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Sakura: おはよう東京。サクラです。
Peter: Peter here and we are back with another edition of survival phrases. Okay back with Sakura with another edition of phrases that will make your trip all the more worthwhile. Right Sakura?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: As always, you can find the accompanying PDF and the kanji close up on our website japanesepod101.com, be sure to stop by and be sure to leave us a post and join our growing community of Japanese listeners across the world. Okay today we have a great lesson, right Sakura?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Sakura really liked this one. She handpicked the phrases, handpicked the lesson because we got an email from one of our listeners about this right?
Sakura: Yes, yes.
Peter: He wanted to know – what did he want to know about Sakura?
Sakura: About sending things from the post office.
Peter: Yes.
Sakura: Yes.

Lesson focus

Peter: Taking them home. So what is the topic for today?
Sakura: 郵便局
Peter: Which is
Sakura: Post office.
Peter: Okay break it down.
Sakura: ゆ・う・び・ん・きょ・く
Peter: And one time fast.
Sakura: 郵便局
Peter: Yes. And now I don’t know what the post offices are like in your part of the world, I would like to know. I can only imagine. I am sure you know what the American post offices are like by the number of headlines they garner in the news, the international news but yes it’s pretty much the wild west. Now in Japan, the post office, first of all, it’s not really a post office. It’s more like a corporation post office/bank/insurer. Pretty much, I even think I saw one with car sales. Now it is a joke but I mean the largest, the biggest bank in the world, the biggest bank in the world is the Japanese post office. Right Sakura?
Sakura: Really?
Peter: Yes.
Sakura: Oh…
Peter: They have the largest amount of savings in the world. And it’s going through some changes now. So probably after they privatize it, the service will fall apart but for now it’s top notch service. You get treated so well. So what we are going to do today is tell you how to get a letter home.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Okay. So what do we have first Sakura?
Sakura: 手紙
Peter: And this is
Sakura: Letter.
Peter: Yes letter. Break it down.
Sakura: て・が・み
Peter: And one time fast.
Sakura: 手紙
Peter: Now one thing that I would like to advise you about and I cannot stress this enough. What do you put 手紙 in?
Sakura: 封筒
Peter: Yes and this is
Sakura: Envelope.
Peter: Yes envelope. Now in Japan, so many times I had written letters and taken them without an envelope to the post office because usually I could buy an envelope to the post office.
Sakura: Really?
Peter: Wouldn’t it make sense to sell envelopes to the post office?
Sakura: Ahh no Japanese post office doesn't have envelopes.
Peter: Yes. Do not show up at the post office without an envelope. Now to get around this problem you might have with the envelopes, there is a sure-fire way not to run into this problem. And this is…
Sakura: はがき
Peter: English please.
Sakura: Post card.
Peter: Yes. Now can you buy postcards at the post office?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Good news everybody, yes. So you can show up with your letter and then trace it or copy it onto the postcard.
Sakura: Yes, no. No, no, no.
Peter: And how much are the postcards?
Sakura: 50 yen.
Peter: 50 yen. Now I think that’s inside Japanese.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Outside Japan, it would be I think 80 yen.
Sakura: Really?
Peter: I think so.
Sakura: Hah!
Peter: I don’t know so but you know what, if I am wrong, we will have a correction on the website.
Sakura: Right.
Peter: Along with everything else I am wrong. We don’t have enough space. Okay, so can you break down the postcard?
Sakura: は・が・き
Peter: And one time fast.
Sakura: はがき
Peter: Okay. Yes and personally I think はがき are a little bit better right, much easier because you don’t have to write that much.
Sakura: ね。
Peter: Right?
Sakura: Yes. Also you can say 絵はがき
Peter: And what’s this?
Sakura: It’s, well maybe one side of it is pictures.
Peter: Picture postcard.
Sakura: Yes. So if you are looking for those postcards in like souvenir shops, you might like to ask for 絵はがき
Peter: Okay can you break it down?
Sakura: え・は・が・き
Peter: And one time fast.
Sakura: 絵はがき
Peter: So if you went into the post office or you were looking for postcards, how can we get them, we can say?
Sakura: はがきを下さい。
Peter: Or.
