Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Yoshi: え~まもなく、日本文化レッスンが参ります。危ないですので、黄色い線までお下がりください。よしです。
Chigusa: ちぐさです。
Peter: Peter here. Yoshi, it’s getting crowded in here, hah!
Yoshi: Yes.
Peter: Chigusa, how are you today?
Chigusa: Very good, how are you?
Peter: Great. All right, we have another great lesson for you today. Now we just want to remind you to stop by japanesepod101.com. The forum is open, always welcome posts and stop by, get the latest news, find out what’s going on. Okay Chigusa, today what are we talking about?

Lesson focus

Chigusa: Today we are going to talk about animals.
Peter: And how do we say animals in Japanese?
Chigusa: 動物
Peter: And why are we going to talk about animals today?
Chigusa: Well because in Japan, animals have a lot of meaning to them.
Peter: All right. So what we are going to do today is delve in. We are going to see what animals mean what. Yoshi, are you ready? Are you ready!
Yoshi: Oh yeah!
Peter: Okay so Chigusa, give us the first animal.
Chigusa: 鯛 Sea bream.
Peter: Sea bream.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: Not ringing any bells. Yeah I’ve probably eaten one at the Sushi place.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: But this is – Ah I shouldn’t really – I am going to be quiet now. Chigusa, continue on.
Chigusa: Okay. In Japan, 鯛 is very familiar and its really delicious. They have it in the sushi place.
Peter: I thought we were going for the meaning and not the flavor.
Chigusa: Oh yeah, sorry. That’s all I think about. Anyways, the meaning. 鯛 is often served at celebrations because there is a word called めでたい which means happy in Japanese.
Peter: Really? Give us that word one more time.
Chigusa: めでたい
Peter: All right. Happy good luck fish and when they serve this fish, how is it served?
Chigusa: The most popular might be 尾頭付き which is whole fish preparation.
Peter: Now hang on one second. What are the kanji found in this word?
Yoshi: 尾 means tail and 頭 means head.
Peter: Tail, head and what about the rest of the word?
Yoshi: 付き means it contains.
Peter: Tail, head, contained, attached.
Yoshi: Attached yes.
Peter: So everything is attached.
Yoshi: Aha!
Peter: And how is this fish served?
Yoshi: It’s usually served of 刺身
Peter: And the fish is served just like that right?
Yoshi: Yes.
Peter: So actually when you get the fish present in front of you, it’s got the head and the tail still there.
Yoshi: Yeah it looks really great.
Peter: Ah Yoshi. Sometimes ah you never cease to amaze me. Okay so to sum up the sea bream 鯛 it means good luck or good fortune right?
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: All right. First animal check.
Yoshi: By the way 恵比寿 it’s the good of good fortune and a fisherman.
Peter: He is one of the seven lucky gods in Japan right?
Yoshi: Yes. He is the one with sea bream and the fishing rod in his hand.
Peter: Tell me more Yoshi.
Yoshi: Okay he symbolizes safe sailing, successful fishing and has come to be a symbol of business prosperity in all fields.
Peter: Now he is the one found with the beard right?
Yoshi: Ah yes.
Peter: And he’s usually got a smile.
Yoshi: Uhoo…
Peter: Now I know what you are talking about.
Yoshi: He is holding a red tie, the sea bream and the most popular place you can see it is on the Ebisu Beer.
Peter: Ah the picture of the guy on the front.
Yoshi: Yes.
Peter: That’s actually the god and his sea bream?
Peter: Uhoo…
Peter: Wow! I didn’t know that.
Yoshi: Yeah the beer Ebisu came from this god.
Peter: Ey I don’t know about that.
Yoshi: I mean the character.
Peter: Yes. Now I know you like your beer Yoshi but that’s going a bit far. Yes there is a famous beer in Japan and this beer is made by the famous Sapporo Brewing Company. Actually the name is Sapporo Breweries Limited and you know what, this is actually headquartered in Ebisu, Tokyo. Did you know that?
Yoshi: Ah I didn’t know but it could be.
Peter: It is. I checked that out. This beer is associated with Hokkaido and for the famous breweries up there, due to some mergers and some other things, the headquarters is actually in Tokyo which I’ve just found out the other day. This is like news to me because it’s synonymous to Sapporo beer and Hokkaido. Now Yebisu, do you like this beer Yoshi?
