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Natsuko: ナツコです。
Yoshi: ヨシです。
Peter: Peter here, survival phrases #29. Alright. Hello Natsuko San.
Natsuko: こんにちは。
Peter: It’s been a while since you’ve joined us on survival phrases.
Natsuko: Yes, I think like months.
Peter: Months. Well it is great to have you here today.
Natsuko: It’s great to be back.
Peter: And of course Yoshi San.
Yoshi: こんにとは。
Peter: It’s not a survival phrase episode without Yoshi San.
Natsuko: Oh yes.
Peter: Ok now, Yoshi San can you fill in Natsuko San in on what we’ve been working on?
Yoshi: Riding the rails.
Peter: Today is part four of our four part train series.
Natsuko: Sounds nice.
Peter: Yeah this is going to help everybody get around. We start with the macro approach and worked our way down. Now we are inside the subways. We got the ticket and last week we made it through the entrance gate.
Natsuko: Ok. And then?
Peter: And then what? What do you think people are going to need to know when they are riding the rails in Japan? The local rail that is.
Natsuko: Yes. They have to know where their destination is right?
Peter: Excellent. But wouldn’t they get that one when they get their ticket?
Natsuko: No, it doesn’t say so.

Lesson focus

Peter: Good point. Now what you can also do and we will get into this in a minute and I do it all the time when I am rushing, I buy the cheapest ticket and then what’s that called, before I get off I have to do what Natsuko San?
Natsuko: 精算する。
Peter: To adjust. As in to adjust the fair. Now when you take the train in Japan the further you go, Yoshi San?
Yoshi: It becomes more expensive.
Peter: Really expensive. So when I am rushing and I don’t have time to check the big board or I see the last train coming I just start pushing the cheapest tickets, so I put in my money, I get the cheapest ticket and then when I get off I either put my ticket into
Natsuko: 精算機
Peter: Fare adjustment machine or in some small places but I haven’t been to a station that doesn’t have one of these machines.
Natsuko: I think almost every station in Tokyo has one.
Peter: Yeah, but even outside of Tokyo, even in the countryside, which is, one more time, that word for countryside?
Natsuko: 田舎
Peter: Yeah even in 田舎. I usually see these machines.
Natsuko: Oh really?
Peter: Yeah. So just put in your ticket and look for the number to adjust a fair quite easily. Now you can also bring it to the person working at the station.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: And you just give him the ticket and he will give you the price in Japanese for how much you have to pay. So again if this becomes a problem we gave you, in last week’s lesson how to ask for the amount again plus have the person write it, so we feel confident you will be able to get through this. But yes, fair adjustment is an important part of riding the rails in Japan. Natsuko San, can you break that word down for us?
Natsuko: せ・い・さ・ん、精算
Peter: And the machine?
Natsuko: せ・い・さ・ん・き、精算機
Peter: Natsuko San does the fair adjustment machine have some distinctive or unique colors or a way to identify it?
Natsuko: The colors are different according to lines but it is usually placed beside the exit gate so I think you can’t miss it.
Peter: Yeah. Now if you forget and you put your ticket in and it’s not enough, Yoshi San what is going to happen?
Yoshi: It will beep and the door closes so you can’t get out.
Peter: Can you give us a sample of that beep?
Yoshi: ピー、ピー、ピー
Peter: Natsuko San, what do you think?
Natsuko: Yeah something like that.
Peter: Something like that. Now in Japan the entrance and exit gate is not turn style. In the US we have turnstiles and the turnstiles will lock and it will knock the wind out of you because you will try to advance and you can’t move the steel. In Japan it’s kind of like a pinball machine where the two things come out and try and stop you, but as the ball can get through people can also get through.
Natsuko: Well they can force through.
Peter: And I’ve seen it done quite a bit.
Natsuko: You shouldn’t do that.
Peter: Natsuko what are you trying to imply?
Natsuko: Don’t do that.
Peter: You put the ticket in, little ping pong flippers will come out, some noise will go off and where does the ticket come back out?
Natsuko: It comes near that flipping gate.
