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Natsuko: 夏子です。
Megumi: めぐみです。
Peter: Peter here.
Natsuko: Today we have a heartwarming story which again will be part of a series.
Peter: Yes we love this series here at JapanesePod101.com. Today we have two people in their fifties or in their, kind of, twilight years and long time friends and one of them has gone to the US. So today, Ishihara-san who is now in the US receives a postcard from his good friend. So let’s see what happens here. Now today what we would like to introduce is a polite, very eloquently written postcard. The writing is voiced over and that’s how we are going to get that to you but here we have writing. So it’s quite different than something spoken. Okay. Here we go.
石原: ああ、佐々木さんから葉書が来た。
葉書: 石原さん いよいよ本格的な寒さになってまいりました。お元気でお過ごしでしょうか。石原さんが出張で日本を出てから2ヶ月が経ちますが、その後お仕事はどうですか。こちらは埼玉で相変わらずの生活を送っています。お忙しいとは思いますが、お時間がありましたら、お返事ください。お体にはお気をつけて。佐々木
石原: ああ、佐々木さんから葉書が来た。
葉書: 石原さん いよいよ本格的な寒さになってまいりました。お元気でお過ごしでしょうか。石原さんが出張で日本を出てから2ヶ月が経ちますが、その後お仕事はどうですか。こちらは埼玉で相変わらずの生活を送っています。お忙しいとは思いますが、お時間がありましたら、お返事ください。お体にはお気をつけて。佐々木
石原: ああ、佐々木さんから葉書が来た。
ISHIHARA: Oh, I got a postcard from Ms. Sasaki.
葉書: 石原さん いよいよ本格的な寒さになってまいりました。お元気でお過ごしでしょうか。
POSTCARD: Mr. Ishihara, At long last, the formidable grasp of winter's coldness has fully taken hold of us. I do hope that you are spending your days well.
It will have been two months since you departed Japan on business, Mr. Ishihara - how has work been since then?
Here in Saitama, I am passing the days as I always have. I am certain you must be busy, but if time allows, please do write back.
Please take care of yourself. Sasaki
Megumi: 夏子さん、この会話はどう思いましたか?
Natsuko: とても丁寧な手紙ですね。
Megumi: 素敵ですね。
Peter: Now in this postcard, there are few things that you can use if you write your Japanese friend on a postcard.
Megumi: Yes and I am sure you can impress them very much.
Peter: Really impress them.
Peter: Okay but before that, let’s get into the vocab. Megumi-san?
Megumi: あ、夏子さん、お願いします。
Natsuko: はい。葉書。
Megumi:postcard 例文をお願いします。
Natsuko: 海外の友達に葉書を送った。
Megumi:I sent a postcard to my friend who is overseas. Next word.
Natsuko: 本格的
Megumi: Full blown, regular, genuine, earnest, normal, typical, fundamental, real.
Natsuko: Wow, that’s a lot of definitions.
Natsuko: I know.
Peter: A lot. Well, this is a really, really good word.
Megumi: 例文をお願いします。
Natsuko: 本格的な夏がやってきた。
Megumi: The real summer is here.
Peter: Natsuko-san, I want to do more with this word. Can you give us some more examples?
Natsuko: 本格的に始めましょう。
Peter: Let’s start for real. This is a great expression.
Megumi: Next word.
Natsuko: 出張
Megumi: Official tour, business trip. 例文をお願いします。
Natsuko: 出張で大阪に行った。
Megumi: I went on a business trip to Osaka. When people come over to Japan from America or from any other country, they usually stay if they are on a 出張.
Peter: To come to Japan on a business trip. Is that 出張?
Megumi: Yes. If they are not staying like you know months.
Peter: Also there is a time relevance to this word.
Megumi: I think so. So it’s usually referred to a shorter trip. All right. Next word.
Natsuko: 相変わらず。
Megumi: As usual, the same. 例文を、お願いします。
Natsuko: 相変わらず、美人ですね。
Megumi: Always a beautiful lady. Next one.
Natsuko: 埼玉。
Megumi: Saitama Prefecture. Saitama Prefecture, I live there.
Natsuko: Oh really?
Megumi: Uhoo yeah. 例文を、お願いします。
Natsuko: 埼玉スーパーアリーナに行ってきた。
Megumi: I went to the Saitama Super Arena.
Natsuko: Saitama is also the name of the city right?
Megumi: Uhoo..
Peter: Yeah and there is a lot going on in Saitama. Wait, first let’s talk about the Saitama Super Arena. What’s that?
Natsuko: What’s that? Is it a big arena?
Peter: Yeah really big. Umm they have a lot of mixed martial arts competitions there. When the US Wrestling, WWE, when they come here, they have an event at the Saitama Super Arena and I think it holds up like 50,000 people.
Natsuko: Wow that’s pretty big.
Peter: Yeah really big.
Megumi: Recently the band U2 came there too.
Peter: Yeah so this is a no joke sporting/entertainment complex.
Natsuko: I see.
Peter: Yeah.
