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Eric: Lori’s story 12. Do you have the time? So Naomi-sensei, today is Lori’s first day in college.
Naomi: はい。(Hai.)
Eric: My little girl is growing up. So what are you going to do today?
Naomi: She is going to the orientation for foreign students.
Eric: The orientation is very important.
Naomi: はい。(Hai.) And she is at 留学センター (ryūgaku sentā).
Eric: Okay, so she is at the study abroad office where we left off last time.
Naomi: はい。(Hai.)
Eric: Okay, let’s listen in to see what’s happening now.
ロリー (Rorī) : 0・9・0・9・8・7・6・5・4・3・2。(Zero kyū zero kyū hachi nana roku go yon san ni.)
(チャイム) (chaimu)
ロリー (Rorī) : … 今何時ですか。(... Ima nan-ji desu ka.)
水木 (Mizuki) : 十一時です。(Jū ichi-ji desu.)
ロリー (Rorī) : 十一時ですか...。(Jū ichi-ji desu ka...)
水木 (Mizuki) : ロリーさん、大丈夫ですか。留学生のオリエンテーションは十一時からですよ。(Rorī-san, daijōbu desu ka. Ryūgakusei no orientēshon wa jū ichi-ji kara desu yo.)
ロリー (Rorī) : え?本当ですか。じゃ、また後で。... あ、あのぉ、オリエンテーションはどこですか。(E? Hontō desu ka. Ja, mata ato de. … A, anō, orientēshon wa doko desu ka.)
もう一度、お願いします。今度は、ゆっくりお願いします。(Mō ichi-do, onegai shimasu. Kondo wa, yukkuri onegai shimasu.)
ロリー (Rorī) : 0・9・0・9・8・7・6・5・4・3・2。(Zero kyū zero kyū hachi nana roku go yon san ni.)
ロリー (Rorī) : … 今何時ですか。(... Ima nan-ji desu ka.)
水木 (Mizuki) : 十一時です。(Jū ichi-ji desu.)
ロリー (Rorī) : 十一時ですか...。(Jū ichi-ji desu ka...)
水木 (Mizuki) : ロリーさん、大丈夫ですか。留学生のオリエンテーションは十一時からですよ。(Rorī-san, daijōbu desu ka. Ryūgakusei no orientēshon wa jū ichi-ji kara desu yo.)
ロリー (Rorī) : え?本当ですか。じゃ、また後で。... あ、あのぉ、オリエンテーションはどこですか。(E? Hontō desu ka. Ja, mata ato de. … A, anō, orientēshon wa doko desu ka.)
次は、英語が入ります。(Tsugi wa, Eigo ga hairimasu.)
ロリー (Rorī) : 0・9・0・9・8・7・6・5・4・3・2。(Zero kyū zero kyū hachi nana roku go yon san ni.)
LORI: 090-9876-5432.
(チャイム) (chaimu)
ロリー (Rorī) : … 今何時ですか。(... Ima nan-ji desu ka.)
LORI: What time is it?
水木 (Mizuki) : 十一時です。(Jū ichi-ji desu.)
MIZUKI: It's eleven o'clock.
ロリー (Rorī) : 十一時ですか...。(Jū ichi-ji desu ka...)
LORI: Eleven o'clock...
水木 (Mizuki) : ロリーさん、大丈夫ですか。留学生のオリエンテーションは十一時からですよ。(Rorī-san, daijōbu desu ka. Ryūgakusei no orientēshon wa jū ichi-ji kara desu yo.)
MIZUKI: Hey, Lori. The orientation for exchange students starts at eleven.
ロリー (Rorī) : え?本当ですか。じゃ、また後で。... あ、あのぉ、オリエンテーションはどこですか。(E? Hontō desu ka. Ja, mata ato de. … A, anō, orientēshon wa doko desu ka.)
LORI: What? Really? Well, See you...oh...where are they having the orientation?
Eric: Naomi-sensei, well it seems like she asked two questions. She said something ですか (desu ka) twice and one of them wasn’t really a question, right?
Naomi: Ah, you mean the phrase, 十一時ですか (jū ichi-ji desu ka).
Eric: Yeah. That’s a question usually, right?
Naomi: Yeah, because か (ka) is a question marker but I think in this case she is confirming what Mr. Mizuki told her.
Eric: Hum, all right. Well I am sure we are going to get into that later. So for now, let’s get into vocabulary.
Naomi: 次は単語です。(Tsugi wa tango desu.)
