TIL: Influent, Pimsleur 1-13 & Human Japanese Ch: 15

It’s been a while since playing any video games, and the urge was strong tonight. I’m currently trying to figure out if there’s a good option for me to play in Japanese. Either via PS3, or import on DS. Both of which I own and can easily play games on from other markets. I’m tempted to look into emulation options too so that I can check out the Japanese versions of some of the NES or SNES games I grew up with. In the meantime though, I was able to scratch a little of my itch by picking up Influent again.


It’s been almost two weeks since the last time playing Influent, and as one might expect I haven’t retained all of the vocabulary I’ve covered to date. I was pleased though and able to recall quite a bit. And not just the katakana loan words either 🙂

After trying a few random word rounds to refresh my memory, I started collecting 50 more words to learn bringing me up to 150 words “known” now in the game.

シャワー = shower
タオル = towel
はいすいこう = drain
せっけんおき = soap dish
せんぱつ = shampoo
リンス = conditioner (rinse)
シャワーヘッド = shower head
かぎみ = mirror
とだな = cabinet
かめそり = razor
はぶらし = tooth brush
デンタルフロス = dental floss
ほうたい = bandages
ローション = lotion
ソファー = sofa
てんじょうせん = ceiling fan
サボテン = cactus
ギター = guitar
ギターアンプ = guitar amp
コースター = coaster
クッキー = cookies
リモコン = remote controller
つち = dirt
ゲーム = game
カップ = cup
ラップトップ = laptop
テルビ = tv
テルビだい = tv stand
おもちゃ = toy
DVDプレーヤー = DVD Player
えいが = movie
ブラインド = blinds
はいざら = ash tray
ライター = lighter
せんこう = incense
マグカップ = mug
テーブル = table
そうじき = vacuum
くつ = shoe
セーター = sweater
パーカー = sweatshirt
せびろ = blazer
スーツケース = suitcase
おしいれ = closet
たな = shelf
ビデオゲームキ = video game console
コントローラー = controller
サッカーボール = soccer ball
ほんだな = bookcase
リサイクル = recycling bin

The game is pretty good at being a flash card system, so while typing this has been practice for my kana reading and meaning recall, I’m going to continue to pop into Influent now and then to refresh and continue to learn new words.

Pimsleur 1-13


こんばんは = Good Evening
おかね = お金 = money
もっています = I have, I’ve got
もっていません = I haven’t, I’ve not got
いっぽん = 一本 = one (counted object)
ドルで = in dollars
はいどうぞ = Yes, please (as in please take it. or you’re welcome)


おかねをもっていますか。 = Do you have money?
おくらおかねをもっていますか。 = How much money do you have?
でも円わ二千円もっています。 = But as for Yen, I have two thousand Yen.
二千円そして千円。 = Two thousand Yen and one thousand Yen.
円でいくらですか。 = How many Yen is it?

These half hour lessons really do offer a good chance to repeat and learn, not just the above phrases but many more. I’m just isolating the “new” stuff when I do this rather than a transcription of the whole half-hour.

Human Japanese Chapter 15

The only stuff by this point that’s new is ともだち = friend, and that ~たち can be appended to ひと to make the word person into people.
わたし = I/me
あなた = you
ともだち = friend
ひと = person ((it’s worth noting that hi in this case is pronounced lazily. It ends up sounding more like a sh sound. sh-to
そのひと = that person
~たち = pluralizer
~さん = polite name suffix.

So the exception to the rule that Japanese doesn’t have plural words, is when it comes to people. Person can become Persons, Teacher can become Teachers. (せんせいたち)

は is (perhaps) the most important particle in the language and doesn’t have an exact counterpart in English. “Wa is called a topic marker. It marks the topic of discussion. It says, “Hey everybody, now we’re going to talk about what I just marked.”

“In English, the subject in a sentence is the person or thing that does the action. It is the doer of the verb. In the sentence ‘I go to school everyday,’ the subject is ‘I’ because ‘I’ is the person who does the action–he or she goes to school. In the sentence, ‘My teachers give me tons of homework,’ the subject is ‘my teachers’ because they are the ones who carry out the verb– the give homework. And in the sentece, ‘My homework is really boring.’ the subject is ‘my homework’ because it is the one who does the action of being boring.”

“When we translate Sensei wa Amerikan-jin desu as ‘The teacher is American,’ the subject of that English sentence becomes ‘the teacher,’ because it does the action of being American. It would seem, by looking at the Japanese, that wa is simply a particle to mark subjects. In this sentence, that appears to be the case, but it’s not actually true.”

“Wa really just marks the topic of conversation, and it can be used quite flexibly, in ways that would be confusing if you tried to understand it as a simple subject marker. That’s why I’ve taken pains to translate the sentences above with the ellipses. Take a look at my ‘as for’ translation:”

“As for the teacher, she is American.”

“In this example, the primary sentence is, ‘She is American,’ and the actual grammatical subject is ‘she,’ not ‘the teacher.’ The phrase at the beginning, ‘as for the teacher,’ simply sets up the general topic under consideration. That’s exactly what’s happening in Japanese (and that’s why ‘as for’ is a truly brilliant translation of wa).”

I’ve already been over the face that wa is written は in past blogs.

Literally, こんいちは means “as for this day…” and こんばんは means “as for this evening…”

でした replaces です for past tense.

According to Human Japanese, when we want to make です negative, we make it でわあれません. This is true, but it’s more common for people to speak a slightly abbreviated version which is じゃ rather than でわ.

Just as a negative question implies that you think something is true “Are you not going to eat?”, the same is true in Japanese. たべませんか。

でわありませんでした is the past version of でした