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 Post subject: Lesson 5 - Kenji's Dysfunctional Family
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:44 pm 
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I've still got to upload the last lesson's flashcards, but I'll get those up either this week or the next. Anyway, today we're looking at adjectives and verbs. There's a lot to digest, and if you don't totally get it right away, do not panic. These are best learned through example, and as the lessons continue they should just come naturally, although you can always check back here for an explanation.

Remember, if I didn't explain everything clearly, let me know. I tend to rush ahead sometimes without realizing that I didn't leave a very clear path!


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 Post subject: Re: Lesson 5 - Kenji's Dysfunctional Family
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:48 pm 
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Dialogue

It’s after school and Kenji is frantically chasing down Mary.

検事 – ほい、メアリちゃん!

He catches her.

検事 - 僕の家族の写真を見る?
けんじ - ぼく の かぞく の しゃしん を みる?

メアリ - えっと。。。はい。

Kenji grabs Mary’s arm and drags her off to a bench where he produces said photo. She points to two adults.

メアリ - 検事くんの両親ですか?
けんじくん の りょうしん です か?

検事 – ええ。しかし、両親は普通。ほとんどいつも家にいません。
けんじ - ええ。 しかし、りょうしん は ふつう。 ほとんど いつも うち に いません。

メアリ - そうですか。ごめんなさい。

検事 – 何を言ってるの? 凄いだ。とにかく、こちら妹だ。
けんじ - なに を いってるの? すごい だ。 とにかく、こちら いもうと だ。

メアリ - 可愛い! でも、見慣れる。。。
かわいい! でも、みなれる。。。

検事 - 妹はささみだから! ちょっと背が低い。
けんじ - いもうと は ささみ だから! ちょっと せ が ひくい。

メアリ - 大丈夫ですか。
だいじょうぶ です か。

Kenji shoots her a look.

メアリ - あぁ、何でもない。可愛い妹です。
あぁ、なんでもない。 かわいい いもうと です。

検事 - 彼女はすべての家事を行う。
けんじ - かのじょ は すべて の かじ を おこなう。

メアリ - 本当ですか。
ほんき です か。

検事 - もちろん! 残念ながら、時々意識を失う。
けんじ - もちろん! ざんえんながら、ときどき いしき を うしなう。

メアリ - そうですか。面白い家族ですね。
そうですか。おもしろい かぞく です ね。

Translation

Kenji: Hey, Mary-chan!

He catches her.

Kenji: Do you want to look at a photo of my family?

Mary: Let’s see. Yes.

Kenji grabs Mary’s arm and drags her off to a bench where he produces said photo.

Mary: Kenji-kun, are these your parents?

Kenji: Yeah. But my parents are ordinary. They’re always away.

Mary: I see. I’m sorry.

Kenji: What are you talking about? That’s great. Anyway, this is my little sister.

Mary: How cute! But she seems familiar.

Kenji: That’s because my sister is Sasami. She’s a bit short…

Mary: Are you okay?

Kenji shoots her a look.

Mary: Ah, it’s nothing. She’s a cute little sister!

Kenji: She does all the housework.

Mary: Seriously?

Kenji: Of course! Unfortunately, she sometimes passes out.

Mary: I see. You have an interesting family, don’t you?

Okay, that was our introduction to the dysfunctional Masara family. It’s a lot to digest, but I’ll break it down into bit-sized pieces. Today we’re focusing mostly on adjectives and verbs.


Last edited by Akira Takahashi on Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Lesson 5 - Kenji's Dysfunctional Family
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:54 pm 
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Vocabulary

僕 ぼく I, myself (usually used by young boys and tomboys)

家族 かぞく Family

写真 しゃしん Photograph

えっと。。。 Um…/Let’s see…

両親 りょうしん Parents

ええ Yes (informal)

しかし However

普通 ふつう Ordinary (na adjective)

ほとんど Almost

いつも Always

離れる はなれる To be away/to be a long way off/to be separated

言う いう To say

とにかく Anyway

こちら This (vague; usually used when introducing someone)

妹 いもうと Younger sister

可愛い かわいい Cute (I adjective)

でも But

見慣れる みなれる To be familiar with; accustomed to

だから Because/therefore

ちょっと A little bit

背が低い せがひくい Short (stature)

