Japanese I-4

Kanjis: 1st grade + JLPT N5; Additional kanjis for lessons 1-8:

わたし – I/me ぼく – I/me きみ – you

Sample Conversation

This is not a transcript of the dialog in the recording.

A woman is asking a man for help locating Ueno station on a map. He points at places on the map, finds it, and then turns around and points to the station, which is visible from where they are standing.


English
1: man; 2: woman

2: err… sorry to bother.
1: Yes? What is it?
2: Where is Ueno station on this map?
1: err…
    This place? It isn’t Ueno station.
    let me see…
    This place? It is Ueno park.
    Ah!
    This place! This is Ueno station.
    let me see… It’s over there.
2: Ah. I see. Thank you.
1: No problem.


romaji
1: otoko; 2: onna

1: eeto… sumimasen.
2: hai. nani?
1: ueno eki wa kono chizu no doko desu ka?
2: anou…
    kono tokoro wa ueno eki dewa nai.
    etto…
    kono tokoro wa ueno kouen desu.
    aa!
    kono tokoro ga ueno eki desu.
    etto… asoko desu.
1: aa. sou desu ka. doumo arigatou.
2: iie.



kana
1: おとこ; 2: おんな

1: ええと… すみません.
2: はい。なに?
1: うえの えきは このちずの どこですか。
2: あのう…
    この ところは うえの えき ではない。
    えっと…
    この ところは うえの こうえん です。
    ああ!
    この ところが うえの えき です。
    えっと… あそこ です。
1: ああ。そうですか。どうも ありがとう。
2: いいえ。


kanji (show me)
1: 男; 2: 女

1: ええと… すみません.
2: はい。何?
1: 上野駅はこの地図のどこですか?
2: あのう…
    このところは上野駅ではない。
    えっと…
    このところは上野公園です。
    ああ!
    このところが上野駅です。
    えっと… あそこです。
1: ああ。そうですか。どうもありがとう。
2: いいえ。


Vocabulary


English
yes

station
public
park
public park

Shinjuku
Ueno

place
here, by me
there, by you
way over there
where?

to talk/speak
masu (formal)
dict (casual)


romaji
ee

eki
kou
en
kou-en

shinjuku
ueno

tokoro
koko
soko
asoko
doko?

 
hanashi-masu
hanasu


kana
ええ

えき
こう
えん
こうえん

しんじゅく
うえの

ところ
ここ
そこ
あそこ
どこ

 
はなします
はなす


kanji
 




公園

 
上野

 
 
 
 
 

 
話します
話す


  • ‘soko’ (there, near you) is not in lesson 4, but it’s part of the [ko/so/a/do]-ko family, so it makes sense to bring it up because the other words of the family are used in this lesson.

Sample sentences

Eng: You speak well.

lit: You? You speak with skill.


formal
anata wa jouzu-ni hanashi-masu.

あなたは じょうずに はなします。

あなたは上手に話します。


casual
kimi wa jouzu-ni hanasu.

きみは じょうずに はなす。

君は上手に話す。


‘kimi’ is a casual form of ‘anata’.


Eng: Do you know where is a good restaurant?

lit: Where? A good restaurant? Do you know?


formal
doko ka i-i resutoran wa shite imasu ka?

どこか いい レストランは して いますか?

どこかいいレストランはしていますか?



Comments

The following comments explain some of the grammar in more detail.

Prefixes and suffixes

na-adjectives -na/-ni

To turn na-adjectives into adverbs, we replace the -na with -ni:


use
alone
modify noun
modify verb


romaji
jouzu desu
jouzu-na hito
jouzu-ni hanasu


English
is skilled
person with skill
to speak with skill (skillfully)


In summary, we use ‘-na’ when we modify a noun, and ‘-ni’ when we modify a verb. Both the na-adjective terminations ‘-na’ and ‘-ni’ mean ‘with’, but in English we most often say ‘skillfully’ instead of ‘with skill’, so we can think of ‘-ni’ as the Japanese version of ‘-ly’:


English
vigor
skill
real
convenient


romaji
genki
jouzu
hontou
benri


English
vigorous-ly
skillful-ly
real-ly
convenient-ly


romaji
genki-ni
jouzu-ni
hontou-ni
benri-ni


ko/so/a/do

We use these prefixes to describe the distances among the speaker, the listener, and the subject of the conversation. In English, ‘there’ is a location away from the speaker, but we do not distinguish whether it is close to the listener or not; Japanese makes this distinction: the prefix ‘so-‘ indicates that the location is away from the speaker, but close to the listener, while the prefix ‘a-‘ indicates that the location is away from both the speaker and the listener.


English
this, near me
that, near you
that, far away
?


romaji
ko-
so-
a-
do-


kana




Pronouns

[ko/so/a/do]-ko

‘koko’, ‘soko’, ‘asoko’, and ‘doko’ is a ko/so/a/do family of words that refers to locations.


English
here, near me
there, near you
way over there
where?


romaji
koko
soko
asoko
doko


kana
ここ
そこ
あそこ
どこ


Other

Yes

Same as in English, there are many ways to say ‘yes’ in Japanese, depending of what we are saying and to whom we are talking to:


very formal
more formal
formal
casual
very casual
very casual


romaji
hai!
hai
ee
haaaaiiii…
umh
aah


English
Yes, Sir/Madam! right away! Aye-aye!
Yes, aye, here! (Present!)
Yes, yeah, yeap, sure
Yeeesss… (coming…, I heard you)
mm-hmm
uh-huh


In general, ‘Hai’ is the most versatile form and we use it in a lot of situations, e.g., when answering a roll-call, when letting someone know that we understood some instructions, when letting someone know that we will get on top of something right away, and many others. My Japanese teacher says that ‘ee’ is formal, although not as formal as ‘hai’.