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Desu

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Desu

Postby h3lladvocate » Sun 11.06.2005 11:29 pm

When do i use desu? I've been reading about and i see some sentenses with desu at the end and some without it.
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RE: Desu

Postby Kates » Sun 11.06.2005 11:37 pm

"Desu" is a verb. It basically acts as an equal sign (as in A=B), or to say "am/is/are." It would not appear in sentences which do not use 'is/are'... or have a different verb (ie: eat, drink, study, etc). (Which should make sense... I mean, that's like someone saying "I see some sentences in English that use the word "the" and some that don't".... right?)

Watashi ha Kates DESU. = I am Kates. (or, in more 'natural' English: My name is Kates.) Think of it this way: I = Kates
Watashi ha Amerika-jin DESU. = I am American. (or: I = American)

Watashi ha Nihongo wo benkyou shimasu. = I study Japanese. (No DESU here because it is not needed.) There is no real A=B in this sentenece, so DESU is not needed.
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RE: Desu

Postby h3lladvocate » Sun 11.06.2005 11:44 pm

All rightty thanks, but now im curious about something else, when you wrote "Watashi ha Kates DESU" why did you put a ha after watashi, I always thought it was a wa.
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RE: Desu

Postby nprz » Mon 11.07.2005 12:04 am

It is read as "wa", but if you written it in hiragana, it uses the "ha" character.
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RE: Desu

Postby h3lladvocate » Mon 11.07.2005 12:08 am

ah, domo arigate kates-san to nprz-san.
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RE: Desu

Postby AJBryant » Mon 11.07.2005 1:27 pm

Its the evil influence of the devil-spawned kunreishiki, which mangles romaji so that while it follows Japanese orthography, it loses any rational usage for ENGLISH comprehension.

For example, there's this mountain called "Fujisan." It's pronounced /fujisan/. In conventional romanization, it's spelled "fujisan." In kunreishiki, it's spelled "huzisan." See the problem?

I personally want to smack the heads of people who write, in romaji, "ha" for the subjective particle. They're NOT writing in kana (which *would* be 'ha') -- they're writing in romaji, and the spelling should damned well reflect what is SAID.

Tony (who hates kunreishiki)
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RE: Desu

Postby Sachi » Mon 11.07.2005 4:17 pm

Short version = "desu" is Japan's "to be" verb, basically. Yes, only one out of the several English counterparts. "desu" covers "is, am, are, was, were, being, been". Ok, I know I'm missing at least one (only 13; not an English professor ;)), but simply, that's it.

In Japanese, the verb comes (usually) at the end of a sentence. So "Watashi wa Sachi desu." literally translates to "I Sachi (and in this case) am." Just like in translating one language to another (no matter what they are) you have to switch the words (and even change a few) around so it makes sense to the native speaker. Summary: Literal translations often make little sense, so changing the sentence, phrase, ect. around is essential (so Japanese to English might confuse you ;))
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RE: Desu

Postby Infidel » Mon 11.07.2005 7:52 pm

I love writing in wapurbaka just for Tony :)
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RE: Desu

Postby Infidel » Mon 11.07.2005 7:55 pm

It really is better not to think of Desu as a verb but as a copula instead that just happens to conjugate as a verb. Don't think of it as 'to be' either or you'll confuse yourself. Think of desu as =. To be (existance) is arimasu and imasu. Unfortunatly, = and exist both translate to is, so keeping them separate in your mind will help reduce, but not eliminate mistakes.
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RE: Desu

Postby Kates » Mon 11.07.2005 10:20 pm

Tony: Sorry if you wanna smack me for using 'ha' instead. :P I think it just looks more correct than using 'wa' but I know it's a personal thing. And really, I feel that Japanese learners should get used to seeing "ha" and knowing what it means. Or being able to read "tuci" and know how to pronounce it, even though it doesn't really follow English phonetics.

Oh, and you're welcome, h3lladvocate. Good luck in your studies~
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RE: Desu

Postby InsanityRanch » Mon 11.07.2005 11:37 pm

At the risk of unleashing the Wrath of Tony (tm), *I* hate using "wa" for "ha" in romaji. Why? Well, look at the shoutbox or hang out on chat and you will see the dreaded こんにちわ and its ilk ALL THE TIME.

Usually what I type when I type in romaji is what I would type to get the correct Japanese if I were entering it into a word processor. That is probably NOT any sort of "proper" romanization, but hey... I think it's less confusing than the official ways.

Just my 2 yen (MUCH less than 2 cents) worth...

Shira
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RE: Desu

Postby meiloyn » Mon 11.07.2005 11:51 pm

Desu means "it is, I am, you are, they are, she is, he is," et cetera. It's basically "is" or "are" or "am."

For example:

Anata no neko ha kawaii desu! (Your cat is cute!)

Anata ha manga warai janai. (Your manga isn't bad.) [Janai is the equivalent of "is not."]

Kawaii desu. (It is (?) cute!) [Note: You can only decipher it properly if you have context. If your friend is showing off her dog's newborn puppies, you can say that "Kawaii desu" means "They are cute." If your friend had just caught a single goldfish at a Japanese festival and she says that it's a he, "kawaii desu" can mean "He is cute." The Japanese depend on context when using a word like desu.]

Note: I replace the wa particle with ha because you do the same thing when writing Hiragana. Even though you pronounce it as wa. I will never understand the logix of that.
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RE: Desu

Postby Harisenbon » Mon 11.07.2005 11:54 pm

I think the difference between people who hate ha and those who don't care are those who don't type in Japanese all day long and those who do. When I type in Japanese, it's a pain in the arse to add the key strokes and change the way I think in order to write in a more readable fashion for western readers. Native Japanese typists are the same. It makes no logical sense for them to change their typing pattern of "ha hi hu he ho" to "fu" just because it's easier for westerns to read in romaji.

Now, if you are writing for the legibility of western readers, such as street signs, pronunciation books, etc, that is one thing, but for writing within Japan, and within the Japanese language kunreishiki is a better system, I believe.

If you want to smack the heads of people who write ha instead of wa, go right ahead. But there are a LOT of people in Japan, and Akebono is one of them. ;)

The easiesty way is just to remove the use of romaji on this site altogether, but that's a different subject entirely. ;)

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Last edited by Harisenbon on Mon 11.07.2005 11:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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