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Directions in Japanese Quick Kanji Lesson

Directions in Japanese Quick Kanji Lesson

Quick Kanji Lesson

Directions in Japanese

A quick kanji lesson.

Here are a few kanji showing various directions in Japanese. Learn these useful characters when asking for directions or looking at a map. Only the most used readings are given.

On: ジョウ
Kun: うえ

Meaning: up; above

上手(じょうず) skilled; good at; clever
上着(うわぎ) coat; outer garment
その上(うえ)  in addition; furthermore


On: ゲ
Kun: した

Meaning: down; below

靴下(くつした) socks [lit. shoes under] 地下(ちか) underground; basement
年下(としした) junior; younger; young


On: サ
Kun: ひだり

Meaning: left

左手(ひだりて) left hand
左足(ひだりあし) left leg
机の左 (つくえ  ひだり )to the left of the desk


On: ユウ
Kun: みぎ

Meaning: right

右目(みぎめ) right eye
右(みぎ)ページ right page (of a book)
右手(みぎて) right hand


On: ゼン
Kun: まえ

Meaning: before; in front; previous

名前(なまえ) name
前書(まえが)き preface [lit. before the writing] 二年前(ふたねんまえ) two years ago


On: ゴ
Kun: うし・ろ

Meaning: behind; after

最後(さいご) the last; the end; conclusion
後(うし)ろ behind
後書(あとが)き postscript; afterword [lit. after the writing]


On: トウ
Kun: ひがし

Meaning: east

中東(ちゅうとう) the Middle East
東(ひがし)アジア East Asia
東京 (とうきょう )Tokyo

You may recognize the kanji for “east” 東 higashi in Tokyo
東京 toukyou. This is because Tokyo means “east capital.”

Nearly all kanji have at least two readings. In this case, 東 can be pronounced higashi or tou. The first, higashi, is the native Japanese pronunciation, or kun reading. Tou is the Chinese or on reading.

In general, when a kanji character is paired with another kanji, you use the on reading as in toukyou.


西

On: セイ
Kun: にし

Meaning: west

西口(にしぐち) west entrance
関西(かんさい) Osaka and surrounding area; Kansai
西(にし)ドイツ (historical) West Germany
大西洋(たいせいよう) the Atlantic


On: ナン
Kun: みなみ

Meaning: south

東南(とうなん)アジア Southeast Asia
南極(なんきょく) the South Pole; Antarctic
南米(なんべい) South America


On: ホク
Kun: きた

Meaning: north

北海道(ほっかいどう) Hokkaido (most northern part of Japan)
北(きた)アメリカ North America
北京(ぺきん) Beijing (China)
南北戦争(なんぼくせんそう) the (US) Civil War

Directions in JapaneseDownload a graphic

 

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Happy Thanksgiving Day Japanese Vocabulary Lesson

Happy Thanksgiving Day Japanese Vocabulary Lesson

To those in the US, Happy Thanksgiving!

We decided to make a quick video with Thanksgiving related words in Japanese. This is a special video since my son edited it for us–thank you Makoto!
 
Here are the words in the video, plus a few extra.
Turkey
七面鳥
shichimenchou
[Turkeys aren’t native to Japan. There are a few ideas why turkeys are called 七面鳥 (literally, seven faced bird). One is cooking a turkey is a lot of work and 七面倒 shichimendou means “great trouble” or “difficulty.” Another possible origin is the bird’s face has a variety of colors. Thus it has seven faces. Who knows?]

Pumpkin Pie
パンプキンパイ
panpukin pai
[This is a loan word from English and therefore written in katakana]

Family
家族
kazoku
[家 house + 族 tribe]

Feast
ごちそう
gochisou
[ごちそうする means to treat someone (buy a meal for someone); ごちそうさま is often said after a meal as thanks for the good food.]

Pumpkin
かぼちゃ
kabocha
[From Portuguese “Cambodia abóbora”]
 

 

Now, let’s look at Yumi’s words in the video:

こんにちは、みなさん
konnichi wa, minasan
Hello, everyone.
[You can say みんな or みなさん but みんなさん is not considered correct]

パトロンのみなさん、いつもありがとうございます。
patoron no minasan, itsumo arigatou gozaimasu.
As always, thank you so much, Patreon supporters!
[literally: Patreon’s everyone; always; thank you]
[Since the action (the sense of thankfulness) is on-going, we wouldn’t use the past tense ありがとうございました]

Thanksgiving Dayは日本語で、感謝祭といいます。
Thanksgiving Day wa nihongo de, kanshasai to iimasu.
Thanksgiving Day in Japanese is called “kanshasai.”
[While Japan doesn’t have a “Turkey Day,” there is 勤労感謝の日 kinrō kansha no hi Labor Thanksgiving Day. Today it is a day to commemorate labor, production, and general human well-being, but it was based on an ancient harvest festival known as 新嘗祭 niinamesai.]