Peter: Yeah, so you got to grab that ticket and then bring it to the adjustment machine or to the person so he can adjust the fare.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Alright. Now that we have taken care of that we are going to get on to some phrases that are going to help you get around when you are on the train plus when you are looking for the train you want to ride. Alright Natsuko San, let's start out with some terms that people can use when they are on a platform waiting for the train. Why don’t we start with confirming if this is the right train?
Natsuko: Of course there are many ways to ask, you know, which train should you take.
Peter: And we are going to give them all, right Natsuko San?
Natsuko: No, no, I don’t think so. But I think the most general one and the safest one is you tell the station you want to go and ask に行きますかor へ行きますか.
Peter: Alright. So say we wanted to go to Shinagawa.
Natsuko: Ok.
Peter: How do we use what you just taught us?
Natsuko: 品川に行きますか?
Peter: Or? Lets have Yoshi San give us the other one?
Yoshi: 品川へ行きますか?
Peter: In this case both particles are ok. Both the
Natsuko: に
Peter: And
Yoshi: へ
Peter: Come in front of?
Natsuko: 行きますか?
Peter: And the destination comes first.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Destination, particle, verb to go and question particle. Now Yoshi San, what are the possible answers to this?
Yoshi: はい、行きますよ。
Peter: Yes it does go.
Yoshi: いいえ、行きません。
Peter: No it doesn’t go. When we are on the platform and we say this the subject is inferred and in this case what’s the subject?
Natsuko: この電車
Peter: This train. But you can leave off the subject and reduce it to the more easier location
Natsuko: に、行きますか?
Peter: For simplification. And you can also put the subject in.
Natsuko: この電車は品川に行きますか?
Peter: Will this train go to Shinagawa? Ok? Now please listen to the following conversation. We are going to review what we just covered plus we are going to give you some older phrases that we’ve covered. They’ve been covered in some of the phrases but we are going to give them to you one more time here now. See if you can pick them up. Here we go.
Natsuko: すみません。この電車は品川に行きますか?
Yoshi: いいえ、行きません。品川行きはホームの反対側です。
Natsuko: もう一度お願いします。ゆっくりお願いします。
Yoshi: いいえ、いきません。しながわゆきは、ホームのはんたいがわです。
Peter: Alright. And let's just break it down line by line.
Natsuko: すみません。
Peter: Excuse me.
Natsuko: この電車は、品川に行きますか?
Peter: Will this train go to Shinagawa?
Peter: No.
Yoshi: 行きません。
Peter: It won’t go.
Yoshi: 品川行きは
Peter: The train bound for Shinagawa
Peter: ホームの反対側です
Peter: Is on the opposite side of the platform. Now Yoshi San can you give us this one more time? The first part slowly.
Yoshi: しながわゆきは
Peter: Now we had this expression before. Location plus
Yoshi: 行き(ゆき)
Peter: For the location, and here the train is inferred. The train for Shinagawa is on the other side of the platform. Now the rest of the sentence.
Yoshi: ホームの反対側です。
Peter: What’s the word for platform in Japanese?
Peter: ホーム
Yoshi: Break that down please.
Peter: ほ・お・む、ホーム
Peter: And the opposite side is?
Yoshi: 反対側
Peter: The word for opposite being
Yoshi: 反対
Peter: And side being
Yoshi: 側
Peter: So Natsuko San was asking on the wrong side so if she would have gone on the train she would have went in a completely opposite direction. Nice, very good. Very good that you asked, right Natsuko San?
Natsuko: Yes. He helped me a lot.
Peter: Now there are a couple other ways that we want to go over real quick. Now this is actually a very useful one because in Japan there are many express trains so you might want to confirm if this train stops at your desired destination. Natsuko San, how do we ask, will this train stop at my desired location? And for the desired location, why don’t we use Shinjuku?
Natsuko: この電車は、新宿に停まりますか?
Peter: Again the subject is the same which is?
Natsuko: この電車
Peter: Marking particle, the same.
Natsuko: は
Peter: Next we have
Natsuko: 新宿
Peter: Desired location, destination.
