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Lesson Transcript

Kat: Hi, everyone, Kat here!
Naomi: こんにちは、みなさん!Naomiです!
Kat: Welcome to Newbie Series Season 5, Lesson 14.Choosing and write in Japanese birthday gifts with tricky.
Naomi: Thanks for joining us!! じゃあKatさん, please tell us what we're going to learn in this lesson.
Kat: In this lesson you will learn how to change around sentence order in informal Japanese, and wish someone 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 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.If you don’t already have one,
Naomi: Stop by JapanesePod101.com
Kat: And sign up for your free-lifetime account.
Naomi: You can sign up in less than 30 seconds.
Kat: OK,so,let's listen to the conversation.
: これ、お花です。
: ケント、これ、仏様のお花だよ。
: ありがとう、ケント君。うれしいわ。
: これ、お花です。
: ケント、これ、仏様のお花だよ。
: ありがとう、ケント君。うれしいわ。
Kat: Happy birthday, Mom.
Kat: What's this? Cake? Thank you!
Kat: Happy birthday, Aunt.
: これ、お花です。
Kat: I have some flowers for you.
Kat: Wow... Oh. (laughs)
Kat: What are THESE?
: ケント、これ、仏様のお花だよ。
Kat: Kent, these are flowers to honor the dead!
Kat: What do you mean?
Kat: Madoka, it's fine.
: ありがとう、ケント君。うれしいわ。
Kat: Thank you, Kent. I'm so happy.
Kat: Oh,God , what did he end up buying for Madoka's mother?
Naomi: They're called 仏様のお花, 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: (笑) But Madoka's mom understood, she said 大丈夫よ。 "It's okay~"
Kat: That’s really nice of her! I actually almost did same things one, when I first came to Japan.I Challenge buy a flower for a present for someone,and with a friend.and in the shop there is a bouquet of all dark color ,purple color’s flowers,so,I said あー、それでいいんじゃない。Those so nice.And my friend says , if you give those ,the person will be get angry. If it’s sign,there is not for living people,so,it is very easy mistake,to make it.Because a very common story I think people will fall in.he doesn’t 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 the living people?
Naomi: Well.. It's hard to explain, but... you can tell from the color.
Kat: Like dark colors.
Naomi: Like purple,yellow,white,
Kat: I see.Because I why in Japan for death,that’s right?
Naomi: Right. And a bouquet of mum,chrysanthemums is definitely for dead people.
Kat: So that that flowers for death,
Kat: I see.I will take care.OK,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。 [natural native speed]
Kat: Happy birthday.in a formal cituation.
Naomi: お誕生日おめでとうございます。 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: お誕生日おめでとうございます。 [natural native speed]
Kat: And next.
Naomi: ありがとう。 [natural native speed]
Kat: Thank you.
Naomi: ありがとう。 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: ありがとう。 [natural native speed]
Kat: And next.
Naomi: 花 [natural native speed]
Kat: flower
Naomi: 花 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 花 [natural native speed]
Kat: Next:
Naomi: 仏様 [natural native speed]
Kat: a Buddha, deceased person
Naomi: 仏様 [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 仏様 [natural native speed]
Kat: And finally
Naomi: うれしい [natural native speed]
Kat: happy, glad, pleasant
Naomi: うれしい [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: うれしい [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
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. In the dialogue, we heard 誕生日おめでとう
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?
Naomi: Well, when a new year starts, you can say あけまして おめでとう!
Kat: Happy New Year!
Naomi: Also, when someone gets married, you can say 結婚 おめでとう!
Kat: 結婚 is marriage, so this is Congratulations on your marriage.
Naomi: To make the phrase おめでとう polite, simply add ございます to it. おめでとうございます!
Kat: Our next word is...
Naomi: ありがとう!Now, I'm sure our listeners all know this one.
Kat: You're probably right (笑) I think my mother is also actually know this,it is the word she know at all.It simply means, "thank you".
Naomi: You’ve just say,your mother even know that.Is that true that 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 pop culture,but what those people probably don't know is that ありがとう just by itself is quite informal! and it wouldn’t be in polite situation.
Naomi: That's right - you wouldn't normally use ありがとう 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.
Naomi: This is the same ございます that we add after おめでとう.
Kat: Right! The word ございます makes a lot of phrases much more polite. So remember - with friends, ありがとう is fine 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。
Naomi: Yes! So please remember that.
Kat: And the last word is...?
Naomi: うれしい
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 "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!!
Kat: Thanks,Yey!This is a good one to remember for when you receive a gift or if someone close does something nice for you.
Naomi: そうですね。Right.