Yoshi: Aha.
Peter: it’s kind of marketed as something special about it.
Yoshi: Yes it’s – it’s a beer that Chigusa drinks, not me.
Peter: All right. We are changing topics. All right, next animal, what do we have?
Yoshi: 鯉
Peter: Carp. Now the Carp is a symbol of strength, courage and patience, right Chigusa?
Chigusa: Right. And…
Peter: Do you think so?
Chigusa: Well I am really familiar with that idea because in Japan, there is a holiday called こどもの日 as we did last time, remember?
Peter: Golden week?
Chigusa: Yeah. It’s the Golden week, it’s on May 5th and that’s when parents hang out こいのぼり which is 鯉 made out of [*]
Peter: I know the carp streamers.
Chigusa: Yeah the carp streamers and they do that and wish for their sons to get strong like the 鯉
Peter: Yeah.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: Yoshi, are you feeling 鯉?
Yoshi: Yes.
Peter: All right. So to sum it up, we have a symbol of courage and strength and I think this comes from the fact that the carp, they swim upstream right?
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: Wow! It’s similar to the Salmon. So it takes a lot of strength to do that. So this is where the meaning originates from.
Chigusa: Right and its delicious too. Talking about the taste again.
Peter: It’s Animal Day. We are supposed to be appreciating them, not..
Chigusa: We are carnivorous, that’s okay.
Peter: All right. What do we have next?
Chigusa: 金魚 Goldfish.
Peter: Yoshi, what can you tell us about the kanji for Goldfish.
Yoshi: 金 means gold and 魚 the Chinese character means fish.
Peter: So it’s a direct translation.
Yoshi: Yes.
Peter: Goldfish.
Yoshi: Aha!
Peter: All right. It makes it very, very easy to remember. You have the gold and the fish. Goldfish.
Yoshi: Right.
Peter: Now, in the summer time, there is a very popular game. What’s the name of this game? I see people scooping fish. Chigusa, what’s the Japanese for this?
Chigusa: 金魚すくい
Peter: One more time.
Chigusa: 金魚すくい
Peter: And what is this game?
Chigusa: You get this piece of paper and you try to scoop the Goldfish out of the bowl.
Peter: What is it like a piece of paper, A4 paper?
Chigusa: It’s round and it’s like a racket. It’s like a table tennis racket.
Peter: You whack at Goldfish?
Chigusa: But like smaller.
Peter: Are you kidding?
Chigusa: Smaller and made out of paper.
Peter: Yeah.
Chigusa: Yeah.
Peter: And..
Chigusa: So you try not to rip it.
Peter: The point of the game is yes, the fish are in the water. You have a circular piece of paper inside of a circular racket and this paper, once it gets wet, it tears very easy. So that’s the thing. Whether you can scoop the heavy Goldfish, whether it’s going to rip through the paper back into the water free and the guy is going to get your money or whether you can get it into the cup and keep the Goldfish.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: All right Chigusa, how are you at this game?
Chigusa: I suck!
Peter: Chigusa, you can’t say that.
Chigusa: Oh yeah, I am very bad.
Peter: There you go!
Chigusa: But I will try it this summer, yeah.
Peter: Thank you Chigusa. All right, what do we have next Chigusa?
Chigusa: 海老 Shrimp or prawn.
Peter: Okay according to our research long ago, they were referred to as the Old Man of the Sea. Now this has to do with their shape. Since they have the bent back, they kind of resemble somebody who is older and Chigusa, what is the meaning of the Chinese characters, the kanji for this word.
Chigusa: It’s the same, its sea and old.
Peter: The old man of the sea. Now these are served at weddings and other kinds of celebrations along with the sea bream which is
Chigusa: 鯛
Peter: All right. Okay what do we have next?
Chigusa: 亀 Turtle.
Peter: Okay Chigusa, what do we got for the turtle?
Chigusa: Turtles are also another symbol for long life and there is a proverb called Cranes live a thousand years, turtles 10,000.
Peter: Wow! What’s the Japanese for that?
Chigusa: 鶴は千年、亀は万年。
Peter: Tough call. Which would you rather be?
