Dialogue

Vocabulary

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Lesson Transcript

INTRODUCTION
Naomi: なおみです!(Naomi desu!)
Kat: Kat here. Whoa! What is that in your Japanese lunch box?
Naomi: Kat-san, please tell us what we are going to learn in this lesson.
Kat: In this lesson, you will learn how to ask what something is in informal Japanese.
Naomi: Where does this conversation take place and who is it between?
Kat: Well, it’s a continuation from the last lesson. So it takes place in the cafeteria again, and the conversation is between Kent and Madoka as they are eating.
Naomi: What is the formality level of the conversation?
Kat: Madoka and Kent are cousins of the same age, so they are speaking informally. OK, so let’s listen to the conversation.
DIALOGUE
ケント (Kento):山菜は何?(Sansai wa nani?)
まどか (Madoka):うーん。。。山の野菜?(Ūn... yama no yasai?)
ケント (Kento):へー。それ、おいしい?(Hē. Sore, oishii?)
まどか (Madoka):うん、まあまあ。(Un, māmā.)
まどか (Madoka):ケントのは何?カレー?(Kento no wa nani? Karē?)
ケント (Kento):うん。カツカレー。(Un. Katsukarē.)
まどか (Madoka):それ、おいしい?(Sore, oishii?)
ケント (Kento):うーん。いまいち。(Ūn. Imaichi.)
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.)
ケント (Kento):山菜は何?(Sansai wa nani?)
まどか (Madoka):うーん。。。山の野菜?(Ūn... yama no yasai?)
ケント (Kento):へー。それ、おいしい?(Hē. Sore, oishii?)
まどか (Madoka):うん、まあまあ。(Un, māmā.)
まどか (Madoka):ケントのは何?カレー?(Kento no wa nani? Karē?)
ケント (Kento):うん。カツカレー。(Un. Katsukarē.)
まどか (Madoka):それ、おいしい?(Sore, oishii?)
ケント (Kento):うーん。いまいち。(Ūn. Imaichi.)
今度は英語が入ります。(Kondo wa Eigo ga hairimasu.)
ケント (Kento):山菜は何?(Sansai wa nani?)
Kat: What's "sansai?"
まどか (Madoka):うーん。。。山の野菜?(Ūn... yama no yasai?)
Kat: Um...mountain vegetables?
ケント (Kento):へー。それ、おいしい?(Hē. Sore, oishii?)
Kat: Really? Is that tasty?
まどか (Madoka):うん、まあまあ。(Un, māmā.)
Kat: Mmm, it's so-so.
まどか (Madoka):ケントのは何?カレー?(Kento no wa nani? Karē?)
Kat: What have you got? Curry?
ケント (Kento):うん。カツカレー。(Un. Katsukarē.)
Kat: Mm, fried cutlet curry.
まどか (Madoka):それ、おいしい?(Sore, oishii?)
Kat: Is that tasty?
ケント (Kento):うーん。いまいち。(Ūn. Imaichi.)
Kat: Mm. Not really.
POST CONVERSATION BANTER
Kat: So last time we talked about soba, which is what Madoka is having, and now we will find out what Kent is having, カツカレー (katsukarē).
Naomi: あ~、カツカレーね!(Ā, katsukarē ne!) It sounds so good.
Kat: It does, doesn't it? Right now, I want it.
Naomi: By the by, how do you explain カツカレー (katsukarē) in English?
Kat: That is a good question. This is a pretty standard Japanese dish. Basically, the カレー (karē) refers to Japanese style curry, and the カツ (katsu) refers to cutlets of fried pork.
Naomi: Japanese curry is pretty different from original Indian curry, but it is really popular in Japan. I would say it’s one of the most popular foods.
Kat: Definitely, all the kids and even the adults love their curry, and there are so many restaurants.
Naomi: Mm, there are many different kinds too. What kind of curry do you like?
Kat: I like all kinds, but again I have to say my boyfriend's homemade spicy chicken curry with lots of vegetables. The spicier, the better. He is really good at cooking it all.
Naomi: Yeah, what is the secret?
Kat: I don't know. He can, umm... if we have just a few ingredients, he can always pick them up and throw them into something really delicious, so I am quite jealous of that ability.
Naomi: すごいね。(Sugoi ne.) Wow, you are so lucky.
Kat: Yes, thank you.
Naomi: あ、それから。(A, sorekara.) And, カツ (katsu) - cutlets are often eaten before an important game or test. Can you guess the reason why?
Kat: I have never heard that before. What...
Naomi: Mm?
Kat: What is the reason for that? Is it like a hearty meal before an important test or something?
Naomi: Mm, do you know the verb かつ (katsu)?
Kat: かつ?(Katsu?) Ahh! かつ (katsu), to win.
Naomi: Right.
Kat: I see, that is so simple. I can't believe I didn't think of that.
Naomi: Mm, that is why when people want to win something...
Kat: Aah!
Naomi: Yeah, they eat カツ (katsu) or cutlet.
Kat: That is really cute.
Naomi: Yeah, for the same reason Kit Kat is eaten before the test or game.
Kat: Because, in katakana, Kit Kat, the chocolate bar becomes
Naomi: キットカツ (kitto katsu)
Kat: キットカツ、あ〜。(Kitto katsu, ā.)
Naomi: Yeah.
Kat: So かつ (katsu) again.
Naomi: And きっと (kitto) means 'definite.'
Kat: Definitely win. That’s so funny.
Naomi: So if you are taking JLPT this year...