Natsuko: に停まりますか?
Peter: Particle, again we have
Natsuko: に
Peter: And then the verb to stop.
Natsuko: 停まります
Peter: Finally question particle.
Natsuko: か
Peter: Yoshi San give us this one more time.
Peter: この電車は、新宿に停まりますか?
Peter: Natsuko San, what is the answer to this question?
Natsuko: はい、停まります。
Peter: The reason being?
Natsuko: I think almost all trains in Tokyo stop at Shinjuku.
Peter: Yeah. We are trying to think, do any bypass Shinjuku, and we couldn’t come up with one. Yeah, so while the destination was maybe not the best choice, it was familiar, everyone knows it. So we just wanted to point out that you may want to ask if it’s stopping at a desired location, because I’ve been on many trains that have gone right by my destination.
Natsuko: Me too.
Peter: It’s like, I want to stop there.
Natsuko: Please, please stop here.
Peter: So this is another one that will come in really handy. Alright Natsuko San, Yoshi San we’ve covered the questions before you get on the train to make sure this is the right train. Now that we are on the train we want to make sure we are getting off at the right place.
Natsuko: Right.
Peter: This is really important too.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Now sometimes the maps, you might not have this problem inside the heart of the city. The English is usually there. They are really good like that and the announcements will be one in English and one in Japanese but once you start getting a little outside the big cities it will start to turn to all Japanese. So we want to give you a few expressions that will help you get the information you need. Now you know your destination, you know where you want to go, so it’s just a matter of picking it up. Picking up what the conductor says on the loud speaker is really tough.
Natsuko: Right. Like in any country.
Peter: Yes. I even have a hard time in New York so, yeah it’s really tough. Luckily in any given train you have a bunch of Japanese people that can do the listening for you. Your job is to get the information out of them. And Natsuko San, how do we get the information out of them?
Natsuko: After the announcement how about asking what's the next station
Peter: Alright. Yoshi San, how do we do that?
Yoshi: 次の駅はどこですか?
Natsuko: もう一度お願いします。ゆっくりお願いします。
Peter: つぎの、えきは、どこですか?
Peter: Now the literal translation here is where is the next station but in English it would be what is the next station. You are asking what’s coming up. Now Yoshi San, give us the first part again.
Yoshi: 次の駅
Peter: What’s the word for next?
Yoshi: 次
Peter: Break it down.
Yoshi: つ・ぎ
Peter: And what’s the word for station?
Yoshi: 駅
Peter: Break it down.
Yoshi: え・き
Peter: Now what do we have in between them?
Yoshi: の
Peter: The possessive. Next station is, this is followed by the particle.
Yoshi: は(va)
Peter: You probably noticed that in most questions the particle tends to be は(va), so we use the marking particle は(va). Next we have
Yoshi: どこですか?
Peter: Where is. Put it all together and give it to us one more time.
Yoshi: 次の駅は、どこですか?
Peter: Alright. And then just wait for the answer. Now if the answer comes too fast we can always use
Yoshi: もう一度、お願いします。ゆっくりお願いします。
Peter: Yes. If there is one phrase that you should be familiar with is this. Alright. So let's try a little conversation on the train. Here we go.
Announce: 次は、原宿、原宿です。
Yoshi: すみません。次の駅はどこですか?
Natsuko: 次は原宿ですよ。
Yoshi: もう一度お願いします。ゆっくりお願いします。
F :つぎは、はらじゅくです。
Yoshi: ありがとうございます。
Peter: Alright. Now one key point in there. Natsuko San, what did you answer when he asked what’s the next station?
Natsuko: 次は、原宿ですよ。
Peter: Alright. Give us the first part.
Natsuko: 次は
Peter: Next. Marked by the particle.
Natsuko: は(va)
Peter: Next is?
Natsuko: 原宿ですよ
Peter: Perfect. Alright. Now say the next station is not Harajuku and you want to go to Harajuku, how can we ask how many stations to Harajuku?
Natsuko: 原宿までは、あと何駅ですか?
