Uki Uki mini 9

July 21, 2016
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Language Lesson past event

Q1 from Shivam Pasalkar: Japanese greetings

お邪魔します (Ojama shimasu)
You say this when you visit someone’s home. It’s a polite expression that shows that you respect the other person’s space and appreciate being welcomed. When you’re ready to leave, be sure to say お邪魔しました (Ojama shimashita) to thank them for having you over.

いただきます (Itadakimasu)
You say this right before you start eating. At the end of the meal, you say ごちそうさまでした (Gochisousama deshita) with a bow. These are expressions of gratitude.

Q2 from Rayen Benali: When do you use the prefix お and ご?

In Japanese, you sometimes see お or ご in front of a word. This is part of 敬語 (keigo) = honorific language, and you use it to show extra respect to someone. But you can’t just put お or ご in front of any word. For example, non-Japanese words don’t use these prefixes, with a few exceptions of common service words like おトイレ (o-toire), おタバコ (o-tabako), or おビール (o-biiru).

As a basic rule, お attaches to 和語 (wago), which are native Japanese words. ご on the other hand, attaches to 漢語 (kango), which has pronunciation that originate in Chinese.

For instance:
mailing address: お住まい (o-sumai) or ご住所 (go-juusho)
Invitation: お招き (o-maneki) or ご招待 (go-shoutai)
Announcement: お知らせ (o-shirase) or ご通知 (go-tsuuchi)
Permission: お許し (o-yurushi) or ご許可 (go-kyoka)

However, there are also quite a few 漢語 (kango) that have お instead, such as お電話 (o-denwa)、お時間 (o-jikan)、お食事 (o-shokuji)、お元気 (o-genki), etc. My advice is to not stress about it too much. Just learn one by one, as you encounter them.

Q3 from Souri Delait: How do you use 行きます vs 来ます?

English speakers are often confused because the verbs “come” and “go” are often interchangeable in English. If you want to join your friends for a karaoke party, you can say “Can I go?" or "Can I come?" Both sound ok in English.

In Japanese, 行く(iku = to go) or 来る (kuru = to come) are not interchangeable. 行く means you’re going someplace else other than where you are at the moment.
e.g. 喫茶店に行きませんか (Kissaten ni ikimasenka?) = Would you like to go to a cafe?
来る means coming to your present location or your home.
e.g. 来年またここに来ませんか?(Rainen mata koko ni kimasenka?) Why don’t we come here again next year?
今度、家に来ませんか? (Kondo, uchi ni kimasenka?) Do you want to come over sometime?

Let’s look at a few situations.

You want to join your friends for a karaoke party tonight. Which phrase is correct to say?
1. 私も行ってもいい? (Watashi mo ittemo ii?) Can I go, too?
2. 私も来てもいい? (Watashi mo kitemo ii?) Can I come, too?
#2 only works while you’re currently at the karaoke place.

You want to tell your friend who lives in Tokyo that you will be visiting him next spring. Which is correct?
1. 来年の春に、東京に行くよ!(Rainen no haru ni, Toukyou ni ikuyo!) I’ll go to Tokyo next spring!
2. 来年の春に、東京に来るよ!(Rainen no haru ni, Toukyou ni kuruyo!) I’ll come to Tokyo next spring!)
Once again, because you’re not in Tokyo as you’re saying this, you need to use 行く.

Your family is waiting in the car for you and yelling "Hurry! We’ll miss the movie!" How do you respond?
1. 今、来る!(Ima kuru!) I’m coming!
2. 今、行く! (Ima iku!) I’m going!
The correct answer is, of course, 今、行く!(Ima, iku!)

Q4 from Kotori Love: What’s the difference among 好き、大好き、愛してる?

To like something is 好きです (suki desu). To love something is すごく好きです (sugoku suki desu) or 大好きです (daisuki desu).
バスケが好きです。 (Basuke ga suki desu.) I like basketball.
ドラえもんがすごく好きです。(Doraemon ga sugoku suki desu.) I like Doraemon so much.
カレーが大好きです。(Karee ga daisuki desu.) I love curry.

Now, to express your romantic interest for someone is far more complex and layered. In general, Japanese people tend to be fairly reserved when sharing personal feelings.

The same can be said about the language to some extent. 愛してる means "I love you" in Japanese, but it’s not something you easily say to someone. In fact, many Japanese people may be too uncomfortable to ever say it. You may see it in anime or drama often, but in reality, saying this phrase may not feel so natural to some people. If it is said, that may be between a younger couple, possibly married, and they say it privately.

So how do you confess love in Japanese? You usually say, 好きです. (Suki desu). = I like you.
And of course, just like in any culture, this takes lots of courage.

  • July 21, 2016 – July 21, 2016