大丈夫 だいじょうぶ Okay/No problem (na-adjective)

何でもない なんでもない It’s nothing/never mind

すべて All/wholly

家事 かじ Housework

行う おこなう To do/To perform

本気 ほんき Serious

もちろん Of course

残念ながら ざんえんながら Unfortunately/I regret to say…

時々 ときどき Sometimes

意識を失う いしきをうしなう To lose consciousness

面白い おもしろい Interesting (I adjective)

From now on, since things are getting a bit more complicated, the format will go like this: nouns, adjectives, and verbs. More categories will be added as the dialogue gets more complicated, but for now we’ll just divide it up into three categories. As such, this will probably be the last lesson where the vocabulary is placed in the order that you come across it in the dialogue.


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 Post subject: Re: Lesson 5 - Kenji's Dysfunctional Family
PostPosted: Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:57 pm 
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Grammar

Before I go line-by-line, we need to look at two things: adjectives, or words that describe a noun, and verbs, or action words. First of all, there are two kinds of adjectives in Japanese, i-adjectives and na-adjectives. I’m going to show you how these work now.

I Adjectives

I-adjectives always end in い. Simple, isn’t it? Just look through the vocabulary and you’ll see that every i-adjective has a hiragana い at the end, making it super easy to spot them. I-adjectives are also interesting in that they can be conjugated, although that’s for a different lesson.


Examples:

これは早い車です。これ は はやい くるま です。

This is a fast car.

この車は早い。

This car is fast.

Notice how there is no “desu” at the end of the second sentence. That’s because if a sentence ends with an i-adjective there is no “desu”. I-adjectives conjugate on their own, as I said, so you don’t need to have any kind of “desu” to tell us whether this is past tense or present tense. We’ll learn about making past tense later.

Na-Adjectives

For right now, na-adjectives might seem a bit trickier, but they conjugate more easily than an i-adjective. Why? Because you can go ahead and put “desu” at the end of all your sentences, therefore conjugating things normally.

Basically, these words are used normally, the rule being that if the adjective comes before the noun, place a “na” at the end of it.

So, how do you tell the difference between an i-adjective and a na-adjective. There’s no fool-proof trick to it, but an i-adjective usually has the “i” apart from the kanji. There are na-adjectives that have I’s in them, but they’re usually not separate from the kanji.

Examples:

あの子は意地悪です。あの こ は いじわる です。

That kid over there is mean.

あれは意地悪な子供です。あれ は いじわるな こども です。

That’s a mean kid over there.

弟の先生は丁寧です。おとうと の せんせい は ていねい です。

My younger brother’s teacher is polite.

その丁寧な先生は弟のです。 その ていねいな せんせい は おとうと の です。

That polite teacher is my younger brother’s. The “no” particle doesn’t have to precede a noun to make it possessive, since we know that the only thing in this sentence that can belong to the brother is the teacher.

Verbs

For those of us who lead an active lifestyle, or at the very least do more than sit on the couch and lay in bed, verbs are a big part of our life. They aren’t the paintings in museums, but the moving pictures on TV. Okay, that was lame, but let’s just go ahead and see what the Japanese think of verbs.

First of all, there is a golden rule to verbs: they always come at the end of clauses. Placing verbs in front of a noun makes them work like an adjective, which isn’t the goal in this lesson. No, we’re creating action!

There’s another interesting bit of trivia regarding verbs, which is that a grammatically correct sentence needs only a verb. I once heard it joked about that Japanese is not a subject-object-verb (sov) language, but a verb (v) language. You don’t need anything else, other than a state of being in a verb-less sentence, of course.

Now, in this lesson we’re not going to worry about memorizing all those clunky tables of verb classes. Heck, I don’t even think anyone should worry about those. Why? Because it all boils down to being either a “ru” verb or an “u” verb. This keeps it much simpler and more like our adjective classifications. Since we’re not worrying about conjugations right now, though, we won’t even think about these classifications.

There’s one more thing before we begin (I sense boredom), and that’s the を(wo) particle, and the に (ni) particle. The “wo” (usually pronounced “o”) particle is a direct object marker, and the “ni” particle, when used with verbs, is an indirect object marker. Those of you who know an object-oriented programming language (C++, C#, etc.) will be familiar with this. However, for everyone else, a direct object is the object you’re verbing – my new word.

