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Lesson Transcript

Peter: Where Did You Learn to Speak Japanese Like That?!
Peter: This series is designed to introduce you to Absolute Beginner and beginner level Japanese.
Naomi: We'll also introduce Japanese culture, customs and some useful set phrases.
Peter: The main character of this series is Ashley Jones, a 29 year-old American woman. She works at the New York office of a Japanese car manufacturing company called…
Naomi: ねっさん.
Peter: This series is about her business trip to Japan. In lesson 1, you'll learn 3 critical Japanese sentence structures. First?
Naomi: How to say "Yes" and "No". Then, how to say A equals B, or A is B, and also the question form of this sentence "is A B?"
Peter: Now before each dialogue featuring professional voice actors, we'll give you the setting for the conversation, the characters who will appear in it and their relationship to provide context.
Peter: So, in our first lesson, this conversation takes place on
Naomi: Skype
Peter: As you may already know, Skype is a software program that allows users to make telephone calls or exchange instant messages over the Internet.
Peter: The conversation is between
Naomi: Two colleagues. Ashley and her colleague Daisuke Honda.
Peter: Now, Ashley works at the New York office. Daisuke works at the company headquarters in Tokyo.
Naomi: It looks like they are chatting on Skype on the day of Ashley’s departure.
Peter: In Japanese, there are basically three levels of formality.
Naomi: Informal, Formal and honorific.
Peter: Honorific is mainly used in business situations. As a beginner of Japanese, knowing informal and formal speech is enough.
Naomi: In the dialogues, you will hear some honorific phrases that are commonly used, but as a beginner it's okay to focus on using just the informal and formal speech patterns.
Peter: So, Naomi-sensei, what's the level of formality of the conversation, or maybe I should say, audio chat?
Naomi: Since they're colleagues, they use formal Japanese.
Peter: This lesson references All about Japanese Lesson 5, Bootcamp Lesson 1 and 2, and appendix 2. Let’s listen to the conversation.
本田大介: アシュリーさん?
アシュリー: 本田くん。こんにちは。
本田大介: 出発は明日ですか。
アシュリー: いいえ。今日です。
本田大介: 今日?
アシュリー: はい。
本田大介: あー、ニューヨークは朝ですか。
アシュリー: はい。今、四時です。
: 出発は十一時です。
本田大介: じゃ、よい旅を。
アシュリー: はい。じゃ、また、後で。
Peter: One time slowly.
本田大介: アシュリーさん?
アシュリー: 本田くん。こんにちは。
本田大介: 出発は明日ですか。
アシュリー: いいえ。今日です。
本田大介: 今日?
アシュリー: はい。
本田大介: あー、ニューヨークは朝ですか。
アシュリー: はい。今、四時です。
: 出発は十一時です。
本田大介: じゃ、よい旅を。
アシュリー: はい。じゃ、また、後で。
Peter: Now with the English translation.
本田大介: アシュリーさん?
Jessi: Ashley?
アシュリー: 本田くん。こんにちは。
Jessi: Honda-kun! Hello!
本田大介: 出発は明日ですか。
Jessi: Is your departure tomorrow?
アシュリー: いいえ。今日です。
Jessi: No, it's today.
本田大介: 今日?
Jessi: Today?
アシュリー: はい。
Jessi: Yes.
本田大介: あー、ニューヨークは朝ですか。
Jessi: Oh, is it morning in New York?
アシュリー: はい。今、四時です。
Jessi: Yes. Right now, it's 4 o'clock.
: 出発は十一時です。
Peter: My departure is at 11.
本田大介: じゃ、よい旅を。
Jessi: Okay, have a nice trip!
アシュリー: はい。じゃ、また、後で。
Jessi: Okay. Well, see you later!
Naomi: 4am? So she's chatting with Daisuke at 4 in the morning?
Peter: Maybe she's doing some last-minute packing
Naomi: I see.
Peter: Or she could be busy preparing something for her presentation at the headquarters.
Naomi: To fully understand this dialogue, I think we need to explain the time difference between Tokyo and New York.
Peter: That’s right. There is a 14-hour-time-difference between Tokyo and New York. In the summer months, the difference changes to 13 hours due to Daylight Savings in the US. So that means if it's 4am in New York, it's 5pm or 6pm in Tokyo.
Naomi: That's why Daisuke said あーニューヨークは朝ですか。
Peter: "Oh, is it morning in New York?"
Peter: Another thing I want to point out are the name suffixes さん and くん.
Naomi: Oh yeah.
Peter: Ashley called Daisuke Honda 「本田君」Mr. Honda. Honda is his family name. So she calls him, family name plus 君. But Daisuke Honda calls her アシュリーさん, first name plus san.
Naomi: Right. Unlike English Mr. or Ms., you can attach -san or -kun to either someone's first name or family name. Kun is mostly used for men, but san is used for both men and women.
Peter: So, my name is Peter Galante, so I could be called...
Naomi: ピーターさん or ギャランテさん.
Peter: Now, most of the time, people refer to me as ピーターさん. That’s more common for foreigners taking their first name and tagging on -san. In Japanese, it’s the opposite, most people use their last name, and tag on -san. Now, there are some more name suffixes in Japanese and we have a detailed write up about it in the lesson notes. Naomi-sensei, before we move on, I wanna cover one more thing.