Kat: It is a good excuse to eat a lot of Kit Kats and fried cutlets.
Naomi: Right.
Kat: OK, so now let’s take a look at the vocabulary for this lesson.
VOCAB LIST
Naomi: 山菜 (sansai) [natural native speed]
Kat: mountain vegetables
Naomi: 山菜 (sansai) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 山菜 (sansai) [natural native speed]
Kat: OK, and next.
Naomi: 野菜 (yasai) [natural native speed]
Kat: vegetables
Naomi: 野菜 (yasai) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: 野菜 (yasai) [natural native speed]
Kat: OK, next.
Naomi: おいしい (oishii) [natural native speed]
Kat: delicious, tasty
Naomi: おいしい (oishii) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: おいしい (oishii) [natural native speed]
Kat: OK, and next.
Naomi: まあまあ (māmā) [natural native speed]
Kat: so so
Naomi: まあまあ (māmā) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: まあまあ (māmā) [natural native speed]
Kat: OK, and next.
Naomi: カレー (karē) [natural native speed]
Kat: curry
Naomi: カレー (karē) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: カレー (karē) [natural native speed]
Kat: OK, next.
Naomi: いまいち (imaichi) [natural native speed]
Kat: not very good, could be better
Naomi: いまいち (imaichi) [slowly - broken down by syllable]
Naomi: いまいち (imaichi) [natural native speed]
VOCAB AND PHRASE USAGE
Kat: So now let’s have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Naomi: The first word we will look at is おいしい (oishii).
Kat: Delicious, tasty… used all the time when talking about food.
Naomi: そうですね。(Sō desu ne.) I guarantee that you will hear this word a lot.
Kat: If someone offers you some food in Japanese and you want to say that it is good, おいしい (oishii) is the perfect word to use.
Naomi: おいしい!(Oishii!)
Kat: おいしい (oishii), if it is really good, you can really show your enthusiasm with this word by holding it longer than usual.
Naomi: Mm, like おいしい~~~ (oishiī)!
Kat: Exactly! Now, おいしい (oishii) can, of course, be used by both men and women, but what is another word you will also hear used by men that has the same meaning, Naomi Sensei?
Naomi: うまい!(Umai!) This also has the meaning of "to be good at something," but when talking about food, it means the same thing as おいしい (oishii).
Kat: Ah, so if you are a young guy talking to friends, you can use うまい (umai).
Naomi: Right. You will sound very natural.
Kat: I have to say I also sometimes use うまい (umai) when something is so delicious. Its deliciousness can't be covered by just おいしい (oishii). Like if you are eating, it’s like うまい (umai)!!
Naomi: そうですね~。(Sō desu nē.)
Kat: It kind of comes out with you thinking about it. OK so the next word is...
Naomi: まあまあ (māmā)
Kat: So-so, OK. If something is neither good nor bad, like right in the middle, you can say that it is まあまあ (māmā).
Naomi: Right. And this isn't limited to talking about food. Almost anything can be まあまあ (māmā).
Kat: Good point. For example, if I said, “Hey, Naomi, how was that movie you saw yesterday?”
Naomi: うん, まあまあ。(Un, māmā.) It was just so-so.
Kat: So we have おいしい (oishii), delicious, まあまあ (māmā), so-so. Now, what can we say if something is not very good at all?
Naomi: Good question, that is our next word actually. You can say いまいち (imaichi).
Kat: いまいち (imaichi), not very good, could be better. So this is even worse than まあまあ (māmā).
Naomi: Right. You are not saying it is horrible, just “not very good.”
Kat: In the dialogue, Kent said his カツカレー (katsukarē) was いまいち (imaichi). His curry dish could have been better.
Naomi: Mm, I am a bit surprised though. It sounded like a really good dish.
Kat: Yeah. It is difficult to get カツカレー (katsukarē) that badly wrong to be honest.
Naomi: そうですね。(Sō desu ne.) Maybe it wasn't hot enough.
Kat: Oh maybe… that always ruins anything really. Now いまいち (imaichi) can also be used to talk about things other than food, can't it?
Naomi: そうですね。(Sō desu ne.) Like the movie we were talking about earlier, if it didn't live up to my expectations, I could say that was いまいち (imaichi).
Kat: So to review the three words again in order from good to not so good, we have...
Naomi: おいしい (oishii)
Kat: Delicious, tasty.
Naomi: まあまあ (māmā)
Kat: So-so.
Naomi: いまいち (imaichi)
Kat: Not so good. Remember that おいしい (oishii) is generally limited to talking about food, while the other two, まあまあ (māmā) and いまいち (imaichi) can be used to talk about food or other things.

