TIL: Human Japanese 20

I haven’t kept up with any Japanese since March 31st! It’s tough having so many interests. I had been making a big push at the beginning of the year to learn Japanese as there was a particular company advertising a job position that caught my eye. But timing on these things doesn’t always play out. I’d still like to get to Japan some day, and have an interest in the language. I’m not dedicating every ounce of spare time to the language, but I do hope to be fluent some day so I’ve still got somewhat of a plan for how to get there. There are different levels of fluency tests, and I’m considering trying for the N5 test in December. Something which reddit at least makes me feel is perfectly achievable to the point that I shouldn’t bother. But it’s a milestone and I think for that reason would be a suitable target to ensure that I stick with it. And who knows… maybe in a few years I’ll actually be fluent?

It’s difficult for me to feel in the mood to do programming after a day of OT working on a AAA game… so I’ll likely continue to try and make some slow progress through the week on Japanese in my tragically few moments of spare time between work and sleep. I keep hearing poor review of Pimsleur… so I think I might abandon it… I’ll have to find another source for audio as I know I won’t get enough out of text only learning.

Right now I’m in the mood for a bit of progress, so I’m going to continue where I left off with Human Japanese.

Human Japanese

の is used as a possessive particle… the same way ‘s would be used in English… so “John’s teacher” becomes ジョンさんのせんせい
There is only the one possessive particle… so it always goes owner -> particle -> possessed object.

    せんせいのともだち - Teacher’s friend
    がっこうのせんせい - School’s teacher
    すずきさんのいえ - Suzuki’s house
    わたしのねこ - My cat
    あなたのいんぴつ - Your pencil

My and Your are correct translations… while a literal translation would be more like I’s or You’s

    それはわたしのいんぴつです。 - That is my pencil.
    あれはあなたのほんですか。 - That is your book?
    これはまりこさんのペンですか。 - This is Mariko’s pen?
    のざきさんはわたしのせんせいでした。 - Nozaki was my teacher.

The following sounds awkward with literal translations, so of might make more sense in English

    ソニーのすずきさん - Sony’s Suzuki (Suzuki of Sony)
    アメリカのオレゴン - America’s Oregon (Oregon of America)
    にほんのほんだ - Japan’s Honda (Honda of Japan)
    ちりのせんせい - Geography’s teacher (Teacher of Geography)
    のざきさんはわたしのちりのせんせいでした - Nozaki was my teacher of geography (Nozaki was my geography teacher)
    ちきゅうのアメリカのワシントンのシアトル - Seattle of Washington of America of Earth

の can be used for more than explicit possession… it also forms relationships such as:

    おとこ - male
    おんな - female
    ひと - person
    こ - child
    おんなのひと - woman
    おとこのこ - boy

So first word can be a category, and the second word is a member of the category.

    まりこさんはおんなのひとです。 - Mariko is a woman.
    たろうさんはおとこのこです。 - Torou is a boy.
    のざきさんのともだちは、おとこのひとですか。 おんなのひとですか。 - Nozaki’s friend is a man? … a woman?

Or is not commonly used when offering choices… instead two short separate sentences will usually be used.