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Lesson Transcript

Kat: Hi everyone, Kat here.
Naomi: こんにちは、ナオミです。
Kat: Welcome to newbie series, season 5, lesson 11. We know you are busy but there is always time for Japanese. Hello and welcome back to the japanesepod101.com, the fastest, easiest and most fun way to learn Japanese.
Naomi: Thanks for joining us. じゃあ、キャットさん。
Kat: はい。
Naomi: Please tell us what we are going to learn in this lesson.
Kat: In this lesson, you will learn how to tell the time in Japanese and you will also learn the Japanese conjunction けど meaning but.
Naomi: Where does this conversation take place and who is it between?
Kat: The conversation takes place at home. The dialogue is actually a continuation of the one in the last lesson and Kent is still on the phone with his father.
Naomi: What’s the formality level of the conversation?
Kat: Kent and his father will of course be speaking informally to each other.
Naomi: Listeners, I have a question.
Kat: A question?
Naomi: Yep. I want to know when was the last time you commented?
Kat: Ah yes, great question.
Naomi: Stop by japanesepod101.com, leave us a comment or just say hi.
Kat: Okay. You heard Naomi.
Naomi: Okay so let’s listen to the conversation.
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: 今?9時。
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: うん、午後9時半。イギリスは今、何時?
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: 12時半、午前。へえ。
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: 学校?うん、難しい。英語は簡単だけど、ほかは難しいよ。
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: うん。楽しいよ。マドカちゃんも、マドカちゃんの両親も優しいよ。
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: うん、じゃあね。はい、おやすみ。
Naomi: もう一度お願いします。今度はゆっくりお願いします。
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: 今?9時。
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: うん、午後9時半。イギリスは今、何時?
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: 12時半、午前。へえ。
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: 学校?うん、難しい。英語は簡単だけど、ほかは難しいよ。
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: うん。楽しいよ。マドカちゃんも、マドカちゃんの両親も優しいよ。
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: うん、じゃあね。はい、おやすみ。
Naomi: 今度は英語を入ります。
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: 今?9時。
Kent: Right now? It's nine o'clock...
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: うん、午後9時半。イギリスは今、何時?
Kent:Yeah, nine-thirty P.M. What time is it now in England?
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: 12時半、午前。へえ。
Kent:Twelve-thirty?... In the morning? Wow...
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: 学校?うん、難しい。
Kent: School? Yeah, it's tough.
Kent: 英語は簡単だけど、ほかは難しいよ。
Kent: English is easy, but the rest are hard...
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: うん。楽しいよ。
Kent: Yeah, it's fun.
Kent: マドカちゃんも、マドカちゃんの両親も優しいよ。
Kent:Madoka and her parents are really kind...
Kent’s father: ***
Kent: うん、じゃあね。はい、おやすみ。
Kent:See ya. Okay. Good night.
Kat: So it does sound like Kent is having a good time in Japan, doesn’t it?
Naomi: Umm yes. He said that Madoka and her parents are 優しい which means “kind”. So it sounds like he is getting along with them.
Kat: But again school is the hard part for him.
Naomi: Umm right. By the way, did you like school Kat?
Kat: Yes I did. I did like school. I was actually one of those insufferable know-it-all kids with straight A’s.
Naomi: すごーい。
Kat: No No No, No I was so annoying. Looking back on it. How about you Naomi Sensei?
Naomi: うーん、ねえ、どうだろう? Well I don’t remember.
Kat: You are not that old, don’t use that excuse. Okay so now let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Naomi: 学校
Kat: School
Naomi: がっこう、学校
Kat: Okay and next
Naomi: 楽しい
Kat: Enjoyable, fun.
Naomi: たのしい、楽しい
Kat: Okay and next
Naomi: 両親
Kat: Parents.
Naomi: りょうしん、両親
Kat: Okay and next
Naomi: 優しい
Kat: Kind, gentle
Naomi: やさしい、優しい
Kat: Okay and next
Naomi: おやすみ
Kat: Night, goodnight informal.
Naomi: おやすみ、おやすみ
Kat: Okay so now let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson. The first word we will look at is
Naomi: 学校
Kat: School.
Naomi: This is really important word to know.
Kat: I agree it’s very common. Naomi Sensei, there are couple of pronunciation points which you touched on for this word, aren’t there?
Naomi: Ah I agree. The first one is the small stop in the middle of the word.
Kat: If you look at this word written out in Hiragana, you will notice a small つ in between the が and the こ. This means you sort of pause here when you pronounce this word がっこ.
Naomi: Listen closely がっこう
Kat: For comparison, how would it sound without the stop?
Naomi: It would sound like がこ This is wrong, so be careful. It’s がっこう
Kat: がっこう
Naomi: Right. The other thing is to make sure that the last vowel is held longer がっこう
Kat: Again if you look at the hiragana for this word, you will see an う after the こ which means that it is a long vowel. Okay and the next word is
Naomi: 両親
Kat: Parents. This can be used to talk about your own parents, can’t it.
Naomi: そうですね。 Right. If you are talking with the parents of someone, you should attach ご and say ご両親 but in the dialogue, Kent actually didn’t put ご in front of ご両親.
Kat: When talking about Madoka’s parents, he said just 両親.
Naomi: Right.
Kat: Why is that do you think?
Naomi: It could be a mistake or that’s because he’s part of the family.
Kat: Ah that’s right because Madoka is his cousin. Therefore Madoka’s parents are his aunt and uncle. So maybe calling them ご両親 would actually be creating distance between them even though their family. Umm I see. So this ご is a polite prefix that gets attached to the front of certain words.
Kat: And next we have a couple of i-adjectives. The first one is
Naomi: 優しい
Kat: Kind, gentle.
Naomi: We mentioned this before but Kent used 優しい to describe Madoka and her parents.
Kat: Right. You can use it to describe someone who is really nice and kind. Actually doesn’t this word also have an alternative meaning as well?
Naomi: Yeah you mean easy and simple?
Kat: Yeah that’s it.
Naomi: Good point. It depends on the context but 易しい can also mean easy but generally speaking we use 優しい to describe people.
Kat: Yeah that’s right. So if we wanted to describe a thing like for example a test, how would we say the test is easy?
Naomi: テストは易しい。
Kat: Or
Naomi: テストは簡単。
Kat: Okay and the last word is
Naomi: 楽しい
Kat: Enjoyable, fun. This is also an i-adjective.
Naomi: In the dialogue, Kent said うん、楽しいよ.
Kat: Yeah it’s fun.
Naomi: We can assume that his father asked him how his life was in Japan or something similar.

