Friday, November 20th, 2020
- 11/20/20 – New Haiku by Iida Dakotsu – See Below
- 11/20/20 – New Section: Sleep Stories | Akutagawa’s Hana
- New Beginning Japanese Phrases Podcast/Video – Click Here
- New Sentences for Beginners and Intermediates (see below)
- New Nihongo no Tane Podcast/Video – Click Here [Now includes downloadable PDF and English translations]
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This Month’s Makoto e-Zine
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Repetition and Shadowing [BEGINNER]
Master a sentence’s meaning, vocabulary, and pronunciation with repetition and shadowing. Listen to the sentence as many times as you can bear (it will automatically loop). Once you understand the meaning, start “shadowing” the text by mimicking (audibly) what you hear.
11/18/2020: Which is Cheaper
basu to densha to dochira no houga yasui desu ka?
bus – or – train – or -which one – is greater – cheap – ?
Which is cheaper? The bus or the train?
- バス bus
- と (quotation marker) [quoting バス and used to indicate a comparison: and/or]
- 電車 train [電 (electricity); 車 (car; vehicle)]
- と (quotation marker) [quoting 電車 and used to indicate a comparison: and/or]
- どちらの which [どちら (which); の (modifying particle to connect with the following noun: ほう)]
- ほう (which) side [indicating one side of the comparison; ほう (direction; way; side)]
- どちらのほう which one [どちら is very polite for “which”; どっち is a casual version which is used more commonly in conversations. のほう adds a softness nuance and also makes the question somewhat politer. どっちのほう (which one) can work here as well. You can also omit のほう altogether and say どちらが安いですか .]
- が (subject marker) [marking the subject of the sentence: どっちのほう]
- 安い cheap; inexpensive
- です polite copula
- か ? (question marker)[indicating question]
To see more examples of the very useful ～ほうがいい construction, click here.
Want instant access to ALL Beginner Repetition and Shadowing Sentences? Click here to upgrade to Shogun now.
Repetition and Shadowing [UPPER BEGINNER-INTERMEDIATE]
Master a sentence’s meaning, vocabulary, and pronunciation with repetition and shadowing. Listen to the sentence as many times as you can bear (it will automatically loop). Once you understand the meaning, start “shadowing” the text by mimicking (audibly) what you hear. The goal is to present a sentence with 2-3 important keywords on a trending topic currently in Japanese news.
11/18/2020: The First Bond
The actor who played the original James Bond, Sean Connery, has died. He was ninety years old.
- 初代 the original [初 (the first; used as a prefix to mean “the first –“); 代 (generation)]
- ジェームスボンド James Bond
- 役 role [の can be used between ジェームスボンド and 役 (the role of James Bond; James Bond’s role), but it is not necessary in this case.)]
- を務めた (who) played (the role) [past form of 務める (to work; to fill (a position; to act as ~)); 役を務める (to play a role); the whole phrase (初代 … 務めた) is an adjectival phrase that modifies the following noun phrase: 俳優のショーンコネリーさん (the subject of this sentence)]
- 俳優 actor
- の (modifying particle) [connecting the word before and after it, and here it is used to indicated one’s profession.]
- ショーンコネリーさん Mr. Sean Connelly [ショーンコネリー (Sean Connelly); さん (honorific suffix almost always used after a person’s name except among close friends; it doesn’t indicate gender)]
- が subject marker [marks a subject]
- 亡くなりました has died; passed away [from 亡くなる (to pass away; to decease); sounds more respectful than 死ぬ (to die)]
- 90歳でした (he) was 90 years old [歳 (years old): でした (past form of です copula which comes after a noun or an adjective); 才 is a simple version for 歳, but 歳 is more appropriate than 才 for “years old”.; “~歳でした“ is often used at the end of the first paragraph about a well-known person’s death.]
Want instant access to ALL Intermediate Repetition and Shadowing sentences? Click here to upgrade to Shogun now.
This Week’s Haiku
higurashi no koe no tsumazuku gogo sanji
Evening cicadas / their voices stumble / 3 o’clock in the afternoon
Vocabulary & Notes
EVENING CICADAS / THEIR VOICES STUMBLE / 3 O’CLOCK IN THE AFTERNOON
- ひぐらし evening cicada [learn more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanna_japonensis]
- 声 の (cicada’s voice) stumble [声 (voice); の (used in place of が (subject marker) which is grammatically wrong normally, however this usage is employed in classical poems often)]
- つまづく (cicada’s chirping) stumbles [つまづく (to stumble; to trip over); evening cicadas sound somewhat like, “click, click, click……” with “the clicks” going up and down in speed. The poet probably used this word to describe the sound which is very unique and unconventional. つまづく is modifying the following words (午後三時)]
- 午後三時 3 in the afternoon [午後 (after noon; 午 (noon); 後(after)); 三時 (3 o’clock)]
One autumn day around three in the afternoon, he heard the evening cicadas seem to be stumbling in their chirping.
- ある秋の日 on one fall day; on one day in autumn [ある (one; certain); 秋 (fall; autumn);日 (day); に (as in 秋の日に) can be omitted as this case]
- 午後三時 3 in the afternoon [午後 (after noon); 三時 (3 o’clock)]
- ころ around
- ひぐらし evening cicada
- 声 voice
- つまづいた stumbled [from つまづく(to stumble; to trip over)]
- ように like (cicada stumbled) [よう (appearance; appearance; manner); に (making the preceding phrase adverbial)]
- 聞こえました sounded [from 聞こえる (to sound; can hear)]
What is the poet referring to? Could it be the stumbling at 3 PM is like a singer clearing his throat before a performance? He’s just getting started.
Or could it represent the twilight of the insect. He’s stumbling due to the lateness of the year. He doesn’t have much longer to live.
Or is it simply the poet describing the sound as he hears it?
The beauty of haiku is the reader/listener only has the 5-7-5 to work with. One can imagine different interpretations.
Iida Dakotsu (1885-1962) was a haiku poet from Yamanashi. His real name was 飯田武治 Iida Takeji, but he is commonly referred to as Dakotsu. He trained under Takahama Kyoshi.
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Podcasts with Exclusive Content
Learn important vocabulary and breakdown an example sentence using that vocabulary word. For beginners to upper beginners. Makoto+ members get vocabulary notes and sound files.
A podcast for upper beginners to intermediates. Listen to Yumi talk about… whatever she wants to talk about. Follow along with the transcript and study the key vocabulary words. The transcript and vocabulary list is exclusive for Makoto+ members–thank you!
Sleep Stories with Exclusive Content
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Tongue-twisters are called 早口言葉はやくちことば hayakuchi kotoba in Japanese. These intentionally difficult-to-articulate phrases may not only be a good way to impress your Japanese friends but perhaps they can also help with pronunciation.
tonari no kyaku wa, yoku kaki kuu kyaku da.
The passenger next to me is a passenger who eats a lot of Japanese persimmons.
Our neighbor’s guest is a guest who eats a lot of Japanese persimmons.
- 隣 tonari – next (to); neighboring
- 客 kyaku – guest; visitor; client; customer; passenger
- よく yoku – a lot; often; frequently [in this case, a lot]
- 柿 kaki – Japanese persimmon
- 食う kuu – to eat [can be rude; use たべる instead for “to eat”]
This Month’s Coupon
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Additional Content and Downloads
Click on the images below to download additional content. Each month, we will rotate freebies as a bonus and thank you for your support!
New Yokai Reader book: Mermaids with eBook formats and Sound Files
Vocabulary Lesson with Crossword Worksheet
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Please let me know if you have any questions or problems.Thank you,Clay & Yumi
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