Peter: Now this will come in really handy when you don’t want to keep asking the person next to you who is the next stop Harajuku, especially if you are going 20 stops. We are here to make friends, not to get people angry. But I am sure if you did, no one will mind anyway.
Natsuko: Right
Peter: But, yeah, it’s kind of a much more logical way if the next one is not the one you are looking for and the reason that his might come in handy is you don’t want to keep looking outside at the English, on the signs, or, you know maybe it will start up a conversation with some people, plus sometimes the maps inside the train aren’t in English, so I you are looking at the map and you are trying to figure out how far it’s going to be this is a phrase that will come in really handy. Natsuko San one more time, slowly please.
Natsuko: はらじゅくまでは、あと、なんえきですか?
Peter: Alright. Let's break this down.
Natsuko: 原宿まで
Peter: To Harajuku
Natsuko: は(va)
Peter: Again we mark this with the particle
Natsuko: は(va)
Peter: So まで and は(va) doesn’t change. What changes is the destination. Next.
Natsuko: あと
Peter: After
Natsuko: 何駅
Peter: How many stations
Natsuko: ですか
Peter: Is it, will it be. Alright. So what’s the word for after?
Natsuko: あと
Peter: And then we use the interrogative
Natsuko: 何(なん)
Peter: And what are we counting here?
Natsuko: 駅
Peter: Stations, followed by
Natsuko: です
Peter: And the particle
Natsuko: か?
Peter: Ok. How many stations to Harajuku? Say we wanted to say how many stations to Nakano? Yoshi San?
Yoshi: 中のまでは、あと何駅ですか?
Peter: Natsuko San, Yokohama.
Natsuko: 横浜までは、あと何駅ですか?
Peter: And how about Yoshi San Aomori.
Yoshi: 青森までは、あと何駅ですか?
Peter: Only thing Natsuku San.
Natsuko: On the local train they may have trouble counting.
Peter: Yeah, a little joke referred to that. We were asking the question in Tokyo and Aomori is the most Northern city on the island of Honshu, so it will be a lot of local stations. Ok, so let's try a conversation one more time. Where there is an announcement, we are going to ask for our destination the next time. It’s not, so how many stops to our destination. Alright. The background to this conversation is, one of our listeners is coming from Shibuya to visit us.
Natsuko: That’s nice.
Peter: Really nice.
Natsuko: Yes.
Peter: Alright. So here we go.
Announce: 次は、表参道、表参道です。
Yoshi: すみません、次の駅はどこですか?
Natsuko: 次は表参道ですよ。
Yoshi: 赤坂見附までは、あと何駅ですか?
Natsuko: 赤坂見附までは、あと4駅ですね。
Yoshi: ありがとうございます。
Natsuko: つぎは、おもてさんどうですよ。
Yoshi: あかさかみつけ、までは、あと、なんえきですか?
Natsuko: あかさかみつけまでは、あと、4えきですよ。
Yoshi: はい、ありがとございます。
Peter: Alright. Now one quick thing we want to point out as we are running out of time because we ran so long because we had so much fun, right Natsuko?
Natsuko: Yes
Peter: Counting stations. Natsuko how would we normally count stations? One station, two stations, three stations, four stations.
Natsuko: 1駅(ひとえき)
Peter: One station
Natsuko: 2駅(ふたえき)
Peter: Two stations.
Natsuko: 3駅
Peter: Three stations.
Natsuko: 4駅
Peter: Four stations.
Natsuko: 5駅
Peter: Five stations.
Natsuko: 6駅


Peter: Six stations. And so on. Now we planned to cover much more today but yes, we are out of time. So I think we are going to have to have a five part series. And next week we will give you all the tips we promised because there are quite a few. Now this will be related to Tokyo and if anybody has any tips that they want to share about subways or local trains in the area you are living please let us know and we will incorporate it into next week’s episode. We have a lot of information about getting around in Tokyo such as day passes and things like this that will make your trip cheaper and easier. So anybody out there who has any advice, maybe someone in Osaka or someone in Nagoya or any other place please let us know. Alright. That’s going to do for today.
Natsuko: じゃあ、また来週!
Peter: またね!


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