Language Lesson past event

Uki Uki mini 8

June 29, 2016
Uki Uki mini 8

Q1 from Fluffisch: What’s the difference between 行こう(ikou) and 行きましょう(ikimashou)?

行こう means "Let’s go" in casual speech. 行きましょう means the same in polite speech. Here are a couple of more examples:

Casual Polite
食べよう(tabeyou)
食べましょう (tabemashou)
休もう (yasumou)
休みましょう (yasumimashou)
ゲームをしよう (geemu o shiyou)
ゲームをしましょう (geemu o shimashou)
また来よう (mata koyou)
また来ましょう (mata kimashou)

Q2 from Sara hamoudeh: How are 私は(watashi wa) vs 私が (watashi ga) different?

This is a loaded question. The particles は and が are extremely complex. In general, you can think of は as a topic marker that simply introduces a topic, while が has a tendency to call extra attention to the subject.

私はカレンです。(Watashi wa Karen desu.) I’m Karen.

私がカレンです。(Watashi ga Karen desu.) It is me who’s Karen.
Imagine you’re at a crowded party. Someone comes in, asking for you. "Someone left a cell phone in the bathroom… Who’s Karen?" どなたがカレンさんですか?" (Donata ga Karen-san desuka?) So you say, 私がカレンです。(Watashi ga Karen desu.) – I’m the Karen you’re looking for.

Another example:

Let’s say you’re talking about working on a project.
私はやります。(Watashi wa yarimasu.) I’ll do it.
私がやります。(Watashi ga yarimasu.) Nobody else but I’ll do it.

But remember, this is an explanation of just one aspect of these particles. I encourage you to look further into it if you’re interested.

Q3 from Melany: How do you pronounce Japanese words in general?

As a rule, Japanese pronunciation is mostly a combination of a consonant and a vowel, similarly to Spanish. You can learn most sound combinations when you learn ひらがな characters and the related rules, e.g. double consonant (small っ), combined consonant (small ゃゅょ), and long vowels, etc.

Also helpful is understanding the intonation or pitch. For instance, はし means chopsticks and はし means bridge. You can find more information on Uki UKi Lesson 9.

Q4 from Koronbia Yin: Are there tips on building vocabulary?

I get this question all the time. Here’s a good rule of thumb: 1) divide vocab to manageable chunks, and 2) use repetition.

1. Memory trick by time.
Let’s say you do 5 words a day. You can learn them all at once, or you can split them up even further. For instance, you memorize one word during breakfast. Another during your morning commute. Another while enjoying lunch. A few hours later, one word on your way home. Finally, one more during a delicious dinner. Not too bad, is it? It’d be extremely powerful to incorporate a rhythm like this into your daily routine.

2. Memory trick by location.
Write 5 words of the day on large, individual post-its. Put them up on 5 different places that you look at most frequently throughout the day: e.g. your computer, fridge door, bathroom door, nearest side wall, and of course, on your cell phone. This way, you will inevitably be looking at these post-its repeatedly while you simply go about your day. This trick takes 2 minutes to set up and is very effective in the office, home, hotel or really anywhere.

With all those new words, you will be amazed by the difference it makes. Feel the world expand along with your progress!

  • June 29, 2016 – June 29, 2016