Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Kat: Hi, everyone, Kat here!
Naomi: こんにちは、みなさん!なおみです!(Kon’nichiwa, mina-san! Naomi desu!)
Kat: Choosing the right Japanese birthday gift is tricky!
Naomi: Thanks for joining us!! じゃあ (jā) Kat-san, please tell us what we're going to learn in this lesson.
Kat: In this lesson you will learn how to change the order of sentences in informal Japanese, and wish someone a happy birthday.
Nomi: Where does this conversation take place and who is it between?
Kat: The conversation is between Kent, Madoka and Madoka's mother. And the conversation takes place at Madoka’s house.
Naomi: What’s the formality level of the conversation?
Kat: Madoka and her mother speak informally, but Kent speaks formally when speaking to Madoka's mother. OK, so let's listen to the conversation.
まどか (Madoka):ママ、誕生日おめでとう。(Mama, tanjōbi omedetō.)
お母さん (o-kā-san):あら?ケーキ?ありがとう!(Ara? Kēki? Arigatō!)
ケント (Kento):おばさん、お誕生日おめでとうございます。(Oba-san, o-tanjōbi omedetō gozaimasu.)
ケント (Kento):これ、お花です。(Kore, o-hana desu.)
お母さん (o-kā-san):あら・・・あ。(Ara… a.)
まどか (Madoka):なにこれー。(Nani korē.)
まどか (Madoka):ケント、これ、仏様のお花だよ。(Kento, kore, hotoke-sama no o-hana da yo.)
ケント (Kento):なにそれ?(Nani sore?)
お母さん (o-kā-san):まどか、大丈夫よ。(Madoka, daijōbu yo.)
お母さん (o-kā-san):ありがとう、ケント君。うれしいわ。(Arigatō, Kento-kun. Ureshii wa.)
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.)
まどか (Madoka):ママ、誕生日おめでとう。(Mama, tanjōbi omedetō.)
お母さん (o-kā-san):あら?ケーキ?ありがとう!(Ara? Kēki? Arigatō!)
ケント (Kento):おばさん、お誕生日おめでとうございます。(Oba-san, o-tanjōbi omedetō gozaimasu.)
ケント (Kento):これ、お花です。(Kore, o-hana desu.)
お母さん (o-kā-san):あら・・・あ。(Ara… a.)
まどか (Madoka):なにこれー。(Nani korē.)
まどか (Madoka):ケント、これ、仏様のお花だよ。(Kento, kore, hotoke-sama no o-hana da yo.)
ケント (Kento):なにそれ?(Nani sore?)
お母さん (o-kā-san):まどか、大丈夫よ。(Madoka, daijōbu yo.)
お母さん (o-kā-san):ありがとう、ケント君。うれしいわ。(Arigatō, Kento-kun. Ureshii wa.)
今度は英語が入ります。(Kondo wa Eigo ga hairimasu.)
まどか (Madoka):ママ、誕生日おめでとう。(Mama, tanjōbi omedetō.)
Kat: Happy birthday, Mom.
お母さん (o-kā-san):あら?ケーキ?ありがとう!(Ara? Kēki? Arigatō!)
Kat: What's this? Cake? Thank you!
ケント (Kento):おばさん、お誕生日おめでとうございます。(Oba-san, o-tanjōbi omedetō gozaimasu.)
Kat: Happy birthday, Aunt.
ケント (Kento):これ、お花です。(Kore, o-hana desu.)
Kat: I have some flowers for you.
お母さん (o-kā-san):あら・・・あ。(Ara… a.)
Kat: Wow... Oh. (laughs)
まどか (Madoka):なにこれー。(Nani korē.)
Kat: What are THESE?
まどか (Madoka):ケント、これ、仏様のお花だよ。(Kento, kore, hotoke-sama no o-hana da yo.)
Kat: Kent, these are flowers to honor the dead!
ケント (Kento):なにそれ?(Nani sore?)
Kat: What do you mean?
お母さん (o-kā-san):まどか、大丈夫よ。(Madoka, daijōbu yo.)
Kat: Madoka, it's fine.
