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Natsuko: おはよう、シラクサ。ナツコです。(Ohayō, Shirakusa. Natsuko desu.)
Yoshi: おはよう、シラクサ。よしです。(Ohayō, Shirakusa. Yoshi desu.)
Peter: Peter here. Beginner lesson #144. Okay, today is an important lesson especially for those people living in Japan. What do you say, Natsuko-san?
Natsuko: Yes, I think you better know how to do this.
Peter: Recently came in handy right, Yoshi-san?
Yoshi: Uhoo…
Peter: Unfortunately the number was too busy for us to get the information we needed but let’s give you what we have in today’s lesson. All right, here we go.
堺 (Sakai) : はい、104「いちれいよん」の堺です。(Hai, 104 ”ichi rei yon” no Sakai desu.)
よし (Yoshi) : 赤坂のジャパニーズポッド101をお願いします。(Akasaka no Japanīzupoddo ichi maru ichi o onegai shimasu.)
堺 (Sakai) : はい、ご案内します。ありがとうございました。(Hai, go-annai shimasu. Arigatō gozaimashita.)
機械 (kikai) : お問い合わせの番号は03の2342の8923です。ありがとうございました。(O-toiawase no bangō wa zero san no ni san yon ni no hachi kyū ni san desu. Arigatō gozaimashita.)
Peter: One more time. Slowly please.
Yoshi: もう一度お願いします。ゆっくりお願いします。(Mō ichi-do onegai shimasu. Yukkuri onegai shimasu.)
堺 (Sakai) : はい、104「いちれいよん」の堺です。(Hai, 104 ”ichi rei yon” no Sakai desu.)
よし (Yoshi) : 赤坂のジャパニーズポッド101をお願いします。(Akasaka no Japanīzupoddo ichi maru ichi o onegai shimasu.)
堺 (Sakai) : はい、ご案内します。ありがとうございました。(Hai, go-annai shimasu. Arigatō gozaimashita.)
機械 (kikai) : お問い合わせの番号は03の2342の8923です。ありがとうございました。(O-toiawase no bangō wa zero san no ni san yon ni no hachi kyū ni san desu. Arigatō gozaimashita.)
Yoshi: 次は、ピーターさんの英語が入ります。(Tsugi wa, Pītā-san no Eigo ga hairimasu.)
堺 (Sakai) : はい、104「いちれいよん」の堺です。(Hai, 104 ”ichi rei yon” no Sakai desu.)
SAKAI: 104, Information. Sakai speaking.
よし (Yoshi) : 赤坂のジャパニーズポッド101をお願いします。(Akasaka no Japanīzupoddo ichi maru ichi o onegai shimasu.)
YOSHI: JapanesePod101.com in Akasaka, please.
堺 (Sakai) : はい、(Hai,)
SAKAI: Certainly,
堺 (Sakai) : ご案内します。(go-annai shimasu.)
SAKAI: I'll get the number for you.
堺 (Sakai) : ありがとうございました。(Arigatō gozaimashita.)
SAKAI: Thank you.
機械 (kikai) : お問い合わせの番号は (O-toiawase no bangō wa)
MACHINE: The number you are inquiring about is
機械 (kikai) : 03の (zero san no)
機械 (kikai) : 2342の (ni san yon ni no)
機械 (kikai) : 8923です。(hachi kyū ni san desu.)
MACHINE: 8923.
機械 (kikai) : ありがとうございました。(Arigatō gozaimashita.)
MACHINE: Thank you.
Peter: Natsuko-san…What a machine you make.
Natsuko: Isn’t it like that? You know, you will hear it all the time.
Peter: Yep. Now we are going to go through the conversation and explain a whole bunch of things to you but what we want to convey right now is that in Japan, you only get two shots. You know, you can ask about, I need this number but to actually get that number because they only give it to you two times. And there are a lot of numbers in there. Natsuko-san, how many numbers are we talking about?
Natsuko: Ten, ten digit.
Peter: Ten, ten digit. So umm, yeah you may want to practice this a bit. So, and obviously not just with the information but if you meet somebody and you are asking about their phone number, they give you the digits. If you are calling a company and you are asking them, can you call back? They will give you the number plus the extension.
Natsuko: Right.
Peter: So I think this is a very useful lesson in listening comprehension for numbers related to a phone and there are a few things that we are going to go over in there that may have thrown people off. Well at least I got thrown off, okay. So first things first. Let’s go over the vocab in today’s lesson. Yoshi-san, first word please.
Yoshi: 104
Peter: 104. The Japanese number for information, dialing of course.
Yoshi: (slow) 104 (ichi rei yon) (natural speed) 104 (ichi rei yon)
Peter: 104. Now in the US, the number is 411. We’d love to hear what the number is in your country. So if you have time, stop by and leave us a post. Now what’s interesting about this is, Yoshi-san, can you give it to us, one more time?