Lesson focus

Kat: In this lesson, you will learn two things. How to tell the time in Japanese and how to use the conjunction けど.
Naomi: Let’s start with telling time.
Kat: Telling the time in Japanese is actually quite simple if you already know how to count from 1 to 12. If you need to review the numbers, please check out newbie series, season 4, lesson 7. In this lesson, we will go straight into how to tell the time though.
Naomi: To tell time, you simply add the word 時(じ) to the number.
Kat: Let’s go through a few examples. いち is 1, so 1 o clock would be
Naomi: いち plus 時(じ) So 1時 is 2.
Kat: So 2 o’ clock would be
Naomi: に plus 時(じ). So 2時
Kat: さん is 3. So 3 o clock would be
Naomi: 3 、時(じ) , so 3時
Kat: That’s not so bad, is it?
Naomi: Umm no. It’s very straightforward.
Kat: Now how about specifying AM and PM.
Naomi: Good question. We saw the word for AM and PM in the dialogue am is午前 pm is 午後.
Kat: If you are studying kanji already, you will notice that the kanji for these words are really interesting. The characters for 午前 literally mean before noon and the characters for 午後 literally mean afternoon.
Naomi: It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it?
Kat: There is one more thing related to time we need to go over. What if you need to know what time it is?
Naomi: Ah that’s a very crucial question.
Kat: In informal Japanese, it would be
Naomi: 今、何時? 今 means now and 何時 means what time. So this literally means what time is it now.
Kat: Perfect. I think we are all set now. We won’t cover it here but in the PDF, there is a chart that shows you how to say the minutes. So please be sure to check that out. Now let’s move on to the conjunction けど. This is used after a phrase and translates to but in English.
Naomi: Using this correctly will really make your Japanese sound natural.
Kat: Absolutely. You really need to master this word.
Naomi: I noticed that many students use でも which also means but to join two sentences but I think けど is better for joining two sentences in casual conversation.
Kat: Yes definitely and like we said, けど means but. So that means that the phrases before and after けど have contrasting meanings. Let’s show some example, shall we?
Naomi: Sure. Let’s start with two separate phrases. The first one is ひらがなは簡単だ.
Kat: Hiragana is easy.
Naomi: The second one is 漢字は難しい.
Kat: Kanji is hard.
Naomi: Now let’s combine these with けど in the middle. ひらがなは簡単だけど、漢字は難しい。
Kat: Hiragana is easy but kanji is hard.
Naomi: Great. Let’s try another one. We talked a lot about curry in this series. So the first phrase カレーは辛い.
Kat: Curry is spicy.
Naomi: And the second phrase おいしい.
Kat: Delicious.
Naomi: カレーは辛いけど、おいしい。
Kat: Curry is spicy but delicious.
Naomi: There are a couple of important rules we have to remember when using けど.
Kat: Right. This is where the grammar rules come in. けど can come directly after an i-adjective or a verb. Notice how we said 辛いけど in the example we just did but when used with na-adjective or noun, you need to have だ before けど.
Naomi: Umm,If you remember, in the first example, we said ひらがなは簡単だけど.
Kat: 簡単 is na-adjective. So it needs だ after it when we attach けど to make it だけど. Is that all clear?
Naomi: Remember to check the lesson notes for reinforcement.
Kat: It’s explained in even more detail there and it really helps to see it in writing I think.


