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Naomi: 直美です。
Peter: Peter here. Formal and Informal Japanese. Do You Know The Difference? In this lesson, you will learn more about formal and informal speech by reviewing adjective conjugations. This conversation takes place at
Naomi: 鎌倉ですね。 On the street in Kamakura.
Peter: The conversation is among three people
Naomi: おじいさん、おばあさん and 男の人。
Peter: An old man, an old woman and a man. Now the man is constantly speaking in informal Japanese.
Naomi: I think that’s because he is a casual person.
Peter: Yeah it seems like he is trying to sell something like a street vendor. The old woman is speaking in formal Japanese.
Naomi: Because she is a polite person. おじいさん speaks in both formal and informal.
Peter: When he talks to the stranger, he speaks informal Japanese. When he talks to the old woman who is probably his wife, he speaks in informal Japanese.
Naomi: では、聞いてみましょう。
Peter: Let’s listen to the conversation.
男: おばあちゃん、どう?のる?10分、二千円!
おばあさん: 何ですか。リヤカーですか。
男: 知らないの?リヤカーじゃないよ。人力車だよ。速くて気持ちいいよ。
おばあさん: 面白そう...。おじいさん、乗りませんか。
おじいさん: 危なくないですか。
男: 全然、危なくない。安全だよ。それに、10分 二千円は 高くない。
おばあさん: そうですよ。高くありませんよ。ねぇ、おじいさん、だめですか。
おじいさん: だ、だめじゃないよ。じゃ、乗るか。お兄さん、鎌倉大仏まで、ゆっくりお願します。
男: おばあちゃん、どう?のる?10分、二千円!
おばあさん: 何ですか。リヤカーですか。
男: 知らないの?リヤカーじゃないよ。人力車だよ。速くて気持ちいいよ。
おばあさん: 面白そう...。おじいさん、乗りませんか。
おじいさん: 危なくないですか。
男: 全然、危なくない。安全だよ。それに、10分 二千円は 高くない。
おばあさん: そうですよ。高くありませんよ。ねぇ、おじいさん、だめですか。
おじいさん: だ、だめじゃないよ。じゃ、乗るか。お兄さん、鎌倉大仏まで、ゆっくりお願します。
男: おばあちゃん、どう?のる?10分、二千円!
MAN: What do you say, Grandma? 2,000 yen for ten minutes!
おばあさん: 何ですか。リヤカーですか。
OLD WOMAN: What is it, a cart?
男: 知らないの?リヤカーじゃないよ。人力車だよ。速くて気持ちいいよ。
MAN: Don't you know? It's not a cart, it's a rickshaw. It's fast and comfortable.
おばあさん: 面白そう...。おじいさん、乗りませんか。
OLD WOMAN: Sounds interesting...why don't we ride, dear?
おじいさん: 危なくないですか。
OLD MAN: Isn't it dangerous?
男: 全然、危なくない。安全だよ。それに、10分 二千円は 高くない。
MAN: It's not dangerous at all. It's safe. Plus, 2,000 yen for ten minutes is not expensive.
おばあさん: そうですよ。高くありませんよ。ねぇ、おじいさん、だめですか。
OLD WOMAN: That's right. It's not expensive. You don't want to Dear?
おじいさん: だ、だめじゃないよ。じゃ、乗るか。お兄さん、鎌倉大仏まで、ゆっくりお願します。
OLD MAN: It's not that I don't want to...well, okay. Young man, take us to the Kamakura Great Buddha, slowly please.
Peter: Naomi Sensei 人力車
Naomi: うん。人力車
Peter: Rickshaw
Naomi: はい。
Peter: で、あのー日本で人力車をよく見ますか?Do you often see Rickshaws in Japan?
Naomi: 見ませんね。 I don’t think so not in the business district but at some tourist places, I think you can see them quite often. 例えば、浅草とか鎌倉とか京都とか。
Peter: So for example in Asakusa which is famous for its temple.
Naomi: 浅草寺 templeですね。 And actually the word Rickshaw is from the word 人力車。
Peter: Which is three kanji characters Human, power and car. So a human-powered car.
Naomi: Rickshaw っていうのは日本語から来たんですって。
Peter: Hah! We have a couple in the US but of course it’s – I remember Atlantic city has one or maybe I don’t know about Vegas but like you can ride up and down on the boardwalk but….
Naomi: ニューヨークには人力車はないですか。
Peter: I have recently seen the bicycles.
Naomi: Ah bicycleとcart.
Peter: Yeah.
Naomi: 自転車とcartですね。
Peter: Yeah but in Japan, I have only seen this at, like you said, Asakusa.
Naomi: うん、浅草、ありますね。
Peter: On to today’s vocabulary.
Naomi: 人力車
Peter: Rickshaw.
Naomi: (slow)じんりきしゃ (natural speed)人力車
Peter: Next.
Naomi: 速い
Peter: Fast, quick.
Naomi: (slow)はやい (natural speed)速い
Peter: Next
Naomi: 気持ち
Peter: Feeling.
Naomi: (slow)きもち (natural speed)気持ち
Peter: Next.
Naomi: 危ない
Peter: Dangerous.
Naomi: (slow)あぶない (natural speed)危ない
Peter: Next
Naomi: 安全
Peter: Safe, secure.
Naomi: (slow)あんぜん (natural speed)安全
Peter: Let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. Naomi Sensei, what’s the first word we will look at?
Naomi: 危ない
Peter: Dangerous. Now this ends in an い adjective. What’s the opposite?
Naomi: 安全
Peter: Safe, secure.
Naomi: And when someone is in danger, people call out like 危ない!
Peter: Which corresponds to look out or watch out in English.
Naomi: そうですね。 You don’t say, like danger in English right?
Peter: Nope. For American listeners, this is perfect for their heads up like watch out.
Naomi: 危ない
Peter: What do we have next?
Naomi: 面白そう
Peter: Looks or sounds interesting. Now as we learned in beginner series, season 4, lesson 7, when そう is preceded by an adjective, the meaning of seeming is added. So it seems like.
Naomi: It could be translated as it looks, it smells, it sounds and so on.
Peter: So for い adjectives, drop the い and add そう
Naomi: 面白い
Peter: Interesting becomes
Naomi: 面白そう
Peter: It seems interesting, it sounds interesting.
Naomi: 危ない
Peter: Dangerous becomes
Naomi: 危なそう
Peter: It looks dangerous, it seems dangerous, it sounds dangerous. Now for な adjectives, add そう after the dictionary form.
Naomi: 安全
Peter: Safe becomes
Naomi: 安全そう
Peter: It looks safe.
Naomi: 便利
Peter: Convenient, useful.
Naomi: 便利そう
Peter: It looks convenient.
Naomi: But いい is the exception.
Peter: That’s right.
Naomi: いい becomes 良さそう
Peter: It’s really not that big of an exception because 良い also means good いい、良い meaning the same thing. So it’s kind of like よそう but a lot of times when there are similar sounds, the さ gets put in よさそう
Naomi: 例えば For example 気持ちいい
Peter: Feels good, feeling good, comfortable.
Naomi: Becomes 気持ちよさそう
Peter: It looks comfortable, sounds comfortable.
Naomi: Rickshaw 人力車は気持ち良さそうですよね。
Peter: や、違います。
Naomi: 絶対気持ち良いですよ、あれ。
Peter: So Naomi Sensei said, Rickshaws look comfortable and I said, I disagree.
Naomi: なんで?
Peter: They don’t have shocks.
Naomi: そうね。お尻が痛いかもしれないですね。
Peter: でも、歩きよりいいですけど。
Naomi: Ah better than walking?
Peter: Better than walking but…
Naomi: うーん、でも、人力車は時々 Tour guide もしてくれます。だから面白いと思います。 I think it’s interesting.
Peter: Well you be the judge. If you go to Asakusa, try it out. It’s worth riding once.
Naomi: はい。
Peter: On to this lesson’s grammar point.

