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Lesson Transcript

Naomi: ナオミです。
Chris: Chris here, Tips for Improving your Formal Written Japanese. このレッスンでは何を勉強しますか。
Naomi: 書き言葉を勉強します。
Chris: In this lesson you'll learn expressions used in formal writing.
Naomi: このレッスンも、先生と生徒達の会話です。
Chris: This conversation is between a teacher, Mr. Momoya, and his students.
Naomi: 常用漢字について話しています。
Chris: They're talking about じょうようかんじ or standard-use kanji.
Naomi: 丁寧な会話です。
Chris: And they're speaking politely.
Naomi: では、聞いてみましょう
Chris: Let's listen to the conversation.

Lesson conversation

桃屋先生: ここに「常用漢字」についての記事があります。
: 野沢さん、読んでくれますか。
野沢菜味: はい。「文章を書く時に、常用漢字を意識するかどうか、質問をした。
: 意識すると答えた人は38%。意識しないと答えた人は約60%であった。」
桃屋先生: ありがとう。つまり、「この漢字は常用漢字かな」と考えながら、漢字を使っている人は少ないんだね。
: じゃ、次を大葉さん、お願いします。
大葉桜子: はい。
: 「憂鬱(ゆう・うつ)の鬱、語彙(ご・い)の彙、処方箋(しょ・ほう・せん)の箋は、2010年に常用漢字になった。
: しかし、3つの漢字が全て書けると答えた人は4%、書けないと答えた人は58%であった。
: これが現実なのであろう。」
那須実: よかった。
: 書けない人は俺だけじゃないんだ!
Naomi: 今度は英語の訳と一緒に聞いてみましょう。
桃屋先生: ここに「常用漢字」についての記事があります。
Chris: I have here an article about the "standard-use kanji."
: 野沢さん、読んでくれますか。
Chris: Miss Nozawa, would you read it for us?
野沢菜味: はい。「文章を書く時に、常用漢字を意識するかどうか、質問をした。
Chris: Yes. "We asked the question, when you write something, are you conscious of the standard-use kanji?
: 意識すると答えた人は38%。意識しないと答えた人は約60%であった。」
Chris: Thirty-eight percent of respondents answered that they were conscious of the standard-use kanji, while sixty percent answered that they were not."
桃屋先生: ありがとう。つまり、「この漢字は常用漢字かな」と考えながら、漢字を使っている人は少ないんだね。
Chris: Thanks. Basically, there's not many people who use kanji while thinking "Hmm, is this character one of the standard-use kanji?"
: じゃ、次を大葉さん、お願いします。
Chris: Alright, next is Miss Ōba, please.
大葉桜子: はい。
Chris: Yes.
: 「憂鬱(ゆう・うつ)の鬱、語彙(ご・い)の彙、処方箋(しょ・ほう・せん)の箋は、2010年に常用漢字になった。
Chris: "In 2010, the character 鬱 ('utsu') of 憂鬱 ('yūtsu,' 'depression'), the character 彙 ('i') of 語彙 ('goi,' 'vocabulary') and the character 箋 ('sen') of 処方箋 ('shohōsen,' 'prescription') became standard-use kanji.
: しかし、3つの漢字が全て書けると答えた人は4%、書けないと答えた人は58%であった。
Chris: However, the percentage of people who answered that they could write all three of these kanji was four percent, while the percentage of those who could not was fifty-eight percent.
: これが現実なのであろう。」
Chris: This is the likely reality.
那須実: よかった。書けない人は俺だけじゃないんだ!
Chris: I'm glad. It's not just me who can't write them!
Chris: 質問なんですが・・・
Naomi: はい。
Chris: 先生は、casual にはなしたり、politeに話したりしていますね。
Naomi: ああ、そうですね。最初先生は「ここに常用漢字についての記事があります」...丁寧に話していましたね。でも、次に、「ありがとう」・・・カジュアルですね。
Chris: どうしてですか。
Naomi: たぶん、フレンドリーさを出すためにわざと、カジュアルに話しているのだと思います。
Chris: So I asked Naomi why Mr. Momoya sometimes speaks casually and sometimes politely when he's talking to his students.
Naomi said it's probably because Mr. Momoya intended to show friendliness.
Chris: 学校の先生は普通はカジュアルに話しますかそれとも、丁寧に話しますか?
Naomi: おおお、いい質問ですね。
Chris: So elementary school and junior high school teachers speak casually. Since you don't have to be polite to children!
Naomi: 高校の先生は、丁寧に話す人もカジュアルに話す人もいました。
Chris: At your high school, some teachers spoke politely and some spoke casually, while most professors at your university spoke politely.
Naomi: 私の経験だけですけどね。