Eric: The first word is
Naomi: 今 (ima)
Eric: Now, the present.
Naomi: (slow) いま (ima) (natural speed) 今 (ima)
Eric: The next word is
Naomi: 何時 (nan-ji)
Eric: What time?
Naomi: (slow) なんじ (nan-ji) (natural speed) 何時 (nan-ji)
Eric: The next word is
Naomi: 十一時 (jū ichi-ji)
Eric: 11 o’ clock.
Naomi: (slow) じゅういちじ (jū ichi-ji) (natural speed) 十一時 (jū ichi-ji)
Eric: The next word is
Naomi: オリエンテーション (orientēshon)
Eric: Orientation.
Naomi: (slow) オリエンテーション (orientēshon) (natural speed) オリエンテーション (orientēshon)
Eric: And the last word is
Naomi: から (kara)
Eric: From.
Naomi: (slow) から (kara) (natural speed) から (kara)
Eric: All right. Now let’s zoom in on some of these phrases and words that we had today. What’s the first word?
Naomi: Actually it’s a phrase, 本当ですか (hontō desu ka).
Eric: Really?
Naomi: The topic and the topic marking particle of the sentence are omitted.
Eric: Yeah, that’s right. It’s a pretty short sentence. I mean there is no subject in here. There is no topic marker but instead of a regular sentence just take it as the one set phrase, really?
Naomi: そうですね。本当ですか。(Sō desu ne. Hontō desu ka.)
Eric: And I hear it all the time. People use it all the time, right?
Naomi: Right and in a casual situation, people say 本当 (hontō)?
Eric: I think we talked about this in the previous episode. When people say 本当 (hontō), the whole word, the actual word 本当 (hontō) is ほんとう (hontō), right? It ends with an う (u) sound but a lot of people just shorten it to ホント (honto), right?
Naomi: Right.
Eric: And they just raise the intonation at the end to make it sound like
Naomi: ホント?(Honto?)
Eric: And you are just asking really? What’s another phrase that we have, similar phrase?
Naomi: 大丈夫ですか (daijōbu desu ka)
Eric: Is everything alright? Are you okay, everything all right here? Again this is another word that the subject is left out. So you don’t really know what you are talking about unless you understand the context of the situation.
Naomi: And in a casual situation, we pronounce as だいじょぶ (daijobu), not だいじょうぶ (daijōbu).
Eric: Yeah, that’s right just as we said with the ホント (honto), people drop the う (u) at the end, the ジョウ (jō) the ウ (u) right in the middle, だいじょぶ (daijobu) you just shorten it or you get rid of it and you just say だいじょぶ (daijobu), really quick.
Naomi: Yeah. だいじょぶ?(Daijobu?)
Eric: Even though a lot of people probably think they are saying that う (u) and they are just speaking it really fast and they don’t actually say it but they think they are, that happens too, ha! Just the same thing in English. You know, we are probably saying things that are way different from what we think we are saying.
Naomi: あ~、そうかもしれない。(Ā, sō kamo shirenai.)
Eric: Okay Naomi-sensei, so then these two phrases, they don’t have subjects, right?
Naomi: No.
Eric: But can you add a subject to it? Can you make it more specific instead of saying really or...
Naomi: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.
Eric: You know, something okay. Like for example, is that for real when you are talking about that.
Naomi: それは本当ですか。それはホント?(Sore wa hontō desu ka. Sore wa honto?)
Eric: Does that work?
Naomi: Uhoo…
Eric: It’s actually not even making anything any more specific. It’s a same exact function as 本当ですか (hontō desu ka), right?
Naomi: Right.
Eric: Maybe it’s just a little bit more superfluous but for 大丈夫ですか (daijōbu desu ka), same situation.
Naomi: それは大丈夫ですか。(Sore wa daijōbu desu ka.)
Eric: How about that? Does that change the meaning?
Naomi: No, same.
Eric: Same exact as 大丈夫ですか (daijōbu desu ka) but that means is that alright. You know when you are talking about a situation or something intangible but let’s say something is wrong with the person and you want to ask them if they are all right. Are you all right?
Naomi: You can probably say あなたは大丈夫ですか (anata wa daijōbu desu ka), but calling someone あなた (anata) is too direct.
Eric: Right, right.
Naomi: So instead of saying another あなた (anata), I recommend you to put the person’s name. For example. エリックさん、大丈夫ですか。(Erikku-san, daijōbu desu ka.)
