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Lesson Transcript

Natsuko: なつこです。 (Natsuko desu.)
Yoshi: よしです。 (Yoshi desu.)
Peter: Peter here. Natsuko-san.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: More introductions, introductions, introductions and more introductions. Season 2, it seems to be all about introduction.
Natsuko: Introduction.
Peter: Yoshi-san, can you give us the word for introduction.
Yoshi: 紹介 (shōkai)
Peter: And how about self introduction?
Yoshi: 自己紹介 (jiko shōkai)
Peter: Okay why did we introduce these two words because today, we are going to have a little of the first and a little of the latter. Yoshi-san will introduce his friend to Natsuko. Then that friend will proceed to introduce himself and Natsuko-san will introduce herself. Okay, now the setting for this is Natsuko-san and Yoshi-san are friends. So pay attention. The conversation will start out with informal Japanese as they are in intimate terms, close friends. Pay attention to the politeness shift and that’s what we want to point out today. Okay, so please listen to today’s conversation. Here we go.
よし: 夏子、今日元気? (Natsuko, kyō genki?)
夏子: まあまあ。ヨシは? (Māmā. Yoshi wa?)
よし: ふつう。こちらはたけです。中学校の友達。 (Futsū. Kochira wa Take desu. Chūgakkō no tomodachi.)
夏子: あ、初めまして。夏子です。よろしくお願いします。 (A, hajimemashite. Natsuko desu. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.)
たけ: 初めまして。高見沢です。よろしくお願いします。 (Hajimemashite. Takamizawa desu. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.)
Peter: One more time slowly please.
Natsuko: もう一度、お願いします。ゆっくり、お願いします。 (Mōichido, onegaishimasu. Yukkuri, onegaishimasu.)
よし: 夏子、今日元気? (Natsuko, kyō genki?)
夏子: まあまあ。ヨシは? (Māmā. Yoshi wa?)
よし: ふつう。こちらはたけです。中学校の友達。 (Futsū. Kochira wa Take desu. Chūgakkō no tomodachi.)
夏子: あ、初めまして。夏子です。よろしくお願いします。 (A, hajimemashite. Natsuko desu. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.)
たけ: 初めまして。高見沢です。よろしくお願いします。 (Hajimemashite. Takamizawa desu. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu.)
Peter: This time I will give you the English and Natsuko-san and Yoshi-san will give you the Japanese.
よし: 夏子、今日元気? (Natsuko, kyō genki?)
Peter: Natsuko, how are you today?
夏子: まあまあ。 (Mā mā.)
Peter: Not bad.
夏子: ヨシは? (Yoshi wa?)
Peter: And you, Yoshi?
よし: ふつう。 (Futsū.)
Peter: Same old, same old.
よし: こちらはたけです。 (Kochira wa takedesu.)
Peter: This is Take,
よし: 中学校の友達。 (Chūgakkō no tomodachi.)
Peter: a friend from middle school
夏子: あ、初めまして。 (A, hajimemashite.)
Peter: Oh, how do you do?
夏子: 夏子です。 (Natsukodesu.)
Peter: I'm Natsuko.
夏子: よろしくお願いします。 (Yoroshikuonegaishimasu.)
Peter: Please be kind to me.
たけ: 初めまして。 (Hajimemashite.)
Peter: How do you do? Nice to meet you.
たけ: 高見沢です。 (Takamizawadesu.)
Peter: I'm Takamizawa.
たけ: よろしくお願いします。 (Yoroshikuonegaishimasu.)
Peter: Please be kind to me.
Peter: So Natsuko-san, pretty straightforward here right?
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Very typical conversation.
Natsuko: Uhoo.
Peter: Now what we are going to do first is give you the vocabulary kind of the new vocabulary plus go over some of the vocabulary we previously covered. Now last week’s lesson on self introductions plus season 1, the original lesson self introduction although I don’t know if you want to go hear that audio. Scary.
Peter: Okay. So Natsuko-san, can you give us the first word today?
Natsuko: まあまあ。 (Mā mā.)
Peter: Not bad. So, so.
Natsuko: (slow) まあまあ (mā mā) (natural speed) まあまあ (mā mā)
Peter: Then Yoshi, how are you doing today?
Yoshi: 普通 (futsū)
Peter: Ordinary. Usual.
Yoshi: (slow) ふつう (futsū) (natural speed) 普通 (futsū)
Peter: Now we should note here that when you respond to the question 元気 (genki)? or 元気ですか (genki desu ka) with this phrase 普通 (futsū). Natsuko-san, is there something we should be aware of?
Natsuko: It’s more like ‘as usual.’
Peter: Yeah.
Natsuko: Ordinary life.
Peter: Yeah. Now the meaningless word is what we gave you, usual, ordinary. So if we were to translate Yoshi’s answer, how are you, usual, literally but again we interpret the same as always, the usual, nothing new and this answer is not a standard answer, is it?
Natsuko: I think it’s not in the textbook.
Peter: Not in the textbook.
Natsuko: But you use it.
Peter: Yeah?
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Yoshi-san. What situation that you would use it in?
Yoshi: Between your friends.
Peter: Yeah among friends. Would you use it in a formal situation?
Yoshi: Not really.
Peter: And this is what we are going to point out. This conversation is among friends. To start with, close friends. Okay, next we have.
Natsuko: こちら (kochira)
Peter: This direction.
Natsuko: (slow)こちら (kochira) (natural speed) こちら (kochira)
Peter: Now when referring to people, you tend to use this word. This direction because it's vague. You don’t want to directly refer to them. So you use this vague way, this direction to refer to them. Now this isn’t always the case. There are cases in Japanese when you use other words, more specific, more direct words when referring to someone. These cases would include Natsuko-san.
Natsuko: Well maybe among very close friends or in a very casual situation.
Peter: Yeah Yoshi-san, any other cases?
Yoshi: Like when you are referring to your family like your kids.
Natsuko: Or sometimes your wife.
Peter: But in both cases and in these cases, it’s a very close intimate relationship.
Natsuko: Yes. So you usually don’t use that.
Peter: Yeah. Next we have.
Yoshi: 中学校 (chūgakkō)
Peter: Middle School, junior high school.
Yoshi: (slow) ちゅうがっこう (chūgakkō) (natural speed) 中学校 (chūgakkō)
Peter: And finally we have.
Natsuko: 友達 (tomodachi)
Peter: Friend.
Natsuko: (slow) ともだち (tomodachi) (natural speed) 友達 (tomodachi)