Yoshi: 104 (ichi rei yon)
Peter: 104 but for me, it's instinctive. When I first saw this, I thought it would be 104 (ichi maru yon) where instead of れい (rei) you would say まる (maru), word for circle which is quite common when talking about apartment numbers or house numbers and things like this. So that kind of, it was the first thing that jumped out at me. Right, Yoshi-san?
Yoshi: I am sure that some people call it 104 (ichi maru yon), too.
Natsuko: Yeah.
Peter: Yeah. I think it wouldn’t be a surprise to me but that’s why we called and I actually called repeatedly to find out what they were saying.
Natsuko: Oh I see.
Peter: I called several times and then Yoshi called to verify everything and it changed quite a bit from what I got from it, right Yoshi-san?
Yoshi: But also I realized, I think it depends on who answers it like they speak you know differently also.
Peter: Definitely. Okay, what’s next?
Natsuko: 問い合わせ (toiawase)
Peter: Inquiry.
Natsuko: (slow) といあわせ (toiawase) (natural speed) 問い合わせ (toiawase)
Peter: And this is actually two words put together. Natsuko-san, what’s the first word?
Natsuko: 問い (toi)
Peter: Which means?
Natsuko: Question.
Peter: The second word
Natsuko: 合わせ (awase)
Peter: Which means
Natsuko: To match.
Peter: Yeah, question match. So you are looking for a match for your question, an Inquiry. Yoshi-san, can you give us an example sentence?
Yoshi: イーメールによる問い合わせ。(Īmēru ni yoru toiawase.)
Peter: An email inquiry and this is quite common. If you go to a website, the hyperlink that will lead you to the address, you would send the inquiry email to will have this Japanese, 問い合わせ (toiawase). Okay now, it’s quite common when you see this word referred to in polite Japanese. Now Yoshi-san, when we make this polite, what do we do?
Yoshi: You add お (o) in front.
Peter: The prefix お (o) which is honorific and it makes it polite.
Yoshi: お問い合わせ (o-toiawase)
Peter: Okay, and if you sent an inquiry by email or if you ask for something over the phone, what would you hear?
Yoshi: お問い合わせありがとうございます。(O-toiawase arigatō gozaimasu.)
Peter: Thank you for your inquiry. Now for email, if you send it, this page will come up お問い合わせありがとうございます (o-toiawase arigatō gozaimasu). Now if you ask by phone, then the person on the other end will say this to you, something you will come across in polite Japanese or when you are looking for some kind of answer to a question you have about something in business or when you ask a question for something that you are inquiring about. Okay, with that said, now let’s take a look at the conversation. Natsuko-san,
Natsuko: はい、104「いちれいよん」の堺です。(Hai, 104 ”ichi rei yon” no Sakai desu.)
Peter: Yes, this is Sakai from service 104. Now what’s the first part there?
Natsuko: はい (hai)
Peter: Quite common when you are picking up the phone. Now the receiver of the call when they pick up the phone, they can say はい (hai) to acknowledge that they have answered the phone and let the calling party know that they are on the line.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Followed by
Natsuko: 104「いちれいよん」の (104 ”ichi rei yon” no)
Peter: 104 again at the end of this, we have the possessive. Now again, this is information and we have finally the name
Natsuko: さかい (Sakai)
Peter: The family name of the person on the phone. And last we have
Natsuko: です (desu)
Peter: The polite form of the copula. So yes, this is Sakai of service 104. Then we have
Yoshi: 赤坂のジャパニーズポッド101をお願いします。(Akasaka no Japanīzupoddo ichi maru ichi o onegai shimasu.)
Peter: Japanesepod101 in Akasaka, please. Now notice the order. Yoshi-san, what’s that first thing you say?
Yoshi: 赤坂 (Akasaka)
Peter: Which is the town, followed by the name of the place you want and in this case, it was
Yoshi: ジャパニーズポッド101(Japanīzupoddo ichi maru ichi)
Peter: Japanesepod101. This is followed by
Yoshi: の (no)
Peter: Which makes it Akasaka’s possessive. So location followed by の (no), then the company’s name or the place’s name or the family name, something that you want. The name of the place you want comes after it. Location の (no) then the name. In this case, it was
Yoshi: ジャパニーズポッド101(Japanīzupoddo ichi maru ichi)
Peter: Japanesepod101.com. This is followed by
Yoshi: を (o)
Peter: The object marker, then
Yoshi: お願いします (onegai shimasu)
Peter: Please. Very polite way to say please. Now what we want to point out here is the flow is location, place’s name. Here we are talking about a very well known location, Akasaka.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: And a well known place.
Natsuko: Yes, fairly.
Peter: Or a company japanesepod101.com but if it wasn’t the case for example, if you were looking for a small place or if you are looking for a family name where there is many, many people you would need some follow up information, address or some kind of – a bit more detail but if it’s pretty big location, if it’s a pretty big business or pretty big well known something, you want to just – all you do is start with the location followed by の (no) and the name. For example, Natsuko-san, if I wanted to call ビックカメラ (Bikku Kamera), which is a very big brand name electronic store in Japan.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: And I wanted to call the Shinjuku one.
