Lesson one, Introductions
A Lesson by Kairi_Lynn
This is the first step in any conversation you will ever have with anyone Japanese, how to introduce yourself
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Japanese words don’t change their form when inflected, but for this particles are used. Almost all of them are placed after a word (mostly nouns), with very few exceptions.
Think of them as prepositions, conjunctions and interjections, but you can’t simply replace them with particles. They cannot be translated into English and are vital in Japanese Language.
1 - The particle "wa" ( は )
The particle “wa” follows the topic of the sentence and emphasizes what the speaker wants to talk about.
Although you will pronounce and read it wa ( わ ), it is written with ha ( は ) .
It is almost exclusively used with nouns and you can’t place it before copulas (desu, da, etc.) and usually, the word which uses "wa" is the first word in a sentence.
- Watashi wa Orihime desu. – I am Orihime.
Watashi is the topic of the sentence because after it "wa" is used.
- Orihime wa watashi desu. – Orihime is me. (and nobody else )
In this case, Orihime is the topic of the sentence.
2 - The copula "desu" (です)
"Desu" is considered a copula and roughly corresponds to the English verb “to be”. It can mean ‘it is’ ’we are’ ’they are’ etc. depending on the context, so it has the same form at all persons.
- Watashi wa Renji desu. – I am Renji.
- Rukia wa shinigami desu. – Rukia is a shinigami.
- Shinigami wa tsuyoi desu. – The shinigami are strong / The shinigami is strong.
You have to figure out whether it’s singular or plural in most cases since: Japanese words have no number, no gender and no case!
The negative form of "desu" is ‘dewa arimasen’ (more polite) or ‘ja arimasen’ (contracted and plain form of dewa arimasen).
- Anata wa Renji dewa arimasen. Ichigo desu. – You are not Renji. You are Ichigo.
Or how Ikkaku would say:
- Watashi wa Renji ja arimasen.
Every Japanese verb has also a simple form, which is not as polite as the others, but we will learn more about this in another Lesson.
That means that the simple form of "desu" is 'da' (you heard it often in anime or movies).
And its negative form will be ‘dewa nai’ (a bit polite) or ‘ja nai’ (plain).
Grimmjow is a impolite Arrancar , so he would say:
- Watashi wa Grimmjow da. 7 Espada ja nai. 6 Espada da. – I am Grimmjow. I am not the 7th espada. I am the 6th Espada.
All this means:
positive polite: desu
positive plain: da
negative polite: dewa arimasen, ja arimasen
negative plain: dewa nai, ja nai
I don't mind if you post at least 2-3 self-made sentences. This will show us that you care and love Japanese
Sorry if it's complicated or long (which in fact is) but I had to explain it thoroughly. Gomen
Added on January 4, 2010
Last Updated on January 4, 2010
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