Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

Let's take a closer look at the conversation.
Do you remember how Karen says,
"It's hot today, isn't it?"
きょうは あついですね。(Kyō wa atsui desu ne.)
First is きょう, "today." きょ-う. きょう.
After this is は, the topic-marking particle. は. は.
It marks きょう, "today," as the topic of the sentence. Think of it like "as for" in the expression "as for today…"
Together, it's きょうは. "As for today…" きょうは.
Next is あつい. "Hot." あ-つ-い. あつい.
After this is です. In this case, it's like the "is" in "It is hot." で-す. です.
And last is ね, a sentence-ending particle that's used to build consensus. It translates as "isn't it" here. ね (slow). ね.
Another common translation for ね is "right?" as in "It's hot, right?"
All together, it's きょうは あついですね。Literally, "As for today, hot [it] is, isn't it?" but translates as, "It's hot today, isn't it?"
きょうは あついですね。(Kyō wa atsui desu ne.)
Let's take a closer look at the response.
Do you remember how Ichika Ishikawa says,
"It is, isn't it?"
そうですね。(Sō desu ne.)
そうですね is a set phrase used to show agreement with the speaker. The English translation can vary depending on the context. Here it translates as "It is, isn't is," but a common translation is "That's right." そうですね
First is そう, translating as "true" or "correct," in this context. そ-う. そう.
After this is です. In this case, it's like the "is" in "It is." です.
And last is ね, the sentence-ending particle that's used to build consensus. It translates as "isn't it" here. ね (slow). ね.
Together, そうですね, literally means "True [that] is, isn't it," but it translates here as "It is, isn't it?" そうですね。(Sō desu ne.)
The pattern is 
きょうは (Kyō wa) {Word or phrase describing the weather} ですね。(desu ne.)
It's {Word or phrase describing the weather} today, isn't it?
きょうは {Word or phrase describing the weather} ですね。
Imagine it's cold. さむい (samui). さ-む-い. さむい.
Say,
"It's cold today, isn't it?"
Ready?
きょうは さむいですね。(Kyō wa samui desu ne.)
"It's cold today, isn't it?"
きょうは さむいですね。(Kyō wa samui desu ne.)
Notice that both Karen and her neighbor end the sentence with ね, "isn't it?"
The purpose of the particle, ね, is to build consensus between the speakers, and it's often used in Japanese.
Making this kind of small talk about the weather is more common in Japan than asking about one's well-being.
Instead of asking "How are you?" people are more likely to make a simple observation about the weather or temperature.
It's expected that the other person will express agreement. It's an exercise in consensus building that will begin many of your daily encounters in Japan.

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April 6th, 2021 at 06:30 PM
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