Posted by: felishkulitz | September 19, 2009

So Far in Japanese

Study has no end
Image by feliciano_naredo via Flickr

In my previous post which is named “My First Nihongo Book”, I mentioned that I first study Japanese language because my friend gave me a book about it. I may no longer have that book but still the spirit in me to study Nihongo is still alive and kicking.

Today, what I want to share is the things that I learned from many years of studying. Although I have learned so many words from now, I still need tons of it so that I can consider myself confident to pack my things and fly there. Let me give you a list of some words that I learned in random.

  • Miwatasu is a compound verb consisting of miru (to see) and watasu (to pass over). Once combined, you can use as “to leisurely look at a panorama”. Of course, this is not a direct translation but rather my own way of explaining it. I asked a Japanese friend if we can do this patter to all of the verbs and he said, “no, you must memorize the verbs which falls under this pattern.”
  • Onnarashii is an adjective which means ‘womanlike’. I learned that there is also ‘otokorashii’ which means ‘manlike’ and I wonder if I can attach ~rashii to any noun. I still can’t find time to as my friend about this.
  • Hiibaachan and hiiojiisan are great grand mother and father respectively. I remember that I browsed so many books yet I can’t find these items. I, then, ask my friend and this is the answer. Also, concerning family, I observe that they attach the name of their sister before ‘neechan’ like Ako neechan if the speaker have many sisters.  Aside from ‘ichibanme’ we can also say ‘saisho’ like saisho no oneesan of the eldest sister.
  • Saikin means nearest. One can remember lots of words if one understand that ‘sai’ in this word may mean “the most” and to add it to the onyomi of adjective kanji characters like ‘saisho’ on the above entry (the ‘sho’ there bears the adjective ‘first’), saikou (highest), and saijou (best) among others.
  • Tsumori means plan and it is added to sentences which expresses ‘plans’ to do something. One can also use ‘yotei’ for the same sentence like “kaimono ni iku yotei desu”.

As for forming sentences, I remember that ‘wa’ in dewa arimasen is put, only to emphasize the point and it is also written as ‘ha’ like the topic marker. In my first book, it only taught me the formal verb forms as well as the te form and that’s it. It is only later that I learned the plain form (casual) present and past in both affirmative and negative of the verbs.

As for the writing system, I can now read hiragana and katakana but I read like a child. I know several kanji in random. I am studying them in order from grade one to the next but there are some kanji in different levels which I find easy to remember so I sometimes skip from time to time. I am concentrating on the meanings rather that the reading which in their case have two (onyomi and kunyomi) because another student suggest that I do the same. He said that I need to go on the meanings first then to the reading.

I don’t have problem with culture since it is the most easy part in my learning adventure. I want to discuss further about their culture on another post. As for now, I need to end this. By the way, the picture here means study has no end.

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  1. I think it’s nice that you started Japanese again, lot’s of people including myself, started and then stopped and start again, just remember to hang in there even if hitting a plateau, you will get there! Ganbare!

  2. Sometimes, I stop then I continue like you. If only ther is someone in our house who have the time and interest to learn, I would be motivated. Anyway, I have contacts in the net so I will still pursue this language. Thank you for the comment. Arigatou!

  3. Well good luck, if you have time you could drop by on my blog, I’m also learning Japanese and I’ve put some tips and lessons, maybe it can be of help.

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