Sakura: はがきをお願いします。
Peter: And then how about the picture postcards?
Sakura: 絵はがきを下さい or 絵はがきをお願いします。
Peter: Yes. Okay now we got it and there will be no problem with pens in a Japanese post office because they have a lot of those, tons of pens.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And if you don’t have a pen, you can say
Sakura: すいません。ペンをお願いします。
Peter: もう一度お願いします。
Sakura: すいません。ペンをお願いします。
Peter: Yes. Now this literally means, please give me a pen but since you are a foreigner, they kind of understand that you just need a pen to write it down.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: The correct way to say it and if you want to try it is
Sakura: ペンを貸してください。
Peter: もう一度お願いします。
Sakura: ペンを、貸してください。
Peter: Okay. So you got the はがき you got the pen. You write it down and then what do you do?
Sakura: You send it.
Peter: And how do we send it, Sakura? Give us the easiest way possible. There is an easy way.
Sakura: The place まで、お願いします。
Peter: Okay now if you remember the taxi phrases, when you get in the taxi…
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: What do we say?
Sakura: A place まで、お願いします。
Peter: Yes. Same thing here.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Okay. You get up to bat and in my case, I would say アメリカまでお願いします and just hand it over. Right Sakura?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: That’s it. Again a few were までお願いします
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Uhoo…
Sakura: Uh.
Peter: Comes out so easy.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Okay and then depending on the place, the weight, and et cetera, he will give you a price and usually the price will appear. So it won’t be such a problem. Sounds nice right?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Okay what’s next?
Sakura: 航空便でお願いします。
Peter: Oh oh what’s this もう一度お願いします。
Sakura: 航空便でお願いします。
Peter: Okay Sakura. Now the something, something で I got that that we use that all the time.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: ~でお願いします。~でお願いします。 What comes before that? Can you break that down?
Sakura: こ・う・く・う・び・ん
Peter: One time fast.
Sakura: 航空便
Peter: And what’s this?
Sakura: By air.
Peter: Yes airmail.
Sakura: Airmail.
Peter: Okay they might even ask you this question which would be
Sakura: 航空便ですか?
Peter: Which is airmail.
Sakura: Airmail, yes, yes.
Peter: Okay yes. So we have the airmail going on.
Sakura: Also they may say エアメール
Peter: Break it down.
Sakura: え・あ・め・え・る
Peter: And you can even beat them to the punch by saying
Sakura: エアメールでお願いします。
Peter: Okay. So you could come in with a letter. Now remember, back to the envelope. Now if you don’t have an envelope, you have to go buy one and then when you come back, you have to look around at a stationary store or convenience store, buy 10 envelopes of which you only use one. Go back and you hand them over and in my case, it would be アメリカまでお願いします and then I could say エアメールでお願いします right?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Beat them to the punch.
Sakura: Right.
Peter: Okay what’s next?
Sakura: 普通便
Peter: And what’s this?
Sakura: Ordinary mail.
Peter: Yes, ordinary mail. Break it down.
Sakura: ふ・つ・う・び・ん
Peter: And one time fast.
Sakura: 普通便
Peter: Ordinary mail. Now this would kind of be inside Japan right?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Okay. What do we have next?
Sakura: 速達
Peter: Okay. And this is
Sakura: Express.
Peter: Now this one is inside Japan.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Okay and can you break this down?
Sakura: そ・く・た・つ
Peter: And one time fast.
Sakura: 速達
Peter: Now the 速達 is very good because you might want to use this inside Japan.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: My friend.
Sakura: Umm…
Peter: Ah this guy is the best. He left his cell phone at a hotel.
Sakura: Ohh…
Peter: And in Japan, they are really good. They actually, you know, keep it there for you. He called the hotel and he had them send his phone to the next hotel 速達
Sakura: Wow!
Peter: Yes and in that way, he got it before we left for the next hotel. We were going around Japan and stuff. So this might come in very, very handy 速達、速達
Sakura: 速達 right.
Peter: Okay. So you are writing a diary. On your 5-day trip, you write 50 pages, a lot of writing. So you go in and you are like do I want to mail this home or do I want to carry it home. So you want to check the price, right? How do we check the price?
Sakura: いくらですか?
