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#1
Dec 11, 2008 8:32 PM
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Posts: 269
A. Introduction

Despite the fact that more than half the words in Japanese are borrowed from Chinese, the linguistic structure is quite different from Chinese. The grammar is borrowed from Korean, (of which the vocabulary is shared from Chinese) it is different in all other respects. 6 Things to Remember:

1. Japanese (Nihongo / Nippongo) syllables can be classified into five kinds:

a) a vowel by itself
b) a consonant by itself
c) a consonant + a vowel
d) a semi-vowel + a vowel
e) a consonant + y + a vowel

2. In Japanese verbs, adjectives, copulas (linking words), and certain endings are inflected (conjugated or influenced).

3. Particles are used very frequently to show the rules of grammar in a sentence or conversation. Mastering particles is the key to rapidly learning Japanese!

4. Punctuation is the same as in English, however new. So the usages of these are still to being established.

5. The word order in Japanese isn’t like English. It resembles more that of Spanish and French. In speaking many of the verbs (in most cases) come at the end of the sentence, that following the subject or the object being discussed.

6. Lastly, Japanese has a complex system of “honorifics” (words that reflect the relationship between the speaker(s), and whom is being spoken about). The words (or word forms) indicated the degrees of politeness, which is typically expressed by verb forms. {Ex. There are a dozen ways to say “you” (French: “vous”, “tu”), but in Nippongo “you” is often avoided and instead the addressing of the person is by position/title.} I’m learning the most standard form of Japanese, of which phrases can be said by either gender, without sounding too formal (or casual).




B. The Alphabet: The Letters

The way I’m being taught is with Romanized letters. Ok, ok, I’m an idiot. So that’s the best way for me to learn. I guess I can progress as I learn. Anyway (back to notes):

1. All the letters of the English alphabet (except “L”, “Q”, and “X”) appear in the lessons.

2. The sound of “L” is sometimes heard in the pronunciation by Japanese nationals. But his sound is always inter-changeable with the letter “R”. Take note that the sounds of “L” and “R” don’t exist in Japanese, so listen carefully to native speaking and never roll the tongue when speaking.

3. The letter “C” appears only in combination with “H” and that these two letters together (ch) are always treated as one letter.

4. A comprehensive list of signs and instructions in the characters are in Lesson 40 of me book I have (yeah, she gave me this book….it’s hard too! T_T)




C. Accent

Words may/may not be accented. Unlike English (which has a stressed accent), Nippongo has pitched accent. This means that after an accented syllable, the pitch falls. If no accent, there will be no fall in pitch of voice.

1. Accented words (1st syllable): {ex. Chopsticks – hashi} The word has the accent on the first syllable, so the pitch contour is {ha’ shi}. With out the accent on the first syllable, hashi may mean “bridge” or “edge”.

2. Accented words (2nd syllable): {ex. Bridge – ha shi’} The accent here is on the second syllable, which is better observed if a grammatical particle (such as the subject marker “ga”) is attached. {ex. ha shi’ ga}

3. Unaccented words: {ex. Edge – hashi / hashi ga} There is no accent here, so it would be pronounce with out a fall in pitch, even with “ga” added.

4. Accents may be dropped depending on certain cases. The best way to grasp is to listen to either recordings or native speakers of Japanese.




D. The Alphabet Sounds and Loan Words

Many Japanese sounds are like the sounds in English. The pattern is an open-syllable sound, meaning that most syllables end in a vowel (or composed solely of a vowel). Loan words are borrowed from other languages, frankly because there isn’t a word in Japanese. The meanings of the words are the same as in other languages however the spelling may be different.

1. The vowels are: a, e, i, o, u, as they are in most Latin-based languages. Vowel length often distinguishes words.

2. The basic consonants are: k, s, t, n, h, m, y, r, w, and the syllabic nasal n. Many of these are pronounced in front of the vowels a, u, and o. {ex. kya, kyu, kyu}

3. When the two consonants: s and t occur with the vowel i, these consonants are automatically pronounced as “shi” (for s) and “chi” (for t). The consonant t is always pronounced as ts in front of the vowel u.

4. Each sound is therefore pronounced clearly and crisply, and not slurred. Each syllable is spoken evenly for almost an equal length of time. Some names or words have an accented syllable and some don’t.

5. The verb ‘suru’ is sometimes combined with a loan word; when this happens ‘suru’ changes the word into a verb.
Modified by GTC, Dec 30, 2008 12:07 PM
 
#2
Dec 11, 2008 9:53 PM
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Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 269
Vocabulary


The words listed below are in Romanji (the latter are listed along with English counterparts). Please feel free to download Audio Lesson One for the sounds of the following words.

Japanese Names

Akira
Aiko
Atsuko
Chieko
Emiko
Eijiroo
Fusao
Fusako
Gantaroo
Giichi
Haruo
Hideko
Isoo
Itoko
Jiroo
Jun
Kiyoshi
Kuniko
Makoto
Mariko
Noboru
Nobuko
Osamu
Rentaroo
Ryuuichi
Shinzoo
Susumu
Takashi
Teruko
Umeko



Lone Words


akusento
{accent}

amachua
{amateur}

Amerika
{America}

baree
{ballet}

basu
{bus}

bataa
{butter}

beru
{bell}

booto
{rowboat}

chokoreeto
{chocolate}

daiyamondo
{diamond}

dansu
{dance}

dazaato
{dessert}

dezain
{design}

enameru
{enamel}

erebeetaa
{elevator}

esukareetaa
{escalator}

furanneru
{flannel}

gaido
{guide - for travelers}

gasorin
{gasoline}

gareeji
{garage}

gorufu
{golf}

haihiiru
{high heel}

handobaggu
{handbag}

herikoputaa
{helicopter}

hisuterii
{hysteria}

hoosu
{water hose}

hoomushikku
{homesick}

hoteru
{hotel}

infure
{inflation}

inku
{ink}

interi
{intelligentsia}

jaanarisuto
{journalist}

jamu
{jam / jelly}

jazu
{jazz}

kappu
{cup - measuring}

koppu
{drinking glass}

karee raisu
{curried rice}

karendaa
{calendar}

maagarin
{margarine]

maaketto
{market}

maaku
{mark}

modan
{modern}

nairon
{nylon}



 
#3
Oct 25, 2012 12:02 PM

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Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 141
Wow... Japanese is... Hard...
0100110 01111001 01101110 01100001 01101101 01100101 01101001 01110011 01010100 01110011 01110101 01100010 01100001 01101011 011010001



The Bird of the Hermes is my name,
eating my wings to make me Lame.
 
#4
Nov 16, 2012 4:16 AM
Crazily Uncrazy.

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Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 605
Not if you try to learn it in (non-Rosetta Stone) ways that mimic how you learned English as a little guy!
My Blogs:

austinanime.wordpress.com
thoughtsofatypicalgamer.game.blog
 
#5
Nov 16, 2012 6:04 AM
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Posts: 269
Regardless of however a person chooses to learn ANY language, learning something new and unfamiliar is always hard at first. That is why it takes daily practice and years of study. And it is also recommened to learn anything by way of a face-to-face teacher. Neither this club nor "Rosetta Stone" are designed to replace that of a learned teacher. This club is just to assist those who are trying to learn Japanese, and for those who do not have the methods or the circumstances to go to school or afford Rosetta Stone. Thank you again for both joining and commenting.
 
#6
Nov 16, 2012 8:36 AM
Crazily Uncrazy.

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Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 605
sorry if i seemed rude, that wasn't my intention.
My Blogs:

austinanime.wordpress.com
thoughtsofatypicalgamer.game.blog
 
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