Japanese I-9

Kanjis: 1st grade + JLPT N5; Additional kanjis for lessons 9-16:

はん – meal ひる – noon 明日 あした – tomorrow

Conversation transcript

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

Mr. Ueda is deciding whether it is still a good time to call the Los Angeles office from Tokyo.


English
1: Mr. Ueda; 2: Ms. Mori

1: Ms. Mori, what time is it now?
2: It is 10:00 am.
1: Hum… what time is in Los Angeles?
2: Let me see… It is 6:00 pm.
1: I see. Thank you.


romaji
1: ueda shi; 2: mori fujin

1: mori san, ima nan-ji desu ka?
2: gozen juu-ji desu.
1: anou… los angeles wa nan-ji desu ka?
2: etto… gogo roku-ji desu.
1: sou desu ka. arigatou.



kana
1: うえだ し; 2: もり ふじん

1: もり さん、いま なんじ ですか?
2: ごぜん じゅうーじ です。
1: あのう… ロサンゼルスは なんじ ですか?
2: えっと… ごご ろくじ です。
1: そう ですか。ありがとう。


kanji (show me)
1: 上田氏; 2: 森夫人

1: 森さん、今何時ですか?
2: 午前十時です。
1: あのう、ロサンゼルスは何時ですか?
2: えっと、午後六時です。
1: そうですか。ありがとう。


a.m. is ‘gozen’ and p.m. is ‘gogo’. We place them before the time:

  • 4:00 a.m. is ‘gozen yo-ji’
  • 4:00 p.m. is ‘gogo yo-ji’

Vocabulary


English
Tokyo
Suzuki

noon
cooked rice; meal
lunch (noon’s rice)

o’clock, hour, time
what time?
at (time related)
at what time?

one
eight
nine

Or
understood


romaji
tou-kyou
suzuki

hiru
meshi, han
hiru go-han

ji
nan-ji
ni
nan-ji ni

ichi
hachi
ku, kyu

soretomo
wakari-mashita


kana
とうきょう
すずき

ひる
はん
ひるごはん


なんじ

なんじに

いち
はち

それとも
わかりました


kanji
東京 (East capital)
 


ご飯
昼ご飯


何時
 
何時に



 
分かりました


  • ‘noon’ or ‘midday’ has two kanjis: 午 (go) and 昼 (hiru).
  • the kanji 午 (go) is used to write a.m. and p.m. (午前 – gozen, 午後 – gogo), i.e., ‘before-noon’ and ‘after-noon’.
  • the kanji 昼 (hiru) is used to write lunch (昼ご飯- go-han), i.e., ‘noon-meal’
  • the ‘go-‘ in go-han, used for both ‘cooked rice’ and ‘meal’, is the honorific for Chinese-origin words.
  • ‘hiru’, ‘go-han’ and ‘hiru go-han’ were introduced in lesson 8, but they are so common in lessons 9-16 that we introduce their kanjis

Sample sentences

But, won’t you drink something with me?


formal
demo, watashi to nani-ka nomi-masen ka?

でも、わたしと なにか のみませんか。

でも、私と何か飲みませんか。

casual
demo, boku to nanka noma-nai?

でも、ぼくと なんか のまない?

でも、僕となんか飲まない?



Comments

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

Verbs

masu form

Lesson 1 introduced the non-past form of the formal ‘masu’; lesson 9 introduces the past tense:


 
non-past
past


positive
masu (-ます)
mashita (-ました)


negative
-masen (-ません)
 


To turn the non-past -masu form of a verb to its past tense, we replace the -masu ending with the -mashita ending; the ‘i’ in ‘-mashita’ is whispered, so it actually sounds ‘-mashta’:


English
I understood/knew
I ate
I drank
I did
I bought
I spoke/talked


romaji
wakari-mashita
tabe-mashita
nomi-mashita
shi-mashita
kai-mashita
hanashi-mashita


kanji
分かりました
食べました
飲みました
ました
ました
ました


In Japanese, we can use the -mashita form to indicate that something is completely in the past. For example, ‘wakari-masu’ means ‘I understand’, while ‘wakari-mashita’ emphasizes that we have understood what was explained to us, i.e., the explanation has finished and we have understood it. Likewise, ‘arigatou gozai-masu’ means ‘thank you’ for some favor that someone is in the process of doing or will do for us in the future, while ‘arigatou gozai-mashita’ emphasizes that the we are thanking for a done favor.

We discuss the casual past tense in the summary. For now, enough is to say it’s called the -ta form because the verb most often ends in -ta; however, depending on the verb, the casual past tense can also end in -tta, -nda, -ita, -ida, or -shita. Some examples are:


English
to understand
to eat
to drink


casual present
wakaru
taberu
nomu


casual past
waka-tta
tabe-ta
no-nda


Prefixes and suffixes

ji – じ, 時

時 (ji) means ‘time’, ‘hour’ and o’clock:


English
what time?
2-hour period
2:00 o’clock


romaji
nan-ji?
ni-ji kan
ni-ji


kana
なん
かん


kanji
何時
二時間
二時


In English, instead of saying ‘a 2-hour period’ we say ‘2 hours’, but in Japanese, we have to say ‘2 hour period’ (ni-ji kan) to tell it apart from 2 o’clock (ni-ji).

Particles

ni – に

に (ni) has many different roles. Lesson 9 introduces its first role as meaning ‘at’ when we refer to time, e.g.,


English
At what time?
At 2:00 o’clock.


romaji
nan-ji ni?
ni-ji ni


kana
なんじ?
にじ


kanji
何時?
二時


Conjunctions

sore-tomo – それとも

One of the many ways of saying ‘or’. We can only use it at the beginning of a sentence.


English
romaji
kana
kanji


Sake! That’s what I want. Or beer.
o-sake ga hoshi-i desu. sore-tomo biiru.
おさけが ほしい です。それとも ビール。
お酒が欲しいです。それともビール。