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Sakura: さくらです。(Sakura desu.)
Peter: Peter here. Newbie lesson #9. Sakura-San.
Sakura: はい。(Hai.)
Peter: Back in the studio again. It is great to have you back.
Sakura: ありがとうございます。(Arigatō gozaimasu.)
Peter: Now today, it is just the two of us.
Sakura: そうですね。(Sō desu ne.)
Peter: Yeah, and we are back with a newbie lesson and this is geared for people new to the language. Getting their feet wet. Now if this lesson is a little too easy for you, stop by JapanesePod101.com. There we have Sakura-San, I was counting the other day about 350 lessons. Stop by japanesepod101.com. There you will find explanations about that and much, much more. Now Sakura-San, today’s conversation is between two friends.
Sakura: はい。(Hai.)
Peter: And this will be informal Japanese.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Now in most of the textbooks, you will come into contact with formal Japanese, polite Japanese but Sakura-San, when we talk with your friends, when we speak but we are not that on good terms. We are really not that close. So but if we were, we would speak what kind of Japanese?
Sakura: Informal, ね (ne).
Peter: This is another thing that we want to slowly introduce you to. Well, not slowly because you are getting the crash course here. The point is two close friends having a conversation. So the Japanese is going to be informal. If this sounds a little bit new to you, don’t worry about it. After you hear the dialogue, we are going to walk you through everything.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Here we go.
美智子 (Michiko):もしもし、健二さん、美智子です。お久しぶり!元気?(Moshimoshi, Kenji-san, Michiko desu. O-hisashiburi! Genki?)
健二 (Kenji):ああー、美智子.....何?.....今午前3時だよ。(Aā, Michiko..... Nani?..... Ima gozen san-ji da yo.)
美智子 (Michiko):えっ、今日本は午後3時。(E, ima Nihon wa gogo san-ji.)
健二 (Kenji):でも、ワシントンDCは今午前3時。(Demo, Washinton dīcī wa ima gozen san-ji.)
美智子 (Michiko):ワシントンDC!いつから??(Washinton dīcī! Itsu kara??)
もう一度お願いします。ゆっくりお願いします。(Mō ichi-do onegai shimasu. Yukkuri onegai shimasu.)
美智子 (Michiko):もしもし、健二さん、美智子です。お久しぶり!元気?(Moshimoshi, Kenji-san, Michiko desu. O-hisashiburi! Genki?)
健二 (Kenji):ああー、美智子.....何?.....今午前3時だよ。(Aā, Michiko..... Nani?..... Ima gozen san-ji da yo.)
美智子 (Michiko):えっ、今日本は午後3時。(E, ima Nihon wa gogo san-ji.)
健二 (Kenji):でも、ワシントンDCは今午前3時。(Demo, Washinton dīcī wa ima gozen san-ji.)
美智子 (Michiko):ワシントンDC!いつから??(Washinton dīcī! Itsu kara??)
次は英語が入ります。(Tsugi wa Eigo ga hairimasu.)
美智子 (Michiko):もしもし、健二さん、美智子です。(Moshimoshi, Kenji-san, Michiko desu.)
Michiko: Hello Kenji! This is Michiko.
美智子 (Michiko):お久しぶり!元気? (O-hisashiburi! Genki?)
Michiko: Long time no see. How are you?
健二 (Kenji):ああー、美智子... (Aā, Michiko…)
Kenji: Ah… Michiko…
健二 (Kenji):何?(Nani?)
Kenji: What?
健二 (Kenji):...今午前3時だよ。(... Ima gozen san-ji da yo.)
Kenji: ... It's 3:00 AM now.
美智子 (Michiko):えっ、今日本は午後3時。(E, ima Nihon wa gogo san-ji.)
Michiko: Huh? in Japan it's 3:00PM now.
健二 (Kenji):でも、ワシントンDCは今午前3時。(Demo, Washinton dīcī wa ima gozen san-ji.)
Kenji: But in Washington D.C., it's 3:00AM now.
美智子 (Michiko):ワシントンDC!いつから?? (Washinton dīcī! Itsu kara??)
Michiko: Washington D.C.! Since when??
Peter: So Sakura-San, what did you think?
Sakura: Poor Kenji-san.
Peter: Yeah, woken up in the middle of the night. Let’s just point out a few things about this conversation. Now this was on the cell phone.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Which in Japanese is
Sakura: 携帯電話 (keitai denwa)
Peter: Just break that down.
Sakura: (slow) けいたいでんわ (keitai denwa) (natural speed) 携帯電話 (keitai denwa)
Peter: And we have a short version, which is
