Chapter Two: Explanation
- だいじょうぶ です か？ daijoubu desu ka? - [Are you ok?]
As we discussed in Chapter 1, adding a か ka
to the end of a sentence makes it a question. Without the
ka this would mean, "(I) am fine."
daijoubu can mean "fine,ok, good, safe..."
- いいえ、だいじょうぶ じゃ ない。 iie, daijoubu janai - [No, I am not fine.] Lit. "No, fine not." First comes the "No" which is iie. And lastly comes the negating factor which negates daijoubu. You can play tricks, by saying "daijoubu... [wait a few seconds] ja nai!" This is kind of similar to the movie "Wayne's World" where the character is always making his sentences negative by adding "NOT!" at the end. Only this is normal Japanese.
- なまえ は なん です か？ namae wa nan desu ka? - [What is
namae - name
wa - particle which is after the main topic of the sentence; note it is pronounced as wa, not ha, when used as a particle
nan - what
desu - is
ka - question marker
"nan desu ka" [What is it?] is a very useful question. You can just point to an object and say, "nan desu ka" or you can start with "... wa nan desu ka?" [What is ...] as in the example
- わたし の なまえ は おばあさん です。 watashi no namae wa obaasan desu -
[My name is "Obaasan."]
watashi no - [my] remember this as a one-word word. Remember the no is a possessive particle which shows relation between two things. So whenever you have watashi + no it always equals "my."
This phrase is also very useful for introducing yourself. "watashi no namae wa ...[your name] desu."
- あなた は フランクさん です ね。 anata wa furanku san desu ne - [You
are Mr. Frank, aren't you?]
The ne here asks for confirmation--aren't you?
- はい。 わたし は フランク です。 hai. watashi wa furanku desu. - [Yes, I am Frank.] An important point: When speaking of oneself, one never uses san
- なにか のみます か？ nanika nomimasu ka? - [Would you
like something to drink] [lit. something to drink?]
Would you like something to eat is "nanika tabemasu ka?"
Would you like to see something (tv or movies) is "nanika mimasu ka?"
- はい。 のみます。 hai. nomimasu - [Yes, I will drink] This is a good example of how in Japanese repeated information is usually not repeated. We know the topic (something to drink) and we know the subject (I) so we don't have to say them again. In fact it is clumsy to do so.
- はい、どぞ。 hai, dozo - [Here you are] Remember these words together. The hai is 'yes' but in this case with dozo it means, "Here you are."
- なん です か？ nan desu ka? - [What is it?] We saw this before and we will see it again! What is it?
- カルピス です。 karupisu desu - [It's Calpis] As mentioned before, Calpis is a popular Japanese milk-based drink.
- カルピス は なん です か？ karupisu wa nan desu ka? - [What is 'Calpis'?] Another way of asking what something is is "... tte nani?" The first way is more polite. (note there are 2 t's in tte this is because there is a short pause between what you are asking and the te)
- カルピス は のみもの です。 karupisu wa nomimono desu. - [Calpis
is a drink] Because the main topic of "Calpis"
is known, you really don't have to say it. You could just
say, "nomimono desu."
nomimono - this is a compound word of nomi ('drink' from 'nomimasu') + mono (thing) = a drink thing or a drink
- そうか。 souka - [is that so?] As mentioned before, this is added to act like you are listening and interested in what the speaker has to say. It has a feeling of "Oh, I didn't know that! Thank you for informing me of that fact."