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Multiply Your Japanese Vocabulary with 大

Multiply Your Japanese Vocabulary with 大

Kanji Shortcuts

Many people think of kanji as a headache-inducing and unnecessary complication, and while the thousands of kanji characters are a major challenge, there are many benefits for learning kanji.

In this article, let’s look at ways to multiply your vocabulary easily by using kanji, 大 in particular.

Since kanji have both meaning and pronunciations, combining certain kanji with other kanji or words can change the meaning of that word in a logical way. This makes your study time very efficient.

It's like a BOGO deal–or SOGO, rather. Study One (word), Get One FREE!

Multiply your Japanese Vocabulary

Multiply your Japanese Vocabulary with 大! Click here: https://www.thejapanesepage.com/multiply-your-japanese-with-大/
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Biggify a Word

First, let’s look at a few simple examples that you may already know using 大 (big) with the pronunciation of だい. Take the word for “to like”:


to like

Now, let’s add “big” behind it.

大好だい す
to like very much; to love

Here is the word for “dislike”:

きら
to dislike

Can you think of how to say “hate” or “dislike very much”?

大嫌だいきら
to hate

Other Examples

While all of the following are useful, some may be more advanced. They all use 大 pronounced as だい. Can you think of others? If so, please post in the comments below!

事件(じけん)
event; affair

大事件(だいじけん)
major event

事故(じこ)
accident

大事故(だいじこ)
serious accident

都会(とかい)
city

大都会(だいとかい)
metropolis; big city

都市(とし)
town; city; urban

大都市(だいとし)
metropolis; big city

画面(がめん)
monitor; (TV) screen; scene

大画面(だいがめん)
large screen (TV)

災害(さいがい)
calamity; disaster

大災害(だいさいがい)
major disaster

洪水(こうずい)
flood

大洪水(だいこうずい)
heavy flooding; deluge

容量(ようりょう)
capacity; volume

大容量(だいようりょう)
high capacity

旋風(せんぷう)
whirlwind; commotion

大旋風(だいせんぷう)
a big commotion

震災(しんさい)
earthquake

大震災(たいしんさい)
violent earthquake

宇宙(うちゅう)
universe; cosmos; space

大宇宙(だいうちゅう)
the universe; macrocosmos

帝国(ていこく)
empire

大帝国(だいていこく)
great empire

病院(びょういん)
hospital

大病院(だいびょういん)
large hospital; major hospital

Another common reading for 大 (big) is おお. Let's look at a few words that are "biggified" with おお.

It seems jukugo (two or more kanji combined as a single word meaning) tends to use the だい reading, whereas single kanji words tend to use the おお reading.

(もの)
thing; object


大物(おおもの)
big-shot; important person; valuable thing

(かた)

model; type (of machine); patter; mold

大型(おおがた)
large-sized; large-scale; large type

(あめ)
rain

大雨(おおあめ)
heavy rain

(ゆき)
snow

大雪(おおゆき)
heavy snow

(うそ)
lie; fib

大嘘(おおうそ)
outrageous lie; outright lie

芝居(しばい)
play; drama

大芝居(おおしばい)
big production (big scale/famous actors)

(いわ)
rock; boulder

大岩(おおいわ)
large rock; large boulder [also a family name: Ooiwa]

(さら)
plate; dish

大皿(おおざら)
large platter

けが
injury

(おお)けが
serious injury

(そら)
sky

大空(おおぞら)
heavens; firmament; sky

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さむい、つめたい、and あつい

さむい、つめたい、and あつい

Using Cold and Hot in Japanese

さむ and つめたい

Japanese differentiates between coldness in general (the weather or how you feel) and coldness when touched or interacted with (objects). The same is true with hot (see below).

For example, you would say:

今日きょうさむですね。
kyou wa samui desu ne.
today is cold isn’t it?

However, you would use a different word for the following even though in English both would be “cold.”

氷はつめたいです。
koori wa tsumetai desu.
Ice is cold (to the touch).

In general, if the weather is cold OR you are cold (your body), use 寒い. For objects that are touchable, use 冷たい.

One interesting fact is the weather in general is さむ samui, but the wind and rain is つめたい tsumetai.

さむです!
samui desu!
It’s cold!

はい、かぜつめたいです。
hai, kaze ga tsumetai desu.
Yes, the wind is cold.

Using あつ and あつ

“Hot” follows the same concept. Hot weather (or you are hot) uses 暑い and hot to the touch objects uses 熱い. Note, unlike “cold,” Japanese uses the same sounding word for the two concepts. When written as kanji, however, they are different.

今日きょうあつですね。
kyou wa atsui desu ne.
today is hot isn’t it?

And…

さら
あつ
ので、をつけてください。
osara ga atsui node, ki o tsukete kudasai.
The plate is hot so please be careful.

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Fun Japanese ~り Nouns & Adverb Onomatopoeia

Fun Japanese ~り Nouns & Adverb Onomatopoeia

Here are a few fun words all ending with a り. These onomatopoeia are adverbs (modifies verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs) or する nouns. For more on fun sound words as well as Japanese proverbs and idioms, check out our Japanese Vocabulary instant digital download booster pack for over half off savings.

 

きゅうに、うしろからかたをたたかれたので、びっくりした。
Someone suddenly tapped me on the shoulder, surprising me.

Vocabulary

きゅうkyuu ni–suddenly
うしろから ushiro kara–from behind

かた
kata–shoulder
o–(direct object marker)
たたかれた tatakareta–was clapped; was tapped (passive)
ので node–therefore; because of that
びっくりした bikkuri shita–was surprised

Bonus: びっくり
ばこ
jack-in-the-box | ビックリマーク exclamation mark !

