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Lesson Notes

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Lesson Transcript

Alisha: Hi everyone! アリッシャです! Alisha here!
Natsuko こんにちは!ナツコです!Hi everyone, I'm Natsuko.
Alisha: Welcome to Lower Beginner, Season 1, lesson 13 – “Have you Been to a Japanese Festival Before?”
Natsuko: Alisha, what are we going to learn in this lesson?
Alisha: In this lesson, we’re going to learn how to ask “what does [something] mean in English?” in Japanese.
Natsuko: That’s very useful, isn’t it?
Alisha: It is! We will also learn expressions for when we experience something for the first time.
Natsuko: So, where does this lesson’s dialogue take place?
Alisha: Ken and his colleague come across the festival crowd.
Natsuko: では、聞きましょう!
Alisha: Let’s listen to the conversation!
Natsuko: So, Alisha, have you been to Japanese festival yet?
Alisha: Yes.
Natsuko: Japanese festivals, Matsuri, were originally ritual ceremonies, but the religious connotations are fading out now. These days, it’s more for local community bonding.
Alisha: In the dialogue, Ken asked what Mikoshi was, but his colleague didn’t answer. So what is Mikoshi?
Natsuko: Mikoshi is often translated as “portable Shinto shrine”, and its shape is a miniature version of a shrine building. Many men, and sometimes women too, carry Mikoshi on their shoulders and parade shouting “Wasshoi! Wasshoi!”, but this word varies depending on the area.
Alisha: Is there any special food for Matsuri?
Natsuko: There are usually food and game stalls alongside the street.
Alisha: That sounds fun! Kids must love Matsuri! Ok, let’s move on to the vocabulary.
Alisha: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first phrase we’ll look at is....
Natsuko: [something]は、英語で何ですか。For example, まつりは、英語で何ですか。Meaning “what’s Matsuri in English?”
Alisha: This is really useful, because we always come across things we don’t know. Whenever you hear an unfamiliar word, you can ask “[something] は英語で何ですか”.
Natsuko: You can use this phrase just by adding “…は何ですか” just after the word or phrase that you would like to know.
Alisha: Please note that it’s なんですか, not なにですか.
Natsuko: Good point, Alisha. You can also find this information in the Absolute Beginner series, Season 1 Lesson 24.
Alisha: Can you give us more examples using this phrase, please?
Natsuko: Of course! I’m sure you know what the Carnival is, but do you know how to say Carnival in Japanese?
Alisha: カーナヴァル・・・I’m not too sure.
Natsuko: Okay, to ask me this using today’s phrase, you can say Carnivalは日本語で何ですか。
Alisha: Replacing 英語 with 日本語 because I want to know how to say Carnival in Japanese.
Natsuko: That’s right!
Alisha: Natsuko, Carnivalは、日本語で何ですか。
Natsuko: カーニバルです。
Alisha: “Carnival” in Japanese is カーニバル. Good! Okay, let’s move on; what’s the next word?
Natsuko: たくさん
Alisha: たくさん means “a lot” in English. You can use this to describe the amount of things.
Natsuko: Right; pretty much anything.
Alisha: But you have to remember that we don’t have to put any particle after たくさん。Like…
Natsuko: 私は、生ダコをたくさん、食べます
Alisha: Have you got it? No particle after たくさん. Okay, let’s move onto the grammar.

