュ
byo| びょ | ビョ
-----------------
pya| ぴゃ | ピャ
pyu| ぴゅ | ピュ
pyo| ぴょ | ピョ
-----------------


This post has been edited by jhcj: Mar 6 2006, 01:50 PM
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jhcj
post Dec 1 2005, 02:03 PM
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And because I have alot of free time in the office, I present...Lesson 3! XD

LESSON 3: Hajimemashite = How do you do?

Vocabulary list
Greetings
- ohay gozaimas(u) = good morning
- konnichiwa = hello; good afternoon (late morning onwards)
- konbanwa = good evening
- oyasumi = good night
- saynara = goodbye (a formal expression)
- bai bai = goodbye (informal)
- ja mata ne! = see you!
- mata ash(i)ta = see you tomorrow

Introductions
- hajimemash(i)te = how do you do?
- dzo yorosh(i)ku = pleased to meet you
- kochira wa ...san = this person is ...mr/mrs/miss/ms (addressing someone else)
- dmo arigat (gozaimas(u)) = thank you (very much)
- arigat = thanks
- sumimasen = excuse me; sorry
- hai = yes
- iie = no
- desu = am, is, are

Sample conversation
Reiko Yamaguchi and her son Takeshi are meeting Anne Jenkins at Narita International Airport. Reiko sees an English girl standing on her own...

Reiko: Ano... An Jenkins(u)-san desu ka.
Girl: Iie...
Reiko: (embarassed) A! Sumimasen.
Takeshi: (also embarassed) Oksan!

Anne is waiting nearby and sees Reiko's sign with her name on it.
Anne: Sumimasen, Yamaguchi-san des(u) ka.
Reiko: Hai, s des(u)!
Anne: Hajimemash(i)te. An Jenkins(u) des(u). Dzo yorosh(i)ku (she bows).
Reiko: (bowing) Hajimemash(i)te. Yamaguchi Reiko des(u). Dzo yorosh(i)ku.

Reiko then introduces her son to Anne.
Reiko: Kore wa Takeshi des(u). Mus(u)ko des(u).
Takeshi: (bowing) Dzo yorosh(i)ku.
Anne: (bowing) Dzo yorosh(i)ku.

On the way home by train, Takeshi bumps into his friend, Jun. He introduces Anne to Jun.
Takeshi: Konnichiwa!
Jun: Konnichiwa!
Takeshi: Kochira wa An Jenkins(u)-san des(u).
Jun: Hajimemash(i)te. Suzuki Jun des(u). Dzo yorosh(i)ku (bows).

After they've reached their destination...
Takeshi: Ja mata ne!
Jun: Mata ash(i)ta!

Extras
ano = a hesitation word, like erm, er.
ka = indicates a question
oksan = mother
s des(u) = that's right
mus(u)ko = (my) son

Explanations
1. An Jenkinsu-san desu ka Are you Miss Anne Jenkins?
The Japanese use san when they address other people. It is attached to the end of the name and can be used with either the surname or first name, although Japanese generally use surnames unless they know the person really well. It is very important to use san when addressing Japanese people, otherwise it would be considered impolite. There are more polite and casual forms of san:
- sama is used when addressing letters and in more formal situations;
- kun is used for young boys and by men who know each other well;
- chan may be used between children or by adults when they adress children;
- teachers and professors have sensei attached to their names.

2. Hajimemashite, Yamaguchi Reiko desu How do you do? I'm Reiko Yamaguchi.
A second point to remember about san is that it is never used when addressing yourself or your own family. Read the conversation to see examples of this e.g. Hajimemashite. Suzuki Jun desu, or Kore wa Takeshi desu.

3. Hajimemashite. An Jenkinsu desu. Dzo yoroshiku How do you do. I am Anne Jenkins. Pleased to meet you.
When you first meet someone you use the formal phrases hajimemashite and dzo yoroshiku. After you say your name you use desu (I am). The same word is used for you/we/they are and it/she/he is. Also, desu comes at the end of the sentence.

4. Yamaguchi-san desu ka Are you Mrs Yamaguchi
To make a question in Japanese you say ka at the end of the sentence. Think of it as a spoken question mark. When ka is written at the end of a sentence, there is no need to write a question mark as well. For example:
- Yamaguchi-san desu ka = Are you Mrs Yamaguchi?
- Tky desu ka = Is it Tokyo?

5. Kochira wa An Jenkinsu-san desu This is Miss Anne Jenkins
To introduce someone else in person you use the phrase kochira wa. For example:
- kochira wa An Jenkinsu-san desu = This is Miss Anne Jenkins.
- kochira wa Yamaguchi Takeshi-san desu = This is Takeshi Yamaguchi.

However, you dont use kochira when introducing members of your own family. Instead, you can use the informal phrase kore (this is) as Reiko does:
- kore wa Takeshi desu = This is Takeshi.

-----------------------------------------------------

PRACTISE FOR LESSON 3 - click me!

This post has been edited by jhcj: Dec 4 2005, 09:52 AM
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xxboxx
post Dec 1 2005, 04:46 PM
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wow! jhcj, did you study japanese before? thumbup.gif
what does An stands for? like you use for:
QUOTE
Hajimemashite. An Jenkinsu desu. Dzo yoroshiku
Kochira wa An Jenkinsu-san desu

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ellimist
post Dec 1 2005, 05:09 PM
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QUOTE(xxboxx @ Dec 1 2005, 04:46 PM)
wow! jhcj, did you study japanese before? thumbup.gif
what does An stands for? like you use for:
*
He self-studies Japanese,like any other otaku would tongue.gif

Anyways I think the "An" is refering to Anne,Jap way of saying it smile.gif
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xxboxx
post Dec 1 2005, 07:01 PM
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QUOTE(ellimist @ Dec 1 2005, 05:09 PM)
He self-studies Japanese,like any other otaku would tongue.gif

Anyways I think the "An" is refering to Anne,Jap way of saying it smile.gif
*
so desu ka? now look it over and just realise it. blush.gif
i also now learning nihongo smile.gif
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jhcj
post Dec 1 2005, 10:24 PM
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Yep, An stands for Anne. And I'm not otaku level...yet. laugh.gif I've always been interested in learning the Japanese language, that's all. smile.gif
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princelsy
post Dec 1 2005, 10:27 PM
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do u all know any play that offer jap. classes?
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