Nihongo o Narau! Learn Japanese!


Created by miss.bucket.head on Friday, September 04, 2009


Konncihiwa minasan! Nihongo no kurasu ni yookoso!

Hello everyone! Welcome to Japanese class! I'm Hannah, and I'm here to teach you all I know about the Japanese language and culture. Lets get started!

Basic Pronunciations/Japanese Vowels

Everyone knows the vowels. A, E, I, O, U. Piece of cake. Did you know that the Japanese language uses the same vowels? I didn't until I started learning Japanese. Although they are basically the same vowels, they are a little different. For one, they are in a different order. The Japanese vowels go A, I, U, E, O. They also have different pronunciations.

A is pronounced like the "a" in father.

I is pronounced like the letter "e". This will be a little confusing at first, since you are so used to associating the sound with the English letter e, but you'll get used to it!

U is pronounced like "ooo". Kind of like when you think something is cool, and you say "Ooo, thats cool!" It's the same thing.

E is pronounced like the e in elephant.

O is pronounced like "Oh".

Here is a video of me pronouncing the vowels for you!

Those are the basics. Once you start studying the Japanese alphabet, you'll find out that all the sounds and letters are based off of these vowels. For example, the letter "ha" is just an "a" with an h tacked on the beginning. It's simple!!

Greetings and Farewells

Here are some basic greetings and farewells that are used all the time in Japan!

Good morning: Ohayoo

Good morning (polite/formal): Ohayoo gozaimasu

Good afternoon/hello: Konnichiwa

Good evening: Konbanwa

Goodbye: Sayoonara, Shitsureishimasu, Jaa mata/mata ne

Goodnight: Oyasuminasai

Thank you: Arigatoo

Thank you very much: Arigatoo gozaimasu

No/Not at all: Iie

I'll go and come back (said when leaving the house): Ittekimasu

Please go and come back (said to person leaving): Itterasshai

I'm home: Tadaima

Welcome home: Okaerinasai

Lets eat: Itadakimasu

That was a good meal: Gochisoosama deshita

How do you do?: Hajimemashite

It's nice to meet you (lit.: please think well of me): Yoroshiku onegaishimasu

Here is a video of me pronouncing the greetings and farewells for you!

How you say goodbye in Japanese is crucial. For instance, if you were planning on seeing your best friend the next day, you wouldn't say sayoonara when saying goodbye. Rather, you would say Jaa mata or mata ne which means "See you later". Sayoonara is used when you think that you wont see the person for a long time. Shitsureishimasu, on the other hand, is a very polite/formal way of saying goodbye. It can be used for your boss, teacher, or someone else who is superior to you. It can be also used to say "excuse me", and it is also used to say goodbye while talking on the phone, to indicate that you are about to hang up.

I personally think that Japanese is a really fun and interesting language to learn. But you have to be motivated. If you think that it'll be too hard, or impossible, then it will be. But, if you think that it is possible, and that you will learn the language someday, then it will be!

Studying is really important thing to do if you are serious about learning the language. Try to put aside at least ten minutes a day to study. Every minute counts! Flashcards work wonders.

If you have any questions for me, feel free to message me, and I will answer your question to the best of my ability. Make sure to study, and I will hopefully see you all in Nihongo o Narau Lesson 2!!

Jaa mata!


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