Type Book
Date 1977-12
Pages 160
Tags nonfiction, language learning, Japanese, Project: Learn Japanese, 75 in 2019

Nihongo Notes 1: Speaking and Living in Japan

Nihongo Notes

Aizuchi ~ あいγ₯け ~ How Japanese listen (pp. 14--15)

On the use of aizuchi in conversation.

Konnichiwa ~ こんにけは ~ Good afternoon (pp. 16--17)

Do not use こにけは as a generic replacement for English 'hello'. It is not appropriate for use with the in-group.

Doomo ~ どうも ~ Indeed (pp. 22--23)

On the usage of どうも.

Ikaga-desu-ka ~ γ„γ‹γŒγ§γ™γ‹ ~ How are you? (pp. 24--25)

Expressions like γ„γ‹γŒγ§γ™γ‹ or どうですか should not be used as general greetings.

Hai, orimasu-kedo... ~ γ―γ„γ€γŠγ‚ŠγΎγ™γ‘γ©β€¦β€¦ ~ Yes, he's home, but... (pp. 26--27)

Ending a phrase with が or けど is a polite way to invite the interlocutor to complete it with their request.

Anata ~ あγͺた ~ You (pp. 28--29)

Do not use あγͺた for people to whom you should be showing respect.

Shitsuree-shimasu ~ 倱瀼します ~ Excuse me (pp. 30--31)

The phrase 倱瀼します, which literally means "I will be rude" (and other forms of the same), can be used in a variety of situations as a salutation, apology, thanks, or for other purposes.

Motte-kimasu ~ もってきます ~ I'll bring it (pp. 32--33)

もってきます is used to mean "I will bring (some object)" and should not be used to speak of bringing people. Use γ€γ‚Œγ¦γγΎγ™ for that.

In the case of iru and aru, the distinction is very rigid; all inanimate things are referred to with aru, and all living things are referred to with the verb iru, from human beings down to such tiny creatures as mosquitoes.

The distinction between tsurete-kuru and motte-kuru is somewhat different. Motte-kuru is used in the case of all inanimate things, but tsurete-kuru is not necessarily used with all living things. Human beings are described with this verb, and for dogs, too, it is used without question; but for smaller pets like goldfish or birds, one does not usually use tsurete-kuru. It seems that tsurete-kuru presupposes that the object of the action is capable of moving, guided by the person who does the action of bringing it. Human beings, however, do not have to possess this characteristic in order to be described with tsurete-kuru -- bringing a baby is describe as tsurete-kuru even though he cannot walk yet.

Yaseru hito? ~ やせる人 ~ A Person who is getting thinner? (pp. 34--35)

Use the past tense to refer to actions that have completed. For example, η΅ε©šγ™γ‚‹δΊΊ means a person who is going to get married, while η΅ε©šγ—γŸδΊΊ means a person who has already gotten married.

Shujin = Shuujin? ~ δΈ»δΊΊοΌε›šδΊΊοΌŸ ~ Husband = Prisoner? (pp. 42--43)

Pay attention to long vowel sounds. γ—γ‚…γ˜γ‚“ means husband, while γ—γ‚…γ†γ˜γ‚“ means prisoner, for example.

Index entries

Term Location
Japanese, aizuchi 14–15
Name Role
Nobuko Mizutani Author
Osamu Mizutani Author
The Japan Times, Ltd. Publisher