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Lesson Transcript

Natsuko: 夏子です。
Peter: Peter here. Postcards Part 2. Natsuko-san, 今日はどうですか。
Natsuko: 今日はお返事がどうなったか楽しみですね。
Peter: That’s right. We are going to see what is in the answer. Now just to remind you, who is speaking to who here, Natsuko-san?
Natsuko: 佐々木さん and 石原さん
Peter: 佐々木さん is the female. 石原さん is the male and he is now in the US. He received the postcard from his good friend 佐々木さん and today the reply has come. So let’s take a look at today’s lesson. Here we go.
佐々木: 返事が来た。
手紙: 佐々木さん、ご無沙汰していました。お手紙ありがとうございました。お手紙を読んでいますと、あなたと一緒に過ごした時間を懐かしく思い出します。実は最近佐々木さんのことをよく思い出していたんです。なぜなら来月私は結婚することになったからです。この年になるとやっぱり一人でいたくはありません。こちらから連絡をしようと思っていたのですが、遅くなってしまってごめんなさい。詳しくはまた連絡します。石原
佐々木: 返事が来た。
手紙: 佐々木さん、ご無沙汰していました。お手紙ありがとうございました。お手紙を読んでいますと、あなたと一緒に過ごした時間を懐かしく思い出します。実は最近佐々木さんのことをよく思い出していたんです。なぜなら来月私は結婚することになったからです。この年になるとやっぱり一人でいたくはありません。こちらから連絡をしようと思っていたのですが、遅くなってしまってごめんなさい。詳しくはまた連絡します。石原
佐々木: 返事が来た。
SASAKI: He replied.
手紙: 佐々木さん、ご無沙汰していました。お手紙ありがとうございました。
LETTER: Ms. Sasaki, I must apologize for my long silence. Thank you very much for your letter.
When I read your letter, I recalled nostalgically the time that we spent together.
Actually, I am often reminded of you recently.
That is because I will be getting married next month. When you reach this age, well...I don't want to be alone.
I was thinking that I would contact you - apologies for my tardiness.
I will send more details later. Ishihara
Peter: Natsuko-san 今日の会話、どうでしたか。
Natsuko: うん。なんだか、ロマンチックな話になってますね。
Peter: Yeah it’s becoming romantic. We are going to have to wait and see how this turns out. Natsuko-san, again we had a really eloquently written letter.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: And we’d like to take a look at that. So first, let’s just go through some vocab real quick. Then what we will do is we are going to take a look at the conversation because there is a lot of stuff that you could really use in there. Here we go.
Peter: Natsuko-san お願いします。
Natsuko: 懐かしい
Peter: Nostalgic, dear, missed. Sample sentence please.
Natsuko: この店は80年代の懐かしい曲をよくかけている。
Peter: This store plays lots of nostalgic 80s music. Next
Natsuko: 実は
Peter: As a matter of fact, the truth is. Sample sentence?
Natsuko: 実は、明日誕生日なんです。
Peter: To tell the truth, tomorrow is my birthday. Next.
Natsuko: お手紙
Peter: Letter. Next
Natsuko: ご無沙汰
Peter: Long silence. More about this when we get into today’s dialogue.
Natsuko: 詳しい
Peter: Detailed.

