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Mata
post Feb 12 2006, 04:54 PM
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I'm learning to speak Japanese at the moment, and the lessons I'm following aren't always brilliantly clear, so I'm hoping someone here might be able to answer a couple of questions for me.

Firstly, and I apologise in advance for the spelling because I've only heard these things not seen them written down, there are three ways of asking 'how are you?'

Genki deska?
O genki deska ?
Ikaga deska?

I think the second is the most polite version of the first, but I don't know how the third is different.

I'm also having trouble with saying 'thank you'. What's the difference between these two:

Okayi (?Okagi?) samede.
Arigato gozaimas.

Can anyone help?


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oobunnie
post Feb 12 2006, 05:23 PM
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Ogenkidesuka is the most commonly used form of how are you I believe,
Ikaga deska means how are things rather then how are you.
And Okaga samade means fine thank you, its more specific.
Good luck! and Hirigana is the prettiest form of Japanese. Stupid Kanji, the Chinese should have just let them make thier own written language.

(edit)I sort of asumed okaga samade was what you ment because it's the only thing similar to what you said that made sense to me. (/edit)


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MistressAlti
post Feb 12 2006, 05:29 PM
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I thought that ikaga desu ka was used more in terms of asking if someone would like something, like "would you like something to eat?". I've never seen it used as part of a greeting, but maybe people do... O-genki desu ka is your best bet, and yes, the o- is just what makes it super-polite, though it's standard to use it in conjuction with genki.

Arigatoo gozaimasu would be what you should use in polite situations, when thanking someone for doing something for you or fulfilling a request.
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Mata
post Feb 12 2006, 06:07 PM
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So when people say 'Genki desu, okaga samade' they're saying 'I'm well, I'm fine thank you'? How odd; that seems like saying nearly the same thing twice. No wonder I was a bit confused.

The Pimsleur people use 'ikaga desu ka?' as a sort-of greeting, and it is often responded to with 'Genki desu, okaga samade', as is the question 'O genki desu ka?', which is why I had become a bit confused! I guess it could be a more general question about desires than 'genki desu ka', hence it being also useful for asking about hunger.

Speaking of which, tabitae desu (or something like that!).

Domo arigatoo gozaimasu!


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oobunnie
post Feb 12 2006, 07:23 PM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Feb 12 2006, 06:07 PM)
So when people say 'Genki desu, okaga samade' they're saying 'I'm well, I'm fine thank you'? How odd; that seems like saying nearly the same thing twice. No wonder I was a bit confused.

hmm how to explain this. It's not that their saying it twice, A direct translation would be something like "I'm well, fine thankyou" theres no definer in the second part. If that makes more sense. It does seem proper in a strange way to me
QUOTE
The Pimsleur people use 'ikaga desu ka?' as a sort-of greeting, and it is often responded to with 'Genki desu, okaga samade', as is the question 'O genki desu ka?', which is why I had become a bit confused! I guess it could be a more general question about desires than 'genki desu ka', hence it being also useful for asking about hunger.

Pimsleur?
QUOTE
Speaking of which, tabitae desu (or something like that!).

Domo arigatoo gozaimasu!
*

Now I'm hungry laugh.gif ke-ki ga hoshii desu


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Mata
post Feb 12 2006, 11:22 PM
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I don't know what ke-ki is yet, but I learnt 'hoshii' tonight, so I know that you want something!

Pimsleur do language education programs:

http://www.pimsleurapproach.com/


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oobunnie
post Feb 13 2006, 07:48 AM
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QUOTE
For your ears only: Learn like a spy! Pass for a native.

laugh.gif Thats great!

ke-ki = Cake. One of the first words I made sure I knew. That and watermelon.
Like I mentioned earlier there are major plus's to learning Jap. Like when you learn Kanji, magically you also learnt how to write in Chinese. Oh the craziness.


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Fluffy
post Feb 21 2006, 12:02 AM
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Though your question seems to have already been answered, and I am a little late, I thought I might add something. To you or anyone trying to learn Japanese, I highly recommend this site in the greatest sense. I've been using it and it has helped me quite a bit. Also, I've found the 3 Yen postings, which are linked to at the bottom of the site, helpful as well. Just thought I'd toss that in. I'd also check out the WWWJDIC and the Kodansha Kanji Learner's Dictionary.

Nihongo no benkyou wa, minna-san ganbattekudasai! biggrin.gif


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Mata
post Feb 21 2006, 12:52 AM
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QUOTE (Fluffy @ Feb 21 2006, 12:02 AM)
Nihongo no benkyou wa, minna-san ganbattekudasai!  biggrin.gif
*

Err...

'Japanese-spoken-language some-verb-of-some-sort, everybody something-or-other'. Blimey, I'm practically fluent! biggrin.gif


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FeralPolyglot
post Mar 18 2006, 10:40 AM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Feb 20 2006, 07:52 PM)
QUOTE (Fluffy @ Feb 21 2006, 12:02 AM)
Nihongo no benkyou wa, minna-san ganbattekudasai!  biggrin.gif
*

Err...