Sakura: 携帯 (keitai)
Peter: Now Michiko, the girl called Kenji, the guy.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: But he was in DC. Now how do we know this was a cell phone call?
Sakura: Because Michiko-san didn’t know he was in DC.
Peter: Exactly and there are these types of phones now where you call the local number, puts you through.
Sakura: So you can take your mobile phone to United States and then you can just use it as if you are in Japan.
Peter: Yeah. Well the local calls like if someone calls you and they call your regular number, it will put the call through. So it works that way.
Sakura: あ〜、そうなんだ。(Ā, sō nan da.)
Peter: So the reason I know is because I have this type of phone.
Sakura: I see.
Peter: It’s really great. When I go back to the states or I go to China, I just take the phone with me, turn it on. If someone calls my Japanese number, it puts it right through.
Sakura: ふーん、すごいね。便利。(Fūn, sugoi ne. Benri.)
Peter: Yeah. Okay, Sakura-san, let’s take a look at some vocab.
Sakura: お久しぶり (o-hisashiburi)
Peter: After a long time.
Sakura: (slow) おひさしぶり (o-hisashiburi) (natural speed) お久しぶり (o-hisashiburi)
Peter: Now we had this in the previous lesson. You haven’t seen someone for a while, you meet them and you say?
Sakura: お久しぶり。 (O-hisashiburi.) A very informal situation. You can say – you can drop お (o) in the beginning and say ひさしぶり (hisashiburi) and in a more formal situation, you can say お久しぶりですね (o-hisashiburi desu ne).
Peter: And the sentence ending particle ね (ne) is optional too, right?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Next we have
Sakura: 今 (ima)
Peter: Now.
Sakura: (slow) いま (ima) (natural speed) 今 (ima)
Peter: And Sakura-san, how can I say in Japanese what time is it now?
Sakura: 今、何時ですか。(Ima, nan-ji desu ka.)
Peter: Now notice that the now, 今 (ima) comes in the beginning of the sentence. One more time.
Sakura: 今、何時ですか。(Ima, nan-ji desu ka.)
Peter: Next we have
Sakura: 午前 (gozen)
Peter: A.M.
Sakura: (slow) ごぜん (gozen) (natural speed) 午前 (gozen)
Peter: Next
Sakura: 午後 (gogo)
Peter: Afternoon, PM.
Sakura: (slow) ごご (gogo) (natural speed) 午後 (gogo)
Peter: So Sakura-San, how can I say 3 AM in Japanese?
Sakura: 午前3時 (gozen san-ji)
Peter: Now the point here is in English, it’s 3, the number followed by AM or PM. In Japanese, it’s the opposite. AM or PM equivalent, 午後 (gogo) for PM, 午前 (gozen) for AM comes before the number.
Sakura: Right.
Peter: So in English, we have 3 AM, in Japanese
Sakura: 午前3時 (gozen san-ji)
Peter: 3 PM
Sakura: 午後3時 (gogo san-ji)
Peter: Okay. Now what we are going to do is take a quick look at the conversation. Sakura-San, what do we have first?
Sakura: もしもし健二さん、美智子です。(Moshimoshi, Kenji-san, Michiko desu.)
Peter: Now first we have the telephone greeting.
Sakura: もしもし (moshimoshi)
Peter: Exclusive for telephones.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And then I always talk about this but you can – if someone is really out of it, you can say to them
Sakura: もしもし (moshimoshi)
Peter: Anybody home kind of like….
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Anybody there?
Sakura: もしもーし (moshimōshi)
Peter: I like that one. もしもし (moshimoshi) followed by
Sakura: 健二さん (Kenji-san)
Peter: The name of the person she is calling and the polite suffix
Sakura: さん (san)
Peter: Then she says
Sakura: 美智子です (Michiko desu)
Peter: It’s Michiko. Here we have the name followed by the polite form of the copula. So she starts off very polite.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Followed by
Sakura: お久しぶり (o-hisashiburi)