Chigusa: Turtle.
Peter: Yoshi, how about you?
Yoshi: Me too!
Peter: I can’t imagine what it’s going to even look like after 10,000 years. Now this is also common in China too. It could be the same for Korea and other places too. If anybody is out there and listening and has information, please send it in. We love hearing back from the listeners. All right, what’s next?
Chigusa: 鶯 Japanese Bush Warbler.
Peter: Yes I have no idea what a Bush Warbler is.
Chigusa: Warbler.
Peter: A Warbler. Chigusa, what is this?
Chigusa: I’ve never heard of the word Bush Warbler but 鶯 is really famous in Japan. It’s a small bird and yeah, it’s…
Peter: Don’t say delicious.
Chigusa: Not delicious but it’s a symbol for spring because they come in the spring time with the unique chirp.
Peter: And now for this one time only, Chigusa is going to imitate the Japanese Bush Warbler. Chigusa お願いします。
Chigusa: ホーホケキョ。
Peter: Yoshi, on a scale of 1 to 10, how good was that as a Bush Warbler?
Yoshi: Well it’s about 12.
Chigusa: Oh!
Peter: All right. We are sending Yoshi out to get a real sample of a Bush Warbler. We will see what we can do, but yes the Bush Warbler.
Chigusa: And one more thing. Because they have such a pretty chirp which I just imitated perfectly, it’s – there is also another word called 鶯嬢 which is the word for female announcers with very good voices.
Peter: Well would you qualify as one?
Chigusa: Of course.
Peter: Is it – so it’s a nice compliment right?
Chigusa: Right it is. 鶯嬢
Peter: All right 鶯嬢
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: Now what’s the name of the very difficult place to read on the Yamanote Line?
Chigusa: 鶯谷
Peter: Is there any relation to that 鶯…
Chigusa: I think well it’s the same 鶯 but…
Peter: The Chinese characters are same.
Chigusa: Yeah.
Peter: That’s why they are very difficult characters right?
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: We will have them in the PDF but yes so it is just like I always wondered where that word came from. And it comes from here, hah!
Chigusa: I think so. Maybe there used to be a lot of them there.
Peter: All right. Thank you Chigusa. Okay next up.
Chigusa: Next up is 犬 dog.
Peter: Okay. What are some Japanese breeds?
Chigusa: 秋田犬
Peter: 秋田... Yes very famous in the US too.
Chigusa: Really?
Peter: Yep.
Chigusa: And they are really cute 柴犬
Peter: Cute I think.
Chigusa: And strong.
Peter: Yes.
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: Definitely known for being strong.
Chigusa: Yes but I am a dog freak. So every dog seems cute to me. Anyways, there is 柴犬
Peter: 柴犬 I am not familiar with this one.
Chigusa: 柴犬 is more I think its smaller than 秋田犬 and they are really smart.
Peter: Really?
Chigusa: Yes.
Peter: Okay and…
Chigusa: And 土佐犬
Peter: Now what’s this?
Chigusa: 土佐犬 there is a region called 土佐 in Japan and…
Peter: Wait, where is that region located?
Chigusa: 四国.
Peter: The Island of 四国.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: All right.
Chigusa: And it’s a really big dog and its really strong.
Peter: Okay so those are the kind of three famous Japanese breeds.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: All right. I think today that we are going to have to cut it here because we got a lot more animals to go and we ran out of time. All right, so before we go, which is your favorite animal so far?
Chigusa: 犬
Peter: All right. Which Japanese breed do you prefer?
Chigusa: 柴犬
Peter: 柴犬 Ah cute.
Chigusa: Cute and there is a new breed called 豆柴
Peter: Doesn’t 豆mean bean?
Chigusa: Yes and beans are really small right?
Peter: Aha!
Chigusa: So that’s where they got the name. 豆柴 is smaller than 柴犬
Peter: Kind of like a miniature 柴犬
Chigusa: Yeah it’s miniature 柴犬 it’s really cute.
Peter: Ah we are going to get some pictures up for that. I have to see that.
Chigusa: Yeah definitely.
Peter: Do you have one?
Chigusa: No I wish I did but I don’t.
Peter: Yoshi is going to buy you one.
Chigusa: Really?
Yoshi: Of course.
Peter: Okay Yoshi, what’s your favorite animal of the ones we covered?
Yoshi: 鯉
Peter: Carp. How come?
Yoshi: I just like them.