'Japanese-spoken-language some-verb-of-some-sort, everybody something-or-other'. Blimey, I'm practically fluent! biggrin.gif
*



I think "benkyou" is a noun because (as far as my limited knowledge may indicate), wa is a subject marker and therefore, the subject is Benkyou. "Nihongo no" is like saying "The-Japanese-Spoken-Language's benkyou..."

I could be wrong, but as far as I know that's what I could muddle through it.


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Apollyon
post Mar 20 2006, 03:53 AM
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benkyou (or benkyoo) in combination with suru, means to practice, so I would assume that the first part of the sentence is referring to practicing japanese...

And I'm not sure what ganbatte means, but I think ganbattekudasai is saying "please 'ganbatte'".


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MistressAlti
post Mar 20 2006, 04:35 AM
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We learned that benkyou suru was "to study" in my class...
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Apollyon
post Mar 24 2006, 05:25 AM
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meh... could be right. I never can remeber the difference between renshuu amd benkyou...

Ooh! I just remebered that I heard somewhere that minna-san means everyone.


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MistressAlti
post Mar 24 2006, 06:30 AM
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QUOTE (Apollyon @ Mar 19 2006, 09:53 PM)
And I'm not sure what ganbatte means, but I think ganbattekudasai is saying "please 'ganbatte'".
*


Ganbatte means, more or less, "do your best". Used kind of like "good luck" but not quite, since it very much indicates that how you do depends on you, not on luck.
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Fluffy
post Apr 1 2006, 11:55 PM
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Yup. "Nihongo" is, of course, in reference to the Japanese language. "Benkyou" alone is a noun meaning study (and it becomes a verb meaning "to study" when combined with suru, "to do"). The "no" particle links them as "Japanese langage's study" or "Study of Japanese language." The postposition "wa" then marks it as the topic, so it becomes sort of like "As for the study of the Japanese language." Then, minna-san is everyone, and "ganbattekudasai" is merely "ganbaru" (to do one's best) in its te form with "kudasai", the commonplace shortening of "kudasaimase", the honorific request form of "kudasaru," the honorific form of "kureru," which means to give, but is only used when the target of said giving is either you or a group that includes you, tacked onto the end. It then all comes together to form "ganbattekudasai," or, a polite "please do your best." So, "As for the study of the Japanese language, everyone please do your best."


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eleraama
post Apr 3 2006, 03:46 AM
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QUOTE
So, "As for the study of the Japanese language, everyone please do your best."


Haha, that's perfect-- "as for the study". It's exactly the way they translate it in textbooks to avoid confusion.

日本語の学生は、日本語が好きですか。

Nihon no gakusei wa, nihongo ga suki desu ka.
僕は日本語が大好きですが、今に勉強しません。

Boku wa nihongo ga daisuki desu ga, ima ni benkyoushimsen.

If you're looking for a Japanese word processor, I strongly recommend JWPCE. Google it.


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Mata
post Apr 3 2006, 06:20 AM
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*head explodes* I've got a long way to go. Nihongo ga soquoshi wakarimas, demo mada josu j'ari massen. (Again, apologies for the translation into the English alphabet.)


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eleraama
post Apr 4 2006, 01:56 AM
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Haha. Trust me, you'll get better.
AS for your romanisation....
Japanese is perfectly phonetic. That being said, they trick you sometimes.
The kana (the two alphabets) are structured in this way: every consonant has a vowel after it. Thus letters are ka, me, ji, but never j, s, t. So every time you use a consonant (except 'n'), make sure there's a vowel after it.
The only real trick to this is 'desu'. It's pronounced with a 'whispered' u, so sounds like dess.
Next, you need to pay careful attention to vowels. THere are two kinds of vowels in Japanese, short and long. For example, momo (peach) has short 'o' sound. But jouzo (sometimes written jōzo or joozo, 'jouzo' is the standard because of how it's spelt in kana) has a long 'o' osund-- if you listen carefully, it has twice the length. A good way to practice is to listen to 'arigatou gozaimasu'. The end of arigatou is a long o, but the o in gozaimasu is short.
Oh, and for your reference, the only consonants in japanese are:
k, g, s, z, t, d, m, n, h, b, p, r, y, w. Thus it's 'sukoshi'. Basicallyl, to spell japanese right, pretend you're in kindergarten.
Jaa, ganbatta yo! (You did well!)


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Mata
post Apr 4 2006, 06:27 AM
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So...

'Jaa' I already know, meaning something akin to 'in that case' or 'So,' .

'Ganbatta' I guess means 'well' (as in 'achievement'). Surely it should be 'ganbata'?

'Yo' I'm guessing is another conjugation of 'to do'.

Thanks for the help!