In a sentence like, “I eat sushi,” the sushi is the direct object. In other words, it is the thing we have the habit of eating, and therefore the Japanese translation of it would be: 私はすしを食べる。(わたし は すし を たべる。)I (wa) sushi (wo) eat. “Taberu” means “eat” by the way.

In a sentence like, “I run home everyday,” since “home” is the indirect object, or the place we run to, we use “ni” with it. “Ni” is the who/what/where an object, in this case “I”, is directed to. Translated, it would look like: 毎日、私は家に走る。まいにち、わたし は うち に はしる。Everyday, I (wa) home (ni) run. “Mainichi” means “everyday” while “hashiru” means “run”. Remember, if it can be understood from context who is doing the verbing, it can be omitted, although I didn’t do that with either of these translations.

Examples:

日本語を勉強する。にほんご を べんきょうする。

(I) study Japanese.

家に歩く。うち に あるく。

(I) walk home.

ラメンを食べる。ラメン を たべる。

(I) eat ramen.

コーラを飲む。コーラ を のむ。

(I) drink cola.

学校に行く。がっこう に いく。

(I) go to school.

Well, I think that’s more than enough to chew on today. I still have to do the line-by-line for this lesson and upload last lesson’s flashcards. Verbs will get much easier as we go along. Next time we’ll be conjugating them and i-adjectives into past and negative tense, and I’ll also show you the formal way to speak with verbs. This is very casual right here and in the dialogue.


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 Post subject: Re: Lesson 5 - Kenji's Dysfunctional Family
PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:35 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:33 pm
Posts: 107
Location: Minnesota
Line-By-Line
検事 – ほい、メアリちゃん!

This one is pretty straight-forward. “Hoi!” is kind of like shouting, “Hey!” at someone, and, of course, “chan” is an affectionate way of addressing someone. Because Kenji is using –chan at the end of Mary’s name, it tells us that he’s quite close with her.

検事 - 僕の家族の写真を見る?
けんじ - ぼく の かぞく の しゃしん を みる?

First of all, let’s take this one step at a time. “Boku” is a masculine form of “I”, the “no” makes it possessive, so “Boku no” means “my”. Next, “Kazoku” means “family”, so when we put these two words together we get, “My family”. That’s easy enough to understand, but now we have “…no shasshin.” Remember, “no” can also mean “of” instead of purely possessive. Remember back from the first dialogue lesson? This whole thing comes together as, “Picture of my family.” “Kuruma no shasshin,” would mean, “Picture of car.”

Next is the tricky part, “wo miru?” In explaining how verbs work, I said that “wo” is a direct object marker, and “miru” is what you do to it. This means “look at”, but it’s casual, so the “ka”, which marks a question, is omitted. When you put it all together, it amounts to, “Would you look at a picture of my family?”

Just to clarify, “Boku no kazoku no shasshin wo miru,” without a question mark would simply be a statement reading, “(I/you/he/she/it) looks at my family picture.” You would have to identify who or what is doing the looking if context doesn’t already provide the answer. We’ll learn about how to give commands later.

メアリ - えっと。。。はい。

This is a super easy one. “Etto…” is basically filler. You’re thinking of what to say next, and sometimes, as in this case, it can be an indicator of hesitance. It’s kind of like saying, “Um…” in English. Of course, “Hai,” means “yes”.

メアリ - 検事くんの両親ですか?
けんじくん の りょうしん です か?

Remember the “no” is possessive. “Kenji-kun no ryoushin” is Kenji’s parents. The “-kun” is like “-chan” but for males. Remember, desu = am/are/is and “ka” is a spoken question mark and used in polite Japanese. Literally, this translates to, “Are these Kenji-kun’s parents?” Usually, translation like these aren’t literal, and sound more like, “Kenji, are these your parents?” Why? Because we have a hard time understanding that the Japanese very seldom use words like “I” or “you” and have a habit of speaking in third person, especially when it comes to other people. Listen closely and you’ll notice that Sasami takes this to an extreme. While it’s not exactly great to talk like Sasami, it is good listening practice and a nice way for this particular way of speaking to become normal to your ears.

