Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Introduction
Jessi: Asking Somebody's Age in Japanese. ジェシーです。(Jeshii desu.) Jessi here!
Naomi こんにちは!なおみです。(Kon'nichi wa! Naomi desu.) 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?(Nē, Teirā-san, Sara-chan wa doko desu ka?)
テイラー:こっちです。(Kocchi desu.)
かおり:(in a soft voice) あ、かわいい~。(A, kawaii.)
まさと:ちいさいですね。なんさいですか?(Chiisai desu ne. Nansai desu ka?)
テイラー:1さいです。(Issai desu.)
(Sarah starts to cry)
かおり:ごめんごめん!うるさい?ごめんね~。(Gomen gomen! Urusai? Gomen ne.)
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?(Nē, Teirā-san, Sara-chan wa doko desu ka?)
テイラー:こっちです。(Kocchi desu.)
かおり:(in a soft voice) あ、かわいい~。(A, kawaii.)
まさと:ちいさいですね。なんさいですか?(Chiisai desu ne. Nansai desu ka?)
テイラー:1さいです。(Issai desu.)
(Sarah starts to cry)
かおり:ごめんごめん!うるさい?ごめんね~。(Gomen gomen! Urusai? Gomen ne.)
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?(Nē, Teirā-san, Sara-chan wa doko desu ka?)
Jessi: Hey, Taylor, where's Sarah?
テイラー:こっちです。(Kocchi desu.)
Jessi: She's over here.
かおり: (in a soft voice) あ、かわいい~。(A, kawaii.)
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?(Chiisai desu ne. Nansai desu ka?)
Jessi: She's so small. How old is she?
テイラー:1さいです。(Issai desu.)
Jessi: One year old.
かおり:ごめんごめん!うるさい?ごめんね~。(Gomen gomen! Urusai? Gomen ne.)
Jessi: Oh, I'm sorry! Are we loud? I'm sorry!

Lesson focus

Jessi: So we finally get to meet another member of the family!
Naomi Yes, サラちゃん (Sara-chan).
Jessi: Sarah, Taylor's daughter. In Japanese, she is referred to as サラちゃん (Sara-chan).
Naomi: That's right! サラ (Sara) plus the suffix ちゃん (chan).
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 (Teirā-san), or まさとさん (Masato-san).
Jessi: ちゃん (chan) is a suffix that works like さん(san), 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 (Sara)、she is called サラちゃん (Sara-chan). 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 (ichi)
Jessi: One.
Naomi: に (ni)
Jessi: Two
Naomi: さん (san)
Jessi: Three
Naomi: よん (yon)
Jessi: Four
Naomi: ご (go)
Jessi: Five
Naomi: ろく (roku)
Jessi: Six
Naomi: なな (nana)
Jessi: Seven
Naomi: はち (hachi)
Jessi: Eight
Naomi: きゅう (kyū)
Jessi: Nine
Naomi: じゅう (jū)
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 (jū)
Jessi: One is…
Naomi: いち (ichi)
Jessi: So if we line them up
Naomi: じゅういち (jū-ichi)
Jessi: Ten-one – eleven! That’s it! One to ten are your building blocks, now you just have to arrange them! And by 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 (jū), and two is に (ni)… 
Naomi: So that would beじゅうに (jū-ni)
Jessi: Literally, ten-two. So, thirteen would be?
Naomi: じゅうさん (jū-san)
Jessi: Literally, ten-three. Fourteen, ten-four is?
Naomi: じゅうよん (jū-yon)
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.
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 (sai). It comes after the number of years. So for example, に (ni) is 2, and so 2さい (ni sai) is...
Jessi: 2 years old.
Naomi: Right! さん (san) is 3, so 三歳 (san sai) is
Jessi: Three years old.
Naomi: よん (yon) is 4, so 四歳 (yon sai) is
Jessi: Four years old. And it just keeps on going like that - you just add さい (sai) 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 be 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 (ichi) , but the word for one year old is いっさい (issai).
Jessi: Yes, so it's not just いち (ichi) plus さい (sai), but instead it’s いっさい (issai)。
Naomi: Right. The word for "eight" is はち(hachi), but the word for eight years old is はっさい (hassai).
Jessi: Yes, はっさい (hassai), eight years old.
Naomi: And the word for "ten" is じゅう (jū), but the word for ten years old is じゅっさい (jussai).
Jessi: Yes, so you don't prolong the vowel. It's short - じゅっさい (jussai). 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?(Nansai desu ka?)
Jessi: 何歳ですか?(Nansai desu ka?)
Naomi: 何歳ですか? (Nansai desu ka?) なん (Nan) is what, さい (sai) is age, so 何才 (nansai) 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?(A wa nansai desu ka?)
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?(Teirā wa nansai desu ka?)
Jessi: How old is Taylor? Listeners, repeat after Naomi.
Naomi: テイラーは何歳ですか?(Teirā wa nansai desu ka?)
[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?(Sara wa nansai desu ka?)
Jessi: サラは何歳ですか?(Sara wa nansai desu ka?) Great! Now, let's say she is 9 years old. Let's remind everyone, what is 9 again?
Naomi: きゅう (kyū)
Jessi: きゅう (kyū). So how would you say, she's nine years old?
[pause]
Jessi And Naomi, the answer is?
Naomi: 9歳です。(kyū-sai desu.)
Jessi: きゅう (kyū), nine, plus the counter for age, さい (sai), plus です (desu).
9歳です。(kyū-sai desu.)
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 (sai).
Jessi: Thanks for listening as always, everyone, and we'll see you next time!
Naomi: Until next time everyone, じゃまた!(Ja mata!)

