Teach me Japanese

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Zachary-Sama, Apr 11, 2015.

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  1. Okay, so I thought about doing this during my thread "Sub or Dub". So basically, as the title says. Teach me any japanese words you may know. They don't have to be Japanese grammatically correct, just simple words and terms so that when I use Japanese characters or use a Japanese setting, I can slip in a Japanese word here and there, like anime's do in their english dubs.
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  2. I need Japanese too! ;A;
  3. fair warning; doing what you're setting out to do is commonly termed as "being a weeaboo/weeb", and those who require translations or prefer their stories to be all in one language will be annoyed.

    also Iwaku is an english site so if you're doing more than the odd "Kawaii" or "hai", you'll need to post translations.

    "Daisuki" = to like/love

    "Ichigo" = strawberry

    Watashi/boku/ore = me/I/myself. It is more acceptable for women to use watashi, whereas boys and men can use any of the three, with "ore" considered being the most coarse one.

    There are lots of like "connector" words too like "no/na/ga/wa" etc.

    "Watashi daisuki Ichigo" doesn't work, it would translate like "Me liking strawberry"

    "Watashi wa ichigo daisuki" might work better.

    Also a SUPER GENERALIZED rule of thumb is that the longer it takes to say something, the more formal it is

    "moshi moshi, Minibit desu" (Hi, I'm Minibit)
    "hashimemashite, watashi no namu wa Minibit desu" (It's nice to meet you, my name is Minibit)


    "Abunai" - danger/it's dangerous, a word of warning

    "Tomodachi" - friend

    "Tanashi" - fun/enjoyable

    TLDR: Lots of people get annoyed for various reasons when you insert random words from other cultures into your english sentences; even if it's setting appropriate and/or a commonly known term, there are nuances to language that make it difficult to guarantee your words will translate correctly if you just paste them in and don't learn the grammar/contextual rules behind them, and I only know bits and pieces from my weeb days
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  4. I always knew the MC for Bleach was a big 'fruity' ba dum tss!
  5. Oh, that's not an issue. I only plan on using japanese for my own benefit or when I'm using a Japanese character, in which case it fits. Sort of like how when a mexican or puerto rican person sometimes adds spanish words in their english sentences. And sometimes in Japanese they use english words, since there's no appropriate Japanese word for them, or they're just phrases that are better said in english.
  6. Minibit Senpai is teaching us Weeaboo! :D
  7. Japanese uses three primary "alphabets": hiragana, katakana, and kanji. You mostly see hiragana and kanji, with kanji "subtitles" usually in newspapers and magazines called furigana.

    The alphabet is actually a system of sounds with a base of "a" "i" "u" "e" "o". Almost like vowels, but not really. From these sounds, you derive sounds like "ka" or "ji" or "ku" or "shi" or "chi". There's a chart for that.


    For shit's a giggles, here's the katakana chart. It works similarly to hiragana, except katakana is used for foreign words (i.e. you'd spell "ice cream" with katakana, and spell it out as "aisukurimu")


    There's something like 4000 kanji characters out there, and yes, you memorize them. Not all of them, of course, which is why furigana is used occassionally. But for the most part, you memorize them. Here are some examples.


    SOURCE: 4 years of Japanese.
    #7 Seiji Savage, Apr 11, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
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  8. Hmm. What does Desu mean, anyway? I hear it a lot (Particularly from Otaku's using broken Japanese)

    Also, could you tell me the difference between Chan, Kun, Sama, etc.? I used to think that it is gender based, but I've heard both genders being called with each title after their name. I also know the nee or nii (sister or brother) rule, as well as the sempai and koutai thing. Though Kouhai is a vastly unused term compared to senpai (Kouhai is someone who is below you, whereas senpai is a superior. I guess it's less rude to call somebody 'inferior' lol)

  9. Desu roughly translates to "is". It is the verb to be, more or less.

    So when you go, "KAWAII DESU" you're saying, "This is cute!" or "It is cute!"
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  10. Aaahhh. That makes sense. That phrase is used in pretty much every Ecchi anime ever.
  11. Chan, kun, san, and sama are all honourifics. To say someones' name without honourifics is extremely intimate, and it's very rude to do so without permission or with someone you don't know super super well.

    Chan is affectionate, it's often used between couples, or towards children.

    Kun and San are both relatively neutral honourifics, but kun is considered masculine

    Sama is a formal honourific and denotes respect.

    Sempai/Senpai is an upperclassman.

