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Japanese Journey 十三 — Classroom


Today’s topic is on classroom. The sentences are related to learning. I have selected twelve sentences and the corresponding vocabulary list as below:

  1. 宿題 — homework
  2. 質問 — question
  3. 答えます — answer (verb)
  4. 辞書 — dictionary
  5. 言葉 — word
  6. 教科書 — textbook
  7. テスト — test (in katakana)
  8. 授業 — lesson / class
  9. やさしい — easy
  10. 難しい — difficult

The sentences are as below:

1. もう宿題は終わりましたか。

Have you finished your homework?

(The use of “か。” represents the question mark. In informal written Japanese, question mark can be used.)

2. これは日本語で何と言いますか。

How do you say this in Japanese?

(A useful sentence to learn new vocabulary in Japanese.)

3. この言葉の意味は何ですか。

What is the meaning of this word?

4. 辞書をひきます。

I look it up in a dictionary.

5. その質問は明日答えます。

I will answer the question tomorrow.

6. 教科書を見ていいですか。

Can I look at my textbook?

7. テストでは教科書を見てはいけません。

You cannot look at the textbook during the exam.

8. ほかの学生のテストを見てはいけません。

You cannot look at another student’s test.

9. その授業のテストはやさしいです。

Exams in that class are easy.

10. このテストはぜんぜんやさしくないです。

This test is not easy at all.

(やさしくないです is the negative form of やさしいです.)

11. やさしいテストと難しいテストがあります。

There is an easy exam and a difficult exam.

12. 午後三時に授業が終わって、家に帰りました。

The class ended at 3 pm and I went home.


Note: I have learnt more by writing in Japanese language in my posts. Let me know if I have made any mistake in writing as I am still a learner 🙂

それじゃ。See you.


Next lesson here…

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Japanese Journey 十二 — Nature


Today’s topic is on nature. I have selected eight sentences and the corresponding vocabulary list as below:

  1. 山 — mountain
  2. 川 — river
  3. 公園 — park
  4. 登り — climb
  5. 海 — sea
  6. 池 — pond
  7. 花 — flower
  8. 咲いて — (flowers) in bloom

The sentences are as below:

1. 魚が池にたくさんいます。

There are a lot of fish in a pond.

2. 男の子が海で泳いでいます。

A boy is swimming in the sea.

3. 夏は川で泳ぎます。

We swim in the river in summer.

4. この公園は花がたくさん咲いています。

There are many flowers blooming in this park.

5. 私の妹は公園の木に登ります。

My younger sister climbs up a tree in a park.

6. 今日は、山に登ります。

Today I am going to climb a mountain.

7. 昨日、山に登りました。

I climbed the mountain yesterday.

(Comparing sentence 6 and sentence 7, the verb is change to indicate the time.)

8. 山に登って それから 川に行きます。

I will climb the mountain, then go to the river.


Note: In Duolingo, kanji is kept to minimum. I use more kanji in my posts because I have learnt basic Japanese language. Let me know your opinion, do you want more kanji or less kanji?

それじゃ。See you.


Next lesson here

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Japanese Journey 十一 — New Timetable


I am now using Duolingo to learn Japanese language. Thus, a new timetable is out. The new timetable is arranged according to the topics in Duolingo.


The new timetable

The topics are the last twelve topics in Duolingo as I have quickly completed the three checkpoints.


The first checkpoint

The topics for the first checkpoint are basic Japanese, such as hiragana, greetings, introduction, food and time. I have learnt most of them before so passing the first checkpoint can be done in less than a week.


The second checkpoint

The topics for the second checkpoint are about time, home, family, activity, restaurant, etc. I have learnt some new vocabulary but with my foundation in Japanese language, the checkpoint can be done in a week.


The third checkpoint

The topics for the third checkpoint are starting to be more challenging. More vocabulary is learnt and I spend more time on this checkpoint. I also spend time on doing revision for topics in this checkpoint.


The topics to be learnt

The last section is definitely for people who want to learn intermediate Japanese language. In the new timetable, I have set to learn a topic in a week. I will share what I have learnt in a particular topic in future posts.

それじゃ。See you.


Next lesson here

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Japanese Journey 十 — Meeting People


Speaking to the native speakers helps in learning a language. That’s why going to Japan is in my bucket list. I know Japanese people are shy and I am a shy person too. But, if I have a chance to go to Japan, I must be brave enough to break the ice. I have learnt several simple phrases.

Some questions that can be used to break the ice:

1. 今何時ですか?— What is the time now?

2. いい天気ですね。— The weather is nice, isn’t it?

ね(ne) is used to get an agreement from the listener. Even though the listener may not agree, at least he / she will reply. It means you have broken the ice.

3. これは何ですか?— What is this? (while pointing to something near you.)

This is a simple way to start a conversation and to improve your vocabulary too.

それじゃ。See you.

Lessons learnt

1. Japanese language has a lot of common phrases that are used daily; you can learn from books or watch Japanese drama series. Memorizing and practicing the phrases will help you to get yourself comfortable with a Japanese-speaking environment.

