Today’s 日本語 JPN ABBR.

Japanese has many contracted words. Anything that can be said shorter and easier is stripped down to its bare bones.

for example;

Odawara Express Electric Railway, 小田原急行電鉄 Odawarakyuukoudentetsu becomes 小田急 Odakyu

The immigration office, 入国管理局 Nyuukokukanrikyoku  becomes 入管 Nyukan

Toshiba is a contraction of “Tokyo Shibaura”, and Nissan is a contraction of “Nippon Sangyo”.

Most borrowed words are shortened to create;

anime アニメ animēshon アニメーション animation
dejikame デジカメ dejitaru kamera デジタルカメラ digital camera
depāto デパート depātomento sutoa デパートメント・ストア department store
eakon エアコン ea kondishonaa エアコンディショナー air conditioner
famikon ファミコン famirī konpyūtā ファミリーコンピューター family computer (Nintendo)
famiresu ファミレス famirī resutoran ファミリーレストラン family restaurant
konbini コンビニ konbiniensu sutoa コンビニエンス・ストア convenience store
puroresu プロレス purofesshonaru resuringu プロフェッショナル・レスリング professional wrestling
rabuho ラブホ rabu hoteru ラブホテル love hotel
rimokon リモコン rimōto kontorōrā リモートコントローラー remote control
terebi テレビ terebijon テレビジョン TV (television)
toire トイレ toiretto トイレット toilet
Advertisements

Today’s 日本語

ABC! easy as 123! NOPE!

Japanese has a very specific way of counting and everything from paper to people to trees have their own way of being counted.

Here are a few,

People take the suffix ~ nin (人)

一人 hitori  二人 futari  三人 san nin  四人 yo-nin  五人 go-nin

animals and insects are ~hiki (匹)

一匹 ippiki  二匹 nihiki 三匹 sanbiki  四匹 yonhiki  五匹 gohiki

Birds and rabbits* use ~wa (一羽)

一羽 ichiwa 二羽 niwa 三羽 sanwa  四羽 yonwa 五羽 go wa

bound objects like books, magazines and gimps take ~ satsu (冊)

一冊 issastu 二冊 nisatsu 三冊 sansatsu 四冊 yonsatsu 五冊 gosatsu

flat objects such as paper, tickets, bills and empty plates use ~mai (枚)

一枚 ichimai 二枚  nimai  三枚 sanmai 四枚 yonmai 五枚 gomai

Plates of food take ~sara (皿)

一皿 hitosara  二皿 futasara 三皿 sansara 四皿 yonsara 五皿 gosara

electronic devices like phones, rice cookers and vehicles take ~dai (台)

一台  ichidai  二台  nidai 三台  sandai 四台  yondai 五台  godai

long things are hon (本) (the kanji means origin………….rude)

一本 ippon  二本  nihon 三本 sanbon  四本 yohon 五本 gohon

 

* the reason that rabbits take the bird counter instead of the animal one is that back back in time religious laws banned eating meat from land animals, but fish and birds were OK. Rabbits, with their long ears could be “mistaken for birds”

10,000 yen

Our third and final PEOPLE OF MONEY post.

The biggest and *my personal favourite* bill, the 10,000 yen bill features Japan’s Voltaire/Benjamin Franklin; Yukichi Fukuzawa.

Born into a poor samurai family in 1835 he started classical training from the age of 5. This was during a time when Japan was still a closed island nation. He was among the members of the first diplomatic visit to the United States in 1859 and upon his return he decided to write the first English-Japanese dictionary.
He was a integral figure during the westernization of Japanese society. He also founded Keio University, the oldest institute of higher education in Japan.

 

Fukuzawa has been on the 10,000 yen note since 1984. He was the only figure to remain after the 2004 change of series.

今日の日本語 Today’s Japanese

Tongue twisters You may have mastered Hiragana and Katakana but trying to link them together and make your words sound fluent and flowing is hard.Japanese pronunciation uses very little inflection and is very flat. its always good to practice out loud. Here are some great Japanese tongue twisters to help you. となりのきゃくはよくかきくうきゃくだ (tonari no kyaku wa yoku kaki kuu kyaku da) The customer next to me eats kaki very well. -or- なまむぎなまごめなまたまご (nama mugi nama gome nama tamago) Fresh barley, fresh rice, fresh eggs -or- よりどりみどりきみどりさつきみどり (yori dori midori kimidori satsuki midori) “yori dori” is used when there is many of something to choose from. kimidori is yellow green Satsuki Midori was a singer in the 60s. Happy Japanesing!

今日の日本語 Today’s Japanese

冗談は顔だけにして (jyodan wa kao dake ni shite) Or The only joke you need to worry about is your face.

Japanese is super lacking in any kind of swears. It’s not uncommon to hear in a fight between two rather butch looking men

“fool!”

“no, you are a fool!”

“you are a STUPID fool!”

So when you find yourself around a wasted Japanese salaryman who is making jokes about the size of your stereotypically large penis (we’ll talk) or someone thinks they are being funny when really they are just annoying you ; you can use “jyodan wa kao dake ni shite”

You’re welcome!

Happy Japanesing

今日の日本語 (^-^)/ Today’s Japanese

Japanese speech is peppered with mimetic words. These have no formal translation but are the most useful and easiest way to describe the world around you (and sound more fluent while you are at it)!

These words can be used to describe the state of things, feelings, emotions and actions. they range from the standard to the ridiculously precise.

Here are a few of he best ones.

  • ペラペラ (pera pera)this is used if someone is talking extremely quickly or fluently.
  • ザアザア (zaa zaa) the sound of heavy rain falling.
  • ポツポツ    (potsu potsu) a light rain or drizzle.
  • フワフワ     (fuwa fuwa) describing something light and fluffy like a cloud or bread.
  • カリカリ      (kari kari) describing things that are brittle like chips or the skin on a gyouza.
  • サラサラ     (sara sara) smooth things like stroking a cat.
  • カサカサ     (kasa kasa) dry, rough things like chapped lips.
  • ウキウキ     (uki uki) to be cheerful, happy and light spirited
  • ドキドキ      (doki doki) to throb or beat fast, used to describe a beating heart
  • ワクワク      (waku waku) to tremble through nervousness or excitement
  • チャラチャラ (chara chara) to mess around and show off
  • ゴロゴロ     (goro goro) to be lazy (goro goro is the Japanese equivalent of a frog’s “ribbit”).

There are far to many to post in one article. If you have a favourite I would love to hear it in the comments section.

Happy Japanesing!