お母さん (o-kā-san):ありがとう、ケント君。うれしいわ。(Arigatō, Kento-kun. Ureshii wa.)
Kat: Thank you, Kent. I'm so happy.
Kat: Oh God, poor Kent. So what did he end up buying for Madoka's mother?
Naomi: They're called 仏様のお花 (hotoke-sama no o-hana), and basically, they're flowers used to honor the dead. They're placed at graves or Buddhist altars.
Kat: Oops! But poor Kent didn't know that, I'm sure he just thought they were regular flowers.
Naomi: But Madoka's mother understood, she said… 大丈夫よ。(Daijōbu yo.) It's okay.
Kat: That’s really nice of her! I actually almost did the same thing ones, when I first came to Japan. I was trying to buy flowers for a present for someone, and I was with a friend and in the shop those flowers I really liked, they were like dark purple color, I really liked the color of the flowers, so I said… あー、それでいいんじゃない。(Ā, sore de ii n ja nai.) Those are nice. And my friend said, if you give those, the person will get angry. It’s not… there’s a sign on them saying these are not for living people, so it is a really easy mistake to make, I think. It’s a very common story I think foreigners or people who don’t know make this mistake. So, I feel for Kent.
Naomi: Yeah, it was just an honest mistake. But now he knows! It really depends on the area, but in March, August and September, people visit their ancestor's graves in Japan. So, during that season, you'll see a bouquet for the dead. It's usually cheaper than a regular bouquet.
Kat: How can you tell if the bouquet is for the dead or for living people?
Naomi: Ahl... it's really hard to explain, but... you can sometimes tell from the color.
Kat: Like dark colors?
Naomi: Yeah. Like purple, yellow, white…
Kat: I see. Yeah, because white in Japan is the color of death, right?
Naomi: Right. And a bouquet of mum, like chrysanthemums, is definitely for dead people.
Kat: So that flowers are associated with death. I see. So everyone, take care. OK, so let's take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
Kat: First we have a phrase.
Naomi: お誕生日おめでとうございます (o-tanjōbi omedetō gozaimasu) [natural native speed]
Kat: happy birthday (in a formal situation)
Naomi: お誕生日おめでとうございます (o-tanjōbi omedetō gozaimasu) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: お誕生日おめでとうございます (o-tanjōbi omedetō gozaimasu) [natural native speed]
Kat: And next.
Naomi: ありがとう (arigatō) [natural native speed]
Kat: thank you
Naomi: ありがとう (arigatō) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: ありがとう (arigatō) [natural native speed]
Kat: And next.
Naomi: 花 (hana) [natural native speed]
Kat: flower
Naomi: 花 (hana) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 花 (hana) [natural native speed]
Kat: Next.
Naomi: 仏様 (hotoke-sama) [natural native speed]
Kat: a Buddha, deceased person
Naomi: 仏様 (hotoke-sama) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 仏様 (hotoke-sama) [natural native speed]
Kat: And finally.
Naomi: うれしい (ureshii) [natural native speed]
Kat: happy, glad, pleasant
Naomi: うれしい (ureshii) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: うれしい (ureshii) [natural native speed]
Kat: Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Naomi: The first phrase we look at is おめでとう (omedetō).
Kat: “Congratulations!” This word by itself just means "congratulations", but it can also be used in set phrases with other words.
Naomi: Right, there are a lot of phrases that use おめでとう (omedetō). In the dialogue, we heard 誕生日おめでとう (tanjōbi omedetō).
Kat: Happy Birthday.
Naomi: Which we'll go over later in this lesson.
Kat: What are some other phrases that use おめでとう (omedetō)?
Naomi: Well, when a new year starts, you can say… あけまして おめでとう!(Akemashite omedetō!)
Kat: Happy New Year!
Naomi: Also, when someone gets married, you can say… 結婚 おめでとう!(Kekkon omedetō!)
Kat: 結婚 (kekkon) is marriage, so this is congratulations on your marriage.
Naomi: To make the phrase おめでとう (omedetō) polite, simply add ございます (gozaimasu) to it. おめでとうございます!(Omedetō gozaimasu!)