2. 始めまして is spoken when you are meeting the person for the first time. Thus, if you have been seeing the person a few times before but have never had a conversation, 始めまして may be omitted.

3. If your schedule has been delayed, do not give up. Do the necessary to reschedule. Better late than never.

Next lesson here

Japanese Journey 九 — Greetings


I have been learning greetings in Japanese and I am going to use it in this post. こんにちわ is a phrase to say hello or good afternoon.

I know I am behind the schedule, thank you for the patience. ありがとう ございます。Thank you.

I have to go now, but I will be back in Japanese Journey 十.

いってきます。See you.

Lessons learnt

1. いってきます is spoken when you are leaving the house and will be coming back. Since I will be back, いってきます is a better phrase to use compared to さようなら.

2. さようなら is a common phrase you hear from Japanese drama series. But it is used for occasions when you part from someone for a longer period of time.

3. When you learn a second language (or a third and so forth), try to understand how and when the local people use certain phrases in their daily lives and try to use the phrases in your daily life.

Next lesson here

Japanese Journey 八 — Numbers, Counters

If you have learnt numbers in Chinese language, you will master numbers in Japanese language faster. The reason is that both languages use the same concepts: counting units change every four digits and the use of counters (quantifiers in Chinese language). The difference is the pronunciation. There is irregular pronunciation in Japanese language.

Let’s go to numbers starting from one hundred.

百 (ひゃく) — 100

千 (せん) — 1000

万 (まん) — 10000

Counting units change every four digits

10,000 is ten thousand in Western countries, but Japanese language has a name for the unit: 万. Thus, 100,000 is one hundred thousand in Western countries, but it is 十万 (ten 万) in Japanese language.

The use of counters

English language: two books

Chinese language: 两

Japanese language: 二本, where 二 = 2, 冊 = the counter for book and 本 = book

Just like Chinese language, you need to keep learning so that you can get yourself familiar with the use of counters.

Lesson learnt

1. Do revision.

2. Keep learning.

Next lesson here

Japanese Journey 七 — Adjectives, Asking Questions

As mentioned in Japanese Journey 六, there are two types of adjectives in Japanese language: い-adjective and な-adjective. The example in adjective conjugation, 高い, is an い-adjective.

All い-adjectives end with い. Some of the “famous” い-adjectives that you may hear from Japanese drama series are 可愛い (cute)、優しい (gentle)、美味しい (delicious) and 素晴らしい (fabulous).

To describe a noun, you just need to add the noun after the い-adjective, for examples, 可愛い子供、優しい人、美味しい寿司。

Although some な-adjectives end with い, you add な in between the adjective and the noun to describe the noun. Are な-adjectives confusing? No. From the examples below, although the pronunciation ends with い, they are kanji that does not end with い alone like  い-adjectives. It takes a lot of learning to differentiate な-adjectives from い-adjectives, but it is not confusing.

Examples of な-adjective and its usage:

(a) 綺麗 (きれい) — 綺麗な女の子

(b) 有名 (ゆうめい) — 有名な人

Asking questions

Asking questions in Japanese is easy. Once you have learnt sufficient grammar and vocabulary to form sentences, you just need to add か (ka) at the end of the sentence to make it a question sentence. Let’s look at two examples:

(a) 高いですか?— Is it expensive?

(b) あなたは行きますか?— Are you going?

Lesson learnt

1. Start a diary to write in the language that you are learning. The more you use the language in your daily life, the more your brain can retain what you have learnt.

Next lesson here

Japanese Journey 六 — Conjugation

English language learners are familiar with conjugation. For example, eat, eats, ate and eating are used differently depending on the person and the tense.

Japanese language has three types of conjugation: noun conjugation, adjective predicate and verb predicate conjugation. There are some notes on my book which I have written down. Thus, I have looked up some extra information on conjugation and added more information into the book.

Below is the summary of what I have learnt. The conjugation is highlighted in bold.

Noun conjugation

先生 (せんせい) = teacher

1. 私は先生です。— I am a teacher.

2. 私は先生じゃないです。— I am not a teacher.

3. 私は先生でした。— I was a teacher.

4. 私は先生じゃなかったです。— I was not a teacher.

Adjective conjugation

There are two types of adjectives in Japanese language: イ-adjective and ナ-adjective.

高い (たかい) = expensive

1. 高いです。— It is expensive

2. 高くないです。— It is not expensive.

3. 高かったです。— It was expensive.

4. 高くなかったです。— It was not expensive.

Verb conjugation

行き (いき) = go

1. あなたは行きます。— You go.

2. あなたは行きません。— You do not go.

3. あなたは行きました。— You went.

4. あなたは行きませんでした。— You did not go.

Lessons learnt

1. Find more information on a topic and write down the information. It helps to reinforce the learning.

2. If possible, read in the language that you are learning.

3. New Japanese words: Teacher — 先生

Expensive — 高い

Go — 行き

Next lesson here