Useful words to add to your list!
akai - red
chikai - near
mijikai - short (hair, etc)
nagai - long
takai - expensive
tooi - far
tsumetai - cold
yasui - inexpensive
itsumo - always
yukkuri - slowly, leisurely
itsu - when
bangohan- supper, dinner
boushi - hat
densha - train
kami - hair (the same as the word for
konpyuutaa - computer
koto - thing
kumo - cloud
mono - thing (concrete)
otoko - man
onna - woman
okaasan - mother
otousan - father
shoujo - young girl
shounen - young
tomodachi - friend
tabemono - food
ude - arm
kuchi - mouth
sumu - to reside (don't try using this word yet)
dekiru - to
In Japanese, things are often quite
organized. One example of this is the ko-so-a-do
concept. Japanese has a few sets of words with the same or
similar endings, and these four syllables switched in at the beginning. Note this pattern.
kore - this
sore - that
are - that
dore - which?
Just as a reminder, remember that for
now you should pronounce all
the vowels in Japanese. There is no such thing as a silent 'E'
in Japanese. So you would pronounce 'kore' as KO RAY, but of course
with a Japanese R, not an English one.
Back to the topic, you can see from that set
that ko- denotes something within the grasp of the
speaker, so- is for things a small distance from
the speaker, a- is for something far from the
speaker, and do-
makes interrogative words.
kore wa watashi no mono desu.
[this as for
I 's thing is.]
This is mine.
are wa kuruma desu.
for car is.]
That is a car.
dore ga yasui ka.
Which is inexpensive?
These four words are known as
demonstrative pronouns, and must precede either a particle
or desu. Another useful set of ko-so-a-do words are also
demonstrative pronouns, and end with no.
Nouns can follow this set, which makes them rather useful:
kono - this
sono - that
that over there
dono - which
Ano tabemono ga takai.
Dono hon ga ii ka. (notice that you
must use ga here)
Which book is good?
As a side note: technically,
dono and dore are for asking questions for which
there are at least three possible responses,
or in other words, there are at least three items. There is a
special way of asking when there are only two choices, and though
you'll probably get the point across using dono and
dore, try to avoid them in this case. And now for
Get a feel for Japanese sentences!
I would recommend writing several of these
index cards (or on regular paper), carrying them around with you, and looking
at them often. Just reading Japanese setences helps give you a
feel for how they work, and helps you to make your own sentences. Since the grammar
is so "different", you need to expose yourself to it a lot,
and get a feel for it, so you can become more comfortable with it. After you
use Japanese sentences for a while, you will start to get an idea of how they
should sound, and how to create your own.
What is the best way to practice in this area?
- Grammar books - This will help you learn the particles, and how
to make sentences. The books usually have several example
sentences, as well as a fair bit of vocabulary for you to
can. I highly suggest checking out one of the textbooks on
the book recommendation page.
- Anime- You will encounter countless real-world sentences which
help you immensely. The only obstacle here is trying to
pull words and sentences out of the sometimes speedy speech.
Many people find anime to be very interesting, so you
will probably have an easier time remembering the sentences. The
same goes for Manga, if you can get your hands on some that's
transliterated into Roman letters (as opposed to Japanese
writing). If not, don't worry. I will address Japanese
writing in an upcoming lesson..
You won't want to miss it.