Lesson conversation

かおり:ねぇ、テイラーさん、サラちゃんはどこですか?(Nē, Teirā-san, Sara-chan wa doko desu ka?)
テイラー:こっちです。(Kocchi desu.)
かおり:(in a soft voice) あ、かわいい~。(A, kawaii.)
まさと:ちいさいですね。なんさいですか?(Chiisai desu ne. Nansai desu ka?)
テイラー:1さいです。(Issai desu.)
(Sarah starts to cry)
かおり:ごめんごめん!うるさい?ごめんね~。(Gomen gomen! Urusai? Gomen ne.)

565 Comments

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JapanesePod101.com Verified
August 22nd, 2011 at 06:30 PM
Pinned Comment
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Mina-san wa nan-sai desu ka? -how old are you?

Please answer in Japanese.

Heather
December 2nd, 2020 at 01:04 PM
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I’m not sure that 才 is the kanji for age. I have seen 歳 used when referring to age. Can either be used? Does it depend on context?

Yanicheru
December 2nd, 2020 at 10:36 AM
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So I might have missed it, but why do you put "sai" at the end of the number when you say your age?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 28th, 2020 at 07:13 PM
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Hi トレイ,

Thank you for your question!

In ancient Japanese, 20 is said as はた and 20 year-old, はたとせ.

So it changed to はたち and is still called as it

because 20 year-old is very special and considered as coming-of age.


Hi Simon,

Thank you for your comment!

In formal situations, we add さん to someone's name.

ちゃん is added to small children or girls in casual situation.

But sometimes we just call one's name without name suffix

if he/she is your family or intimate friend.


Hi Robbie,

Thank you for posting!

We are really glad to have you here:)


Hope you enjoy learning Japanese with us😊


Sincerely,

Miho

Team JapanesePod101.com

Robbie
November 27th, 2020 at 04:52 PM
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watashi wa ju-rokusai desu!

Simon
November 22nd, 2020 at 03:29 PM
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Hi JapanesePod101 people

I’m loving the lessons. Just enough new information each time and extremely well presented. Very glad I took out a subscription.

I have a question about the use of the suffix さん after someone’s name. In the lesson, Naomi gives this sample sentence: テイラーは何歳ですか? Why does the sentence start テイラーは and not テイラーさんは? Similarly, サラは何歳ですか and not サラちゃんは or サラさんは is also used.

Thanks!

Simon

トレイ
November 19th, 2020 at 10:20 AM
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こんにちは!私は18さいです。


Why is "20 years old" 二十(はたち)instead of にじゅうさい?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 17th, 2020 at 03:28 PM
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JayGuoさん

質問(しつもん)ありがとうございます😄

The は is used to show contrast. You can study it here😉

https://www.japanesepod101.com/lesson/particles-11-what-do-football-baseball-and-the-japanese-particle-wa-have-in-common/?lp=128


Cedricさん

Thank you so much for your comment😄

It really depends on the person and they're totally interchangeable when you're counting like that, so don't worry about them😇

You can use whichever that comes to your mind first👍


Please let us know if you have any questions :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

Team JapanesePod101.com

Cedric
November 17th, 2020 at 12:19 AM
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Watashi wa san-jū-issai desu


I have a question concerning shi/yon and shichi/nana. When I did martial arts, our teacher would use shi and shichi while counting reps, whereas Naomi defaults to yon and nana in this lesson. Is there a specific usage for either option or are they completely replaceable? Is there one that should be learned/used over the other?


Thank you1

JayGuo
November 14th, 2020 at 04:36 PM
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Hi,

From the example shown in the lesson note, there is a sentense:

うるさい⾳楽は嫌いです。


according to the pattern, [A] ga kirai desu.


Why the the pattern in this example is use wa, instead of ga?


thanks

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 13th, 2020 at 02:01 PM
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ザヒラさん

Thank you so much for your comment😄

Yes, it looks perfect👍

The - isn't necessary, but we tend to put it so that you can see that it's attached to the name.


aliviaさん

Thank you so much for your comment😄

Your sentence looks perfect😇


Please let us know if you have any questions :)


Sincerely

Ryoma

Team JapanesePod101.com