Chris: That's just your own experience.
Naomi: アメリカではどうですか?
Chris: たぶん、ほとんどはカジュアルに話してると思うんですけど。
Naomi: あ、なるほどね。
Chris: 中学校でも高校でも変わらないと思うんですけど、カジュアルの方が割と多いはずです。
Naomi: なるほど~。あ、じゃあ例えば生徒の名前を first name とかで呼ぶんですか。
Chris: そうですね。
Naomi: “Chris” みたいな。
Chris: いつも first name で。
Naomi: あー、なるほど。
Chris: すごくカジュアルな先生もいて、先生の名前も first name で呼んだりします。
Naomi: え~、先生を first name で呼ぶんだ!
Chris: はい。私もそういう先生いました。
Naomi: あ、そうなんですか!え~、それはびっくり。リスナーの皆さんの国ではどうですか。先生はカジュアルに話しますか。 それとも、丁寧に話しますか。
Chris: Listeners, how is it in your country? Do teachers speak casually? Or formally?
Chris: Let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson. The first word we shall see is,
Naomi: 答える [natural native speed]
Chris: to answer, to reply ;V2
Naomi: 答える [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 答える [natural native speed]
Chris: Next,
Naomi: 考える [natural native speed]
Chris: to think about; V2
Naomi: 考える [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 考える [natural native speed]
Chris: Next,
Naomi: つまり [natural native speed]
Chris: in short, in other words, that is to say, I mean
Naomi: つまり [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: つまり [natural native speed]
Chris: Next,
Naomi: 文章 [natural native speed]
Chris: sentence, article, text, writing
Naomi: 文章 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 文章 [natural native speed]
Chris: Next,
Naomi: 現実 [natural native speed]
Chris: reality, fact
Naomi: 現実 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 現実 [natural native speed]
Chris: In this section,let us introduce some useful expressions for formal writing. What are we looking at first?
Naomi: 「つまり」
Chris: Tsumari is used to wrap up an explanation, or to give a summary. It can be translated as "that is to say", "to sum it up", or "in short".
Naomi: "in other words" とか "I mean" と言う意味にもなります。これは本当によく使いますよね~。
Chris: そうですね。
Naomi: でも、使いすぎない様に気をつけてください。
Chris: Be careful not to overuse it, because just like in English, it will lose its effectiveness. 例文お願いします。
Naomi: それはノンアルコールビール、つまり、お酒がはいっていないビールだ。
Chris: "That's non-alcoholic beer - in other words, it's beer with no alcohol in it".
Chris: 次は何ですか? What's the next expression?
Naomi: しかし
Chris: However, but.
Naomi: これは、とても固い感じがします。友達同士の会話では「でも」を使った方がいいです。
Chris: Shikashi is very formal and may sound stiff. So in a casual conversation, you should stick to "demo".
Naomi: 友達に、「しかし」を使うと、ちょっと変です。気をつけてください。
Chris: 次は?What's the next one?
Naomi: 約
Chris: "approximately, about". The adverb "yaku" precedes the amount of something and adds the meaning of "roughly", "approximately" or "about".
Naomi: 「大体」 と 同じ意味です。ダイアログで「約60%」とありましたが、「大体60%」でも同じです。
Chris: So "daitai" and "yaku" mean the same thing. They both mean "approximately" or "about".
くらい ぐらい も同じですね?
Naomi: はい。同じです。でも、くらい ぐらい はamountの後に来ますね。
Chris: Right. くらい or ぐらい also means "about", but comes -after- the amount.
So 60%ぐらい, right?
Naomi: そうです。
Chris: I see. Yaku comes before an amount, but it cannot precede expressions of time, unlike daitai or kurai. So be careful.
Naomi: 例えば、大体9時。とか 九時くらい は大丈夫ですが、約九時はダメです。
Chris: You can say "daitai kuji" or "kuji kurai/gurai" but not "yaku kuji".
Naomi: じゃ、文法に入りましょう。

