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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Naomi:
Hi, everyone! Welcome to Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 17 - Asking Somebody's Age in Japanese
Jessi:
Jessiです。Jessi here!
Naomi こんにちは!なおみです!Hi everyone, Naomi here!
Jessi:
Thanks again for joining us for this Absolute Beginner series! In the last lesson, we learned a lot of different phrases used for responding different ways to what someone says in Japanese. And in this lesson, we're going to learn some numbers, and with those numbers, we'll learn how to talk about age.
Naomi:
Sounds good! So Jessi, what's going on in this conversation?
Jessi:
In this conversation, Kaori and Masato meet Sarah - Taylor's young daughter - for the first time!
Naomi:
Oh, a new character!
Jessi:
Yes! We finally get to meet Taylor's daughter. Okay, let's listen to the conversation!

Lesson conversation

かおり:
ねぇ、テイラーさん、サラちゃんはどこですか?
テイラー:
こっちです。
かおり:
(in a soft voice) あ、かわいい~。
まさと:
ちいさいですね。なんさいですか?
テイラー:
1さいです。
(Sarah starts to cry)
かおり:
ごめんごめん!うるさい?ごめんね~。
English Host:
Let’s hear the conversation one time slowly.
かおり:
ねぇ、テイラーさん、サラちゃんはどこですか?
テイラー:
こっちです。
かおり:
(in a soft voice) あ、かわいい~。
まさと:
ちいさいですね。なんさいですか?
テイラー:
1さいです。
(Sarah starts to cry)
かおり:
ごめんごめん!うるさい?ごめんね~。
English Host:
Now, let’s listen to it with the translation.
かおり:
ねぇ、テイラーさん、サラちゃんはどこですか?
Jessi:
Hey, Taylor, where's Sarah?
テイラー:
こっちです。
Jessi:
She's over here.
かおり:
(in a soft voice) あ、かわいい~。
Jessi:
(in a soft voice) Ah, how cute!
まさと:
ちいさいですね。なんさいですか?
Jessi:
She's so small. How old is she?
テイラー:
1さいです。
Jessi:
One year old.
かおり:
ごめんごめん!うるさい?ごめんね~。
Jessi:
Oh, I'm sorry! Are we loud? I'm sorry!
KEY VOCABULARY AND PHRASES
Jessi:
So we finally get to meet another member of the family!
Naomi Yes, サラちゃん。
Jessi:
Sarah, Taylor's daughter. In Japanese, she is referred to as サラちゃん.
Naomi:
That's right! サラ plus the suffix ちゃん.
Jessi:
In Lesson 6, you learned the name suffix さん which is used to show respect to someone.
Naomi:
Yes, like テイラーさん, or まさとさん.
Jessi:
ちゃん is a suffix that works like さん, but it is used to show affection and familiarity.
Naomi:
Exactly. In many cases it is used with young children, especially young girls.
Jessi:
So instead of just being called サラ、she is called サラちゃん. And how old is she, by the way?
Naomi:
We found out in this conversation that she is one.
Jessi:
Right, one year old. Speaking of age, we'll learn how to talk about age in the lesson focus later on! But before we talk about age, there's something important we need to go over.
Naomi Ah, I know what you're talking about. Numbers, right?
Jessi:
Exactly! We haven't studied numbers yet.
Naomi:
Okay, so here, let's study basic numbers in Japanese.
Jessi:
Sounds good! Let's start with the numbers 1 through 10. Naomi will give you the word, and I'll follow with the translation, okay? Here we go.
Naomi:
いち
Jessi:
One.
Naomi:
に 
Jessi:
Two
Naomi:
さん
Jessi:
Three
Naomi:
よん
Jessi:
Four
Naomi:
ご 
Jessi:
Five
Naomi:
ろく 
Jessi:
Six
Naomi:
なな
Jessi:
Seven
Naomi:
はち
Jessi:
Eight
Naomi:
きゅう
Jessi:
Nine
Naomi:
じゅう
Jessi:
Ten. Okay, now let's do that one more time. This time, listeners, be prepared to repeat after Naomi. Here we go.
Naomi:
1 [pause] 2 [pause] 3 [pause] 4 [pause] 5 [pause] 6 [pause] 7 [pause] 8 [pause] 9 [pause] 10 [pause]
Jessi Great! So that was numbers 1 through 10. Basically, the numbers from 1 through 10 are something that you have to memorize. Now let's practice saying them in groups. Let’s start with 1 through three. Repeat after Naomi.
Naomi:
1、2,3 [pause]
Jessi:
Next, from 4 through 6.
Naomi:
4,5,6 [pause]
Jessi:
And finally, from 7 through 10.
Naomi:
7,8,9,10[pause]
Jessi:
Okay. And let’s try them all together from 1 through 10.
Naomi:
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10.[ pause]
Jessi:
Okay, there you go. You can count from 1 through 10 in Japanese now.
Naomi:
It means you can count up to 99.
Jessi:
Yes! Believe it or not, it's really not that hard. Counting in Japanese involves patterns, so once you know numbers 1 through 10, you just follow a pattern to make even bigger numbers.
Naomi:
That's right. For example to say eleven, we say 10, 1.
Jessi:
Right. For example, ten is…
Naomi:
じゅう
Jessi:
One is…
Naomi:
いち
Jessi:
So if we line them up
Naomi:
じゅういち
Jessi:
Ten-one – eleven! That’s it! One to ten are your building blocks, now you just have to arrange them! And you using this system, you can count all the way to 99. Let's try another.
Naomi Okay. How about twelve?
Jessi:
That would be ten and two, right?
Naomi:
Right.
Jessi:
So, ten isじゅう, and two is に… 
Naomi:
So that would beじゅうに
Jessi:
Literally, ten-two. So, thirteen would be?
Naomi:
じゅうさん
Jessi:
Literally, ten-three. Fourteen, ten-four is?
Naomi:
じゅうよん
Jessi:
And the pattern continues on like this. There are charts with the rest of the numbers in the lesson notes for this lesson, so make sure to check those out. Okay! I know that was a lot of information.. a lot of numbers...
Naomi:
Feel free to listen to this section again until you get used to the numbers.
Jessi:
Definitely, and looking at the lesson notes while listening will help too. All right. Let's move on to the lesson focus.