Peter: It’s been a while and here a little bit, a little more polite than just 久しぶり (hisashiburi).
Sakura: Umm.
Peter: But still informal.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: The formal would be
Sakura: お久しぶりです (o-hisashiburi desu)
Peter: So if it’s a teacher or someone you have respect for you haven’t seen in a while, you would add the です (desu).
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Then we have
Sakura: 元気?(Genki?)
Peter: Now here the key is the intonation. Now up until now, we have introduced です (desu) form of asking how are you which is
Sakura: 元気ですか。(Genki desu ka.)
Peter: 元気 (genki) followed by the polite form of the copula.
Sakura: です (desu)
Peter: And the question marking particle.
Sakura: か (ka)
Peter: So 元気ですか (genki desu ka), but here we just have 元気?(genki?) So it’s the intonation.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: That makes it into the question.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And in polite Japanese, です (desu) and か (ka) dropped. Kenji, he replies with
Sakura: ああー、美智子... 何?(Aā, Michiko... Nani?)
Peter: He has just been woken up Michiko’s name and
Sakura: 何?(Nani?)
Peter: Which is the interrogative meaning what, but in polite Japanese, we had introduced this as
Sakura: 何ですか。(Nan desu ka.)
Peter: Again polite form of the copula です (desu) followed by the question marking particle か (ka).
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: But here it’s informal. So it is just
Sakura: 何?(Nani?)
Peter: Then we have
Sakura: 今午前3時だよ。(Ima gozen san-ji da yo.)
Peter: It’s 3 AM now. Couple of points here. First, where does now come in the sentence?
Sakura: In the beginning.
Peter: Followed by
Sakura: 午前 (gozen)
Peter: AM.
Sakura: 3時 (san-ji)
Peter: 3. Again when we do numbers, it’s the number followed by
Sakura: 時 (ji)
Peter: This is followed by
Sakura: だよ (da yo)
Peter: The informal, the plain form of the copula. Informal. です (desu) becomes
Sakura: だ (da)
Peter: And then we have the sentence ending particle よ (yo), which adds emphasis to the fact that it’s 3 AM.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Next we have
Sakura: えっ、日本は午後三時よ。(E, Nihon wa gogo san-ji yo.)
Peter: So she thinks Kenzie is a little mixed up. えっ (e) is the Japanese interjection for surprise. えっ!(E!)
Sakura: Right. えっ!(E!)
Peter: Japan, which is
Sakura: 日本 (Nihon)
Peter: Followed by
Sakura: は (wa)
Peter: Topic marking particle and then she says almost the same thing as the previous sentence. Now it’s 3 PM and she also adds the sentence ending particle よ (yo) for emphasis saying to him, hey, what’s going on. It’s 3 PM here, 3 PM in Japan. Now notice she didn’t put in the だ (da), the plain form of the copula. Why is this, Sakura-San?
Sakura: だ (da) is more masculine sounding.
Peter: Exactly.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Female speakers tend not to use this.
Sakura: Hhmm…
Peter: Or at least maybe younger girls.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Will put it in but it is quite masculine. Then we have
Sakura: でも、今ワシントンDCは午前三時。(Demo, ima Washinton dīcī wa gozen san-ji.)
Peter: So we have the word for but でも (demo), but now Washington DC, it’s 3, 3 AM. Notice again here how the now comes first. In English, it comes at the end but here in the beginning of the sentence and then finally we have
Sakura: ワシントンDC?(Washinton dīcī?)
Peter: Washington DC?
Sakura: いつから?(Itsu kara?)
Peter: Since when? From when is the literal translation.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: So you have the interrogative for what, which is?
Sakura: 何 (nani)
Peter: And when
Sakura: いつ (itsu)

