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Japanese is Possible!
Week 20

Part 20

  • Romanization
  • The Particle E
  • The Particle SHI
  • -ku naru (to become something)
  • Example Sentences
  • Useful Words



Romanization

Romanization is turning Japanese characters into our alphabet, so an average American can read them. Our alphabet is called the Roman alphabet. In Japan, they call our alphabet Roumaji.

Without romanization, you'd have to use the Japanese alphabet(s) to write everything in Japanese.

For various reasons, there are at least 2 styles of Romanizing Japanese.

Here are some examples of how the same couple of letters could be written in several different ways:

ji = zi
e = he
o = wo
shi = si
ou = oo
ou = ˘ (o with a line over it)

So Jishin (self confidence) could technically be written:

zisin

Personally, I don't like that romanization, because it doesn't look like it sounds. However, some books use that romanization exclusively. I find it rather annoying.

Often times, a line will be drawn over a vowel to show that there are actually 2 of that vowel. I perfer to actually write 2 of the vowel. My reasoning is as follows: If you're romanizing something, it should look pretty normal to an average reader. Notice that we don't use the "bar over a letter" symbol at all in English! I think a romanization should be pretty easy to read.

yasashţ
yasashii

The above 2 words are the same, but the second one suggests how to pronounce it. The first one looks like something out of a pronunciation dictionary.

That's also why I prefer ou to oo. If you have a double 'o' in English, you want it to rhyme with crude. However, it's supposed to be pronounced oooh. I think spelling it ou helps you to pronounce it the right way.

The Particle E

This particle basically means, "to" or "toward".

Examples

mise e itta.
store (to) went.
(he, she) went to the store.

sairaag e iku ka?
sairaag (toward) go ?
Are you going to Sairaag?

Notice that it is usually used with some form of iku (to go), or a similar verb.

The Particle SHI

This particle is used to connect several mini-sentences. It's not all that different from the English word AND. The best way to explain it is to demonstrate its use!

Examples

koko wa kowai shi,
here (subject) scary (and)

bakemono ga iru shi, ikou ze!
monsters (in particular) are here (and) let's go!

It's scary here, and there are monsters, so let's go!

kimi wa kawaii shi
you (subject) cute (and),

ai shite iru shi
[I'm] loving you (and)

kekkon sureba ii to omou yo!
if [I] were to marry [you] good (and) think !

You're cute, and I'm in love with you, so I'm thinking marriage would be a good idea!

-ku naru (to become something)

Remember the -ku form?

You can use the -ku form of a normal adjective with the verb naru (to become), and make some very nice sentences. This form is used a lot. If you watch just about any Anime, you'll hear it at least once.

Examples

shiroi - white
shiroku natta - became white

osoi - slow
osoku natta - became slow

hayai - fast
hayaku natte iru - is becoming fast

nai - not there (opposite of aru, to exist)
naku natta - became nothing

Example Sentences

Akane wa Dracula o taoshita kedo,
Akane (subject) Dracula (who or what) killed but,

inochi ga naku natta n'da.
life (subject) not there became (is).

Akane defeated Dracula, but at the price of her own life.

ranma o taoshita ato de, genma to tatakatte ita.
ranma (who) defeated after, genma (with) was fighting.
After he defeated Ranma, he was fighting with Genma.

tabako mou naku natta nda!
cigarettes already nothing became !
We're already out of cigarettes!

kono rousoku o naku naru made,
this candle (what) nothing becomes until,

koko de matte kudasai!
here (location) wait please!

Please wait here until this candle completely burns up.

doushite konna tokoro ni kuru nante?
why this kinda place (to) come (a thing such as)
Why did you come to a place like this?

ame ga futte iru shi,
rain (subject) is falling (and)

okaasan ga okotte iru shi,
mother (subject) is being angry (and)

nanimo dekinai n dakara.
nothing can't do (*filler*) therefore.

It's raining, and mom's mad, so I can't do anything.

Useful Words

inochi - life
nakusu - to lose
rousoku - candle
tabako - cigarettes
ame - rain


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