Lesson 1: Recap

Here’s a quick review of what we talked about today:

Class Flow

  • One lesson a week, one homework assignment a week
  • Ask as many questions as you need to/want to!
  • This is all about having fun!
  • Chelsea Smith is written チェルシー・スミス
  • Chewy Hou is written チューイー・ホー (or 侯家怡 in Chinese)
  • Nat Guy is written ナット・ガイ

Bare-bones Overview of Japanese Grammar

  • SOV word order
  • Particles are the glue of the language! They tell you what every noun in the sentence does. We’ll see more about them soon.
  • Polite (desu/masu) form vs. plain form
  • Japanese uses ellipsis liberally; unnecessary information is excised from sentences!

Japanese Writing System

  • Japanese has three writing systems: hiragana, katakana, and kanji
  • Hiragana is a phonetic syllabary. It’s used primarily for native Japanese words, grammatical purposes like particles and conjugations, and for writing words that would be written in kanji when you don’t know (or don’t feel like) writing the kanji.
  • Katakana is also a phonetic syllabary. It’s used primarily for foreign words or for providing emphasis to words that would normally be written in hiragana and katakana.
  • Kanji all represent ideas, and have pronunciations that are tied to them. They’re used primarily for writing words like nouns, adverbs, and for the stems of verbs and adjectives. (In Japanese, adjectives are conjugated, so they have stems too!)
  • Collectively, hiragana and katakana are called the kana.

Starting the Hiragana

  • We learned the first five hiragana: あいうえお

Good job, guys! If you have any questions about this lesson (directly related to the lesson or just inquisitive about anything we touched on at all), feel free to ask here in the comments.

2 Responses to this post.

  1. chage's Gravatar

    Posted by chage on 19.05.09 at 10:15 am

    Hi Nat, nice work here. Maybe it is time to recap my long forgotten level 1 japanese lesson. :D
    Do drop by my blog post again in case you are looking for the fix on the search box.

  2. HCG dieting's Gravatar

    Posted by HCG dieting on 22.01.12 at 5:51 pm

    This is very good. I was pleasantly surprised to find this information so well put together, definitely going to post this on facebook so the husband can find it. Cheers!

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