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Old 2004-11-07, 02:55   Link #145
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: San Francisco
Age: 36
Originally Posted by Tree (木)
This discussion kicks ass! I am currently studying Japanese by myself using books & videos, and have only had a few Nihon-jin penpals to answer these exact same questions for me. =)

I would like to point out a few more words in Nihongo that may be helpful.

The thing that most annoys me is about the English word "Japan" or "Japanese." The word for Japan is really "Nihon" and Japanese language is "Nihongo" and Japanese people are "Nihonjin." What annoys me is that these words are EASY to say in English, and yet we make total asses of ourselves by using the word Japan, which I believe is from Dutch.

Yo よ is similar to an exclamation point in english. It is demanding attention. And as you know, Naruto is very demanding & begging for attention... so I think that is why he says yo at the end of everything. ba ば is emphatic... very similar to the word "indeed" in english. And as was previously mentioned "datte" だって is a form of the word "desu" which is similar to the word "is" or "am" in english. So Naruto's "datte ba yo!" is saying "is indeed!" or just trying to make his words sound as important as possible.

Another important thing in Nihongo is "particle words." Particle words are really hard to undertand in English, and I've only understand the most common particle words myself, as there are about a hundred various combinations. Common particle words are:

"wa" - follows the topic of the sentence,
as in "watashi wa otaku desu" (I am an otaku)

"no" - connects adjectives to nouns & adverbs to verbs. I commonly use the phrase "anime no nihon" to specify when I'm talking to penpals, as they use the word "anime" for cartoons from any country.

"ga" & "o" both connect the subject that is acted upon to the noun. The particle you use is dependent on the specific verb you use. I personally try to memorize the verb with the particle. As in "watashi wa pan o tabemasu" (I eat bread) and "watashi wa Eigo ga wakarimasu." (I understand English)

"to" - means "and" but for some reason is also used in front of certain verbs, like "Ookee" to iimasu (I say okay)

"ni" - is similar to "in" or "to" in English

"no tame ni" is a common string of particles which basically means "from" in English

"ka" - as discussed, it's equal to a question mark

"yo" (masculine) "wa"(feminine) - as discussed, it's equal to an exclamation point

"na" (masculine) "ne" (feminine) - at the end of a sentence to say "okay?" or "isn't it?" It replaces "ka." Kakeshi likes to say "ja na" before he leaves, which kind of means "well then... later!" although the literal translation is "well then okay?" I have no idea how that works though.

Sorry to write such a long post. Just excited to have someone to rant to. Now can someone explain to ME the word endings better? My undestanding is that -masu is polite, -ru/-u is plain (kind of rude), -e/-ro means you're doing it right now, -oo means "lets do it", -da/-ta is past tense & -te is used to connect a verb to a verb?? I have have asked a lot of people about this & am still a bit confused.

I also have some links on my website that may help.

じゃな! (later)

What specifically do you have questions with?
I can try to help (with my limited knowledge).
~masu is teineigo, and is the polite form used among equals/to those above you.
~ru/u is plain form, and is generally used between friends/people closer to you.
~e/ro is the command form, used to TELL somebody to do something.
An alternate form of this is using 'nasai'.
Ex: 薬を飲みなさい。
da and ~ta: You seem to have this one right on.
~te. best to explain it...I guess I can't. The only uses off the top of my head are ~te kudasai and ~te(i)ru/~te imasu.

Then there's ~tara, ~ba, and probably another hundred conjugations that I don't know/can't recall at the moment.

There is at least one more use of "ka".
raikage is offline   Reply With Quote