Naomi: What is it?
Peter: Daisuke Honda refers to Ashley as アシュリーさん, her first name plus san. Ashley refers to Daisuke Honda as 本田君. Now, these suffixes tell us about their relationship.
Naomi: Yeah.
Peter: What does it tell us?
Naomi: We could guess that they’re in the same social status, or Ashley’s social status is higher than Honda.
Peter: Quite the unique thing about Japanese. Because Ashley used -kun, we know that there are two possibilities - One, Daisuke has a lower social status than Ashley; or two, they’re on the same level.
Naomi: So it means you can never use -kun to your boss or customers.
Peter: Naomi-sensei, well said. If you did use it to someone with a higher social status, it would be considered rude. A little piece of advice, when in doubt, use -san.
Naomi: Yeah, I think it’s safe.
Peter: In the case of a teacher, we have a different suffix.
Naomi: Right, 先生 (sensei).
Peter: It could be a teacher, such as a classroom teacher, an instructor, such as a martial arts teacher, and a lot of time, people in the professional services - lawyers, doctors, accountants. Ok, on to the vocabulary.
Peter: In this session, we’ll give you the word at natural native speed, followed by the English equivalent. Next, we’ll break down the word by syllable to help you catch the word and help your ears get adjusted to Japanese. Finally, we’ll give you the word one more time, natural native speed. First word…
Naomi: 出発 [natural native speed]
Peter: departure
Naomi: 出発 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 出発 [natural native speed]
Peter: Next
Naomi: 明日 [natural native speed]
Peter: tomorrow
Naomi: 明日 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 明日 [natural native speed]
Peter: Next
Naomi: ニューヨーク [natural native speed]
Peter: New York
Naomi: ニューヨーク [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: ニューヨーク [natural native speed]
Peter: Next
Naomi: 今 [natural native speed]
Peter: now
Naomi: 今 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 今 [natural native speed]
Peter: Next
Naomi: 朝 [natural native speed]
Peter: morning
Naomi: 朝 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 朝 [natural native speed]
Peter: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. Naomi, what’s the first phrase, actually, phrases we’ll be looking at?
Naomi: はい and いいえ.
Peter: Yes and No respectively. Now, as we learned in All About Japanese Lesson #5, hai (はい) also has the meanings of "okay" and "right".
Naomi: はい。(Laughter) Right. And Be careful when you say いーえ. It has a long いーsound.
Peter: It's spelled い・い, but it's pronounced いー. It's a long vowel.
Naomi: Right, いいえ
Peter: Without the long vowel, it becomes いえ, which is “house”.
Naomi: So be careful. And speaking of long vowel, 今日 has long おー sound too.
Peter: 今日 means today.
Naomi: It's spelled きょう but pronounced きょー
Peter: OK. What's the next word?
Naomi: 四時 
Peter: four o'clock.
Naomi: よ means “four”; じ means “o'clock.”
Peter: Naomi-sensei, し also means “four,” right?
Naomi: Right.
Peter: Can we say しじ?
Naomi: No.
Peter: This is one of the cases where it’s always よじ. In the dialogue, we also had
Naomi: 十一時
Peter: eleven o'clock
Naomi: 十一 “eleven”; 時 “o'clock”
Peter: How to say time in Japanese is all explained in Appendix 2. There, you can find detailed charts for hours and minutes. Basically, a whole lesson just about time. Next, let’s move on to the goodbye phrase that appeared in the dialogue.
Naomi: Right. We had two phrases.
Peter: What's the first one?
Naomi: じゃ、よい旅を。
Peter: have a nice trip!
Naomi and Peter: Let's look at the components of this phrase. じゃ means "well then"; よい means "good"; 旅 means "trip or travel".
Naomi: If we say 「よい旅を」, it means "have a good trip". It's a set phrase よい旅を "have a good trip"
Peter: So, じゃ、よい旅を can be translated as "well then... Have a good trip."
Daisuke Honda said 「よい旅を」to Ashley and Ashley says...
Naomi: じゃ、また、後で。
Peter: Okay. Well, see you later! Let's break down. じゃ、"well then"; また "again"; 後で "later".
Peter: Literally, "Well then...later again"
Naomi: Of course, "see you" is inferred.
Peter: So..."Well then see you again later."
Naomi: Of course, you can say じゃ また or じゃ あとで.
Peter: And this is a shortened version. This means "See you later", "See you again." Now, there's good news for absolute beginners or beginners. You don't even have to say また or あとで because...
Naomi: じゃ by itself can be used as "See you" or "Bye".
Peter: On to the grammar section.