今日はその感謝祭に関する日本語を勉強していきましょう。
kyou wa sono kanshasai ni kan suru nihongo wo benkyou shite ikimashou.
Today, let’s use Thanksgiving Day to study Japanese.
[Literally: today; this Thanksgiving Day; concerning; Japanese language; study; to deliberately do (していく shows doing something deliberately. The いく as an auxiliary verb means “to continue” with purpose.)]

それでは、あしたは家族で楽しい感謝祭をお過ごしください。
sore dewa, ashita wa kazoku de tanoshii kanshasai o osugoshi kudasai.
Well, then. Tomorrow, please enjoy spending Thanksgiving Day with your family.

食べ過ぎないでね。
tabesugi naide ne.
Don’t eat too much!
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Japanese Alexa Commands: Arekusa, Speak Nihongo!

Japanese Alexa Commands: Arekusa, Speak Nihongo!

Alexa! Speak Japanese.

Did you know you can set your Alexa device to answer in Japanese? Same thing with Siri and other AI assistants. While I am certain these commands work for other devices, let’s look at Alexa specifically.
Alexa speaks Japanese

Click to View Bigger

SETTING UP ALEXA IN JAPANESE

If you have a newer Alexa device, you should be able to set it to Japanese using your Alexa App. First generation Echos do not support Japanese, unfortunately.
  1. Open the Alexa App on your phone.
  2. Click on the bar icon to the top left and choose “Settings”
  3. Choose “Device Settings”
  4. Choose “Language”
  5. Choose “日本語”

JAPANESE ALEXA COMMANDS

You don’t need to be overly polite with Alexa. Drop the kudasai and masu/desu. Most of these commands are taken from the Japanese Alexa help page found here. https://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=hp_left_v4_sib?ie=UTF8&nodeId=201608460

COMMON ALEXA COMMANDS

アレクサ arekusa Alexa (the wake word; say this before a command)

Shut her up!

TIME

「何時ですか?」 nanji desu ka?  What time is it?

Most commands have a shortcut which usually can be used in casual speech anyway. For example, to ask for the time, you can just say:

WEATHER

Other weather questions

MUSIC


TIMERS AND ALARMS


INFORMATION

Just as you would in English, ask Alexa trivia, like how tall is Mt. Fuji or Who invented the light bulb.

「空はどうして青いの?」 sora wa doushite aoi no? Why is the sky blue?


MATH

Plus: 「1たす1は?」 ichi tasu ichi wa? What is 1 + 1?

Minus: 「1ひく1は?」 ichi hiku ichi wa? What is 1 – 1?

Multiplication: 「1かける1は?」 ichi kakeru ichi wa? What is 1 x 1?

Division: 「1わる1は?」 ichi waru ichi wa? What is 1 / 1?


NEWS

「今日のニュースは?」 kyou no nyu-su wa? What is today’s news?

To get Japanese news, you’ll need to find and enable the country/ language specific skill in the app and then add it to your briefing.

FUN


Learn More:
Alexa commands in Japanese: (most of the above was taken from this page)
Alexa commands in English:
A site with a great overview of Japanese commands (in Japanese):
https://yuki-no-yabo.com/what-is-amazon-echo/
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Japanese Conversational Interjections 相槌 aizuchi

Japanese Conversational Interjections 相槌 aizuchi

Carrying on a conversation (in any language) isn’t just about getting your ideas across. It is also about showing the other person, the speaker, you are listening. This is especially important in Japanese since it is used all the time.

In English, we might say, “Oh, really?” or “Is that so?” or “Uh huh” to show the speaker we are interested and understanding what he or she is saying. This video lists several important 相槌 aizuchi for showing you are interested or agree with the speaker.

Aizuchi to show Attention

Let’s first look at 相槌  aizuchi that could be considered positive. None of these fully imply the listener even agrees with the speaker. But the listener is interested, engaged, and understanding what the speaker has to say.

Here are the main words (there are many more):

はい yes
hai

While this means “yes,” はい is often used in conversation to show attention and interest.


ええ yeah
ee

This is sometimes written as えー. This is a common substitute for はい with generally the same meaning. I’m listening and I’m interested. When said with a rising tone, it can show surpise or disbelief.


