Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Let's take a closer look at each of these expressions.
In the first conversation, do you remember how Mark says,
"Good morning, Ms. Tanaka."
たなかせんせい、おはようございます。(Tanaka-sensei, ohayō gozaimasu.)
First is たなかせんせい, “Ms. Tanaka.” たなかせんせい.
First, Mark addresses his teacher たなかせんせい.
This starts with the teacher's family name, たなか. た-な-か. たなか.
After this is せんせい, teacher. せんせい. せ-ん-せ-い. せんせい.
Note: when せんせい is used as a suffix, the meaning will depend on the context, as it can be attached to the names of teachers, doctors, lawyers, and politicians.
In the case of たなかせんせい, it translates as "Ms." since she's a private teacher and the situation is less formal.
Together, it's たなかせんせい. "Ms. Tanaka." たなかせんせい.
Next is おはようございます, meaning, “Good morning.” お-は-よ-う-ご-ざ-い-ま-す. おはようございます.
There are two parts to this expression: おはよう and ございます。
First is おはよう, it comes from the adjective はやい, meaning “early.” おはよう.
Pronunciation note: notice the prolonged pronunciation of the vowel at the end of おはよう. Listen again: おはよう. This is called the long vowel.
Second is ございます, a polite form of the verb “to be” or “to exist.” ございます.
Together, おはようございます literally means “early it is,” but it translates as, “Good morning.” おはようございます。
In Japanese, there are different levels of formality. This expression is formal. For informal situations, you can simply say the first part, おはよう, “Good morning.” おはよう.
All together, たなかせんせい、おはようございます。Literally, “Ms. Tanaka, good morning,” but in more natural English, “Good morning, Ms. Tanaka.”
たなかせんせい、おはようございます。(Tanaka-sensei, ohayō gozaimasu.)
Do you remember how the teacher says,
“Good morning, Mr. Lee.”
リーさん、おはようございます。 (Rī-san, ohayō gozaimasu.)
First is リーさん. Mr. Lee. リーさん.
This starts with Mark's family name, “Lee,” in Japanese. リー. リ-ー. リー.
After this is さん, a polite suffix attached to a person's name, さ-ん. さん.
The suffix can be used with any gender. In Mark's case, it translates as “Mr.”
Together, リーさん, “Mr. Lee.” リーさん.
Next is おはようございます。“Good morning.” お-は-よ-う-ご-ざ-い-ま-す. おはようございます。
All together, it's リーさん、おはようございます。”Good morning, Mr. Lee.”
リーさん、おはようございます。 (Rī-san, ohayō gozaimasu.)
In the second conversation, which takes place at noon, do you remember how Karen says,
“Good afternoon.”
こんにちは。(Kon'nichiwa.)
こんにちは means “Good afternoon.”
こ-ん-に-ち-は. こんにちは。
こんにちは consists of two parts:
First is こんにち, a formal way of saying "today." こんにち.
Second is the particle, は, the topic-marking particle. は. Think of it like “as for” in the expression “as for today.”
Together, こんにちは literally means “As for today.” But it translates as “good afternoon" or "hello” depending on context.
こんにちは。(Kon'nichiwa.)
Note the pronunciation of は, here. It's pronounced wa instead of ha when used as a particle.
Also note: when pronouncing this word, こんにち be sure to pronounce the ん sound. こんにち.
Do you remember how Ms. Tanaka says,
“Good afternoon, Ms. Lee.”
リーさん、こんにちは。(Rī-san, kon'nichiwa.)
Tanaka-sensei calls Karen Lee リーさん.
This starts with Karen's family name, Lee. リー. リ-ー. リー.
After this is さん, a polite suffix attached to a person's name. さん.
The suffix can be used with any gender. In Karen's case, it translates as “Ms.”
Together, リーさん, “Ms. Lee.” リーさん.
Next is こんにちは, “Good afternoon.” こんにちは.
All together, it's リーさん、こんにちは。Good afternoon, Ms. Lee.
リーさん、こんにちは。(Rī-san, kon'nichiwa.)
In the third conversation, which takes place in the evening at 6 p.m., do you remember how Ben says,
“Good evening, teacher.”
せんせい、こんばんは。(Sensei, konbanwa.)
When addressing his teacher, Ben simply uses せんせい without adding her name. People often address their teachers by the title, せんせい, without attaching it to a name when it's clear which teacher they're talking to.
Next is the greeting こんばんは, meaning “Good evening.” こ-ん-ば-ん-は. こんばんは.
こんばんは consists of two parts:
First is こんばん, meaning "this evening." こんばん.
Second is the particle, は, the topic-marking particle. は. Think of it like “as for” in the expression “as for this evening.”
Together, こんばんは literally means, “As for this evening,” but it translates as “Good evening.”
Pronunciation note: when pronouncing this word, be sure to clearly enunciate the ん sound in こんばんは.
All together, Ben says,
せんせい、こんばんは。(Sensei, konbanwa.)
Do you remember how the teacher says,
“Good evening, Ben.”
ベンくん、こんばんは。(Ben-kun, konbanwa.)
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. In this case, the teacher, the speaker, is of higher social status than Ben, the student. There is no equivalent in English. Instead, the translation is contextual. In this case, there is no corresponding English translation, and ベンくん simply translates as “Ben.”
Together, it's ベンくん、こんばんは。”Good evening, Ben.”
Tanaka-sensei: ベンくん、こんばんは。
こんにちは is the most general greeting, and the closest to “hello” in English.
It can be used in the morning or even at night.
When including a person's name in a greeting, it's more common to say the person's name before the greeting.
In addition, using a person's name in a greeting, may come across as more formal.
In informal situations, it's not so common to say someone's name when greeting them.

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November 20th, 2020 at 06:30 PM
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How would you greet someone early in the morning?