Outro

Peter: Oh Yoshi, you could never make it as a lawyer, never, never. All right, well we are back next week with the round 2 of animals and what they mean. Thank you for tuning in. See you next week.
Yoshi: またね。
Chigusa: またね。

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30 Comments

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JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 13th, 2006 at 06:30 PM
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Mina-san, Omatase shimashita! Today's lesson is a lot of fun! Let us know what your favorite animal is! Call of the bush warbler: http://midopika.cool.ne.jp/mp3/uguis1.mp3 http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/%7eyi2y-wd/a-uta/uta-uguisu.html Yoroshiku onegai shimasu!

JapanesePod101.com Verified
July 9th, 2013 at 06:50 PM
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Aodhan-san,

thank you very much for a kind support! :laughing:

We'll do our best to make "fun" lessons:grin::thumbsup:


Natsuko(奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

Aodhan
July 9th, 2013 at 05:49 AM
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Nothing wrong with saying the word "suck". Chigusa keep up the comedy :thumbsup:

JapanesePod101.com Verified
December 14th, 2012 at 10:42 AM
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Reiko-san kon'nichiwa!

Thank you for letting us know!

I'll fix it right away.:wink:


Motoko

Team JapanesePod101.com

Reiko
December 12th, 2012 at 04:07 AM
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Hi! In the vocabulary list & written questions, there is a mistake. For mameshiba, the English translation is written as "mameshima breed." I think it should be "mameshiba breed." The same mistake is in the written questions. Thank you!

wout
March 30th, 2012 at 06:19 PM
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hi


there is a legend about how a koi once defeated a dragon:wink:


bye

mikuji
June 20th, 2006 at 08:46 PM
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Hi 皆さ


I am sure some of you know this already but in 京都 二条 城 (にじょう しろ), the Nijou castle in Kyoto,

I discovered that ウグイス uguisu (鴬) is used in the word 鶯張り uguisu-bari or 'nightingale floor' - an ingenious mechanism to alert of approaching visitors (and strangers). The cutest alarm system I ever came across!


In this case the uguisu was translated as 'nightingale'.You can find more about the floors and what they sound like at these links:


http://www.theotori.com/Audio/floor.wav

http://www.kansai.gr.jp/culture_e/build/archi.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightingale_floors


Cheers

Orlina
May 17th, 2006 at 11:48 PM
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Sophieさん,


I love magpie too, in fact just in front of my window they is a huge tree, and when I was younger (don't know why I don't do it anymore) i used to watch them through binoculars.

I like it when they decide to annoy a cat. One of them comes close to the cat, and when it tries to catch it, the bird fly away. And then it sound like they are laughing at the cat. They can go on like that for hours (and me watching them, drawing them...)


Poor cat! But it's too funny:twisted:


I think the only bird who annoy me it's the pigeon...just because I see to much of them here in Paris -_-'

Sophie
May 17th, 2006 at 03:33 AM
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Orlinaさん,


My favourite bird is the magpie. They display quite advanced behaviours like joining in groups to mourn dead magpies.


The Australian magpie is quite different from our European ones, but their singing is really interesting : http://www.anbg.gov.au/sounds/magpie.mp3


Check out the Australian raven too, it's so strange : http://www.anbg.gov.au/sounds/raven.mp3


I've also seen crows on a pebble beach drop shells or snails on the rocks from high above in order to break them.

Orlina
May 17th, 2006 at 02:37 AM
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Wow!

No wonder they were considered as wise companions of the Greek Gods.

In latin 'Cras' means Tomorrow, and it sounds like the 'cawing' of Crows, so they were considered as good fortune-teller messenger of Gods ^__^


Which contrast with the way occidental people view them nowadays. When in China and Japan they represent filial fidelity[right?](because they feed the parents, which other bird don't), in Europe, Crows are really bad-considered and associated with death.


Can't understand why -_-'

Daita
May 17th, 2006 at 01:27 AM
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interesting about Ebisu.. I went to the Sapporo Museum in Ebisu, it was pretty cool! got to see the history of the beer etc.. plus I got to take pictures of myself next to a giant beer can LOL!