うん yep
un

This is a less formal but common way to say “yes.” As mentioned above, saying this doesn’t necessarily mean you agree with the speaker, but just that you are showing interest.


なるほど I see
naruhodo

When the listener explains something you didn’t previously understand, you can say, “I see” or “I get it” or “indeed.”


さすが As expected…
sasuga

This means “as one would expect” and is often used as a compliment. If the speaker says an accomplishment, compliment him or her with “I knew you could do it.”.


すごい! Amazing!
sugoi!

すごい means “amazing” and can be compared to the slang word “cool” or “awesome.” When the speaker says something amazing, use this.


そうですね。 That’s right.
sou desu ne.

Also shortened as そうだ, this literally means “That is so.” It shows mild agreement, but it could also just be used to show interest.


うそ  (surprise) No way!
uso

This literally means “lie.” When said with surprise, it means “Really?” but when said with disbelief, it can mean “I don’t believe that.”


うそ (disbelief) I don’t believe that.
uso

Depending on how you say this, it can show agreement (with shock) or disbelief (also with shock).


ほんと (I) swear; really; (I’m) telling the truth
honto

This can be used to agree with the listener. I swear. That’s for sure. I’m telling the truth. This literally means “true” or “fact.” In less colloquial circumstances, it really has a う at the end: ほんとう.


ほんとに really; truly
honto ni

The adverbial form can be used to confirm what someone said is really true.


まさか It can’t be…; no way; you don’t say
masaka

This is usually said when the listener suddenly realizes what the speaker is saying may actually be true despite it sounding absurd. It can’t be…


信じられない I don’t believe it

Literally, this means “I cannot believe.” but this can also be said when believing but not wanting to believe. I can’t believe (he did that).


ありえない impossible; no way
arienai!

This means impossible, but again, it may simply show the listener is shocked by what she hears.


おかしい That’s odd; funny; little strange
okashii

This means “odd” or “strange.” Something’s funny about that.


なんかへんな Something’s wrong with that; that’s odd
nanka henna

Literally, something strange.


 

Aizuchi Japanese Conversational Interjections

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Makoto e-Zine #8 November 2018 Audio Files

Makoto e-Zine #8 November 2018 Audio Files


Issue #8
November 2018

DOWNLOAD the eBOOK:

Please note: We are providing the sound files from this issue openly, but to follow along and have full access to grammatical notes and the running gloss, please either purchase this issue at:

LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD THE SOUND FILES:

Frank introduces Obaasan to his friend, Sushi. He learns Sushi is actually something to eat. Frank is saddened by this unexpected turn of events

Chapter Four: Sushi is Something to Eat – Click here to download – DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Japanese Reader: The Fountain of Youth 若返りの水 – SLOW – Click here to download – DOWNLOAD AUDIO

Japanese Reader: The Fountain of Youth 若返りの水 – NORMAL SPEED – Click here to download – DOWNLOAD AUDIO

 


IN THIS ISSUE:

NEW READER: Frank and the Obaasan & The Fountain of Youth
33 Pages

ž Laughs, Jokes, Riddles, and Puns
ž Prefecture Spotlight: Kumamoto
ž Etymology: Mizu ni Nagasou
ž Phrase of the Day: The Pen is Mightier than the Sword
ž Kanji Spotlight: JLPT N5 Kanji Numbers
ž Grammar Time! Plan To: yotei; tsumori
ž Frank and the Obaasan Reader, Grammatical Notes, Kanji Notes, and English Translation
ž The Fountain of Youth

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Japanese Vocabulary Lesson: How to Say I’m Sick in Japanese

Japanese Vocabulary Lesson: How to Say I’m Sick in Japanese

Feeling under the weather? Great! Uh, I mean, sorry you feel bad, but I have the perfect Japanese vocabulary lesson for you today. Here are five phrases you can use right now.

Japanese Vocabulary

Sick Japanese Vocabulary

のどがいたいです。
nodo ga itai desu.
I have a sore throat.
せきがでます。
seki ga demasu.
I have a cough.
頭がいたいです。
atama ga itai desu.
I have a headache. (lit. My head hurts.)
体がだるいです。
karada ga darui desu.
I feel under the weather.(lit. My body is languid.)
熱があります。
netsu ga arimasu.
I have a fever.

BTW, if you like the sumo shirt I’m wearing in the video, you can get it at Amazon here: (Ships US Only–sorry)
Or on TheJapanShop.com by clicking here. Ships world-wide! Yeah!
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