Eric: はい、大丈夫です。(Hai, daijōbu desu.) You know there are a lot of businessmen and people in suits that late at night. They look like they are about to just die right there on the spot.
Naomi: Uhoo…
Eric: You know like – you know what I mean like at the train station and the people who look like they are just dead.
Naomi: Because they are drunk?
Eric: Well I mean either they are drunk or they are so overworked that.
Naomi: Okay.
Eric: No really. I mean I really see these people all the time and sometimes they are so messed up that other people go up to them and just they only say 大丈夫ですか (daijōbu desu ka).
Naomi: はい。(Hai.)
Eric: But they don’t say あなたは (anata wa) or anything like that. They just say 大丈夫ですか (daijōbu desu ka). It’s pretty clear that they are being asked, are you okay? Right?
Naomi: Right.
Eric: So hey, if you see any people in distress, ask them 大丈夫ですか (daijōbu desu ka), just like that.
Naomi: 大丈夫ですか。エリックさん、大丈夫?(Daijōbu desu ka. Erikku-san, daijōbu?)
Eric: 大丈夫ですよ。(Daijōbu desu yo.)
Naomi: 本当ですか。(Hontō desu ka.)
Eric: Let’s move on to the next topic to find out if I am 大丈夫 (daijōbu) or not. All right, but enough about whether I am all right or not. Lori, let’s talk about Lori, okay. Mizuki-san told Lori that the orientation is going to start at 11.
Naomi: Right.
Eric: But he didn’t say the word start anywhere in that sentence. What did he say?
Naomi: オリエンテーションは11時からです。(Orientēshon wa jū ichi-ji kara desu.)
Eric: Okay, so if I were to directly translate it would be the orientation is from 11 o'clock.
Naomi: Does it sound natural in English?
Eric: It makes sense but usually when you say the word from, it’s like a range. So you need to include the to. You know, from 11 to 3. That would be normal but usually you would use a verb like it starts at or it will begin at 11 which you don’t really use that much in Japanese, right? You always say から (kara) when you are trying to indicate when something starts. Okay and if we were to say from even if we want to say to, we say from 11 but in Japanese, you switch the order, right?
Naomi: Right, 十一時から (jū ichi-ji kara)
Eric: Right, so it would always be the time and then から (kara), pretty straightforward.
Naomi: 次は文法です。(Tsugi wa bunpō desu.)
Eric: Let’s move on to grammar.

Lesson focus

Eric: What’s our first grammar phrase of the day?
Naomi: 今、何時ですか。(Ima, nan-ji desu ka.)
Eric: What time is it? Let’s break it down.
Naomi: 今 (ima)
Eric: Now.
Naomi: 何時 (nan-ji)
Eric: What time.
Naomi: です (desu)
Eric: Copula.
Naomi: か (ka)
Eric: The question marker.
Naomi: 今、何時ですか。(Ima, nan-ji desu ka.)
Eric: What time is it now?
Naomi: I think this is the most common expression to ask the time.
Eric: That’s right and this is pretty formal in the sense that you say 今 (ima) at the beginning. You say now because when you ask the time, you almost usually mean right now right when you are asking the time. So you can basically omit 今 (ima) and it will still have the same meaning.
Naomi: 何時ですか。(Nan-ji desu ka.)
Eric: What time is it? Same thing, right?
Naomi: Right. And of course, in a casual situation, you can drop ですか (desu ka) and say 何時 (nan-ji)?
Eric: And you know, it’s funny. In that case, personally from personal experience, when you are speaking casually, you tend to add the 今 (ima) at the beginning. So it would become
Naomi: 今、何時? (Ima, nan-ji?)
Eric: Right and that’s the phrase you hear the most at least when you are speaking casually. So in the previous lesson, we learned the numbers, right? Let’s do the time. Let’s learn all of the hours. So...
Naomi: え~、難しいよ。(Ē, muzukashii yo.)
Eric: You think it’s too difficult?
Naomi: Just a little bit.
Eric: Hey but we are only adding two new numbers from the ones we already know.
Naomi: Ah, that’s right.
Eric: We learned from 0 through 10, right?
Naomi: Uhoo…
Eric: And now we are going to go up to 12. So we can count all of the hours.
Naomi: Great.
Eric: All right. So let’s start with 0 o’clock.
Naomi: Zero clock?