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Fluffy
post Apr 4 2006, 10:31 PM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Apr 4 2006, 12:27 AM)
'Ganbatta' I guess means 'well' (as in 'achievement'). Surely it should be 'ganbata'?
*


"Ganbatta" is the past tense of "ganbaru." The reason that it's two t's and not one is that, and this explanation is easiest if one knows hiragana/katakana, there's a character "tsu." Normally, it's pronounced "tsu," but if it's written at about half its normal size it makes what is romanized as a double consonant, due to the similarity in the sound it creates. "Ganbata" would be pronounced "gahm-bah-tah." "Ganbatta" would be pronounced the same way, except instead of just saying "tah" one would sort of say it with a small pause beforehand. It's hard to explain without an example. Just take the word "headdress." Now, notice how you don't really say "head-dress." It's more like "heh-dress" with an ever so slight sort of pause type thing in between the syllables. It's like that. So "ganbatta" is pronounced "gahm-baht-tah." It's pretty common, so if your lessons are audio (as they seem to be) you should encounter it once in a while. Uh, was that fairly understandable? Sorry for such a convoluted explanation.

(also, romanization is easier once one knows hiragana and katakana, this is an excellent site for that: here)

Oh, and by the way, "yo" is sort of like a little emotion marker. I believe it's used to share opinions and new information, stuff like that. It's not a necessity, though.

EDIT: Sorry, I forgot to mention that the consonant that the small tsu doubles is the one it is immediately before. So, if you have these hiragana u-re-shi-ka-small tsu-ta it's "ureshikatta"; if you changed it to ra-small tsu-ka, it's "rakka."


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Mata
post Apr 5 2006, 06:21 AM
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*head explodes again*

I think I have heard something like that on the audio lessons, and I had a huge amount of difficulty replicating it. It felt like I was trying to introduce a stutter deliberately!

Another odd one I've found is the verb 'to have'. If I'm asking 'how many/much do you have?' ('Anata wa icola modai mas ka?') I found it tricky to get the right sound on the 'moh-day' bit. There is a slight pause there which felt very unnatural to me so I've really struggled to get the right emphasis on the words.


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Fluffy
post Apr 5 2006, 03:14 PM
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I've actually not thought of phrasing "How much do you have?" until now. Remember, my vocabulary is very limited, but if I had to do it right now, without any preparation, I would probably go with, for apples, "Nani hodo ni ringo ga arimasu ka," that is, "To what extent do apples exist?" I've always found that Japanese tends towards existentialism for such things. For example where in English one might say, "Do you have tea?" or "Do you have a dog?" in Japanese one would say "Ocha ga arimasu?" or "Inu ga imasu ka," respectively. Oh, and in case you don't already know, "aru" is the existential verb for inanimate objects and "iru" is the same, except it's only used for animate objects; their negated forms are "nai" and "inai" respectively.


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Apollyon
post Apr 6 2006, 11:10 PM
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...

In my Japanese class we are learning to use "motte imasu" for to have or to hold, and I think that is what "modai masu" was referring to. Hopefully that will make pronunciation a little easier.

As for how many do you have, Fluffy is probably more knowledgeable on the subject, but I was going to go with "[Anata wa] nani ka o motte imasu ka?"


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Fluffy
post Apr 6 2006, 11:40 PM
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As I said, I had really never thought about asking how much someone had of something. I was merely giving the best way I could improvise. However, that is a bright idea, Apollyon. And, now that I've looked it up, apparently it isn't uncommon to use motsu in that fashion (for those confused, I've merely unconjugated, motteimasu).

However, though motteimasu is correct, wouldn't "Nanika wo motteimasu ka," translate to "Are you holding something?" or "Do you have something?" The subject is implied, and the direct object is nanika or "something." Then motteimasu is an ongoing polite "to hold" or "to possess."

Good call on motsu, though. Thank you.


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Tantei Sayumi
post Apr 26 2006, 06:09 AM
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Explanation for "okage-sama de":
Lit. along the lines of "Thanks/owing to you."
It's used in reply to "O-genki desu ka?" The complete expression would be "Hai, o-kage-sama de, genki desu," which means, "Yes, thanks to you, I'm in good health/spirits."
Just "o-kage de" can mean "thanks/owing to you," and "-sama" is the honourific suffix. "O-kage-sama" = "your assistance." "De" = "because" (gerund form of the copula).
And no, "arigatou gozaimasu" is NOT the same as "o-kage-sama de." "Arigatou (gozaimasu)" is "thank you" in general, and literally means "(your) having difficulty," but is used as a fixed expression. You wouldn't thank someone with "O-kage-sama de," and you'd use "O-kage-sama de" if someone asks, "O-genki desu ka?," as just saying "arigatou gozaimasu" would just be thanking them for asking the question, but not actually answering it. (It'd be like you asking, "How are you?" or "How have you been?," and the other person just saying, "Thanks" instead of "I'm fine.")

...I'm too lazy to read the rest of the questions smile.gif
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