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Tampa Japanese Meetup Message Board Benkyou Kai › Practice Grid & Pictures

Practice Grid & Pictures

Esther (.
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 126
First things first: The blue writing practice grid I promised to share with you can be downloaded from http://files.meetup.c...­

Oh, and here's How to Speak Fluent Japanese without Saying a Word:
Part1:­ (sthhhh...)
Part2:­ (heeeeah?) etc., etc.

Have you practiced any writing yet? Watched the vowel song video a gazillion times? Well... がんばってください! That is, please do your best! I'm sure you've heard that pronounced (Ken & Remy just said it in the above videos), but if not, watch out for the little っ (tsu). Don't pronounce it; just slip a little pause in there--Ganbat-te kudasai.

Now for some more fun...
These pictures are from my last trip to Japan in April 2010. The restaurant/bar in the first two pictures is right across from my wabi-sabi ryokan. A りょかん is a fancy Japanese style inn, but Taito Ryokan is definitely NOT fancy. It is totally cool though. http://www.libertyhou...­ And still only 3,000 Yen per night. Woo hoo! Nineteen photos showing Taiko Ryokan in all its Shabby Chic glory can be seen at­.

So, look at the yellow restaurant sign in the first picture. What do the red hiragana characters (たぬき) spell? The daytime picture of the same establishment gives you a hint...and no, it's not a bear. Oh that's my tiny balcony all shadowy in the foreground. The railing's only about 2 feet tall, and the "floor" of the balcony is only about a foot wide. That's just big enough to keep drunks from falling to the street through the open window or to air out a dozen pair of stinky sneakers.

In the next picture, Miss Kitty has a Naruto (なると) Bow! What sort of food is she soaking in? Yes, it's in katakana...probably because it's an advertisement--ads require EMPHASIS--but this particular dish *does* have a foreign provenance. Hint: In China it's called "Lamian" and in the grocery store there's an instant brand called Maruchan. (^_~) By the way, I told you foreign words are always represented using katakana. I lied! If the word is old enough and familiar enough to the Japanese that they think of it as part of their own language (like a lot of Chinese words) then it is written in hiragana.

なると(n) steamed fish-paste cake, sliced to decorate soup (type of kamaboko). So kamaboko would be the name of the generic fishy "hot dog" without the swirl pattern. To read about the Naruto whirlpools near Shikoku island, go to: http://en.wikipedia.o...­, http://www.wel-shikok...­.

Then, if you see the sign below painted on the sidewalk, you'll probably understand that you should stop walking before crossing the street...but how do you say "stop" in Japanese (とまれ)? By the way, this way of saying "Stop!" is a plain-and-simple command, not a polite request.

Finally, you know you're supposed to silence your phone while riding the train...but what is that setting called in "Japanese?" Surely that doesn't really say "silent?"
マナーモード= ma naa mou do = manner mode (katakana, for the obvious reason)

By the the bottom of this poster before the cute little circle-period (called くてん if you want to be technical, or まる if you want to be かわいい), you'll see ください.
くてん = period; grammatical full-stop
まる = circle
かわいい = cute
ください = please
So they're politely asking you to turn off your noise, not ordering it like the stop sign was doing.
Sometimes ください is written with the "kuda" part in kanji (Chinese characters) like this: 下さい. Is this your first kanji? If so, congratulations!!! That kanji means "below" or "descending." I guess it's used in "please" because you want something handed down to you from someone we're saying (for the sake of being polite) is of a higher social standing, or you're asking that honorable person to condescend to do something for you. The corresponding kanji for "above" is 上 which you'll see in the name of Ueno Park in Tokyo. Ueno 上野 means "Upper Field" and, oddly enough, is part of an area in Tokyo known as the "Low City" or Shitamachi 下町. Yep, the "below" kanji is pronounced at least two different ways--"kuda" or "shita"--depending on how it's used. The 上 on the cellphone poster is saying that after (or on top of) changing your settings, you're supposed to do something additional--not make any calls. If you want to load the whole sentence into an online translator for grins, cut and paste this: マナーモードに 設定の上、通話は ご遠慮ください。 It took me a bit of time to recreate all those kanji, so to show your grateful humility, get down on the floor and do that bow next time you see me. Warning: "The Japanese Tradition" videos are comedic parodies. (^_~)'
上 - うえ - Above. The little mark is "above" the horizontal line. There are 3 brush strokes in this kanji; the order is vertical (top-to-bottom), small horizontal (left-to-right), then long horizontal (left-to-right)
下 - した - Below. The little mark is "below" the horizontal line. Three strokes again; long horizontal (left-to-right), vertical (top-to-bottom), and then the slanted "tic" mark (left-to-right or, if you're using a real brush, you just ease the bristles down with the tip pointing left). Now you have had just as many calligraphy lessons as I have--one! Remind me to break out my writing brush (ふで) next time and demonstrate my lack of skill.
A former member
Post #: 2
とても面白いです。(とても おもしろい です) Very interesting.

For some reason the Japanglish word always confuse me a lot!
I looked at this for about 2 minutes and couldn't figure it out "マナーモード= ma naa mou do", until I read your explanation, "manner mode" tongue
Esther (.
Group Organizer
Tampa, FL
Post #: 131
When I saw that sign on a train in Japan, I thought it said "manai" like the "please don't" ending of a mu verb. For example 飲む (to drink), 飲まないでください (please don't drink). Guess I understand things better when I try to explain them to others. So...YAY, Benkyou Kai! laughing

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