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Sakura: サクラです。
Peter: Peter here and we are back with another lesson. Okay, we are back today with the fourth edition of survival phrases. How about that Sakura?
Sakura: Good.

Lesson focus

Peter: Yes. These are the phrases that are going to get you through Japan. They are going to get you through the tough times. They are going to get you out of the jams. So this is what you want to know. For those of you Japan bound travellers, this is what you want to hear. Okay, so we are going to jump right in. Here we go.
Sakura: お手洗いは?
Peter: Where is the bathroom? Very nice. One more time a little bit slower.
Sakura: お手洗いは?
Peter: Yes. Where is the bathroom? This one is a little – this is a little more polite than a toilet. This is, where is the bathroom?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Okay and then it’s much easier I think the word for toilet which is
Sakura: トイレ
Peter: Yes. One more time please.
Sakura: トイレ
Peter: And break it down for us.
Sakura: ト・イ・レ
Peter: Okay, very nice. So you can say instead of the first expression we gave you which was
Sakura: お手洗いは
Peter: You can say
Sakura: トイレは?
Peter: Yes, which is much easier. Okay and can you break down the first one you gave for us.
Sakura: お手洗い
Peter: Okay and this literally translates to.
Sakura: Washing hands.
Peter: Yeah. It literally translates to washing hands. So the place you wash hands. So can you break this down for us by syllable.
Sakura: お・て・あ・ら・い
Peter: Yes and one time fast.
Sakura: お手洗い
Peter: We gave you the two phrases for the bathroom. So these might come in very handy. Now I’d like to now take a minute to talk about the magical は(va). Now this is a fascinating thing about Japanese. So much of Japanese is inferred, right Sakura?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: It’s really a fascinating language. So we introduced to you a phrase asking about the bathroom. So can you give us the expression one more time, Sakura?
Sakura: お手洗いは?
Peter: Yes and what is the literal translation of this?
Sakura: Bathroom?
Peter: Yeah so it’s just one word right?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: So it’s pretty much the equivalent of going up to ●(02:54) or a waiter and saying bathroom and now the thing about Japanese is, the way the intonation goes. Can you give it to us one more time? Notice how the は(va) goes up.
Sakura: お手洗いは?
Peter: This は(va) that we talked about is a marker for nouns and subjects, correct?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: So it marks the subject in a sentence. So just the word for bathroom is
Sakura: お手洗い
Peter: And when you put this magical
Sakura: は(va)
Peter: And you might have noticed this は(va). This is the same one from 私は all of a sudden, it makes it the subject and when you bring the intonation up, the where is, is automatically inferred, correct?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: It’s the most amazing thing I’ve seen in the languages that I’ve come across. So with just this は(va), you can ask where is, what is. Now I want to take a second to go into what is. Can you give us the word for this?
Sakura: これ
Peter: And break it down by syllable please?
Sakura: こ・れ
Peter: This and one more time fast.
Sakura: これ
Peter: So say you are at a restaurant and you want to know what this is, you can use the magical は(va) by saying
Sakura: これは?
Peter: This. The literal translation, this.
Sakura: Yes exactly.
Peter: And what is, is inferred. So you can get an answer. For example, Sakura if I go to, if we are at the Sushi bar and I say これは? and you would answer?
Sakura: これはウニです。
Peter: Yes which is
Sakura: Sea urchin.
Peter: Yes. So with this magical は(va), you can ask, so far we asked
Sakura: お手洗いは?
Peter: Bathroom where the where is, is inferred and the one for what’s this?
Sakura: これは?
Peter: Yes with just meaning this, yes and I have another very good example. Say you meet somebody and you want to know their name. It's very, very useful because you are going to meet a lot of people on your trips and there is a very, very polite way to say the expression, what is your name by just saying your name. Could you give us that expression?
Sakura: お名前は?
Peter: Okay and please break it down a little slower for us.
Sakura: おなまえは?
Peter: Yes and give us the syllables.
Sakura: お・な・ま・え・は?
Peter: Yes and this literally translates into your name.
Sakura: Your name.
Peter: It’s just very, very useful to know that after the は(va), the question you want to say is kind of inferred. It’s really an amazing phenomena we can say.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: So we’d like to give you a few more examples and review what we just went over. So you meet somebody during your trip and you want to know their name, you can say
Sakura: お名前は?
Peter: Okay. So let’s give it a little practice. Okay we always use the restaurant, we always use the restaurant, we always use the restaurant. So yeah, Sakura is laughing because she knows we are always talking about the restaurants.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: You are not going to spend all your time in a restaurant. So what we are going to do is we are going to change the situation. Okay you are on the train, you are on the Shinkansen which is Sakura?