Lesson focus

Jessi:
In this lesson, you'll learn how to ask and tell how old you or someone else is. Naomi, what's the word we need to talk about age?
Naomi:
さい。It comes after the number of years. So for example, に is 2, and so 2さい is...
Jessi:
2 years old.
Naomi:
Right! さん is 3, so 三歳 is
Jessi:
Three years old.
Naomi:
よん is 4, so 四歳 is
Jessi:
Four years old. And it just keeps on going like that - you just add さい to the number, and that means ___ years old. But there are a few exceptions, aren't there, Naomi?
Naomi:
That's right. We hate to break it to you.
Jessi:
But they shouldn't been that hard to remember. So Naomi, could you tell us the exceptions when talking about age?
Naomi:
1, 8, 10.
Jessi:
Right. The numbers 1, 8, and 10.
Naomi:
Remember that the word for "one" is いち , but the word for one year old is いっさい。
Jessi:
Yes, so it's not just いち plus さい, but instead it’s いっさい。
Naomi:
Right. The word for "eight" is はち, but the word for eight years old is はっさい。
Jessi:
Yes, はっさい, eight years old.
Naomi:
And the word for "ten" is じゅう, but the word for ten years old is じゅっさい.
Jessi:
Yes, so you don't prolong the vowel. It's short - じゅっさい. Okay, so now that you know how to talk about age... how would you ask about someone's age, Naomi?
Naomi:
Good question! To ask how old someone is, we say... 何歳ですか?
Jessi:
何歳ですか?
Naomi:
何歳ですか? なん is what, さい is age, so 何才 is what age or how old? 
Jessi:
Now, if you just say this by itself to someone, you are usually referring to the person you are talking to. "How old are you?" But, just know that, just like in English, it's not considered polite to suddenly ask someone "how old are you?"
Naomi:
Right. I’d avoid doing that. But people sometimes ask about somebody else's age right? Like "how old is Sarah?" or "how old is Taylor?"
Jessi:
True. if you're asking someone about someone else's age...
Naomi:
You use the pattern Aは何歳ですか?
Jessi:
In place of A, you would put who you are asking about. For example...
Naomi:
テイラーは何歳ですか?
Jessi:
How old is Taylor? Listeners, repeat after Naomi.
Naomi:
テイラーは何歳ですか?
[pause]
Jessi:
Okay, great! Now, let's try one with the listeners. How would you say, how old is Sarah?
[pause]
Jessi:
And the answer?
Naomi:
サラは何歳ですか?
Jessi:
サラは何歳ですか? Great! Now, let' say she is 9 years old. Let's remind everyone, what is 9 again?
Naomi:
きゅう
Jessi:
きゅう. So how would you say, she's nine years old?
[pause]
Jessi And Naomi, the answer is?
Naomi:
9歳です。
Jessi:
きゅう, nine, plus the counter for age, さい, plus です。9歳です。
Naomi:
Excellent.
Jessi:
All right, do you feel confident asking and talking about age now?
Naomi:
Just remember that it's the number plus さい.
Jessi:
And also, make sure to review the PDF Lesson Notes to learn about larger numbers that we weren't able to cover in this lesson.
Naomi:
Okay, well that's all for this lesson.
Jessi:
Yup, that's going to do it for now. Thanks for listening as always, everyone, and we'll see you next time!
Naomi:
Until next time everyone, じゃまた!

