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Lesson Transcript

Chigusa &Yoshi: おはよう、東京。
Chigusa: チグサです。
Yoshi: ヨシです。
Peter: Peter here. チグサさん and ヨシさん are back again. In this Introductory Series, we’ll walk you through several short episodes to show you the benefits of JapanesePod101.com. Today’s lesson is a beginner lesson. Now, today’s format is a bit different than yesterday’s. In beginner lesson, we give you the conversation at normal native speaking speed. The second time is slower, a slow version of the same conversation. The third time includes the English translation. Then, after that, we look at vocabulary and the conversation itself. So, with that said, please listen to the following conversation. Here we go.
ちぐさ: 初めまして。
: 私は山口ちぐさです。
: 宜しくお願いします。
よし: 初めまして。
: 私は渡辺好博です。
: 宜しくお願いします。
Peter: One more time, slowly please.
ちぐさ: 初めまして。
: 私は山口ちぐさです。
: 宜しくお願いします。
よし: 初めまして。
: 私は渡辺好博です。
: 宜しくお願いします。
Peter: This time, チグサさん and ヨシさん will give you the Japanese and I’ll give you the English. Here we go.
ちぐさ: 初めまして。
CHIGUSA: Nice to meet you.
ちぐさ: 私は山口ちぐさです。
CHIGUSA: I am Chigusa Yamaguchi.
ちぐさ: 宜しくお願いします。
CHIGUSA: Please be kind to me.
よし: 初めまして。
YOSHI: Nice to meet you.
よし: 私は渡辺好博です。
YOSHI: I am Yoshihiro Watanabe.
よし: 宜しくお願いします。
YOSHI: Please be kind to me

Lesson focus

Peter: Today we’re working on self-introductions. Now, this is the standard. When you meet someone, you’ll go through these set phrases over and over. What we’d like to do now is take a part of this conversation and look and see what’s in there, to give you a better idea of how the Japanese language works. So, チグサさん, what’s the first phrase you say when you meet somebody?
Chigusa: 初めまして
Peter: “Nice to meet you. How do you do?” Can you break this down for us?
Chigusa: (slow)はじめまして (natural speed)初めまして
Peter: ヨシさん, one more time, please?
Yoshi: 初めまして
Peter: Literally this means “first time”, “for the first time”. So you’re technically meeting someone for the first time, that’s the literal meaning. Now, when we interpret it, it becomes “Nice to meet you. How do you do?” because in English this is what we say when we meet someone for the first time, but in Japanese it’s…
Yoshi: 初めまして
Peter: This is followed by the next sentence. チグサさん
Chigusa: 私は山口ちぐさです。
Peter: Several parts of this sentence. First part of the sentence we have…
Chigusa: 私
Peter: Pronoun “I”. Can you break this down?
Yoshi: (slow)わたし (natural speed)私
Peter: This is followed by…
Chigusa: は
Peter: A topic marker. In Japanese, as the sentence structure is very flexible, particles are used to designate grammatical role. Here, the pronoun “I”, 私, is marked by the particle は. This is followed by…
Chigusa: 山口ちぐさ
Peter: ちぐさ is name. Now, listen to the name one more time.
Chigusa: 山口ちぐさ
Peter: In Japanese the order is reversed. You give your last name first, your first name last. チグサさん, your last name is…
Chigusa: 山口
B; And first name is…
Chigusa: ちぐさ
Peter: In English we say ちぐさ山口. And then we have…
Chigusa: です
Peter: The copula, almost equivalent to the English verb “to be”. Here it also makes the sentence polite. So can you give us the sentence in its entirety one more time?
Chigusa: 私は山口ちぐさです。
Peter: Okay, now let’s get it from ヨシさん.
Yoshi: 初めまして。私は渡辺好博です。
Peter: Same pattern here. We have the pronoun “I”, which is…
Yoshi: 私
Peter: Topic marker…
Yoshi: は
Peter: Followed by your name. Remember, last name first in Japanese.
Yoshi: 渡辺好博
Peter: So your last name is?
Yoshi: 渡辺
Peter: And your first name?
Yoshi: 好博
Peter: And finally your finish off the sentence with…
Yoshi: です
Peter: “Nice to meet you. I am 好博渡辺.” This is followed by an extremely polite and versatile expression, which is translated as “please be kind to me” in this context. You’ll find the more you study Japanese, the more meanings this phrase can take on. Here, it’s translated as “please be kind to me”. チグサさん, can you give us that expression in its entirety?
Chigusa: よろしくお願いします。
Peter: Can you break down the first word?
Chigusa: (slow)よろしく (natural speed)よろしく
Peter: Now let’s take a look at the latter phrase. チグサさん?
Chigusa: お願いします
Peter: Okay, first part we have…
Chigusa: お願い
Peter: Break this down.
Chigusa: (slow)おねがい (natural speed)お願い
Peter: Followed by…
Chigusa: します
Peter: Break this down.
Chigusa: (slow)します (natural speed)します
Peter: This phrase is actually a standalone expression meaning the equivalent of “please” in English. So if you want something, you can ask for it by saying…
Chigusa: お願いします
Peter: IF you want someone to do something for you, you can ask them with…
Chigusa: お願いします
Peter: Of course, before that you have to specify what you want, but this is the deal closer. You can also use it to convey that you want something. For example you can go into a store, point to something and say…
Chigusa: お願いします。
Peter: Letting the person know that you want this. This expression is extremely important and widely used in Japanese. Now, let’s take a look at this verb, お願い. What verb is this based off of?
Chigusa: 願う
Peter: Which means?
Chigusa: To wish.
Peter: And the grammar behind how we get to お願いします is a bit beyond the scope of this beginner’s lesson, but it’s “a humble wish”, that’s the literal translation, but we interpret it as “please”. So when you take this phrase and put it together with…
Chigusa: よろしく
Peter: よろしい is the polite form of 良い, which means “good” or “nice”. And here it’s actually acting as an adverb, so the literal translation is “nicely, please”. This is then interpreted as “please be nice to me”, “please be kind to me”. Now, in Japanese the verbs come at the end of the sentence. お願いします, the verb comes at the end but it is not a problem. We are going to guide you through this amazing, fascinating language. We are going to turn this into such a fun learning experience that you’re going to want more and more Japanese. Now what we’re going to do is show you how to use what we learned today. ヨシさん, so I come to Japan and I meet someone for the first time, what am I going to do?
Yoshi: You introduce yourself.
Peter: All right, so can you show me how to introduce myself?
Yoshi: 初めまして。私は渡辺好博です。よろしくお願いします。
Peter: So the only thing that changes from that whole expression is the name part, correct?
Yoshi: Correct.
Peter: That’s it. Everything else is the same. And all I have to do is insert my name where your name went. So can you tell me how to say my name in Japanese?
Chigusa: ピーター
Peter: So this part is substituted for the names to this point.
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: And, as it could be a bit difficult, it’s okay if I leave out my last name, right?
Chigusa: Right.
Peter: So it would be 初めまして。私はピーターです。よろしくお願いします.
Chigusa: Correct.
Peter: All right, it’s that easy. That’s the only part that changes.


Peter: That’s going to do it for today.
Chigusa: また明日。
Yoshi: またね。


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