Lesson focus

Peter: In this lesson, you will learn how to make simple [A is B] sentences following the pattern of…
Naomi: [A wa B desu].
Peter: In bootcamp lesson 1, you learned the sentence pattern [I am (such and such)]. For example...
Naomi: "Watashi wa such and such desu". For example, 私は、直美です。
Peter: “I'm Naomi.” 私は、ピーターです。 “I'm Peter.”
Peter: What we're going to do in this lesson is to use a different noun instead of watashi, "I”. Let us explain with an example. Naomi-sensei, can we have a sample sentence?
Naomi: Sure, ケンはパイロットです。
Peter: Ken is a pilot. ケン "Ken"; は “is a particle that comes after a topic that the speaker is going to talk about; its English equivalent could be "as for...", kind of like you’re establishing the topic. So far, we have 「ケンは」"As for Ken" or “Ken”. What's next?
Naomi: パイロット
Peter: "Pilot"
Naomi: です
Peter: Desu is the polite form of the copula, this roughly corresponds to the English verb "to be,” a linking verb, and can mean "I am," "you are", "it is," depending on context. So let’s put this altogether. Can we have the sentence one more time?
Naomi: ケンはパイロットです。
Peter: So literally, Ken, pilot is. Of course, it means "Ken is a pilot."
Now, Naomi-sensei, what if you want to say... "Ken is a dancer." That would be...
Naomi: Dancer in Japanese is ダンサー. So, ケンはダンサーです。 “Ken, dancer is.”
Peter: Ken is a dancer. So we’ve established this pattern [A is B].
Naomi: [A は B です]
Peter: Now, let us explain how to form simple question sentences.
Naomi: It's very simple. When you put か at the end of the sentence, the sentence becomes a question.
Peter: The word order doesn’t change as it does in English. In English, the verb comes in front of a sentence. For example, "Is ken a pilot?" That comes at the beginning of the sentence. In Japanese, you don't have to do that. Simply adding か to the end of a sentence turns it into a question. Let’s illustrate some examples. Naomi-sensei, how do we say "Ken is a pilot"?
Naomi: ケンはパイロットです。
Peter: Now, how do we ask “Is Ken a pilot?”
Naomi: ケンはパイロットですか?
Peter: That’s it. No change in word order. Just add か to form a question. Let's do one more example. How do you say "Ken is a dancer"?
Naomi: ケンはダンサーです。
Peter: how do we ask the question “Is Ken a dancer?”
Naomi: ケンはダンサーですか?
Peter: Let's take a look at the question from this lesson's dialogue.
Naomi: In the dialogue, Daisuke Honda asked 出発は明日ですか。
Peter: “Is Departure tomorrow?”
Peter: Of course, "your" is inferred. Let’s take a look at the component of this question. So first we have...
Naomi: 出発
Peter: Literally “departure”, but “your” is implied. Followed by...
Naomi: は
Peter: Topic marking particle. So we’re establishing that we’re talking about departure.
Naomi: 明日
Peter: tomorrow
Naomi: です
Peter: is
Naomi: か
Peter: question. So, literally “Departure, tomorrow, is.” Of course, we translate it as "Is Your departure tomorrow?" Or "Are you going to leave tomorrow?"
Naomi: We also had 出発は十一時です。
Peter: Literally, “Departure is 11 o'clock”. In this case, "My" is omitted.
Naomi: 出発は
Peter: as for (my) departure,
Naomi: 十一時
Peter: 11 o'clock
Naomi: です
Peter: is. "As for my departure, 11 o'clock is." And of course when we put it as proper English, "My departure is 11 o'clock." OK, let's recap with a quiz. The quiz will be multiple choice, we’ll give you the question and three possible answers. Your job is to guess the answer, okay? First question...
Peter: Which of the following suffixes is attached to the teacher's name?
Naomi: A)さん B)くん C)せんせい
Peter: The answer is C.
Naomi: Sensei, teacher.
Peter: On to the second question...
Peter: Which of following phrases mean "Goodbye"
Naomi: A)じゃ、また B)こんにちは C) いいえ
Naomi: So the answer is A, じゃ、また.
Peter: On to the translation exercise.
Peter: "A is B"
Naomi: [A は B です]
Peter: Ken is a pilot.
Naomi: ケンはパイロットです。
Peter: Is Ken a pilot?
Naomi: ケンはパイロットですか。
Naomi: Did you get it?
Peter: In the next lesson, you'll learn how to introduce yourself using the grammar from this lesson…
Naomi: [A は B です]
Peter: See you in the next lesson.
Naomi: じゃ、また。


Peter: Now listen to the dialogue one more time, natural native speed. This will reinforce everything you’ve just learned about grammar and vocabulary.
本田大介: アシュリーさん?
アシュリー: 本田くん。こんにちは。
本田大介: 出発は明日ですか。
アシュリー: いいえ。今日です。
本田大介: 今日?
アシュリー: はい。
本田大介: あー、ニューヨークは朝ですか。
アシュリー: はい。今、四時です。
: 出発は十一時です。
本田大介: じゃ、よい旅を。
アシュリー: はい。じゃ、また、後で。


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