366 Comments

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JapanesePod101.com
Monday at 6:30 pm
Pinned Comment
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Mina-san wa nan-sai desu ka? -how old are you?

Please answer in Japanese.

Jeet
May 24th, 2017 at 4:08 am
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So when asking for someone’s else name, we don’t have to use “san/chan” after name like “sara [san/chan] wa nansai desu ka”?

May 20th, 2017 at 9:35 am
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Miriaさん、
こんにちは。
Yes, the sentences are grammatically correct.
😄
Yuki 由紀
Team JapanesePod101.com

Miria
May 12th, 2017 at 12:07 am
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私は三十七歳です。八月に三十八歳です。
Is this correct?

May 11th, 2017 at 10:37 am
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Val san,
Konnichiwa.
Thank you for your post.
If you download the lesson note, you can refer to romaji in it.😉
Yuki 由紀
Team JapanesePod101.com

Val
May 10th, 2017 at 12:56 am
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These lessons are 10x harder to follow now that my 7 day premium expired :(

I don’t suppose there is an alternative anywhere to follow along with the romaji like i did before eh?

May 8th, 2017 at 8:00 am
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Eerikさん、FayValentineさん、Erik Adamsさん、Dave | デイヴさん、
こんにちは。
よくできました。Well done.

Andréさん、
Konnichiwa.
Actually native Japanese speakers don’t use roma-ji so it’s for learners of Japanese only.
Basically hyphens are not put but if you make chunks clear, you can put them.
And yonjussai desu is correct.

Tali-chan san,
Konnichiwa.
うつくしいひとたち is better I think because you use everyone in the second sentence.
😉
Yuki 由紀
Team JapanesePod101.com

Dave | デイヴ
May 5th, 2017 at 6:07 pm
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Hey there, hope this is correct:

ぼくは二十五歳です。

Thank you for the lesson :)

André
April 28th, 2017 at 6:56 am
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Watashi wa san-ju-kiu-sai desu
Am I exceeded with the hyphens?
Anyway, in less than a month… watashi wa yon-ju-sai desu.

Arigato gozaimazu

Tali-chan
April 19th, 2017 at 11:52 am
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こんにちは美しい人! 皆はどうですか?

Kore wa tadashīdesu? (Hi beautiful people! How is everyone? Is this correct?)

Erik Adams
April 5th, 2017 at 9:38 pm
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Watashi wa sanjukyu sai desu.