Monday, April 6, 2015

The Japanese Verb - To do

The Japanese verb "To do - Suru" is the most important verb to learn.

The plain form is - Suru する
The polite form is Shimasu します

Saying Suru or Shimasu alone is like saying speaking in a future tense, it means "I will do it".

Many Japanese nouns take the  + Sure form which makes it easy for learners of Japanese.

For example Diet wo shimasu ダイエットをします。Means I am going to go on / start a diet.

The plain tenses are as follows.

Shita した - to have done / did
Shitai したい - to want to
Shitakunai したくない - to not want to do
Shiteiru している - to be doing

The polite tenses are

Shimashita しました - to have done / did
Shiteimasu しています - to be doing.

Shitai an Shitakunai + desu will make the polite form.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Japanese Basic Phrases

Japanese basic phrases may sound long but are very easy to pronounce and remember.

English Romaji Hiragana
Hello Konnichiwa こんにちわ
Nice to meet you Hajimemashite はじめまして
Good Morning Ohayou Gozaimasu おはよう ございます
Good Evening Kon Banwa こんばんわ
Good Night Oyasumi Nasai おやすみ なさい
How are you? OGenki desu ka? おげんき ですか?
See you again mate ne またね
Good bye Sayonara さよなら
Nice weather isn' it ii tenki desu ne いい てんき ですね


Ohayou Gozaimasu is the polite form. Simply Ohayou is the casual form

Oyasumi Nasai is also a polite form. Simply use Oyasumi for the casual form.

Incidentaly, Nasai is often used by females after the verb stem to indicate a command.
e.g. A mother talking to a child that is taking too long to east may say "Tabenasai" - Eat your food !!
From the verb Taberu - to eat.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Japanese Numbers

Japanese has a rather unique number system in that the sound of the numbers change depending on the object or item you are counting.
Objects are normally classified into shapes and size.

Regular numbers Romaji Hiragana Kanji
1 ichi いち
2 ni
3 san さん
4 shi, yon し、よん
5 go
6 roku ろく
7 shichi, nana しち、なな
8 hachi はち
9 kyuu,ku きゅう、く
10 juu, tou じゅう、とう

Notice how some numbers have two sounds, e.g. 4, 7, 9 and 10. The pronunciation generally changes depending on whatever comes before or after the number. I will explain that in another post.

Going back to the counting again, the easiest one to learn is the general counter system. This can always be used if you don't know the correct counting system for any particular object.

Counter Romaji Hiragana
1 hitotsu ひとつ
2 futatsu ふたつ
3 mittsu みっつ
4 yottsu よっつ
5 itsutsu いつつ
6 muttsu むっつ
7 nanatsu ななつ
8 yattsu やっつ
9 kokonotsu ここのつ
10 tou とう

Counting people

As you should be able to see below, apart from the first two, the rest just the basic numbers with -nin added to the end.

Counter Romaji Hiragana
1 hitori ひとり
2 futari ふたり
3 sannin さんにん
4 yonnin よんにん
5 gonin ごにん
6 rokunin ろくにん
7 nannin ななにん
8 hachinin はちにん
9 kyuunin きゅうにん
10 juunin じゅうにん


Welcome to my very first post, of many relating to learning Japanese.

Japanese is not always as difficult as many say and learning in much better when it is fun. I intend to make learning as easy and fun as possible.

I have been living in Japan for 15 years and work for a Japanese company. This means I get to use Japanese up to a business level, however I enjoy explaining and teaching from the basics.