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gravitation 2003-11-04 14:09

Learning Japanese
I thought it would have been done already but alas no. There may be people who are not able to get lessons so here is where you come!! I am still learning japanese and have ALOT more to I am going to say a few basic things and maybe some other people who speak or are learning it can contribute ^_^!

*~~::Okey a few notes::~~*

++As you most probably know, the japanese people are really big on manners so you have to be careful when you speak.

++Dictionary form verbs (verbs straight from the dictionary) can be rude when your speaking to people, especially elders!

++There are 3 levels of politeness (roughly anyway); there is low (dictionary), medium (the standard which lots of people use) which involves adding "masu" on words (dont worry at the moment) and the highest level of politeness which I don't know much about but adding "gozaimasu" on to the end of arigatou is being really polite ^_^

++There are 4 styles of writing...not sure if i should say styles but anyway...theres is Kanji(typical jap symbols), hiragana, romaji (english letters) and katakana...i only know hiragana at the moment but i will learn the othes eventually.

++This has nothing to do with learning Japanese but i was told by my tutour that if ya have your chop sticks facing somebody it means you want them! thats why they have them horizontally.

++In japanese to signify that its the end of the sentence they have "desu".

++Also lots of japanese words like "desu" and "masu" end with "u"...most japanese people dont pronounce the "u" so "desu" spoken would be "des" but of course there are some parts of japan in which they do pronounce it...its your choice. In lots of animes they pronounce the "u" i think they do it coz it sounds cute sometimes ^_^

*~~::Lets start with simple things::~~*
1 = ichi (some ppl say ich)
2 = ni
3 = san
4 = shi/yon
5 = go (o is pronounced like the "o" in rob...soz thats all i can think of)
6 = roku
7 = nana/shishi
8 = hachi
9 = Ku (there is supposed to be a line above the "u"..its pronounced like "q"
10 = jyu

Hello = kon nichi wa
goodbye = Sayonara (line above the "o")
yes = hai
no = ie (ie also means house ^_^)
thank you = arigato
Pleased to meet you = Yoroshiku (used on this board alot ^_^)
excuse me (attention) = Shitsurei
Sorry = sumimasen or gomenasai or gomen

*~~::NEXT LESSON::~~*...when i have done my homework
Subjects (like, i, mum, etc)
Simple tourist questions
Days of the week

simple sentence structure
objects (car, window etc)
verbs(dictionary form)

and there will be more lessons which will teach ya how to convert dictionary form verbs to polite form....and also how to change the tense...but lets stick with the basics for now ^_^
P.S i most probably made some mistakes so ya can just tell me and i will fix em ^_^

hhaamu 2003-11-04 14:36

Note: I'm not 100% sure about every one of these, but I'll try.


Originally Posted by gravitation
9 = Ku (there is supposed to be a line above the "u"..its pronounced like "q"

kyuu or the ky you mentioned


10 = jyu


Hello = kon nichi wa
Spelled "konnichiha" when in kana, but "konnichiwa" is just as correct when still in romaji.


goodbye = Sayonara (line above the "o")
Basically, (or line above the "o", as you like to call it), is a long o, which can be romanized as "ou", "oh" or "". I prefer the last method.


no = ie (ie also means house ^_^)


thank you = arigato
arigat (line above the "o") or arigatou. Also, there are about a dozen other ways of saying "thank you".

Well, those are the minor mistakes I found.

gravitation 2003-11-04 14:42

thanx! ^_^

Megane 2003-11-04 14:45


Originally Posted by hhaamu
kyuu or the ky you mentioned

Ku is acceptable. I was told that this was because kyuu can also mean "suffering", but I have yet to validate this source. Kinda like how for 4, yon is favoured sometimes over shi because shi also means "death". What a happy number system.

samir85 2003-11-04 16:30

Hey good introduction into Japenese !

I'm not able to speak Japanese so please don't blame me for my questions :D
It's because I'm thinking of learning Japense, but until I make this decision I'm not going to invest any money into tools to learn Japanese.
So I've been looking around to find some free websites wich can translate between English and Japenese, there are a bunch of them into my language avaible, but I didn't find any of these for Japense ! Maybe one of you know one?