Natsuko: Oh yes.
Peter: Now I know there are two in there. So please don’t play that card…
Natsuko: Okay.
Peter: But for example for argument sake and I wanted to get their telephone number.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: I called up 104 (ichi rei yon) and what would you say?
Natsuko: 新宿のビックカメラをお願いします。(Shinjuku no Bikku Kamera o onegai shimasu.)
Peter: Okay, and this should be enough to get through. So in most cases, you should be okay with this. If not, they may require more information which we will cover in another lesson. Then this is followed by
Natsuko: はい、ご案内します。(Hai, go-annai shimasu.)
Peter: Yes, I will get that for you. Now this is the translation. Let’s take a look at what it literally means. We have again
Natsuko: はい (hai)
Peter: Yes, followed by
Natsuko: ご案内します (go-annai shimasu)
Peter: So we have ご案内 (go-annai). First we have the prefix
Natsuko: ご (go)
Peter: Which is honorific. This is followed by
Natsuko: 案内 (annai)
Peter: Information
Natsuko: Yes, like guidance.
Peter: Guidance, followed by
Natsuko: します (shimasu)
Peter: Polite form. So ご案内します (go-annai shimasu), literally I will guide.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: I will inform. They are talking to someone. So I will guide, I will inform you.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: That’s what it literally means. Now when we interpret here, so the caller is asking for a number, she is going to get that number. So she is saying, I will get that number for you. Now for example, if somebody comes to your hometown, you can use this word.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: What would you say? Say Yoshi-san, let’s do a little conversation here. Yoshi-san is coming to Tokyo and he is coming all over from Kyushu and he doesn’t know Tokyo too well, so he calls Natsuko up.
Yoshi: もしもし、ナツコさんですか。(Moshimoshi, Natsuko-san desu ka.)
Natsuko: はい。あ、よしさん?(Hai. A, Yoshi-san?)
Yoshi: はい。来週の日曜日に東京に行くんですけど。(Hai. Raishū no nichi-yōbi ni Tōkyō ni iku n desu kedo.)
Natsuko: え、本当?そしたら私が案内するわ。(E, hontō? Soshitara watashi ga annai suru wa.)
Peter: Okay, now what we want to get at there is give us the 案内 (annai) line, one more time.
Natsuko: 私が案内するわ。(Watashi ga annai suru wa.)
Peter: I will inform you, I will guide you. It is the literal translation but it should be interpreted as in this case, I will show you around.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: When we use this phrase, it’s providing knowledge or information to somebody else. Okay, so if a Japanese friend is coming to town, you can use that phrase to let them know you will be there to show them around and if you are coming to Japan, you have a Japanese friend, how can we ask to be shown around?
Natsuko: 案内してください。(Annai shite kudasai.)
Peter: Very helpful. Okay, please show me around. Finally we have
Natsuko: ありがとうございました。(Arigatō gozaimashita.)
Peter: Thank you for calling.
Natsuko: お問い合わせの番号は (O-toiawase no bangō wa)
Peter: The number you inquired about. Okay, now notice what happens here. What do we have first?
Natsuko: お問い合わせ (o-toiawase)
Peter: Inquiry.
Natsuko: の (no)
Peter: Possessive, inquiry’s
Natsuko: 番号 (bangō)
Peter: Number. Now we can interpret it this way. The number of inquiries if we go back to front. Number of inquiries. When we interpret this into English, the number you inquired about, marked by the topic particle
Natsuko: は (wa)
Peter: Followed by
Natsuko: 03の (zero san no)
Peter: Stop right there. What are the first two things you said?
Natsuko: 03 (zero san)
Peter: Zero, three. What comes next?
Natsuko: の (no)
Peter: This is the dash.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Yes. And it kind of threw me off the first time I heard the numbers. It’s number, number, dash but in Japanese, the dash is said as
Natsuko: の (no)
Peter: Okay, so not a number. Don’t get confused there. Whenever you hear that, make a line.
Natsuko: Yes. And it has nothing to do with possessives.
Peter: Nothing at all. Okay, and just finish off this number.
Natsuko: 2342の8923です。(ni san yon ni no hachi kyū ni san desu)
Peter: And finally we have
Natsuko: ありがとうございました。(Arigatō gozaimashita.)
Peter: Thank you.


Peter: Okay, running short on time. What we are going to do now is Natsuko-san is going to give you another number, and that number will be available in the first comment of today’s lesson. So you are going to stop by Japanesepod101.com if you want to find out what this number is. Natsuko-san,
Natsuko: お問い合わせの番号は03の3721の4681です。ありがとうございました。じゃあ、また明日ね。(O-toiawase no bangō wa zero san no san nana ni ichi no yon roku hachi ichi desu. Arigatō gozaimashita. Jā, mata ashita ne.)
Yoshi: またね。(Mata ne.)


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