Japanese: Lesson 4

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A very useful little Japanese word is the word for "like that" or "that way", or even "so" in the sense of "it is so" meaning "it is like that". "So" in japanese is almost the same, but pronounced "SOU".

How would you ask "Is that so?", leaving out the word "that"?

?Is that so?|sou desu ka?

And how would you answer "Yes, that’s so"?

?Yes, that’s so.|hai, sou desu.

"Sou" means "like that" or "that way". The word for "like THIS" or "THIS way" is "kou" with a K instead of an S.

The Japanese word meaning "for" or "to" is "ni", N I. But unlike English, these words always come AFTER the thing, instead of before it. So "for you" would be "you for" in Japanese, which is "anata ni". "For me" or "to me" would be "watashi ni". How would you say "It is for you"?

?It is for you.|anata ni desu.

How would you ask "Is it for me?"

?Is it for me?|watashi ni desu ka?

The Japanese letter "ni" looks like a picture of a knee, taken from the front. But the right hand side of the knee is missing.

ni: に

The Japanese word for "from" is, by coincidence, exactly the same as the word for "empty". Like "ni" it goes after instead of before. How would you say "it is from me"?

?It is from me.|watashi kara desu.

Australia is OOSUTORARIA. How would you say "I am from Australia"?

?I am from Australia|Watashi ga oosutoraria kara desu

(or Oosutoraria kara desu)

The Japanese word for England comes from the word English. It is "Igirisu". How would you say "I am from England"?

?I am from England.|Igirisu kara desu.

If you are not sure about something, so you want to say "I heard that", in the sense of "I heard that it is from England", then what you actually say "It is from England. It is so". You can add "It is so.", onto the end of any sentence. It sounds like it is making the sentence more definate, but in Japanese it shows that you don’t know for certain, it is just something that you heard, maybe just a rumour.

How would you say to your friend Tom: "I heard that it is from England"?

?I heard that it is from England.|Igirisu kara da sou da.

To make a sentence polite, you only change the END of the setence. You never use the polite ending in the middle of a sentence. You only need one politeness ending at the end and the whole sentence will be considered polite. So the polite version would be?

?I heard that it is from England.|Igirisu kara da sou desu.

If you want to say "He is a teacher from Australia", you need to put the "from Australia" part first, and the thing you are describing must always come after. How would you say politely "He is a teacher from Australia"?

?He is a teacher from Australia.|Oosutoraria kara sensei desu.

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