Please excuse me for my bad English, but the English I learn here in school does'nt seem to be good if I compare to you guys. ;)

gravitation 2003-11-04 16:48

no your english is pretty good ^_^ i know a site which can translate from japanese to english or english to japanese ^_^ : if that doesnt work just go to and click translate ^_^ good luck Ganbatte (good luck in japanese)

gravitation 2003-11-04 16:49


Kinda like how for 4, yon is favoured sometimes over shi because shi also means "death". What a happy number system.
lol! yeah ^_^

Segahekui 2003-11-04 17:06

counting over ten:

11: ju-ichi
12: ju-ni
13: ju-san
(you get the point up to 19 right?)

20: ni ju
21: ni ju ichi
22: ni ju san
(same rythym)

30: san ju
40: shi/yon ju
50: hachi ju
(once again, follow the rythym)

100: hyaku
200: nihyaku
300: sanbyaku
600: roppyaku
800: happyaku

1000: sen
2000: ni sen
3000: san sen

10,000: ichi man
20k: ni man
30k: san man

100,000: hyaku man
200,000: ni hyaku man

10,000,000: is sen man
20,000,000: ni sen man

there ya go.. hope u can peice the peices together.. if not just ask if u intend to go to japan u need to learn high numbers cuz everything costs a lot of digits!

ps: ku is acceptable for nine

gravitation 2003-11-04 17:28

!!lesson 2!!

This lesson will include the following:
  1. Subjects (like, i, mum, etc)
  2. Simple tourist questions
  3. Questions & Answers
  4. Days of the week
  5. Animals
I = Watashi (watashi wa)*Watashi is considered the female one*
I = Boku (boku wa) *Boku is the male version*
You = Anata
Mother = Okāsan or Haha which is used when its YOUR mother.
Father = Otōsan or ChiChi which is used when its YOUR father.
Friend = tomodachi, ive also seen it on the net as otomodachi.
Teacher = sensei
Dog = inu
England = Igirisu (i think)
Grandmother = soba (which also means noodles)
Grandfather = sofu
of course you need to remember that there are lots of other names/words used aswell as these

*!NOTE! when something is a question they add a ka at the end, we use a question mark.*

Do you speak english? = eigo wo hana shimasu ka

How much is _______? = ______ ikura desu ka

Where is ________? = ________wa doko desu ka


What is your name? = onamae wa nan desu ka

My name is ________. =watashi no namae wa ________ desu.

How old are you? = nan sai desu ka

I am ___ = ___ sai desu

What are you doing?! = nani o shimasu ka


Sunday = nichi yobi (line above the o's in the yobi's)
Monday = getsu yobi
Tuesday = ka yobi
Wednesday = sui yobi
Thursday = moku yobi
Friday = kin yobi
Saturday = do yobi


Cat = neko
Dog = inu
Mouse = nezumi
Duck = kamo
Horse = uma
Dragon = ryuu (ryu with a line above the "u" lines extend the sound)

Once again there are most likely to be words which are used aswell as these ^_^

  • alphabets
  • simple sentence structure
  • objects (car, window etc)
  • verbs(dictionary form)
Bye for now and i hope this helps ya when you are learning japanese ^_^ Ganbatte!

gravitation 2003-11-04 17:30

Segahekui thanx! i should have done that, when ya learn the basic numbers the rest is pretty easy ^_^

dot_rain 2003-11-04 18:55

I really appreciate your work since I wanted to learn Japanese when I was young , but I have not got a chance yet . Anyway , I'll learn it for sure ^_^ , hope someday we can speak in Japanese .

Ducati_nut 2003-11-04 19:04

Hello, I'm also currently taking 1st semester japanese. I have one question about your introductory notes.


Originally Posted by In your notes
++In japanese to signify that its the end of the sentence and i guess its kinda polite they have "desu".