Lesson focus

Alisha: In this lesson you’re going to learn about how to say “first time [to experience]”, right?
Natsuko: Yes, that’s right! It’s はじめて meaning “for the first time”.
Alisha: I think I know that, like はじめまして?
Natsuko: That’s right! When we express it’s the first experience, we use はじめて and then express what you experienced.
Alisha: Like Ken said in the dialog はじめて見ました?
Natsuko: Exactly! By the way, Alisha, do you like sushi?
Alisha: Yes, I do!
Natsuko: Good, because I have some sushi for you here.
Alisha: Really? Wow! But….what’s this?
Natsuko: Oh, that’s raw octopus. 生ダコです。
Alisha: Raw octopus?? I thought octopus should be served boiled…
Natsuko: So, 生ダコは、初めてですか。
Alisha: はい、生ダコは初めてです。Listeners, as you heard, 初めて can be used as 初めてです and you can simply add a noun before the particle は.
Natsuko: That’s right! In the dialog, Ken’s colleague asked Ken 祭りは、初めてですか。That’s the easy way to use 初めて, but now let’s see better how Ken used this word 初めて。
Alisha: In the dialog, Ken said みこし?初めて見ました。So, 初めて can come before a verb?
Natsuko: Exactly! 初めて + verb means that you did something for the first time.
Alisha: I had raw octopus sushi for the first time…
Natsuko: (笑) Really? 初めてですか。
Alisha: はい、生ダコは、初めて食べました。
Both (laugh)
Alisha: Well, listeners, I think you now know how to use this expression! Natsuko, how can I say I came to Japan for the first time?
Natsuko: That’d be 初めて日本に来ました。
Alisha: I believe that’s useful! Listeners, let’s practice. Repeat after Natsuko.
Natsuko: 初めて日本に来ました。[wait 5 seconds]
Alisha: Now listeners, say “I came to Japan for the first time”, in Japanese.
Natsuko: [wait 5 seconds] 初めて日本に来ました。
Alisha: Did you get it everyone? For more examples, please check out the lesson notes. But unfortunately, that’s about all we have time for today! How did you find the lesson?
Natsuko: どうでしたか?
Alisha: Please leave us your comments, questions, and any feedback you have on the lesson page.


Alisha: Okay, that’s it for this lesson. See you next time!
Natsuko: じゃ、また!


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Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

JapanesePod101.com Verified
June 24th, 2013 at 06:30 PM
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Hi everyone,
Have you been to Japan before? If you have, when was it?

June 27th, 2019 at 05:53 AM
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Miki H

Team JapanesePod101.com

June 13th, 2019 at 07:40 AM
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May 4th, 2017 at 02:40 AM
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koukoujidai wa nihon ni hajimete ikimashita


jitsu, koukoujidai dakewa nihon ni itta koto ga arimasu.

The first time I went to Japan was when I was in high school.

Really, when I was in high school was the only time I've been to Japan.

JapanesePod101.com Verified
July 25th, 2016 at 07:57 AM
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Seth さん、


You don’t need じゃ.:wink:


Yuki  由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

July 10th, 2016 at 12:09 PM
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じゃドラムが好きですよ。 ともかく、ジェシーはどこにいますか?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
February 13th, 2016 at 10:16 PM
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Team JapanesePod101.com

Yuki  由紀

February 6th, 2016 at 11:03 PM
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Yes, I've gone to a Japanese festival.


When I first came to Japan, I lived in northern Saitama, and I went to the festival with my neighbors.


My neighbors and I carried the mikoshi.


It was a really enlightening experience.

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 3rd, 2015 at 10:53 AM
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Sharon san,

Konnichiwa. :smile:

Thank you for your question.

‘hajimete’ is an adverb so it can be put anywhere as long as before a verb.

Also a subject is omitted in the sentence ‘hajimete nihon ni kimashita’ so it should be ‘watashi wa hajimete nihon ni kimashita’

‘hajimete nihon ni kimashita’ and ‘nihon ni hajimete kimashita’ have the same meaning and they are grammatically correct.

Yuki 由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

October 31st, 2015 at 10:39 AM
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Hi, I would like to ask about the usage of hajimete. Initially it was taught as A wa B hajimete verb (past tense). But why the last example is "hajimete nihon ni kimashita"? The structure of the sentence has changed as hajimete is now in the beginning of the sentence. Should hajimete be used in the beginning of the sentence or middle before a past tense verb?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
October 20th, 2015 at 12:45 PM
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どこがいちばんいいですか。Which city is the best?

‘that time’ meansその時(とき).

You don’t need a particle between 3週間 and たいざい.

間 works like ‘for’ so ‘for three weeks’ means ‘3週間.’

If you want to say ‘thank you in advance’, please use ‘よろしくおねがいします’. :wink:

Yuki 由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com