Naomi: Well that’s all the time we have for this lesson.
Kat: Thanks for listening everyone. See you in the next lesson.
Naomi: じゃあ、また。


Review & Remember All Kanji from this Lesson

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

JapanesePod101.com Verified
May 24th, 2010 at 06:30 PM
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What time is it where you are right now? Please let us know!

Also, don't miss the explanation of けど in this lesson! It is very common for beginners of Japanese to use でも to connect two (contrasting) sentences, but using けど will make your Japanese flow better and sound much more natural :hachimaki:

JapanesePod101.com Verified
June 25th, 2021 at 08:08 PM
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Konnichiwa Matilde

Thank you for your comment.

They all mean ”but”, however でも can only be used at the start of a sentence as "But", けど can only be used at the end of a sentence that is being continued. Bit like "Though".

Keep up the good work and Feel free to ask us any questions.


Team JapanesePod101.com

May 31st, 2021 at 12:00 AM
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What is the difference between けど and でも?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
March 23rd, 2021 at 04:34 PM
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Thank you so much for your comment😄

いっしょに がんばりましょう😇

Please let us know if you have any questions :)



Team JapanesePod101.com

March 20th, 2021 at 06:35 AM
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Japanizupoddo ichi maru ichi dotto komu wa tanoshii dakedo muzukashii 😄

February 7th, 2019 at 03:00 PM
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Flor yoshida-san konnichiwa,

Thank you for your comment.

Great work!!

Let's create some sample sentence and please share it with us here.

Then we can check your progress!

Keep up your learning,


Team JapanesePod101.com

Flor yoshida
January 20th, 2019 at 08:41 AM
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Hi still studying nihongo very hard

JapanesePod101.com Verified
October 23rd, 2018 at 01:12 AM
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Hi Sev,

Thanks for the comment!

Hi Kevin Bass,

Thanks for the nice comment! Ymmm, curry never gets old, doesn't it?

Hi Hi,

Thanks for posting a comment!

Thanks everyone for studying Japanese with us!


Miki H

Team JapanesePod101.com

October 21st, 2018 at 11:51 PM
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Kevin Bass
October 21st, 2018 at 01:15 AM
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😄Hi,yet again very enjoyable just like curry👍

Kevin Bass

February 23rd, 2018 at 04:21 PM
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SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2014 AT 11:25 PM


In the dialog, Kent says that in Japan : 午後九時半 - 9 : 30 PM.

At the same time, in England it seems to be: 午前十二時半 …

Is this 30 minutes after midnight or 30 minutes after noon?

According to the time zones, it should be 30 minutes after noon, that is 12 : 30 PM.

If I understand, 午前 is AM, “before noon”, that is 12 o’clock. 午後 is PM, “after noon”, that is after 12 o’clock.

12 : 30 is after 12 o’clock, after noon, so it should be 午後十二時半. Right?

Or, maybe the Japanese afternoon begins at 1 PM… Well, I think that I do not understand!




SEPTEMBER 11TH, 2014 AT 8:15 PM



Sorry for the confusion! This am/pm for 12 actually confuses me too all the time?

In Japanese, 午前 should refer to 0:01-12:00 and 午後 should refer to 12:01-24:00 (in 24-hour system).

However, in order to refer to 12:30 using am/pm in Japanese, we have to understand that

午前12時 and 午後0時 both mean “noon”. If you say 12時半 meaning “in the afternoon”, the word

you should use is 午前 strictly speaking. It often sounds very strange and we have stronger

concept of 午後 starting “12 noon”, we don’t often use this “correct” way in actual daily life.

According to the “theory”, 12:30 in the afternoon is either 午前12時半 or 午後0時半 and I believe

the TV broadcaster (especially for news) correctly uses this, but they usually use 午後0時半

over 午前12時半 because of this our strong concept of 午前 and 午後.

Hope this helps!

Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

Good day my helpful staff at JapanesePod101,

The Japanese time concept in this lesson as well as the above Q&A from many years ago, is still quite confusing.

Would you be kind enough to explain it once again?

I understand that 12:30 in the afternoon is referred to as 午前. My question is, till when does it stay 午前?12:59?

And then after 1pm it goes to the official 午後 section?

Thank you for your help.