Silly me, I decided to take my gym bag home from work over the weekend so that I could wash my clothes. I managed to leave my mp3 player out in a place where my 1 year old was able to get his hands on it, and before I knew it he was banging it around the inside of a pot. It only plays out of one ear now. So I guess I’m going to use my phone from now on when at the gym.
Pimsleur Lesson 7:
I’ve been kind of cheating with these. As you know, I listen to them at the gym, and I think I’m picking it up alright. But I’ve been reviewing by looking at Susan’s notes over here.
ここで – here at this location
ここでたべます。 – I’m going to eat here.
どこで – which location
あそかで – that location
レストラン – restaurant
レストランで – at the restaurant
レストランはどこですか。 – where is the restaurant?
なに – what
なにか – something
ビール – beer
さけ – sake
お酒をのみますか。- I’m going to drink sake. (In this case, sake is written with kanji!)
ほしです – I want
ほしくありません – I don’t want
お酒がほしです。 – I want sake.
どこでたべますか。- Where will you eat?
いま – now
あとで – later
いいです – All right / Ok.
いいですね – It’s ok, right?
いいですか – Is that ok?
わかりませんか – you don’t know?
While I haven’t been focusing on kanji at all yet, I think it’s a good idea to get started when it comes to numbers. Numbers are generally not written in hiragana just as numbers in English are generally not spelled out. ななじゅうなな would be as annoying as seventy-seven. That said, numbers seem like a deceptively in-depth topic to cover. While I’m going to just focus on the basics that are covered in this chapter of Human Japanese tonight, I’ve already got a second resource lined up to go through soon. Though I think I’ll wait to review it until I start learning the dates.
|3||さん||三||The number 4 is considered to be an unlucky number, so gifts are never given in units of 4. It’s better to give 3 of something, than 4 of something.|
|四||し is used more frequently. The Chinese word for four (四), sounds quite similar to the word for death (死), in many varieties of Chinese. Similarly, the Sino-Japanese, Sino-Korean, and Sino-Vietnamese words for four, shi (し, Japanese), and sa (사, Korean), sound similar or identical to death in each language.
In Japan, many apartment houses and parking lots skip 4. Many hotels skip the 13th floor, similar to some western hotels. There is also much wordplay involved such as 24 can become nishi, aka double death (ニ死) 42 can become shini, aka “death” or “to death” (死に) 43 can become shisan which sounds like shizan, aka stillbirth (死産) 45 can be shigo, or “after death” (死後).
|5||ご||五||Gifts are given in units of 5 as well, to avoid the number 4.|
|七||なな is used more frequently. I can’t really find a solid explanation as to why, but I’d assume it’s the same as with the number 4… people wish to avoid the word “shi”.
Like many countries throughout the world, Japan considers the number seven lucky. This is not imported, but steeped in the country’s religious traditions. Seven is an important number in Buddhism. Japanese Buddhists celebrate a baby’s seventh day and mourn the seventh day after a person dies when the soul is said to cross over.
In Japanese folklore there are the Shichifukuin (七福神 – the Seven Gods of Luck). Tanabata (七夕 – Evening of the Seventh) is an important summertime holiday that’s celebrated on July 7th (7/7). The number seven also makes many appearances in pachinko parlors and scratch tickets.
|8||はち||八||Although slightly less well-known, eight is also a lucky number. This is due to its shape – 八. Called suehirogari (末広がり), it’s lucky because it widens at the bottom which reminds one of prosperity and growth.|
|九||きゅう is used more frequently. く is generally skipped, especially in hospitals, due to the sound “ku” being associated with the word “to suffer” (「苦しむ」 “kurushimu”). 49 is considered to be an especially unlucky number as it is evocative of the phrase “To suffer until death.” (「死ぬまで苦しむ。」 “Shinu made kurushimu.”)|
The easy thing, is once you have these numbers down, counting up to 99 is just a matter of stating combinations of the above numbers. 11, is just ten-one, or じゅういち twelve is じゅうに. よん and なな are used rather than their alternatives. 20 becomes にじゅう 30 becomes さんじゅう etc. Which when combined, you state numbers simply as にじゅうに for 22.
|300||さんびゃく||三百||notice the euphony|
|600||ろっぴゃく||六百||notice the euphony|
|800||はっぴゃく||八百||notice the euphony|
There’s a couple of numbers there that stand out as slightly different. “san-hyaku” sounds wrong to the Japanese, and so they add ten-ten to it to change hya to bya. This is called euphony.
When we count over 999, we need a word for “thousand”. Some Euphony happens here as well.
|3000||さんぜん||三千||notice the euphony|
|8000||はっせん||八千||notice the euphony|
In the western world, we decided early on to separate things into groups of 3. 1,000,000,000 for example. In Japan, numbers get divided into groups of 4. 10,0000,0000 for example. This means that instead of 10,000 we end up with a new number 1,0000 :: better known as まん. For all numbers above まん, it is important to always specify a number in front of it, even if it’s just a one. いちまん not just まん.
|1,0000||いちまん||万||Notice that for 万, you don’t need to write 一 in front of the kanji.|
|1,0000,0000||いちおく||億||Notice that for 億, you don’t need to write 一 in front of the kanji.|