Eric: No, no but you know what, let’s start with 1 o’ clock because the other one is the 24-hour system or military time and let’s start off with the 12 hour system from 1 to 12 but hey, for those people who are curious anyway, what’s 0 o’clock?
Naomi: ゼロ時 (zero-ji)
Eric: Or
Naomi: レイ時 (rei-ji)
Eric: Which means midnight.
Naomi: Some people use it.
Eric: I hear it often.
Naomi: Yeah, but I personally use 12時 (jū ni-ji) … あ、ちょっと難しかった?(A, chotto muzukashikatta?)
Eric: Oh okay, well, we are going to get to that. Alright, so what’s 1 o’clock?
Naomi: 1時 (ichi-ji)
Eric: 2 o’clock.
Naomi: 2時 (ni-ji)
Eric: 3 o’clock
Naomi: 3時 (san-ji)
Eric: 4 o’clock.
Naomi: 4時 (yo-ji)
Eric: 5 o’clock
Naomi: 5時 (go-ji)
Eric: 6 o’clock.
Naomi: 6時 (roku-ji)
Eric: 7 o’clock.
Naomi: しちじ (shichi-ji) or ななじ (nana-ji)
Eric: 8 o’clock.
Naomi: 8時 (hachi-ji)
Eric: 9 o’clock.
Naomi: 9時 (ku-ji)
Eric: 10 o’clock.
Naomi: 10時 (jū-ji)
Eric: 11 o’clock.
Naomi: 11時 (jū ichi-ji)
Eric: 12 o’clock.
Naomi: 12時 (jū ni-ji)
Eric: There we go. Now you can count all of the hours.
Naomi: But you have to be careful about 4 o'clock, 9 o'clock and 7 o'clock, right?
Eric: 4 o'clock, 9 o'clock and 7, why? Are those the evil hours? Are those hours cursed? What’s going on?
Naomi: The pronunciation is a bit irregular.
Eric: Irregular. Okay, so let’s go over them again. What’s 4 o’clock?
Naomi: よじ (yo-ji)
Eric: Okay, I see what you are saying. So normally the number 4 is
Naomi: よん (yon)
Eric: But when it’s 4 o’clock, it becomes
Naomi: よじ (yo-ji)
Eric: I see. So the よん (yon) becomes よ (yo).
Naomi: And you can’t say しじ (shi-ji), either.
Eric: Ah that’s right because another way of saying 4 is し (shi), right? And you can’t say しじ (shi-ji). It doesn’t make any sense. No one will know what time you are talking about. They will think you made up a new number and that’s a new time in a parallel dimension. So what’s the problem with 7 o’clock?
Naomi: I think people usually say しちじ (shichi-ji) in the conversation but at the train station or airport, you might hear ななじ (nana-ji).
Eric: You know what, you’ve just reminded me of something. When I was once at the train station, I think it was for the Shinkansen, for the bullet train, right?
Naomi: Okay.
Eric: And a group of foreigners was trying to get their tickets, right. They were in front of me and they were trying to find out the time for something. I couldn’t really hear but basically the guy at the station was saying the 係員 (kakariin) was saying しちじ (shichi-ji) right 7 o'clock, but it seems like those people didn’t understand and then eventually the guy said ななじ (nana-ji) and then at that time, I thought this guy at the station was just patronizing the foreigners because they couldn’t understand しちじ (shichi-ji). So he had to say it in another way like in a sort of childlike way for them to understand but actually people that work in public transportation do use ななじ (nana-ji).
Naomi: Right. You didn’t help the group of foreigners?
Eric: Well I mean they were just – no. Come on, they were just – you know, they just didn’t know the time, that’s all. Everything else they kind of knew. Come on, don’t grill me on this podcast. I help other random people.
Naomi: なるほどね。(Naruhodo ne.) I see.
Eric: This is a family friendly show. If you guys come to Japan, I will help you. Call me, I will tell you how to say 7 o'clock, I promise. And then 9 o’clock.
Naomi: くじ (ku-ji), it’s not きゅうじ (kyū-ji).
Eric: Ah, 9 is normally
Naomi: きゅう (kyū)
Eric: きゅう (kyū) but 9 o’clock,
Naomi: くじ (ku-ji)
Eric: It becomes く (ku), くじ (ku-ji). Alright, so let’s practice some polite conversation. What time is it now?
Naomi: 今、何時ですか。(Ima, nan-ji desu ka.)
Eric: It’s 4 o’clock.
Naomi: 4時です。(Yo-ji desu.)