Lesson focus

Kat: In this lesson, you learned how to ask what something is in informal Japanese.
Naomi: In the dialogue, Kent asked... 山菜は何?(Sansai wa nani?)
Kat: This means, “What’s sansai?”
Naomi: Now, you may remember that in formal Japanese to ask what something is, we
say 何ですか (nan desu ka).
Kat: 何ですか (nan desu ka) just means, “what is it?” To specify what you are talking about, you say the item, plus particle は (wa) plus 何ですか (nan desu ka).
Naomi: So such and such は何ですか (wa nan desu ka) means, “what is such and such?”
Kat: So for example, let’s ask, “what is this?” You may remember that the word for “this” is これ (kore). We covered this in the last lesson. So “what's this?” would be...
Naomi: これは何ですか。(Kore wa nan desu ka.) What's this?
Kat: Again, this is polite Japanese with ですか (desu ka). To make this phrase informal, change 何ですか (nan desu ka) to simply なに?(nani?)
Naomi: Right, but be careful. In casual language, you drop ですか (desu ka), right? In that case, you have to change なん (nan) to なに (nani), and you don't need to include the particle here. これ、なに? (kore, nani?) What’s this? But of course, これはなに?(kore wa nani?) is also fine.
Kat: To me if you add は (wa), これはなに? (kore wa nani?) is a lot stronger...
Naomi: Mm.
Kat: Like, “What is THIS?” kind of instead of “What's this?”
Naomi: Right.
Kat: But you don't need to worry about that so much maybe. So what did Kent say in the dialogue again?
Naomi: 山菜は何?(Sansai wa nani?) What’s sansai?
Kat: And then Madoka also used なに (nani).
Naomi: Right, but her sentence is a little more complicated.
Kat: Let’s take a look at it, shall we?
Naomi: Sure. Madoka looked at Kento's food and said, ケントのは何?(Kento no wa nani?)
Kat: “What have you got?” So remember how we said that の (no) indicates possession? So here, ケントの (Kento no) means “Kent's”. We don't need anything after the の (no). It is implied.
Naomi: ケントの (Kento no) is followed by the particle は (wa). So we actually have two particles in row here. ケントのは (Kento no wa) and then the question word, なに (nani).
Kat: So in ケントのは何? (Kento no wa nani?) she literally is saying, “What is Kent's?”
Naomi: そうですね。(Sō desu ne.) Right.
Kat: OK, so now it’s time to practice what you have learned. We will give you a situation and a line in English. Please translate it into Japanese. OK, pretend that Naomi is a close friend of yours. Not too difficult to pretend, I think. She has just come back from the convenience store, and she bought something that looks interesting, but you don't know what it is. How would you say, “what is that?” in informal Japanese?
(pauses) And the answer is…
Naomi: それ、何? (Sore, nani?) Or... それは何?(Sore wa nani?)
Kat: Did you get the right answer? By the way, Naomi, what did you get from the convenience store?
Naomi: うん、ああ、これ? (Un, ā, kore?) This? It's カレー (karē)!
Kat: Oh, curry. I hope it is better than what Kent had.
Naomi: Yes, it is very おいしい (oishii)!