I'm confused, can you explain this topic more clearly. I thought desu was a conjugated verb (to be), does it also function as a politeness suffix?

gravitation 2003-11-04 19:13

lol im not to sure, i just have a tutour and i dont even get her much but nah i dont really think that desu is more polite, may be tho, i will edit that part of the post soz ^_^
Thanx by the way dot_rain lol ^_^:p :D
o yeah Ducati_nut and anyone else why dont u teach stuff aswell!!! it doesnt have to be tons but just small things or what eva really ^_^ im sure it will help sumone!

as for the desu thing lol, you most probably know more than me, i just thought it was to signify that u had finished the sentence lol. Why dont ya tell us coz im not good at explaining anyway ^_^

Sakura-chan 2003-11-04 19:27


Originally Posted by Ducati_nut
I'm confused, can you explain this topic more clearly. I thought desu was a conjugated verb (to be), does it also function as a politeness suffix?

Desu never was politeness suffix. It began to be one today, when Gravitation posted it.
Gravitation, make sure that what are you posting here is right, nee.

gravitation 2003-11-04 19:31

sumimasen! >_< i edited it anyway ^_^

p3psi 2003-11-04 19:45

instead of "do you speak english" or japanese or whatever, you can say:

"Do you understand english?":anata wa(anata means "you", but not really necessary becuase its assumed) , iego ga wakarimaska?
remember when pronouncing, i="e" and e="eh"
i think im telling you the right way to read and prounce romanji.

another point is that to make a question sentence, you add "ka" at the end of you sentence.

"Do you understand japanese?" nihongo ga wakarimaska?

answer: "yes, i understand a little" Hai, (iego/nihongo ga) sukoshi wakarimasu.

or "yes, i understand" Hai, wakarimasu

or, "yes, i know" hai, shite emasu

or, "no, i dont understand" iie, (iego/nihongo ga) wakarimasen.

you will notice that all the name of languages in japanese end in "go".

I'll post a vocab list of the rest of the languages later if i have time

now, to ask someone if he or she is American or Japanese:

this time, you kinda really need to use "anata" (you) when asking for nationality.

are you american?
Anata wa, Americagin desuka?
are you japanese?
Anata wa, Nihongin desuka?

answer "yes, i am"
Hai, so desu.

answer "no, i am not american/japanese"
iie, americagin ja arimasen.
iie, nihongin ja arimasen.

notice that "gin" (prounounced "jean") is at the end of the each of the nationality.

hope i didnt make any mistakes, ill add some more to this thread later.

Akkarael 2003-11-04 21:26

Thanks for the language tips, everyone! I hardly know a useful thing about Japanese, though I'd love to learn.

A quick question - In tourist vocab lists (and p3psi's post above), "wakarimasen" is listed as "I don't understand," but I've noticed a lot of anime characters use "wakaranai" to mean the same thing. Am I hearing it incorrectly or is it an example of one of those politeness vs. dictionary verb things?

gravitation 2003-11-04 21:33

lol nah ya didnt hear wrong, ive heard both aswell but im not sure of the difference >_< soz, i was taught that wakarimasen meant "i dont know" but maybe its got other meanings that change slightly...and wakaranai i hear in animes and it means "i dont understand" i think
??anybody help us??

Segahekui 2003-11-04 22:05

its a matter of formalness
wakaranai= negative normal
wakata= under-formal "i understand"
wakarimasu= masu form (normal formality)
wakarimashita= implies he has understand and will carry out task
kashikomarimashita= same as above but reall formal

all are based of the verb wakar.u - to understand

skillosopher 2003-11-05 01:26


Originally Posted by Segahekui
counting over ten:

11: ju-ichi
12: ju-ni
13: ju-san
(you get the point up to 19 right?)

20: ni ju
21: ni ju ichi
22: ni ju san
(same rythym)

30: san ju
40: shi/yon ju
50: hachi ju
(once again, follow the rythym)

awesome thread! exactly what we needed around here. but i have a few questions. for the number 4, when do we say shi, and when do we say yon. surely they must have appropriate usages. for instance...yondaime = shidaime?

and...for 22. if 20 = ni ju, and 21 = ni ju ichi, then why does 22 = ni ju san? shouldnt 22 = ni ju ni? like 199 = hayku kyu ju kyu?


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