Kat: Our next word is...
Naomi: ありがとう (arigatō), now, I'm sure our listeners all know this one.
Kat: Yeah, you're probably right. I think my mother actually knows this, she doesn’t speak Japanese at all. It simply means, "thank you".
Naomi: You’ve just said, your mother even knows that. But is that true that even people who don't speak Japanese know this word?
Kat: Well, now that you mention it – I think it's a pretty well-known word, even among people who don't speak Japanese, just from films and I don’t know, pop culture, but what these people probably don't know is that ありがとう (arigatō) just by itself is quite informal and it wouldn’t be used in a polite situation.
Naomi: That's right - you wouldn't normally use ありがとう (arigatō) to someone you don't know, or someone of higher status than you.
Kat: If you want to sound polite, the full phrase is ありがとうございます (arigatō gozaimasu).
Naomi: This is the same ございます (gozaimasu) that we add after おめでとう (omedetō).
Kat: Right! The word ございます (gozaimasu) makes a lot of phrases much more polite. So remember - with friends, ありがとう (arigatō) is fine by itself. But with strangers and those of higher status than you, it's better to use ありがとうございます (arigatō gozaimasu).
Naomi: Yes! So please remember that.
Kat: And the last word is...?
Naomi: うれしい (ureshii)
Kat: “Happy.” It means just "happy", the adjective, but it's used in the same way we might say "oh, I'm so happy!" to hear that, or to see that, or to do that or just "yay!" in English.
Naomi: Right, like when you receive a present or something. To a friend, you could say うれしい。ありがとう!(Ureshii. Arigatō!)
Kat: Thanks, yay! This is a good one to remember for when you receive a gift or if someone close to you does something nice for you.
Naomi:そうですね。(Sō desu ne.) Right.

Lesson focus

Kat: In this lesson, we'll look at two things. The first is changing around the sentence order in informal Japanese. And the second is wishing someone a Happy Birthday. So first.. let's look at changing around the sentence order. Why are we going over this, Naomi-sensei?
Naomi: Actually, this is one of the characteristics of informal Japanese speech. It's pretty common to reverse the sentence order.
Kat: But the meaning itself doesn't change, right?
Naomi: You're right, it doesn't change.
Kat: This is important! In English, changing around the sentence order can totally change the meaning. But in Japanese, like in Latin, changing around the order is done just for emphasis. Let's look at the examples we saw in the dialogue.
Naomi: When Madoka saw the flowers Kent bought, she said… なにこれ~?(Nani korē?)
Kat: "What are these??" You may remember that we learned これなに? (kore nani?) or これはなに?(kore wa nani?), which mean "What is this?" in Lesson 5. So all we've done here is reverse the order.
Naomi: これなに? (kore nani?) becomes なにこれ?(nani kore?)
Kat: It sounds really colloquial and really informal.
Naomi: It does! It also sounds really natural.
Kat: After that, Madoka told Kent that the flowers he got were actually 仏様のお花 (hotoke-sama no o-hana). To which he said...
Naomi: なにそれ?(Nani sore?)
Kat: It's literally “what’s that?” He had NO idea what she was talking about. So here, なにそれ (nani sore), kind of shows his bewilderment. He's kind of taken by surprise. In English it would be like "what are you talking about?" “what’s that about?”
Naomi: Also, changing order isn't limited to only questions.
Kat: Right, you can change the order around in sentences, too. Let's look at one of the examples we had in the PDF.
Naomi: First, the original sentence. これ、おいしい!(Kore, oishii!)
Kat: This is delicious!
Naomi: This becomes おいしい、これ (oishii, kore)!
Kat: No change in meaning, just added emphasis! It almost sounds if you weren’t expected it to be delicious and then saying, おいしい、これ (oishii, kore) is like “I’m surprise and this is really good!”
Naomi: That's right.
Kat: You might hear this in casual conversation, so it's good to know about! Okay, and now let's move onto the next topic... wishing somebody a happy birthday!
Naomi: The phrase you use will be a little different depending on who you're talking to, so we'll introduce both phrases.