 

 

 

テストの点数てんすうわるかったので、とてもがっかりした。
This week’s test score was bad, therefore I was deeply disappointed.

Vocabulary

テスト tesuto–test
点数 てんすう
 tensuu--score; grade; marks
テストの点数てんすう tesuto no tensuu–test grade
わるかった warukatta–was bad
ので node–therefore; because of that
とても totemo–very
がっかりした gakkari shita–felt bad; disappointed


 

 

 

こっそりといえをのぞいているひとがいたので、警察けいさつ電話でんわした。
Someone was sneaking around the house, so I called the police. 

Vocabulary

こっそりと kossorito–sneakily
いえ ie–house
のぞいている nozoite iru–peeking [from のぞ く to peek] ひと hito–person
のぞいているひと
 nozoite iru hito--a person peeping
いた ita–there was; existed
ので node–therefore; because of that
警察けいさつkeisatsu ni–to police
電話でんわした denwa shita–called; telephoned


 

 

 

今週こんしゅういそがしかったので、明日あしたはのんびりしたい。
This week was busy so tomorrow I will take it easy.

Vocabulary

今週こんしゅう konshuu–this week
いそがしかった isogashikatta–was busy
ので node–therefore; because of that
明日あした ashita–tomorrow
のんびりしたい nonbiri shitai–want to relax


 

 

 

あの二人ふたりは、双子ふたごなのでかおがそっくりだ。
Those two, being twins, look exactly the same.

Vocabulary

あの ano--that over there
二人ふたり futari–two people
双子ふたご futago–twins
なので na node–therefore
かお kao–face
そっくり sokkuri–look just like
da–was (simple past of です)


 

 

 

ものしようとスーパーにたが、うっかり財布さいふわすれたことにいた。
I went to the supermarket wanting to go shopping when I realized I had carelessly forgotten my wallet.

Vocabulary

もの kaimono–shopping
しようと shiyou to–intent to do
スーパーに su-pa- ni–to the supermarket
kita–came [simple past of る to come] が ga–but; however
うっかり ukkari–carelessly
財布さいふ saifu–wallet
わすれたこと wasureta koto–something forgotten [the こと makes “forgot” into a noun phrase which is what he/she remembered] にいた ni ki ga tsuita–realized; came to mind


 

 

 

かれは、たっぷりとねむった。
He slept plenty. 

Vocabulary

かれ kare–he
たっぷりと tappuri to–fully; plentifully [the と makes たっぷり into an adverb modifying ねむった.] ねむった nemutta–slept


 

 

 

あのは、野菜やさいをちょっぴりしかべなかった。
That child only ate a little bit of his/her veggies.

Vocabulary

あの ano ko–that child
野菜やさい yasai–vegetables
ちょっぴり choppiri–a little bit
しか shika–only; just
べなかった tabenakatta–didn’t eat


 

 

 

動物園どうぶつえんで、ライオンがゆっくりと、おりのなかあるいていた。
At the zoo, the lion slowly walked around his cage.

Vocabulary

動物園どうぶつえん doubutsuen–zoo
de–at
ライオン raion–lion
ゆっくりと yukkuri to–slowly [the と makes ゆっくり into an adverb modifying how he walked] おりのなか ori no naka–inside the cage
あるいていた aruite ita–was walking


 

彼女かのじょは、大好だいすきな俳優はいゆう写真しゃしんてうっとりとしている。
She looked at a photo of an actor she likes with rapt attention.

Vocabulary

彼女かのじょ kanojo–she; her
大好だいすきな daisuki na–love; to like a lot
俳優はいゆう haiyuu–actor; actress
写真しゃしん
shashin–photograph
て  mite–looking
うっとりと uttori to–with great attention

している shite iru–doing

 

 

 

眼鏡めがねをとりかえたら、すべてのものがはっきりとえるようになった。
When I changed glasses, I was able to see everything clearly.

Vocabulary

眼鏡めがね megane–(eye) glasses
とりかえたら tori kaetara–upon switching; upon changing
すべて subete–all
すべてのもの subete no mono–all things; everything
はっきりと  hakkiri to–clearly
える mieru–able to see
ようになった you ni natta–come to be that; reached that point


 

掃除そうじをしたら、いえなかがすっきりした。
After cleaning, the whole house was pleasantly refreshed.

Vocabulary

掃除そうじ souji–cleaning
したら shitara–upon doing
いえなか ie no naka–inside the house
すっきりした sukkiri shita–became refreshed; felt good


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Animals Names in Japanese

Animals Names in Japanese

Animal Names in Japanese

Let’s start with a few common zoo animals in Japanese. Do you know them all? Repeat after Yumi.

 

ライオン
raion
lion

 


パンダ
panda
panda

 

かば
kaba
hippo

 

ぞう
zou
elephant

 


とら
tora
tiger

 

さる
saru
monkey

 

And now for some farm animals…

ぶた
buta
pig

 

うし
ushi
cow

 

うま
uma
horse

 


ろば
roba
donkey

 

にわとり
niwatori
chicken

 

ひつじ
hitsuji
sheep

 

And lastly, some birds…

わし
washi
eagle

 

ふくろう
fukurou
owl

 

だちょう
dachou
ostrich

 

はちどり
hachi dori
hummingbird

 

にわとり
niwa tori
chicken

 

ペリカン
perikan
pelican

 

くじゃく
kujaku
peacock

 

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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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