Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Let's take a closer look at the conversation.
Do you remember how Hana asks,
"Is this your family?"
ベンくんの かぞくですか。(Ben-kun no kazoku desu ka.)
First is ベンくん, "Ben." ベンくん.
This starts with Ben's name in Japanese, ベン. ベ-ン. ベン.
After this is くん, a suffix attached to a person's name. く-ん. くん.
It is often used to address males with whom the speaker has a close relationship, who are younger than the speaker, or who are of lower social status than the speaker. くん. There is no equivalent in English. Instead, the translation is contextual. In this case, it indicates a close relationship between the speaker, Hana, and Ben.
Together, it's ベンくん, "Ben." ベンくん.
Next is の, the possessive-marking particle. の.
Think of の as a way to indicate possession, like the ‘s in Ben's family. The word it follows possesses the thing that comes after it. In this sentence, it marks べんくん, Ben, as the possessor.
Together, ベンくんの translates as "Ben's." ベンくんの.
After this is かぞく, "family" か-ぞ-く. かぞく.
Together, ベンくんのかぞく literally means "Ben's family." ベンくんのかぞく.
But it translates as "your family."
In Japanese, it's more common and polite to address a person by their name and polite suffix rather than directly with words like "your" or "you."
Next is です. In this case, it's like the "is" in "Is this your family?" で-す. です.
Last is か, the question-marking particle. This turns the sentence into a question. か.
All together, it's ベンくんの かぞくですか。This literally means "Ben's family [this] is," but it translates as "Is this your family?" ベンくんの かぞくですか。
Note that "this" is understood from the context of the conversation, as Hana is pointing at the picture when she asks the question,
はしもと はな: ベンくんの かぞくですか。(Ben-kun no kazoku desu ka.)
Remember this question. You'll hear it again later.
Let's take a closer look at the response.
Do you remember how Ben says,
"Yes. This is my father, mother, younger sister, and me."
はい。ちちと ははと いもうとと わたしです。(Hai. Chichi to haha to imōto to watashi desu.)
There are two parts to the response.
The first part is はい, meaning, "yes." は-い. はい.
It answers Hana's yes-or-no question, "Is this your family?"
ベンくんの かぞくですか。
In the second part, Ben lists the different members of his family as he points to each one.
ちちと ははと いもうとと わたしです。
"This is my father, mother, younger sister, and me."
ちちと ははと いもうとと わたしです。
First is ちち, meaning "my father." ち-ち. ちち。
Next is the particle と, meaning "and," in this context. と。
はは "my mother." は-は. はは。
After this, と, "and." と。
いもうと "my younger sister." い-も-う-と. いもうと。
Again, と "and." と。
わたし translates as "me" in this context. わ-た-し. わたし。
Last is です. In this case, it's like the "is" in "[This] is my father..." It's a linking verb. です.
All together, ちちと ははと いもうとと わたしです。 "My father and my mother and my younger sister and me [this] is," but it translates as, "This is my father, mother, younger sister, and me." ちちと ははと いもうとと わたしです。
In this case, "this" is understood from context, as it refers to the group of family members in the photograph Ben and Hana are looking at.
Notice this Japanese sentence doesn't include a specific word that means "my" like in English. Instead, it is understood through context.
Again,
ちちと ははと いもうとと わたしです。( Chichi to haha to imōto to watashi desu.)
The pattern is:
{my family member word} と {my family member word} と {my family member word} と わたしです.
"{my family member word}, and {my family member word}, and {my family member word}, and me."
Note the particle と follows each family member.
To use this pattern, simply replace {my family member word} with each of your family members.
Imagine your family members are your father, your mother, your older brother, and you.
あに, "older brother." あ-に. あに.
Say
"This is my father, mother, older brother, and me."
Ready?
ちちと ははと あにと わたしです。 (Chichi to haha to ani to watashi desu.)
"This is my father, mother, older brother, and me."
ちちと ははと あにと わたしです。 (Chichi to haha to ani to watashi desu.)
When talking to someone outside your family about your own father, mother, or siblings, use the following words.
ちち. "Father."
はは. "Mother."
あに. "Older brother."
あね. "Older sister." あね.
おとうと. "Younger brother." おとうと.
いもうと. "Younger sister."
However, when referring to another person's family members, you will need to use a different set of words.
おとうさん. "Father." おとうさん. おとうさん.
おかあさん. "Mother."おかあさん. おかあさん.
おにいさん. "Older brother." おにいさん. おにいさん.
おねえさん. "Older sister." おねえさん. おねえさん.
おとうとさん. "Younger brother." おとうとさん. おとうとさん.
いもうとさん. "Younger sister." いもうとさん. いもうとさん.

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September 15th, 2020 at 06:30 PM
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Can you talk about your family using the pattern introduced in this lesson?