Pimsleur Japanese I-5

Kanjis: 1st grade + JLPT N5; Additional kanjis for lessons 1-8:

わたし – I/me きみ – you 所・処 ところ – place
ぼく – I/me さけ – sake 欲しい ほしい – wanted

Conversation transcript

Instructions
Listen to this conversation


English
1: man; 2: woman

1: Excuse me. Pardon me.
2: Yes. What (is the matter)?
1: Ueno park? Where is it?
2: It is over there.
1: Ueno station?
2: It is here.
1: Thank you very much.


romaji
1: otoko no hito; 2: onna no hito

1: sumi-masen. sumi-masen.
2: hai. nani ka?
1: ueno kouen wa doko desu ka?
2: asoko desu.
1: ueno eki wa?
2: koko desu.
1: doumo arigatou gozai-masu.



kana
1: おとこの ひと; 2: おんなの ひと

1: すみません。 すみません。
2: はい。なに か。
1: うえの こうえんは どこ ですか。
2: あそこ です。
1: うえの えきは?
2: ここ です。
1: どうも ありがとう ございます。


kanji
1: 男の人; 2: 女の人

1: すみません。すみません。
2: はい。何か。
1: 上のこうえんは何処ですか。
2: あそ処です。
1: うえの駅は?
2: こ処です。
1: どうもありがとうございます。


Vocabulary


English
what
what’s the matter?

something
formal
casual

fine

to eat
masu (formal)
dict (casual)

to drink
masu (formal)
dict (casual)


romaji
nani
nani ka

 
nani-ka
nanka

kekkou-na

 
tabe-masu
taberu

 
nomi-masu
nomu


kana
なに
なにか

 
なにか
なんか

けっこうな

 
たべます
たべる

 
のみます
のむ


kanji

何か

 
何か
 

 

 
食べます
食べる

 
飲みます
飲む


  • Words ending in -i and -na are i-adjectives and na-adjectives.
  • Even though ‘nani ka’ and ‘nanika’ look the same in kanji and hiragana, they are not the same thing; ‘nani ka’ (two words) means ‘What’s the matter?’, while ‘nani-ka’ (one word) means ‘something’.
  • Japanese teenagers use ‘nanka’, the casual version of ‘nani-ka’, in the same way that English teenagers use ‘like’ [Tae Kim]. Hence, it appears often in dramas and animes, but it will seldom show up in adult conversations.

Sample sentences

Won’t you eat something?


formal
nani-ka tabe-masen ka?

なにか たべませんか。

何か食べませんか。


casual
nanka tabe-nai?

なにか たべない?

なにか食べない?



Comments

The following comments explain some of the grammar in more detail.

Adjectives

kekkou-na – けっこうな

‘kekkou’ is a na-adjective that means ‘fine’, but the interpretation changes depending on the context:

  • for positive contexts it means ‘Yes, it’s fine’, i.e., ‘go ahead’:


    Is it ok (to pay) in dollars? Yes, it’s fine.


    doru de i-i desu ka? hai, kekkou desu.


  • For negative contexts it means ‘No, it’s fine (as it is, thank you)’, i.e., ‘No, thank you’:


    Sake? No, I’m fine. (No, thank you)


    o-sake? iie, kekkou desu.


Pronouns

nani – なに, 何

‘nani’ and ‘nan’ are the two basic forms of ‘what’; they have the same kanji, 何, which appears as part of many question words:


English
what?
where?
when?

what hour?
how many people?
by what means?


romaji
nani
doko
itsu

nan ji
nan nin
nan de


kana
なに
どこ
いつ

なんじ
なんにん
なんで


kanji

何処 (what place)
何時 (what time)

何時 (what hour)
何人 (what people?)
何で (what means?)


‘nan de’ means ‘by what means?’, e.g., ‘by car’, ‘by train’, ‘by foot’, etc.

Prefixes and suffixes

-ka –

-ka is a suffix that we add to a question pronoun to get words that indicate that there is ‘some’ or ‘a little’ of that quantity, e.g.,


pronoun
nani (what?)
doko (where?)
itsu (when?)
dare (who?)


pronoun-ka
nani-ka
doko-ka
istu-ka
dare-ka


literal
[some/any]-what
[some/any]-where
[some/any]-when
[some/any]-who


meaning
[some/any]-thing
[some/any]-where
[some/any]-time
[some/any]-one


And this is why ‘nani-ka’ means ‘something’.

Expressions

sou desu ne… – そうですえね…

‘sou desu ne…’ is an expression where ‘ne’ is not playing the role of seeking agreement (ne?) nor providing confirmation (ne!), but instead it is a stalling expression (ne…), used to gain time while considering something:


let me think…


sou desu ne…


そう ですね…