Language Lessons

Here I will copy some helpful little lessons provided by visitors to the Otaku's Anonymous forum of my old board.

from JMVogel (aka Otaking):


By request, here I am with some random japanese tidbits.

First, alphabets (Japanese has 3):
Hiragana - a syllabic alphabet (each character represents a syllable, such as 'o','ka' or 'tsu') with characters consisting of curved lines, used to write many Japanese words, particles, and furigana (extra syllables added to kanji, such as for verb or adjective conjugation).
Katakana - another syllabic alphabit with characters consisting of straight lines, used to write foreign words and names.
Kanji - the Chinese writing system that Japan adopted, in which each character represents a word or concept. To be proficiant in written Japanese involved memorizing thousands of kanji.

Second, pronouns.
Watashi - A pretty common first-person singular pronoun ('I')
Jibun - another first-person pronoun; somewhat humble and polite
Boku - yet another; often used by young men
Ore - and another; this one is very masculine, and also very arrogant and rude. Often used in anime.
Anata - a common second-person singular pronoun
('you'). Omee - a very rude second-person pronoun
Kimi - another second person pronoun, more casual than anata

This has been your random Japanese moment.


Return of the random Japanese bits.
The word "desu"
Desu (pronounced `des' - most trailing `u's are silent in Japanese) is the Japanese equivalent of the verb 'to be'. Example
Watashi wa James desu.
Watashi, as I mentioned, is 'I' or 'myself'. 'Wa' is a particle, which are weird little Japanese grammatical tools that essentially describe the relationships between words. In this case, 'wa' marks 'watashi' as the subject of the sentence. 'James' is the predicate, and 'desu' is the verb. Thus, "I am James" or, more literally "As for myself, I am James." In spoken Japanese, the subject is often omitted, so it would be equally natural to for me to just say "James desu."

Desu can take other forms, depending on the situation. One is the negative form. An example of this is 'Watashi wa nihon-jin dewa arimasen.' - I am not Japanese (Nihon is Japan, -jin means person). Dewa arimasen is the written, polite negative of desu. In spoken Japanese, you would say "Watashi wa nihon-jin ja arimasen", or just "Nihon-jin ja arimasen."

There are also the informal forms, used in casual conversation between friends and family. The informal forms of desu are "James da" for the positive and "Nihon-jin ja nai." for the negative.

Of course, there's the other end of the spectrum as well. If you've ever watched the anime Rurouni Kenshin in Japanese, you'll notice Kenshin almost always ends his sentances with 'de gozaru' or a variation on that. This is an ultra-polite, ultra-formal form of desu. It's also very archaic, and would never be used in modern speech. It doesn't translate well, but the best equivalent would be if an English speaker ended all their sentances with "if you will pardon my unworthy self for speaking."

More later, probably.

from Savahl:


'no' is a particle and the Japanese equivalent of an English ['s].

It can indicate posession, location, or even an attribute.

"Ranma no baka" depending on the entire context of the conversation can mean

' idiot.'

'Ranma's an idiot'


'Ranma's idiot'

but i would cast my bet on the first one knowing of the series =D.



1- Ichi
2- Ni
3- San
4- Yon
5- Go
6- Roku
7- Nana
8- Hachi
9- Kyu
10- Ju
11- Ju Ichi
12- Ju Ni
20- Ni Ju
30- San Ju
40- Yon Ju
50- Go Ju
60- Roku Ju
70- Nana Ju
80- Hachi Ju
90- Kyu Ju
100- Hyaku
200- Nihyaku
300- Sambyaku
400- Yonhyaku
500- Gohyaku
600- Roppyaku
700- Nanahyaku
800- Happyaku
900- Kyuhyaku
1000- Sen
2000- Nisen
3000- Sanzen
4000- Yonsen
5000- Gosen
6000- Rokusen
7000- Nanasen
8000- Hassen
9000- Kyuusen
10,000- Ichiman
100,000- Juuman
1,000,000- Hyakuman
10,000,000- Senman
100,000,000- Ichioku
1,000,000,000- Juuoku
10,000,000,000- Hyakuoku
100,000,000,000- Sen'oku
1,000,000,000,000- Itchoo

Jisho Index