Lesson focus

Peter: Right. So we are running way out of time but we want to introduce you – we just want to go over counting hours, 1 o'clock, 2 o'clock, 3 o'clock. Point of today’s lesson. So, Sakura-san, can you count from 1 to 12 o'clock for us?
Sakura: いちじ、にじ、さんじ、よじ、ごじ、ろくじ、しちじ、はちじ、くじ、じゅうじ、じゅういちじ、じゅうにじ (ichi-ji, ni-ji, san-ji, yo-ji, go-ji, roku-ji, shichi-ji, hachi-ji, ku-ji, jū-ji, jū ichi-ji, jū ni-ji)
Peter: Couple of points here. 4 o'clock. What‘s 4 o'clock again?
Sakura: よじ (yo-ji)
Peter: Now the word for 4, there are a few ways to say it in Japanese. There is
Sakura: よん (yon)
Peter: And
Sakura: し (shi)
Peter: But can we say しじ (shi-ji)?
Sakura: No.
Peter: So only
Sakura: よじ (yo-ji), four.
Peter: よじ (yo-ji)
Sakura: よじ (yo-ji)
Peter: Which is even more mind boggling because we drop the ん (n) sound.
Sakura: あ〜、うんうん (Ā, un un).
Peter: So it’s just よじ (yo-ji).
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: So one little pitfall there that you have to watch out for.
Sakura: Right.
Peter: Next is 7 o'clock.
Sakura: しちじ (shichi-ji)
Peter: Now again, there is two words for 7, しち (shichi) and
Sakura: なな (nana)
Peter: Can we say ななじ (nana-ji)?
Sakura: No it’s しち (shichi).
Peter: Yeah, and finally what about 9 o'clock because we have く(ku) and きゅう (kyū)?
Sakura: くじ (ku-ji)
Peter: And we can’t say it the other way, right?
Sakura: Right.


Peter: Okay. And more about this inside the PDF. Stop by japanesepod101.com and make sure to pick that up. Sakura-san, thank you so much for joining us today. It was really, really fun. It’s always a pleasure to have you.
Sakura: はい、またよろしくお願いします。(Hai, mata yoroshiku onegai shimasu.)
Peter: See you tomorrow.
Sakura: またね!(Mata ne!)


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February 12th, 2007 at 06:30 PM
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Mina-san, 時差ぼけって知っていますか。Jisa boke tte shitte imasu ka? Do you know what jisa boke means? Answer to come shortly....

JapanesePod101.com Verified
August 28th, 2020 at 05:45 PM
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Konnichiwa Rachel,

Thank you for your comment.Your sentence is perfect.

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August 15th, 2020 at 03:34 AM
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November 27th, 2019 at 05:10 AM
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Konnichiwa fkfmfgkdfm,

Thank you for asking. What you face happens because your 7-day premium that we gave you for free has expired and now you have something called a Free Lifetime Account. Our students with a free account can only access the most recent lessons from the past 3 weeks and the first 3 lessons from each series. So it's not every lesson that is blurred out; you still receive countless hours of free audio and video from us, just follow our site regularly and enjoy all our new materials, as well as the first 3 from each series.

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November 21st, 2019 at 11:32 AM
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Every time i sign into japanesepod101.com it says that i have to upgrade it and the vocab is blurred out it wont even let me listen to the audio. Does anyone know what is going on?

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September 4th, 2019 at 09:54 PM
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Konnichiwa Mario

Thank you for your posting.

It's always しちじ not ななじ. But please let us know If you find this wrong part so that we can look into it and do some changes If necessary.

Thank you very much and apologize for the confusion.


Team JapanesePod101

April 27th, 2019 at 08:51 AM
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In another lesson i learned ななじ is use at the trainstation for example but in this lesson さくら先生 said we can't use ななじ

I'm confused 😳

April 26th, 2019 at 08:40 AM
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Hi Kristine,

Thank you very much for leaving comments!

Gozen or gogo, either way, your Japanese sentence is great!

Thanks for studying with us!


Miki H

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March 27th, 2019 at 12:46 AM
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Oooops! I used gozen in my previous comment rather than gogo.


Ima Singapore wa gogo juichi-ji sanju ha-ppun.

March 27th, 2019 at 12:41 AM
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Ima Singapore wa gozen juichi-ji sanju ha-ppun.

March 24th, 2019 at 07:12 PM
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Hello Mike,

Thank you very much for your thumbs-up!

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Cristiane (クリスチアネ)

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