Lesson focus

Peter: Okay Natsuko-san, let’s take a look at today’s letter because this letter was so well written. I think this will be a great resource for the listeners out there.
Natsuko: Yes, to learn polite Japanese.
Peter: Polite Japanese and extremely polite Japanese.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Very, very eloquent. Here we go. We don’t need the first line. Let’s just start with the letter. Again we have the name of the person followed by
Natsuko: さん
Peter: And this is followed by
Natsuko: ご無沙汰していました。
Peter: It’s been awhile since my last contact. This is what we translate it as but there is so much that goes into this phrase and few things about this. First when we went through the vocab, we defined this as a long silence. What follows this is する in the past progressive していました. The polite past progressive. So long silence I was doing the literal translation, but here again, what’s included, I haven’t contacted you for a long while.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: And it’s extremely polite.
Natsuko: So it has the nuance of apologizing for not keeping in contact for a long time.
Peter: Natsuko-san 毎度、どうもありがとうございます。 perfect explanation. A few things about this word. You can use this in written Japanese or in spoken Japanese.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Now the person you use it with should be someone who you respect very much.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: And…
Natsuko: This is a good word.
Peter: Yeah.
Natsuko: Because you can use this among friends as well.
Peter: Alright next we had
Natsuko: お手紙、ありがとうございました。
Peter: Now Natsuko-san, we have the honorific prefix お in front of the word for letter.
Natsuko: 手紙
Peter: So we have
Natsuko: お手紙
Peter: Now お手紙、ありがとうございました. Is there anything that’s supposed to come in between here or is there any variation of this?
Natsuko: It’s supposed to be お手紙をありがとうございました。
Peter: But you will see this quite often that it’s omitted. Another one I noticed too especially with email 返事
Natsuko: Oh yes.
Peter: 返事、ありがとうございます。
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Or
Natsuko: お返事、ありがとうございます。
Peter: Again with the honorific prefix
Natsuko: お
Peter: お返事、ありがとうございます。 So if you are responding to a Japanese friend, of course you can use this.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Next we have
Natsuko: お手紙を読んでいますと、あなたと一緒に過ごした時間を懐かしく思い出します。
Peter: I fondly, I nostalgically recall the time we spent together when I read your letters. Now Natsuko-san, in this case what letter is he speaking about in general or it’s kind of inferred that he is speaking about the letter he just received.
Natsuko: Yes, the letter he just received.
Peter: Yeah okay now what we have here is the subordinate clause first. Natsuko-san, can you give us that?
Natsuko: お手紙を読んでいますと
Peter: Here と follows the subordinate clause and here it’s closer to time.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: When I am reading your letter.
Natsuko: And because it's the present progressive used here, it’s like while I am reading your letter.
Peter: Yeah one more point of interest in this sentence. 懐かしく思い出します。 Fondly recall but here the adjective is modifying to recall.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Because it’s modifying it, it’s actually く. The い changes to
Natsuko: く
Peter: So instead of 懐かしい、思い出す, we have
Natsuko: 懐かしく思い出す。
Peter: Again some buying points. Remember when an adjective modifies a noun becoming an adverb, we need to change that い to
Natsuko: く
Peter: And it precedes the verb. Okay also again we start from the back. This is followed by
Natsuko: 実は最近佐々木さんのことをよく思い出していたんです。
Peter: To tell the truth, recently I often recall things about you. Now let’s just explain here a bit more because this is the English translation but let’s pay attention to the Japanese. First we have
Natsuko: 実は
Peter: The truth is. Next.
Natsuko: 最近
Peter: Recently. Followed by
Natsuko: 佐々木さん
Peter: Ms. Sasaki
Natsuko: のことを
Peter: Things about her and this whole expression 佐々木さんのこと is Ms. Sasaki. Now in English
Natsuko: 佐々木さんのことを
Peter: Ms. Sasaki
Natsuko: よく思い出していたんです。
Peter: Often recall. Now here it’s not good よい。良く思い出す not well recall. It’s often.
Natsuko: Yes frequently.
Peter: Frequently. Now again in Japanese, people refer to other people by their surnames or so on but in English it would be more natural to say, I often recall you.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: On such an intimate level. So that’s why the translation differs from the Japanese. The truth is recently, I often remember things about you. Next we have
Natsuko: なぜなら来月、私は結婚することになったからです。
Peter: That’s because next month, I will get married. Here we have
Natsuko: なぜなら
Peter: Because. Great expression here. なぜ Why followed by なら if. Because followed by
Natsuko: 来月
Peter: Next month.
Natsuko: 私は
Peter: I
Natsuko: 結婚することになったからです。
Peter: Now here we have again ことになる. To become this thing.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: And here the thing is 結婚する. So it’s becoming to marry.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Is the literal translation but in Japanese, these things that have been determined and time is ticking away ことになる。
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Is used to explain them. For example Natsuko-san, if I was going back to the US next month, my ticket was bought. Everything was decided, how do we say that?
Natsuko: ピーターは来月、アメリカに帰ることになりました。
Peter: It became that next month, I am going home. Okay next we have
Natsuko: この歳になると、やっぱり一人でいたくはありません。
Peter: When you get to this age, you don’t want to be alone. Okay here again, we have the と conditional.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Is marking the subordinate clause. In this case
Natsuko: この歳になる
Peter: This age become. And here the と is, can be translated as a when.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Because it’s marking the time. When you become this age, then we have
Natsuko: やっぱり
Peter: As is expected or kind of like as one thought.
Natsuko: 一人でいたくはありません。
Peter: I don’t want to be alone. One doesn’t want to be alone. Interesting point here. Usually it’s たくないです。
Natsuko: Yes 一人でいたくないです。
Peter: But here we have いたくはありません。
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Two things here. は is adding some emphasis and ありません is the polite form of
Natsuko: ないです。
Peter: Okay Natsuko-san, running out of time here. What do we have next?
Natsuko: こちらから連絡をしようと思っていたのですが
Peter: I thought that I would contact you but
Natsuko: 遅くなってしまってごめんなさい。
Peter: But I apologize as I was late. Okay Natsuko-san, one thing we want to point out here こちらから who are we talking about here?
Natsuko: Himself.
Peter: Yeah. You can often refer to yourself as
Natsuko: こちら
Peter: Not just yourself but sometimes your company or your household.
Natsuko: Oh yes. It’s like you know on this side.
Peter: Yeah. Also nice for emails is 遅くなってしまってごめんなさい。 I am sorry for the late reply.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: All right. Then he says I will send details which is
Natsuko: 詳しくはまた連絡します。


Peter: All right. We ran long today. More details inside the PDF. That’s going to do for today.
Natsuko: じゃ、また来週。


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