Lesson focus

Peter: Now in this lesson, we are going to learn about formal and informal speech by reviewing adjective conjugations. Now the basic usage of adjectives was introduced in Nihongo Dojo Newbie series, Welcome to Style You lessons 11 to 15. Naomi Sensei, you remember those lessons?
Naomi: はい。覚えてます。 Yes.
Peter: You know, you can see them on our site. Now in Nihongo Dojo, Newbie series Style You and Beyond Lessons 15 to 16, you learned how to combine two or more adjectives by using the te form of an adjective. Naomi Sensei, can we have an adjective conjugation sentence from the dialogue?
Naomi: 速くて気持ちいいよ。
Peter: It’s fast and comfortable. Now before we break down this sentence, can you put something at the beginning of the sentence?
Naomi: 人力車は速くて気持ちいいよ。
Peter: That’s better. This makes it a lot clearer about the topic just to put into context. Now first we have
Naomi: 人力車
Peter: Rickshaw followed by
Naomi: は
Peter: Topic marking particle.
Naomi: 速くて気持ち良い
Peter: Fast and comfortable. Now 速くて is in its te form. This is the te form of the adjective
Naomi: 速い
Peter: And you remember, you form the te form by dropping い and adding
Naomi: くて
Peter: And in Japanese, when you combine two adjectives, you have to use the te form. So 速くて can be translated as fast and
Naomi: 気持ち良い
Peter: Comfortable is what we add next.
Naomi: よ
Peter: And this is a sentence ending particle that adds emphasis and here we kind of translate it as you know. Naomi Sensei, what if we wanted to put this into polite Japanese.
Naomi: 人力車は速くて気持ち良いですよ。
Peter: Only the です is added. The only thing that changes is the です and it’s added after the adjectives but other than that, the sentence is the same. The 速くて part stays the same. Remember, the final verb or what comes at the end of the sentence controls the politeness level for the sentence. Now Naomi Sensei, can you drop the sentence ending particle よ and say the same sentence again informal, using informal Japanese.
Naomi: 人力車は速くて気持ち良い。
Peter: Now informal Japanese.
Naomi: 人力車は速くて気持ち良いです。