Lesson focus

Kat: In this lesson, we'll look at two things. The first is changing around sentence order in informal Japanese. And the second is wishing someone a Happy Birthday. So first.. let's look at changing around 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 it 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 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~?
Kat: "What are these??" You may remember that we learned "これなに?" or "これはなに?", which mean "What is this?" in Lesson 5. So all we've done here is reverse the order!
Naomi: これなに? becomes なにこれ?
Kat: It sounds really colloquial! Like 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. To which he said...
Naomi: なにそれ(笑)
Kat: It actually “What’s that?” He had NO idea what she was talking about. So here, なにそれ kind of shows his bewilderment. He's kind of taken by surprise. It would like "What's you talk 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!
Kat: This is delicious!
Naomi: This becomes, おいしい、これ!
Kat: No change in meaning, just added emphasis! It almost sounds If you want expected it delicious and saying,おいしい、これ!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!
Kat: 誕生日 is birthday, and おめでとう is congratulations, which we covered, so it means "Happy Birthday"!
Naomi: 誕生日おめでとう!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。
Kat: Hmm.. it got longer!
Naomi: そうですね(笑) There are two things that changed. One, we added ございます to the end of the phrase. And two, we added the prefix お to the word 誕生日.
Kat: So 誕生日 became お誕生日.
Naomi: Right. This お is called the polite prefix, and it makes certain words more polite.
Kat: Let's introduce some common words that お can be added to.
Naomi: Sure! One is 名前
Kat: "Name"
Naomi: This becomes お名前。
Kat: As in, お名前は?Or, お名前は何ですか? What's your name? To someone you don’t know,or someone higher than you.
Naomi: Another one is 元気
Kat: "Fine", or "energetic"
Naomi: This becomes お元気。
Kat: As in, お元気ですか?How are you?, or, Are you doing well?To someone older than you or someone higher than you.We should use this sentences.
Naomi: But be careful, because not all words can have お attached to them.
Kat: That's right, only certain ones. You can't just got attach it to any word (笑).As you want to.
Naomi: For example,you can’t say “おコーヒー””おコーラ”
Kat: I never had heard them,so funny.Because I have been touching all in 片仮名words.Yeah,it’s just funny.You just have to remember which one use it.
Naomi: In some cases, the お prefix has basically become part of the word. For example, お父さん and お母さん.
Kat: Oh right, the words for mom and dad. The お has just become part of the word.
Naomi: Okay, so, going back to the formal phrase for Happy Birthday... we add the お to 誕生日, and get - お誕生日おめでとうございます。
Kat: Happy Birthday.Okay, so now you are all ready to wish someone 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!
Kat: Yey,I’m happy.


Kat: Okay, so that's all for this lesson. Thanks for listening!
Naomi: Be sure to leave us a comment if you have any questions.
Kat: Yes, we'd love to hear from you! We answer all questions personally, so please stop by the lesson page! Until next time~
Naomi: じゃまた!


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

JapanesePod101.com Verified
July 12th, 2010 at 06:30 PM
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Poor Kent! He messed up and got the wrong kind of flowers... :oops: At least he meant well.. ;)

JapanesePod101.com Verified
September 17th, 2015 at 03:35 PM
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Yuki 由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

September 16th, 2015 at 11:46 PM
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ah! ok お世話になりました (o-sewa ni narimashita)

Is only for the last time you interact with someone! 



JapanesePod101.com Verified
September 4th, 2015 at 09:06 PM
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“da” is more casual than “desu” but the meaning is same.

One thing, お世話になりました indicates the last word to your host family or teachers before you leave a host family’s house or graduate from school.

Therefore, you should use よろしくおねがいします which means “thank you in advance.”:wink:

Yuki 由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

September 4th, 2015 at 04:27 AM
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ナオミ先生、Kat 先生


konnichi wa! o-genki desu ka? Tokyo no tenki dou desu ka?


jugyou wo arigatoumashita. Tanoshikatta desu.

質問があります。 >>>>>>> Kento, kore, hotoke-sama no o-hana ··da·· yo.

shitsumon ga arimasu.



o-sewa ni narimashita!

You're the best :heart:

JapanesePod101.com Verified
June 28th, 2015 at 09:35 PM
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Yuki 由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

June 26th, 2015 at 11:31 AM
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面白い。I never heard about the reversing sentence order before. Good to know :grin:

JapanesePod101.com Verified
January 14th, 2014 at 07:00 PM
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regarding your first question, it's difficult to say exactly what they'd say,

because there's many different ways with different

politeness levels...one possibility would be

"tomodachi nandakara, son'na ni teinei ni hanasanaku te ii yo" meaning "as we're friends,

you don't have to speak so politely", but this can be also changed to more casual way omitting

some parts etc.

As to your second question, let's stick to the very simple sentences and say:

"sumimasen, watashi wa mada nihongo ga jouzu dewa arimasen."

Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

January 13th, 2014 at 09:11 PM
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I have two questions if that is ok?

Firstly if you are speaking to a friend and they think you are speaking too formally or visa versa if someone thinks you are speaking informally when you shouldn't be. What sort of phrases will they say to you. Is there a phrase that means 'we are friends now so you can switch to speaking informally from now on'?

My second question is... Is there a way of saying that you are still learning japanese or that 'my japanese is not very good yet please excuse me' and to pre-appologise In case you make a mistake with your politeness? Hopefully then they would correct you rather than just thinking you were rude!

Thank you for your help. These lessons are so helpful!

Coco x

JapanesePod101.com Verified
June 15th, 2013 at 03:06 PM
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oh sorry about the trouble you had! I'm not too sure why it happened, but as I see the correct typing スコット

on your post, I bet you now have sort it out :wink:

Whenever you have a problem, please feel free to ask us for a help!

Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

June 13th, 2013 at 03:10 AM
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Last week when I was moving, I tried to write my name in Japanese on all my boxes. It's supposed to look like

スコット, Instead, I had written スコート and had to find out the hard way when I sent a picture to my Japanese pen pal. lol