Kat: We actually heard both of them in the conversation, didn't we?
Naomi: That's right. It was Madoka's mother's birthday, so Madoka said 誕生日おめでとう (tanjōbi omedetō).
Kat: 誕生日 (tanjōbi) is birthday, and おめでとう (omedetō) is congratulations, which we’ve just covered, so it means "Happy Birthday"!
Naomi: 誕生日おめでとう!(Tanjōbi omedetō!) This is the informal way to say it.
Kat: After that, Kent said happy birthday to Madoka's mother, but he said it in a different way. How did he say it?
Naomi: He was speaking politely to Madoka's mother, so he said お誕生日おめでとうございます (o-tanjōbi omedetō gozaimasu).
Kat: Hmm.. it got longer!
Naomi: そうですね。(Sō desu ne.) Right. There are two things that changed. One, we added ございます (gozaimasu) to the end of the phrase. And two, we added the prefix お (o) to the word 誕生日 (tanjōbi).
Kat: So 誕生日 (tanjōbi) became お誕生日 (o-tanjōbi).
Naomi: Right. This お (o) is called the polite prefix, and it makes certain words more polite.
Kat: Let's introduce some commonly heard words that お (o) can be added to.
Naomi: Sure! One is 名前 (namae).
Kat: "Name."
Naomi: This becomes お名前 (o-namae).
Kat: As in, お名前は?(o-namae wa?) or お名前は何ですか (o-namae wa nan desu ka). What's your name? To someone you don’t know, or someone higher than you.
Naomi: Another one is 元気 (genki).
Kat: "Fine", or "energetic."
Naomi: This becomes お元気 (o-genki).
Kat: As in, お元気ですか (o-genki desu ka), how are you? Or, are you doing well? To someone older than you or higher in social status.
Naomi: But be careful, because not all words can have お (o) attached to them.
Kat: That's right, only certain ones. You can't just go by attaching it to any word as you want to.
Naomi: For example, you can’t say おコーヒー (o-kōhī), おコーラ (o-kōra).
Kat: I’ve never heard them so funny. Because attaching お (o) to カタカナ (katakana) words is just really funny. You just have to remember which ones, don’t you?
Naomi: Right. In some cases, the お (o) prefix has basically become part of the word. For example, お父さん (o-tō-san) and お母さん (o-kā-san).
Kat: Oh right, the words for mom and dad. The お (o) has just become part of the word.
Naomi: Okay, so, going back to the formal phrase for Happy Birthday... we add the お (o) to 誕生日 (tanjōbi), and get お誕生日おめでとうございます (o-tanjōbi omedetō gozaimasu).


Kat: Happy Birthday. Okay, so now you are all ready to wish someone a Happy Birthday in Japanese!!
Naomi: That's right!
Kat: And if it's YOUR birthday and someone gives you a present... you know what to say too, right?
Naomi: I hope everyone remembers! You can say... うれしい!(Ureshii!)
Kat: Yay or I’m happy. Okay, so that's all for this lesson. Thanks for listening! Until next time.
Naomi: じゃ、また!(Ja, mata!)
まどか (Madoka):ママ、誕生日おめでとう。(Mama, tanjōbi omedetō.)
お母さん (o-kā-san):あら?ケーキ?ありがとう!(Ara? Kēki? Arigatō!)
ケント (Kento):おばさん、お誕生日おめでとうございます。(Oba-san, o-tanjōbi omedetō gozaimasu.)
ケント (Kento):これ、お花です。(Kore, o-hana desu.)
お母さん (o-kā-san):あら・・・あ。(Ara… a.)
まどか (Madoka):なにこれー。(Nani korē.)
まどか (Madoka):ケント、これ、仏様のお花だよ。(Kento, kore, hotoke-sama no o-hana da yo.)
ケント (Kento):なにそれ?(Nani sore?)
お母さん (o-kā-san):まどか、大丈夫よ。(Madoka, daijōbu yo.)
お母さん (o-kā-san):ありがとう、ケント君。うれしいわ。(Arigatō, Kento-kun. Ureshii wa.)


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