Peter: There it is. Break it down.
Sakura: い・く・ら・で・す・か
Peter: And one time fast.
Sakura: いくらですか?
Peter: How much is it? So you take your 50 pages, you take the envelope, you put it down, how much they will weigh it for you and they will give you a price.
Sakura: Yes so you might say アメリカまで、いくらですか?
Peter: Very nice もう一度お願いします。
Sakura: アメリカまで、いくらですか?
Peter: Yes. Sakura, why do you always use America? You are so nationalistic. Put some other countries out there.
Sakura: アイルランドまでいくらですか?
Peter: Yeah Sakura. Okay and how about – why don’t we do Canada?
Sakura: カナダまでいくらですか?
Peter: Okay. How about England?
Sakura: イギリスまでいくらですか?
Peter: Australia.
Sakura: オーストラリアまでいくらですか?
Peter: China.
Sakura: 中国までいくらですか?
Peter: And the idea of this was that all you do is take the place.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: And put it in front of
Sakura: まで
Peter: Yes. Definitely don’t confuse this with the taxis. Ah Sakura, one day my jokes will get through.
Sakura: Sorry, sorry.
Peter: Okay what’s next?
Sakura: And then they might ask you, 航空便ですか?
Peter: Airmail and you would say
Sakura: はい。
Peter: So say it’s your last day in Japan. You have a bunch of letters you wrote along the way and you think about mailing them home but then you think about it. The flight is 20 hours. You can see everybody in about 48 hours. How long is this letter going to take to get home? Sakura, how can we ask, how long will it take?
Sakura: 何日かかりますか?
Peter: And one time fast.
Sakura: な・ん・に・ち・か・か・り・ま・す・か?
Peter: Yes. How many days will it take? So that way you can find out if you are going to be home first or the letters are going to get there.
Sakura: Right.
Peter: Again with this structure, we take the place plus まで and we put it in front, right?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: How about how long will it take to America?
Sakura: アメリカまで、何日かかりますか?
Peter: Okay and then of course the answer will decide many things. Now about the answer, Sakura can you quickly give us one day to seven days?
Sakura: 1日かかります。2日(ふつか)かかります。3日(みっか)かかります。4日(よっか)かかります。5日(いつか)かかります。6日(むいか)かかります。7日(なのか)かかります。
Peter: Or in that case, it would be
Sakura: 1週間かかります。
Peter: So the verb stays the same which is
Sakura: かかります
Peter: Okay what changes, the first part.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Can you give us one to seven days real fast?
Sakura: 1日、2日(ふつか)、3日(みっか)、4日(よっか)、5日(いつか)、6日(むいか)、7日(なのか)
Peter: We probably could have left out one day.
Sakura: Right.
Peter: But anyway we will just put it in there maybe as sending something local, okay. So why don’t we do a little exchange. I will come in and I want to send a letter to America. So I came into the post office with my letter. すいません。あめりかまでお願いします。
Sakura: エアメールですか?
Peter: はい。エアメールでお願いします。アメリカまで何日かかりますか?
Sakura: 4日です。
Peter: いくらかかりますか?
Sakura: 150円です。
Peter: はい。お願いします。 Okay and that’s it. You got your letter off to America.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Give us the structure one more time. Country plus
Sakura: まで、お願いします。
Peter: Yes.
Sakura: You can use this also for parcels as well.
Peter: And the last one for all you big spenders out there who are coming here and buying everything you want in Akihabara Electric town and you can’t fit everything on the plane. You can take a chance and do
Sakura: 船便
Peter: Which is?
Sakura: Ship.
Peter: By ship.
Sakura: By ship.
Peter: And this will take three months. This is quite popular with people going back. You know people who’ve lived here a while and they are going back. They pack everything into their stuff and it takes about 2 to 3 months to get there.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Can you break this down for us?
Sakura: ふ・な・び・ん
Peter: And one time fast.
Sakura: 船便
Peter: Yes when I go back home, it will be 船便
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: If I have kids.
Peter: You got a joke Sakura. I say it’s a miracle.
Sakura: Umm I am learning.


Peter: Okay. That’s going to do it. See you tomorrow.
Sakura: また明日ね!


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