Lesson focus

Chris: In this lesson, you'll learn the conjunction "de aru".
Naomi: 前回copulaの「である」を勉強しましたね。今回は「である」 のconjugationを勉強します。
Chris: In the last lesson you learned that expository -de aru sentences appear in formal writing such as essays, theses, newspaper articles and so on. In this lesson we'll focus on the conjugation of -de aru.
Naomi: まず、過去形。「-である」の過去形は「ーであった」
Chris: Let us give you some examples. First of all, say "That's true" using the "da" copula.
Naomi: それは本当だ。
Chris: Now say the same sentence using "de aru".
Naomi: それは本当である。
Chris: To say "That was true", you have to replace "de aru" with "de atta".
Naomi: それは本当であった。
Chris: Listeners listen and repeat after Naomi. "That was true".
Naomi: それは本当であった。
Chris: Now if you use -da, "That was true" would be...
Naomi: 「それは本当だった」
Chris: And if you're talking to your boss, teacher or someone who has a higher status than you, you should say..
Naomi: 「それは本当でした」
Chris: Next, let's learn the conjectural form.
Naomi: であろう
Chris: In -da style speech, conjecture is expressed by だろう and in -desu style speech, でしょう。Let us show you an example. How do you say "it'll rain tomorrow" in -da style speech?
Naomi: 明日、雨が降るだろう。
Chris: If you're talking formally or speaking to someone who has a higher status than you, you'd say...
Naomi: 明日、雨が降るでしょう。
Chris: If you're writing a report, you'd write...
Naomi: 明日、雨が降るであろう。
Chris: Listeners, listen and repeat after Naomi.
Naomi: 明日、雨が降るであろう。
Naomi: じゃ、復習しましょう。私がda style の文を言いますので、de aru style に変えてください。
Chris: Naomi's going to say 3 sentences using -da. Your job is to change those sentences into -de aru sentences.
Naomi: 私は猫だ。
Chris: (pause-wait for 5 sec) Did you replace だ with である? Naomi, say "I'm a cat" in de aru style.
Naomi: 私は猫である。
Chris: OK. What's the next sentence?
Naomi: 彼が言ったことは全て嘘だった。
Chris: (wait for 10 sec) You have to replace だった with であった. Naomi, say "Everything he said was lies." using -de aru.
Naomi: 彼が言ったことは全て嘘であった。
Chris: Ok. What's the last one?
Naomi: 彼は金メダルを取るだろう
Chris: (wait for 10 sec) You have to replace だろう with であろう. Naomi, how do you say "He'll probably win a gold medal"?
Naomi: 彼は金メダルを取るであろう。
Chris: Since you mentioned "I'm a cat", isn't there a famous novel whose title is "I Am a Cat" written by Soseki Natsume?
Naomi: はい、ありますね。
Chris: Is the original Japanese title 私は猫である?
Naomi: あれは、「我輩は猫である」ですね。
Chris: わがはい?
Naomi: 「私」と言う意味です。今はあまり使いませんが、えらそうな感じですね。
Chris: 我輩 means "I", but it's archaic and carries an arrogant nuance.
Naomi: 英語だと "I Am a Cat" というタイトルですね。「私は猫です」じゃなくて「吾輩は猫である」だと、少し理屈っぽく聞こえます。我輩は男の人のpronounなので、「理屈っぽいえらそうにしている男の猫」だな~とタイトルからわかります。
Chris: Oh, I see. So the title "Wagahai wa neko de aru" sounds kind of argumentative and challenging.
Also, as "wagahai" is a first-person pronoun for a male speaker, you can guess from that that the cat is argumentative and arrogant!
Naomi: 面白いですよね。
Chris: OK. That's all the time we have for this lesson.
Naomi: じゃ。また。
Chris: See you!


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

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 1st, 2011 at 06:30 PM
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Are you familiar with the kanji talked about in the dialogue? :D

JapanesePod101.com Verified
October 16th, 2018 at 08:08 PM
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Thank you for your comments, everyone! Sorry we didn't reply earlier.

>Hi Jeremy,

Hope our website helps you learn kanji. Please keep studying with us👍

When it comes to existence of a living thing, いる is used instead of ある. So the sentence 2 should be "彼女はあそこにいた。"

>Hi Oswalt,

"約" is normally used for amount, quantum, or quantity, so "約~時間" is commonly used.



Keep studying with JapanesePod101.com



Team JapanesePod101.com

August 10th, 2018 at 01:21 PM
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July 27th, 2018 at 04:18 AM
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May 30th, 2018 at 04:11 PM
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Why is "yaku" + time is not allowed (e.g. 約九時).

July 31st, 2016 at 01:59 AM
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Hey everybody. Unfortunately I'm far from knowing the three kanji in the dialogue, or the ~2,000 kanji so far. (I even accidentally wrote Yuki's name as 由記 not 由紀 once because they looked too much alike. Sorry Yuki!! ?) If I had to guess, I can probably reliably read and/or pick out of the computer list about 500-600 kanji. I glanced at the 6th grade list and there's quite a few there I don't know, but I've learned a few non-jouyou kanji like 吠える from manga. (By this point you're probably guessing 犬夜叉 Inuyasha, and you would be right. I found it to be a great manga and anime for learning polite, super-polite, rude, teen girl, elderly, and normal Japanese. It's obvious who's speaking what.)

Oh yeah, de aru practice:

1. 彼はスペイン人である。

2. 彼女はあそこであった。

3. その車は赤いであろう。

1. He is a Spanish person.

2. She was over there.

3. That car is probably red.

Easy. (I think?)

JapanesePod101.com Verified
March 21st, 2016 at 10:36 PM
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Paul san,


I also want to know why.:wink:

Yuki  由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

March 14th, 2016 at 11:25 PM
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"憂鬱": Jason of "Why Japanese People Why?" found these kanjis very difficult. :grin:



JapanesePod101.com Verified
September 17th, 2014 at 08:22 AM
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Hi Becci,

Thanks for your comment!

について is useful for formal writing but also used on speaking.

について itself marks the object of the action, such as "speak" "listen" "think" "write" "research" and so on.

Hope this helps,


Team JapanesePod101.com

September 14th, 2014 at 03:17 PM
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In the lesson notes it says that について is used in formal writing. Is there a different word or phrase that has the same meaning that is used in casual conversation?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 12th, 2013 at 12:08 AM
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I know they are "jouyou" kanji, but I don't "jouyou" (i.e. I don't "constantly use") them, so I forget them easily.


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