Pimsleur Japanese I: 1-8, summary

# pronouns nouns adverbs verbs adject. particles pre/suffix. conjun.
1 watashi ei sukoshi desu ka (?)
anata nihon -masu (non-past) wa (topic)
amerika dict. form ga (subject)
jin wakaru
go sumu
2 tenki sou i-i ne/na o- (hon) de
mata jouzu-na ja
haya-i
3 hayou doumo iya-na demo
nichi mada genki-na
yoku
4 doko eki hanasu ko- (this)
koko kouen a- (that)
asoko tokoro do- (?)
nani -na/-ni (na-adj)
5 nani taberu kekkou-na -ka (some)
nomu
6 itsu ima no (')
ato mo (too)
koura de (at)
wo (dir.obj)
7 sake hoshi-i ga (dir.obj)
biiru
resutoran
8 dare hirugohan suru to (with) -san (hon)
negai kau ka (or) -hon (counter)
hoteru

verbs

The verb ‘to be’ – desu, is special. Its formal form is ‘desu’ and its casual form is ‘da’.
For the other verbs, the ‘masu’ form is formal, and the dictionary form is casual.

English dict kanji masu kanji
to understand/know wakaru 分かる wakarimasu 分かります
to feel at ease sumu 済む sumimasu 済みます
to speak/talk hanasu 話す hanashimasu 話します
to eat taberu 食べる tabemasu 食べます
to drink nomu 飲む nomimasu 飲みます
to do suru する shimasu します
to buy kau 買う kaimasu 買います

In many cases, a verb might be usually written in hiragana even if it has a kanji.

verb groups

There are three groups of verbs in Japanese [Patrick Chauri].

  • group 1 – u verbs: end with a termination from one of these 5 groups:
    • u, tsu, [a/u/o]ru
    • nu, bu, mu
    • ku
    • gu
    • su
  • group 2 – ru verbs: end in [i/e]ru
  • group 3 – irregular verbs: kuru and suru

Some -[i/e]ru verbs are exceptions and belong in group 1:


English
to go home
to kick
to chat/talk
to slide
to decrease


-eru group 1
kaeru
keru
shaberu
suberu
heru


English
to need
to cut
to know
to enter
to run


-iru group 1
iru
kiru
shiru
hairu
hashiru


dict. → masu

To change the form of a verb from dictionary to masu [Patrick Chauny]:

  • group 1 – u verbs: replace -u with -imasu
    there is no ‘tsi’ nor ‘si’, so -tsu → -chimasu, and -su → -shimasu.

    • hanasu → hanashimasu
    • wakaru → wakarimasu
    • kau → kaimasu
    • nomu → nomimasu
  • group 2 – ru verbs: -ru → -masu
    • taberu → tabemasu
    • miru → mimasu
  • group 3 – irregular verbs: no rule, memorize them
    • kuru → kimasu
    • suru → shimasu

Kanjis

1st grade + JLPT N5 kanjis

Additonal 1-8

わたし – I/me きみ – you ところ – place
ぼく – I/me

‘boku and ‘kimi’ do not appear in the recordings, but we use them as the casual forms of ‘watashi’ and ‘anata’.

last names

There are many common Japanese last names that use these elementary kanjis:


romaji
kuchi/guchi
ishi
yama
kawa/gawa
ki/gi
hayashi/bayashi
mori
mura
ta/da
ko
oo
taka
naka
mae
shita
moto
nishi


kanji
















西


English
mouth, entrance
rock, stone
mountain
river
tree
grove
forest
village
rice field
small
big
tall
middle
front
under
base
west


For example:

kani romaji meaning
田中 ta-naka rice field-middle
前田 mae-da front-rice field
山田 yama-da mountain-rice field
本田 hon-da base-rice field
山本 yama-moto mountain-base
山口 yama-guchi mountain-entrance
山下 yama-shita mountain-under
高木 taka-gi tall-tree
中田 naka-da middle-rice field
中村 naka-mura middle-village
中川 naka-gawa middle-river
中西 naka-nishi middle-west
西田 nishi-da west-rice field
西村 nishi-mura west-village
西川 nishi-kawa west-river
西山 nishi-yama west-mountain
大西 oo-nishi big-west
小西 ko-nishi little-west
小林 ko-bayashi small-grove
木村 ki-mura tree-village
hayashi grove
mori forest
森田 mori-ta forest-rice field
森山 mori-yama forest-mountain
石川 ishi-kawa rock-river
川口 kawa-guchi river-entrance