Lesson focus

Peter: Okay. Now let’s take a look at the conversation. The conversation starts with Yoshi-san greeting Natsuko. Now remember, they are close friends. So you will notice there is no suffix at the end of the name. Euchisan?
Yoshi: 夏子、今日、元気? (Natsuko, kyō, genki?)
Peter: Literally Natsuko her name followed by
Yoshi: 今日 (kyō)
Peter: Today.
Yoshi: 元気? (Genki?)
Peter: Vigorous. But that’s the literal translation. Natsuko, today vigorous but again we have to interpret here. So 元気 (genki) can be interpreted as good or fine, well. So Natsuko today well and let’s interpret this further into Natsuko today, are you well and we can interpret it further Natsuko today how are you? How are you today, Natsuko, is what we would finally wind up in English. How are you today, Natsuko?
Natsuko: まあまあ。 (Mā mā.)
Peter: So, so straightforward, same as it would be in English ‘so so.’
Natsuko: よしは? (Yoshi wa?)
Peter: Yoshi and you. Here it’s just Yoshi followed by the topic particle.
Natsuko: は (wa)
Peter: So Yoshi is the literal translation but again we have to interpret it here. What comes after? What is interpreted there?
Natsuko: よしは元気? (Yoshi wa genki?)
Peter: Yoshi well and again we establish it. This can be interpreted as how are you? Again from the well with the intonation. Yoshi and you. Let’s interpret and you Yoshi?
Yoshi: 普通 (futsū)
Peter: Usual, ordinary but again we established that here we interpret same old, same old, as usual, nothing new.
Yoshi: こちらは、たけです。 (Kochira wa, take desu.)
Peter: Now he turns and introduces his friend. This direction Take is this direction is Take. Again literally, when we interpret, this is Take followed by
Yoshi: 中学校の友達。 (Chūgakkō no tomodachi.)
Peter: Middle school’s friend, junior high school’s friend literally. Now when we interpret, a friend from junior high school. Again we start from the back. Let’s just take a quick look at the sentence to show how it makes more sense. What do we have first Yoshi-san?
Yoshi: 中学校 (chūgakkō)
Peter: Middle school, junior high school followed by
Yoshi: の (no)
Peter: Possessive particle の (no). So we have actually literally junior high school’s
Yoshi: 友達 (tomodachi)
Peter: Friend. Junior high school’s friend. Now just off in the back, friend of junior high school, we can also interpret it as. So this again is referring to the previous sentence Take and explaining who he is. So this is Take, a friend from junior high school and then we have the introductions. Let’s just run through them quickly.
Natsuko: あ、はじめまして。夏子です。よろしくお願いします。 (A, hajimemashite. Natsuko desu. Yoroshikuonegaishimasu.)
Peter: How do you do? I am Natsuko. Please be kind to me and again you can interpret this よろしくお願いします (yoroshiku onegaishimasu) as nice to meet you too. Now, Natsuko-san, give us I am, Natsuko, one more time.
Natsuko: なつこです。 (Natsuko desu.)
Peter: Anybody noticed anything out there? A light should go on. Natsuko-san, what's your first name?
Natsuko: Natsuko
Peter: What’s your last name?
Natsuko: Kawamoto
Peter: Now in Japanese, if it was a formal situation or even if it’s a casual situation, it may be more natural to start off by saying your last name.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: But here you gave us the first name which kind of establishes that you kind of know something about this person Take or your name has come up in some kind of discussion.
Natsuko: Yeah.
Peter: There is some shared knowledge.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: But if this wasn’t the case, how would you introduce yourself?
Natsuko: はじめまして。川本です。よろしくお願いします。 (Hajimemashite. Kawamoto desu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.)
Peter: Nice to meet you. I am Kawamoto, please be kind to me. Okay so this is one aspect we would like you to pay attention to and then finally Take introduces himself. Okay so now, let’s try to drill. Yoshi-san, can you introduce me to Natsuko-san?
Yoshi: こちらはピーターです。 (Kochira wa pītā desu.)
Peter: And then I would proceed to introduce myself. はじめまして。ピーターです。よろしくお願いします。 (Hajimemashite. Pītā desu. Yoroshiku onegaishimasu.) Okay now, let’s try this. A lot of people have asked, they want to talk back to the podcast.
Natsuko: Yes.


Peter: So what we want you to do is introduce one of your friends. Pick anybody okay. Right now, we are going to give you a few seconds. Introduce that person to us and then Yoshi and Natsuko will introduce themselves to your friend. What do you think, Natsuko-san? Is this going to work?
Natsuko: なるほど。 (Naruhodo.)
Peter: All right. So here it is. We will give you three seconds. Just here is a little refresher. All you have to do is take your friend name and put it in, substitute it for the name in the phrase こちらは (kochira wa) name です (desu). Okay here you go.


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