Outro

Kat: Nicely used. OK, so that’s all for this lesson.
Naomi: Thanks for listening everyone.
Kat: Until next time.
Naomi: じゃ、また。(Ja, mata.)
ケント (Kento):山菜は何?(Sansai wa nani?)
まどか (Madoka):うーん。。。山の野菜?(Ūn... yama no yasai?)
ケント (Kento):へー。それ、おいしい?(Hē. Sore, oishii?)
まどか (Madoka):うん、まあまあ。(Un, māmā.)
まどか (Madoka):ケントのは何?カレー?(Kento no wa nani? Karē?)
ケント (Kento):うん。カツカレー。(Un. Katsukarē.)
まどか (Madoka):それ、おいしい?(Sore, oishii?)
ケント (Kento):うーん。いまいち。(Ūn. Imaichi.)

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24 Comments

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😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

JapanesePod101.com Verified
March 1st, 2010 at 06:30 PM
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みなさん、こんにちは!

Did this conversation (and picture!) make you hungry? ;) What kinds of food do you think are oishii/maa maa/imaichi?

Anthony
March 13th, 2019 at 12:37 AM
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So dropping particles and sentence copulas is a big part of informal speech in Japanese?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
March 7th, 2016 at 10:32 AM
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ウィレソン エッリクさん、

こんにちは。:smile:

わかりました。

カールはすきじゃないですね。

なにがすきですか。

Yuki  由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

ウィレソン エッリク
February 29th, 2016 at 06:11 AM
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カール好きじゃないです。

JapanesePod101.com Verified
August 17th, 2014 at 10:07 PM
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Jeremy san,


いまいち means ‘not good very much’.

わるい means ‘bad’.

ひどい means ‘terrible’.

Yes, you should be careful to use them. :smile:


Yuki  由紀

Team JapanesePod.com

Jeremy
August 12th, 2014 at 05:47 PM
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Does いまいち and わるい mean the same thing? or maybe even ひどい? Should I be careful of which words to use?

JapanesePod101.com Verified
February 13th, 2014 at 09:18 AM
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Hello 黒崎san,

Firstly, the function of あなた is not same as English ‘you’.

When you call/ address your partner for example, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife and so on, you can use あなたwhich means ‘my darling’ or ’honey’ or ‘sweetie’.

The other situation you can use あなた is you are really angry to a person and want to fight the person.

In other case, you should use the person’s name ○○さんの予定は何ですか. If you have been talking to the person, you don’t need to say the name and just say “予定はなんですか。” .

Regarding the difference between 予定 and計画, both of them mean ‘plan’. However, 計画 also means project, scheme and sounds a bit more formal than 予定 for example (長期計画)a long-range/term plan,(都市計画) city planning,(財政計画) a financial program.

Yuki  由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

黒崎
February 12th, 2014 at 07:29 AM
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先生、質問があります。

あなたの予定/計画は何ですか。英語: What are you plans?

Does both 予定 and 計画 fit in here? Is there any particular difference? Or depending on which of them I should change the sentence pattern?

Also if the person we are talking knows by the topic of the conversation that I'm asking his/her plans, we can ommit Anata, without turning the sentence weird right?「予定/計画は何ですか」

JapanesePod101.com Verified
January 22nd, 2014 at 10:47 AM
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Hello アシュリーさん、

今日は。

そうですね。カツカレーはおいしいですね。

たくさんのわさびは‘からい’です?hot?

そうですね。わたしも なっとうは あまり…

Yuki 由紀

Team JapanesePod101.com

アシュリー
January 21st, 2014 at 12:37 PM
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今日はみなさん、


かつカリーはおいしいですね。

わさびはまあまあけどたくさんわさびがいたいです。

なっとはとてもいまいちですよ。



じゃまた

トーマス
February 25th, 2012 at 07:48 AM
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辛味噌ラーメンと辛いカレーは美味しいです。はまちととろとうなぎも美味しいです。アイスクリームはとても美味しいです。:wink:和菓子はすごく美味しいです。オートミールはまあまあです。アイス・バインはいまいちです。