Megumi: And they built it recently, right?
Peter: That I do not know.
Megumi: Next word.
Natsuko: 返事
Megumi: Reply, answer. 例文を、お願いします。
Natsuko: プロポーズの返事を待っています。
Megumi: I am waiting for your reply to my proposal. That’s kind of sad.
Natsuko: Sad, sad. It makes everyone happy.
Megumi: I mean that’s true, that’s true but you also wait for her reply still.
Peter: Okay. Now let’s just take a quick look at this postcard. Natsuko-san, what do we have first?
Natsuko: 石原さん
Peter: So address the person by their name followed by the suffix.
Natsuko: さん
Peter: And if you want to get even politer depending on your relationship with that person, you can use
Natsuko: 様
Peter: Okay. Then we have next a set phrase. This is a seasonal greeting used by many people when starting out a postcard, starting out a letter. Starting out an email, it’s quite common to refer to the weather.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: And here we have
Natsuko: いよいよ本格的な寒さになってまいりました。
Peter: Some really polite Japanese but again beyond the scope of this lesson. What we just want to point out here is that you can take this phrase, put it in your postcard.
Natsuko: Yes make sure it’s the winter season.
Peter: Yeah. Okay now we will just give you a little quick background behind that. We are about to head into the real cold part referring to the winter. Now Natsuko-san, two points here. 寒さ We have 寒い and then we drop the い, we add
Natsuko: さ
Peter: To refer to
Megumi: The coldness.
Peter: Exactly and then we have になって to become. And we usually have きました。
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: So it is usually 寒さになってきました but here きました becomes
Natsuko: まいりました。
Peter: To elevate the politeness level.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Now it’s really, really polite. Okay this is followed by
Natsuko: お元気でお過ごしでしょうか。
Peter: Natsuko-san, help us out there. We have lots of polite prefixes. What’s going on here?
Natsuko: I think we already covered 元気 right?
Peter: Yeah.
Natsuko: And 過ごす is another key word here.
Peter: Yeah we covered to spend.
Natsuko: Yes and they are お again elevated to a very polite level.
Peter: 元気 attaching the prefix.
Natsuko: お
Peter: And 過ごす by
Natsuko: Also by adding お. So the basic part is 元気で過ごす which means
Peter: To spend well.
Natsuko: Yes but it’s made very polite.
Peter: By attaching the prefix
Natsuko: お
Peter: To 元気 and
Natsuko: Also to 過ごす
Peter: And then substituting the でしょうか for
Natsuko: ですか
Peter: Yeah. We have the regular polite Japanese and here we step it up a notch and this is much more polite than the phrase
Natsuko: 元気で過ごしていますか。
Peter: Okay next we have
Natsuko: 石原さんが出張で日本を出てから二ヶ月が経ちますが、その後お仕事はどうですか。
Peter: Now again we have 仕事 with the prefix.
Natsuko: お
Peter: To make it polite. Now what’s interesting here is 一ヶ月が経ちます. Natsuko-san, what I want to look at here is the time plus the verb 経ちます。一ヶ月が経ちます。
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Two months will pass.
Natsuko: Yes. It’s going to be two months.
Peter: Yeah again with the passage of time, we use this verb 経つ okay. Then we have
Natsuko: こちらは埼玉で相変わらずの生活を送っています。
Megumi: Here I am spending my days as usual in Saitama.
Peter: Interesting point here. 生活 and what verb?
Natsuko: 送る
Peter: To send a lifestyle but here to live a lifestyle.
Natsuko: Yes. It’s more like you know passing time.
Peter: Yeah.
Megumi: The time pass.
Peter: Okay followed by
Natsuko: お忙しいとは思いますが
Peter: I think that you are busy but now here, again, what do we do to busy?
Natsuko: Add お
Peter: Yeah to make it polite. I think that you are busy but
Natsuko: お時間がありましたら
Peter: Again polite お時間 not 時間. Then we have a conditional if you have the time.
Natsuko: ありましたら
Peter: A conditional. If you have the time. If there is time literally. If there is time but meaning if you have time followed by
Natsuko: お返事ください
Peter: Please respond and again here, お返事. Finally we have.
Natsuko: お体にはお気をつけて
Peter: Please take care of yourself or please watch yourself and again here, lots of お prefixes. One before
Natsuko: 体
Peter: And one before
Natsuko: 気
Peter: In the phrase?
Natsuko: 気をつけて
Peter: Okay now we end the letter with
Natsuko: 佐々木
Peter: Just the name. Now sometimes I see letters that end with 佐々木より?
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: From.
Natsuko: From.
Peter: Although… Okay?
Natsuko: Uhoo.


Peter: All right now again inside today’s PDF, we will have a much more detailed write up of what we covered today. So stop by. You really want to pick up this PDF. And again, this would make a great sample, something you could really work from if you want to send your friend a postcard.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Or a letter or an email. All right that’s going to do for today.
Natsuko: じゃ、また明日ね。
Megumi: Bye bye.


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