Peter: In the PDF, there are exercises for comparing formal and informal speech. So be sure to stop by japanesepod101.com and download the lesson notes for this lesson. Naomi Sensei 私達の会社、Innovative Language Learningはどんな会社ですか。 So what kind of company is Innovative Language Learning?
Naomi: 小さくて、とても小さくて、でも若くて楽しい会社です。
Peter: So it’s small, young and fun. そうですね。
Naomi: あ、それからPodcastingの会社ですね。
Peter: And of course, it’s a podcasting company.
Naomi: リスナーの皆さんの会社、学校はどんなところですか?
Peter: So everybody, what kind of company or school do you belong to?
Naomi: 教えてください。


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Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

JapanesePod101.com Verified
January 27th, 2009 at 06:30 PM
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Konnichi wa Mina-san, Have you ever ridden in a rickshaw? We'd love to hear about your experience.

JapanesePod101.com Verified
August 19th, 2019 at 04:26 AM
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Hi Rangel,

Thanks for your comment!

The difference between だから and から is not about politeness.

You choose which to use based on what comes before だから/から.

[verb] +kara


[i adjective] +kara


[na adjective / noun] +da kara



When you want to say politer, you use なので/ので.

Thank you for studying with us!


Team JapanesePod101.com

June 28th, 2019 at 08:34 PM
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Are だから and から the same word but with different politeness level?

February 4th, 2019 at 09:45 AM
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Hi Eleanor,

Thank you for your comment!

That's true. "Daibutsu" and "dōbutsu" sound similar!

It's really interesting that the word "rickshaw" came from Japanese「人力車」.

I heard 人力車 was invented just 150 years ago in Tokyo.

Thank you for studying with us!



Team JapanesePod101.com

January 3rd, 2019 at 01:22 PM
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I keep hearing 大仏 in these conversations and think they're saying 動物, and I wonder where are these famous animals in Kamakura? Is everybody going to the zoo? Then I get to the English translation and it all becomes clear. One of these days I'll learn. XD

I had no idea that our word 'rickshaw' came from Japanese, so this was very interesting. It will also help me remember this reading of 力 as リキ, since the kanji in 人力車 are so logical!

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 3rd, 2018 at 04:45 AM
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Hi Pawel,

Thanks for the question!

It might be easier to understand the sentence if you replace the だ at the end with です.

For Q2, the driver uses the casual tone to show friendliness. Some older people may think he's somewhat rude, but it's often accepted as sign of youth and friendliness.

Hi Pu,

Thank you for bringing the typo into our attention. We will fix the problem as soon as possible.


Miki H

Team JapanesePod101.com

June 28th, 2018 at 12:18 PM
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I think in the grammer section about そうだ, in the last example, 秘蜜 was misspelled, should be 秘密...correct?

June 24th, 2018 at 08:02 PM
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Hi JapanesePod101! Great lesson!

I have trouble with two items in this lesson. Hopefully you can help.

1. In the "rewrite sentences in their formal forms" exercise. There is a sentence #3:


Why is there だ at the end? The sentence is ending with I-adjective, so I thought DA should not be used? Or maybe it is related to the first NA-adjective? Or maybe DA is always used in informal combination of different NA and I adjectives?

Would following sentence be correct in Informal speech?


2. Why the riksha driver is using informal speech toward older customers? Isn't that rude?

Thank you for great lessons! Following you for almost a year now :)



JapanesePod101.com Verified
April 24th, 2018 at 05:14 AM
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Hi Celestine Moon,

Your correction on your own answer #3 is correct! ドイツの車は高い。😄

Good job!


Miki H

Team JapanesePod101.com

JapanesePod101.com Verified
April 20th, 2018 at 06:57 AM
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Hi Azriel,

Thank you for the comment and sorry for our late reply.

1. What does the "って" in "Rickshaw って" mean in a sentence?

"って" is a very casual form of "というのは."

2. What does the ending "ですって" mean?

"ですって" is also a casual form of "だそうです."

So "Rickshaw っていうのは日本語から来たんですって。" also be written as

「Rickshaw というのは日本語から来たんだそうです。」Is this sentence easier to understand?

Hope this helps. Thank you very much for studying with us!

Miki H

Team JapanesePod101.com

JapanesePod101.com Verified
April 19th, 2018 at 06:09 AM
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Hi Celestine Moon

Thank you for your message!

And Exactly for the answer for 3!よくできました!

If you find any issue on JapanesePod101 and app, Please inquiry to contactus@japanesepod101.com so that they will look into it and get back to you.


Team JapanesePod101.com