Eric: And what time is it now?
Naomi: 今?4時です。(Ima? Yo-ji desu.)
Eric: Hey, what a coincidence! It really is 4 o'clock right now when we are recording this, amazing.
Naomi: すごい。(Sugoi.) And in a casual situation,
Eric: Even though in English there is no real difference between casual speech and formal speech, it’s still what time is it?
Naomi: 今何時?(Ima nan-ji?)
Eric: It’s 4 o’clock.
Naomi: 4時。(Yo-ji.)
Eric: Well that’s really simple.
Naomi: ね。(Ne.)
Eric: It’s much simpler to speak casually, right?
Naomi: Uhoo.
Eric: But what happens if you speak casually to just everybody?
Naomi: They think you are rude.
Eric: Really?
Naomi: Or friendly, super friendly.
Eric: Ah okay, yeah depends on how you say, hah? Because the casual way can be construed as very rude or just very friendly because kids speak mostly in casual conversation.
Naomi: Right.
Eric: At what age do they start speaking in the ですます (desu masu) polite form?
Naomi: Good question. Never thought about that. I think it depends on the parents and the family but…
Eric: So it’s the family’s job to teach the kid to speak politely or do they learn it like formally at school in a textbook or what is it?
Naomi: We don’t formally learn ですます (desu masu) form at school but... どうやって勉強するんだろうね (Dō yatte benkyō suru n darō ne.)
Eric: I know some kids who are like 7 or 8 and they never say ですます (desu masu).
Naomi: They might. I think they use it to the teacher or… someone they respect.
Eric: I have seen them in many situations like around adults and around people they don’t know and they speak to everyone very politely and kindly and they sound really cute so nobody says anything but then I wondered well, at what age, they start the transition?
Naomi: あ~、わかんないね。(Ā, wakannai ne.)
Eric: All right, we will look that up. We will look that up and get back to you guys next week on that even though it has nothing to do with this topic but hey, it’s something good to know, right? All right, I don’t know how we are going to look it up. So don’t hold me to that. Okay Naomi-sensei, it’s time for practice. Okay so Naomi-sensei, you want to know the time but there is no clock around you and you don’t have a watch and you don’t have your sundial with you today. So talk to a passerby and you say…
Naomi: すみません。今、何時ですか。(Sumimasen. Ima, nan-ji desu ka.)
Eric: And then the person would stop, take out their watch and say
Naomi: あ~…7時です。(Ā, shichi-ji desu.)
Eric: It’s 7 o’ clock. And then you would say.
Naomi: あ、ありがとうございます。(A, arigatō gozaimasu.)
Eric: And then realize to yourself that you are late for the movie. How do you say ‘movie’ in Japanese?
Naomi: 映画 (eiga)
Eric: So then you rush to the movie theater and since you already missed the first showing of that movie, you want to know at what time the movie is showing.
Naomi: 映画は何時からですか。(Eiga wa nan-ji kara desu ka.)
Eric: What time does the movie start? So you saw the movie and now you got out, you are full of popcorn, having a good time and then you realize, wow, it must be late. The streets are empty and it might be time for the last train. So then, you rush to the station, you go down and then you ask the stationmaster,
Naomi: すみません。終電は、何時ですか。(Sumimasen. Shūden wa, nan-ji desu ka.)
Eric: That’s a new word. The last train.
Naomi: 終電 (shūden)
Eric: What time is the last train?
Naomi: 終電は何時ですか。(Shūden wa nan-ji desu ka.)
Eric: And then the stationmaster says
Naomi: 1時です。(Ichi-ji desu.)
Eric: The last train is at 1 o’clock. And still not having your watch. You need to know what time it is now to see if you’ve made it on time. So then you once again ask the stationmaster,
Naomi: 今、何時ですか。(Ima, nan-ji desu ka.)
Eric: And then the stationmaster replies
Naomi: 12時です。(Jū ni-ji desu.)
Eric: It’s 12 o’clock. Huh.
Naomi: よかった。(Yokatta.)
Eric: What a relief.
Naomi: ね。(Ne.)
Eric: You made it 1 hour in advance of the last train. Have a goodnight and go home.
Naomi: はい。ありがとうございます。(Hai. Arigatō gozaimasu.)


Eric: It’s nearly about time for me to find out if I am 大丈夫 (daijōbu) or not. Alright, I will see you guys next time.
Naomi: じゃ、また。(Ja, mata.)


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