I signed up for Japanese lessons!

Yes, I noticed this in the dictionary. It never occurred to me that the kanji might be used to distinguish homonymns. But every entry has hiragana, then kanji.

Pay attention to your pinyin, it’s not “zhenti zi,” but “jianti zi,” as in “jiandan,” or “simple,” hence the term “simplified chinese” 简体字

Pinyin counts for alot if you want to learn Chinese (especially typing)!

Also hilarious is kawaii/*kowai *(cute/scary). A classmate once said that he took a *kowai *girl out to dinner at a restaurant, and the teacher and I busted out laughing at the poor guy.

I have a riotously funny book I picked up in the bookstore at my univerisity when I was studying abroad in Japan, which lists a series of anecdotes where a non-Japanese messed up a word and changed the entire meaning of their sentence (Amazon.com | Amazon.co.jp).

Reading through my course book yesterday evening, I suddenly realized that they’re starting to slip kanji in. Just one or two, nothing major, and if needed there are the little furigana on hand next to them to help me know how they’re pronounced, but… it’s a premonition of the future.

The first one was 物 (もの, mono ), which I am currently interpreting as something like ‘thing’.

I just looked that book up on Amazon.ca, and there are used copies starting from CAD 114! WTF? The Japanese one was JPY 1365 (CAD 15.77) and the ones on the US site were used and started from USD 48.46 (CAD 51.62).

I sense an arbitrage opportunity. :slight_smile:

Learning Japanese, I think you’re learning Japanese, I really think so.

That is correct. It is used in many contexts to indicate a generic type of item, as in:

tsukemono: pickled vegetables (way more kinds than in the US)
yakimono: ceramics, iirc

Our teacher tried to start out with the simpler, ie, low stroke count characters. However there are a few that have basic and useful meanings that are unfortunately quite high in stroke count. One that sticks in the mind many years later is 曜 (ヨウ,you), which means week day.

Best of luck, since I don’t think I’ve said so yet. It’s a very cool language.

That’s pretty much my mental marker for it, too, except I think of it as “(concrete) thing,” to distinguish it from 事 *koto *"(abstract) thing."

It was only released in Japan, AFAIK, and I’m guessing it’s not like it was a huge thing. Was probably only in my university’s bookstore 'cause the guy who wrote it was a professor there, IIRC. So they’d have to special order it, ship it over, etc. etc.

$35.00 on ebay, with free shipping included.

Yes, and there are some pretty common ones, which you may have already learned: obaasan - grandmother and obasan - aunt, ojiisan - grandfather and ojisan - uncle, etc…, as well as words with long (or double) consonents, e.g., katta, which is the word “won” as opposed to kata, which is the word “shoulder”.

Ha, i alwlays wanted to write a bad english-japanese translation book encouraging people to visit shinjuku district. you totally wont get stabbed!

“Do you want to come back to my place bouncy bouncy?”

わたしはべんとをぎんこでたべています。Either my hovercraft is full of eels, or I just has a boxed lunch at the bank. :slight_smile: (I think I remembered that verb right.)

Actually, you want:

Watashi wa bentou o ginkou de tabemashita.

Note the long vowel on *bentou *and ginkou, and *tabete imasu *is “am eating” while *tabemashita *is “ate.” Also, I would personally put *ginkou de *before bentou o, so that the object is next to the verb. Also, if you were actually speaking conversationally, you’d almost certainly drop the watashi wa, since the subject would be understood to be you.

FWIW, “My hovercraft is full of eels” would be something like:

Watashi no hobaakurafuto wa unagi ga ippai desu.

With the caveat that my Japanese is rusty. :smiley:


Ssmell, what do you have against Shinjuku?

Yep, べんとうをぎんこうでたべました (bentou o ginkou de tabemashita) is how I would say it.

Hmm, so ホバークラフト is hovercraft, eh? I mean, I know that’s hovercraft, I just thought there’d be a Japanese word for it.


I also think you meant: 私のホバークラフトは鰻が一杯です。

So it came out something like ‘I can haz cheezburger’? :slight_smile:

I was posting from my iPhone on the bus without any of my books, and this was the first time I was really trying to remeber it without help, so it actually worked pretty well. But thank you for the help! This course is working quite well.

Kind of insensitive in an ‘all Asians are the same’ kind of way…even though I know you meant it as a joke as no Japanese person would ever say this.

What does it mean?