    Sensei can refer to a teacher, a doctor, an artist, etc. I guess you could simplify it to be for specialists.

    keep in mind I'm not an expert :/
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  12. Yeah, but you know more than I do. I only really pay attention to the japanese formalities and language when I need them. But now, since I plan on improving as an author/RPer, I would like to learn more about it, since I tend to use Japanese characters more than I do others.
  13. I reiterate what I said before about people finding the insertion of words in other languages to be annoying and distracting; it ruins the immersion. My advice is to focus more on learning Japanese culture and history; rent a library book or do some google searches; there's a lot to learn :)
  14. I do and don't understand that. I mean, it can be annoying if you're RPing and both players assume that your characters are already speaking Japanese, so adding in the actual words could be seen as pointless. But Nowadays, a lot of Japanese people (Especially the rebellious teenager types) prefer to use English over their native tongue.

    A joke I made in an RP ((My character in it is a mix of Japanese (Demon, however), and American heritage.)) Is where my character said "In this kind of situation, I guess I'm supposed to introduce myself as Fourth Year Masaki Sean, but I dislike the formalities, so just call me Sean!"
  15. Using English words in slang is cool in Japanese youth culture. Swear words and stuff for the Rebellious words. It's the same as seeing people with Kanji tattoos or on their shirts in America and in the west.

    @Minibit is correct with the name honourifics.

    -san is used for just about anyone as a default just to be safe, but mostly for peers and people that are immediately over/above you, strangers, doctors... anyone.

    -chan is mainly used between children and for children, with girls, and very, very close friends, but almost never between boys/young men.

    -kun is what boys would use in lieu of -chan. It's acceptable to use it as you get older as well, for friends.

    -senpai is mainly for upperclassmen in school, but you can use it for your immediate supervisor at work who's been your trainer, or anyone that has taught you anything for that matter.

    -sensei is just as Minibit described.

    -sama is the tricky one. You don't really use this one unless they're like... Super, duper special. The relationship is one of high regard and respect, and usually you see it in literature in addressing lords or deities. You might see this in the business world for THE boss, or for the Patriarch of a family.
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  16. If it helps, trying seeing the hiragana and the katakana as pictures! For example, 'he' is the 'arrow to heaven'.
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  17. -Hajimemashite (はじめまして)
    -Namae (なまえ) (名前)

    According to google translate, namu means amen and hashimemashite is something like 'In just tighten' :9 This dictionary also confirms that namu is amen/hail, and it coudln't find hashimemashite at all.
    #17 redblood, Apr 11, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
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  18. Forgot one :9

    Tanoshi or tanoshii (たのし) (たのしい) (楽しい)

    Tanashi can be a name, but tanashi doesn't mean any specific word as far as I can find by checking some online dictionaries ^^ -Being an annoying know it all senpai-
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  19. Ah, @redblood got the jump on me...

    Now, since I rarely stick to one genre of anime I pick up some odd things. Of course I train some aikido so I learn some things there as well.

    Here's my additional input on addressing people~

    - kouhai is used for indirect referral. If you call a person 'kouhai' directly (like "hello x-kouhai") you actually display some arrogance. It's mostly used indirectly like "this person is my kouhai x-kun" and "I can ask my kouhai at my club/work/school. It's not a normally accepted suffix.

    - shi is a suffix used professionally, mostly in work-relations and is an intermediary between -sama and -san, respectful and accepted form

    - dono is a very old-fashioned suffix meaning "lord", usage should be obvious there

    - addressing by your family name (surname) is the most common and the including -san as a suffix. Safe yourself there and go with that if you ever go to Japan.

    - your name (first name) is a representation of your person, thus being called by your name is very intimate

    Now, common words and phrases that have been missed/bypassed/unelaborated:

    "Domo arigatougozaimashita" is the most formal way of saying "thanks". You basically say: "Thank you very much." You drop the "Domo" first to lessen the formality, then use "arigatougozaimasu" to be even less formal then lastly use either "arigatou" or "domo" for simplicity and informality.

    Then there's apologizing and that's pretty complicated in a way... People use "sumimasen" mostly, both as an apology and a thanks depending on situation. It can mean: "Sorry for the trouble" or "I'm sorry."
    "Gomenasai" is a straight out apology.
    "Moushiwakuarimasen" - ... *sigh* I'm not even sure I spelled that one correctly. It's a very polite apology, very humble and you are almost apologizing for you very existence in some cases.

    "Otsukaresama" is "thank you for your hard work. Informally you can say "otsukare" instead of adding the "sama"

    Okay, now it's a wall of text. I might add some more later if I feel like it, I haven't even covered "osakini ittekimasu" or "onegaishimasu" yet... Not to mention the greetings.
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  20. I only know a few catch phrases, terms, and titles, but I guess I can share one I think is interesting.

    "Shikata ga nai." It cannot be helped. Generally said when someone is facing something insurmountable or painful, and there is nothing they can do about it.

    Like being the only person who prefers dubs, apparently. :rotfl:
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