検事 – ええ。しかし、両親は普通。ほとんどいつも家にいません。
けんじ - ええ。 しかし、りょうしん は ふつう。 ほとんど いつも うち に いません。

Okay, there’s quite a bit to cover here. “Shikashi” is the Japanese equivalent of “however” and can also be translated as “but” sometimes. In this case, either or is appropriate depending on what you view as a good localization. Next is “futsuu”, which means “ordinary”. This is a na-adjective, but since it comes after the noun, there is no “na” at the end. This whole sentence would therefore translate as, “However/but (my) parents are normal.” Since it’s already been established that the adults in the picture are Kenji’s parents, we don’t need to repeat it.

Now I decided to get your feet wet for something we’re going to get into more detail in a later lesson: frequency words. You know, words like “often”, “sometimes”, “usually”, “always”, etc. “Hotondo” means “almost” and “itsumo” means always. Put them together and you get the phrase “almost always.”

I changed the dialogue for the next words, as I thought it would be more beneficial to elaborate on the word “imasen/arimasen”. These are polite negative forms of “iru” and “aru”, and they both mean “is not”, roughly speaking. Whether defining what something is or is not, or whether you’re talking about something existing or not existing somewhere depends on what comes before the “arimasen/imasen”. Let’s take some examples.

Arimasu = Used for non-living things.

Imasu = Used for living things.

“Ringo ja arimasen” = Is not an apple. Literally, “apple is not.”

“Ringo de wa arimasen” = This means the same thing as the one before, but “de wa” is an appropriate substitute for “ja”, albeit a bit old-fashioned.

“Gakko ni imasen” = Not at school. “Ni” is referring to a place, so that’s what we’re using here. You can tell that the speaker is referring to a person or animal because he/she uses “imasen” here.

So, the last part of the sentence means “not at home”. When we put the whole sentence together, it literally comes down to, “Almost always home not at.” When we translate and localize, it comes out as, “(My parents) are almost always gone,” or, “My parents are rarely home,” or maybe, “(My parents) are almost always away from home.”

メアリ - そうですか。ごめんなさい。

This is an easy sentence. “Sou desu ka?” is a standard phrase that means, “Is that so?” You use that and the phrase, “Sou desu”, or “I see”, as filler in a conversation. It’s basically like nodding your head and saying, “Yeah” when you’re having a conversation with someone. It’s just to let them know you’re listening. And, of course, “Gomennasai” means, “I’m sorry.”

検事 – 何を言ってるの? 凄いだ。とにかく、こちら妹だ。
けんじ - なに を いってるの? すごい だ。 とにかく、こちら いもうと だ。

Okay, for the first sentence here, there is a te-form verb, but we’re not going to get into that for a while yet. The first word, “nani” means “what” as we’ve covered before, and “wo” is a direct object marker, as I described at the start of the lesson. “Nani” is acting as the object, and “wo” is the marker for it. Someone is saying something, so “wo” is used. This might seem confusing right now, but you’ll grow accustomed to it quickly.

“Itteru,” is the te-form of the verb, “iu”, which means ‘to say’. Without going into detail, I’ll just saying that this translates to the word, “saying”, so now we have, “what saying?” The “no” at the end is just for emphasis. Kenji can’t believe Mary is apologizing for his parents being gone so much. This is casual speech, the exception being that the “wo” would normally be omitted in casual talk; I just wanted to introduce you to this concept of “wo”. In pure casual speech, this line would read, “Nani, itteru no?” In formal speech, it would read, “何を言いますか,” or, “Nani wo iimasu ka?”

“Sugoi da,” means, “It’s great!” Remember, “da” is the informal version of “desu.”

“Tonikaku” means “anyway” and is used the exact same way English speakers use it. In other words, it’s great for changing the subject, and if you’re anything like me, you can hardly get through a conversation without dropping these kinds of words every few sentences.

The rest of the sentence reads, “Kochira imouto da.” We already learned that “kore” means “this”, so if this sentence means, “This is my little sister,” why not just say, “Kore wa imouto da”? Well, you can say it that way, but it’s considered rather direct and impolite. “Kochira” is usually used in place of “kore” when introducing people.

メアリ - 可愛い! でも、見慣れる。。。
かわいい! でも、みなれる。。。

The whole sentence reads, “Kawaii (cute)!” But, she’s familiar…” I really wanted to write, “She seems familiar…” but that’s for a whole other lesson, and this lesson is already full of stuff you’ll probably be begging me to explain later anyway. Remember, “she’s” is implied. The subject is now on Kenji’s sister, so we don’t have to keep repeating it.

検事 - 妹はささみだから! ちょっと背が低い。
けんじ - いもうと は ささみ だから! ちょっと せ が ひくい。

Guess what? We get to dip our toes into another grammar concept. “That’s because my sister is Sasami,” is how this translates. I know that the subject is already apparent, but sometimes it will be reiterated for emphasis, which is what’s going on here. “Dakara” means “because”, and it goes at the end of the sentence, replacing “da” in this case.

In the next sentence, “chotto” means “a little” or “somewhat”, and “se ga hikui” means “short stature”. If you really want to know right now “se” means “height” or “stature” and “hikui” means short. It’s another i-adjective.

メアリ - 大丈夫ですか。
だいじょうぶ です か。
I know everyone has heard this before. “Daijoubu desu ka?” or, “Daijoubu?” is a standard phrase meaning, “Are you okay?” Clearly, Mary is beginning to question her friend’s sanity.

メアリ - あぁ、何でもない。可愛い妹です。
あぁ、なんでもない。 かわいい いもうと です。

Okay, so Mary is quickly recovering from insulting Kenji. “Nandemonai” means, “nothing”. I guarantee that if you watch too much Vampire Princess Miyu the TV series, not OAV, that you will come to understand all the ways that this word is used. In this case, it’s kind of like saying, “Never mind!” She further recovers by saying, “She’s a cute sister!”

検事 - 彼女はすべての家事を行う。
けんじ - かのじょ は すべて の かじ を おこなう。

Great, now I have to explain this. “Kanojo” is a word for “she”, but guys especially have to be careful about using it, as it is also the word for “girlfriend”. I’m really not trying to imply any sort of incest in this dialogue (unless you really, really dig that sort of thing), and it is perfectly acceptable for a family member to off-handedly refer to a sibling this way. “Subete” means “all” or “wholly”, whilst “kaji” means “housework”. “No” is linking these two words together, so we get “All of the housework.” “Wo” is our direct object marker, and it tells us what Kenji’s sister does to the housework. “Okonau” means “to perform”, so that’s what she does with it. Now, we could substitute this word for, “suru”, or “to do”, but I thought this would be a more interesting word to use.

メアリ - 本当ですか。
ほんき です か。

This is a set phrase meaning, “Seriously?” You can get a bit more casual with, “Honki?” and omit the “desu ka”, but if you want to get really casual with it, go with, “Maji?” or “Maji de?” “Maji” is the slang form of “honki” and should only be used in casual conversation or on fake, obscure Japanese game shows for an American reality show that happens to be very poorly translated.

検事 - もちろん! 残念ながら、時々意識を失う。
けんじ - もちろん! ざんえんながら、ときどき いしき を うしなう。

Ah, the end of the dialogue. “Mochiron” means, “Of course!” “Zanennagara” is another one of those words I like to use, meaning, “I regret to say,” or, “unfortunately…”

“Tokidoki” deserves its own paragraph, as it’s like “itsumo” in that it’s another frequency word, meaning “sometimes”. As such, so far we have, “Unfortunately, sometimes…” The next group of words is almost a set phrase meaning “to lose consciousness.” “Ishiki” is conscious, and so if we’re losing it, we put the direct object marker “wo” after it, followed by the word for “to lose”, “ushinau”.

So that’s it. Please feel free to ask any questions, as I know that this is a ton of info to absorb!


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 Post subject: Re: Lesson 5 - Kenji's Dysfunctional Family
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:16 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:33 pm
Posts: 107
Location: Minnesota
Anki Deck

Okay, so here's the flashcards for today's lesson. I goofed and accidentally called it Lesson 4 when it's actually Lesson 5. I'm still working on Lesson 4's deck and it will be available soon.

http://www.mediafire.com/?c5s6jbj9wmwtn2s


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