Sakura: It's a bullet train, is it?
Peter: Yes very fast and could you give us that one more time please. Break it down by syllable.
Sakura: し・ん・か・ん・せ・ん
Peter: Yes and one time fast.
Sakura: 新幹線
Peter: Okay so you are on the Shinkansen and you are headed towards
Sakura: Kyoto.
Peter: You are in the seat. Next station somebody gets on and they sit down next to you and they are trying to speak to you in Japanese and it’s not going well. So what you could ask them? The first thing you can ask them is
Sakura: お名前は?
Peter: Yes. One more time nice and slow.
Sakura: おなまえは?
Peter: And this is a very, very polite way of asking for someone’s name. It has the お in the beginning which is a honourable prefix and 名前 which means name and of course the magical は(va) that turned it into the question. It’s a very- +it’s fascinating.
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: So you can ask them to start out like that and it can go very well because they can break the name down very slowly for you. For example, say I am on the train and Sakura comes and sits next to me but let’s just pretend I don’t know her. So I can say お名前は?
Sakura: And I say 鈴木サクラです。
Peter: Yes. Okay here we go. We are going to give you another useful phrase right here. Can you give us your name one more time?
Sakura: 鈴木サクラです。
Peter: Okay. It’s real too fast for me to catch. I didn’t understand what she was saying. So I would like to ask her one more time. So let’s get from Sakura the expression for one more time. Sakura, please give us one more time.
Sakura: もう一度
Peter: Yes, very nice. One more time please.
Sakura: もう一度
Peter: And please break this down.
Sakura: もういちど
Peter: And by syllable.
Sakura: も・う・い・ち・ど
Peter: And fast.
Sakura: もう一度
Peter: Okay. This is one more time. Now if you remember in our first survival phrase series, we introduced the very polite way of saying please and again you can combine these two to make it a very, very, very, very polite way of saying one more time please. Can you give us that expression?
Sakura: もう一度お願いします。
Peter: Very nice. One more time nice and slow please.
Sakura: もういちど、おねがいします。
Peter: Okay and you will get the hang of this one very fast because you are going to need this expression. So let’s get back to our situation.
Sakura: Okay.
Peter: So we are on the train and Sakura comes and sits next to me. Why don’t we change her name to see if you guys out there can get it, okay. Okay, so Sakura has a new name and we are going to give you the train situation one more time. So I am on the train, Sakura comes and sits down お名前は?
Sakura: 小林ノリコです。
Peter: Hah what did you just say, okay, okay もう一度、お願いします。
Sakura: 小林ノリコです。
Peter: Oh it’s still too fast. Okay I get out my handbook and I find the word for slowly, slowly. Sakura can you give us the word for slowly?
Sakura: ゆっくり
Peter: Yes, very nice. Slowly one more time please.
Sakura: ゆっくり
Peter: Okay and please break it down by syllable.
Sakura: ゆっ・く・り
Peter: Yes, very nice. You want to hold the っく. You want to hold the K.
Sakura: Yeah.
Peter: ゆっくり Okay and now I got this and again, our useful please, we can use this in any situation, right Sakura?
Sakura: Yes, right.
Peter: So give us the phrase?
Sakura: ゆっくりお願いします。
Peter: Okay back to the conversation. So Sakura comes 0:09:46.1 now one more time from the top.
Sakura: Okay.
Peter: お名前は?
Sakura: 小林ノリコです。
Peter: Oh boy that’s fast. もう一度お願いします。
Sakura: 小林ノリコです。
Peter: That’s fast, too fast. Okay, okay. ゆっくりお願いします。
Sakura: こばやしのりこです。
Peter: ゆっくりお願いします。
Sakura: こ・ば・や・し・の・り・こです。
Peter: Okay I got it. ノリコ I got it ありがとうございます。 Okay see how it all comes together? Okay we have our new friend on the train and on the train, bullet trains on the Shinkansen’s, they have food for sale, right?
Sakura: Yes, yes.
Peter: Can you tell us a little bit about this?
Sakura: They come with this trolley and they sell you these boxed lunches.
Peter: Ah what’s the word for that?
Sakura: ええ、駅弁。
Peter: Ahh can you break this down for us?
Sakura: えきべん
Peter: Okay and by syllable please.
Sakura: え・き・べ・ん
Peter: And what do these two words mean?
Sakura: Okay. First 駅 is station.
Peter: Okay.
Sakura: And 弁 is here short for 弁当 which is boxed lunch.
Peter: Yes thank you very much and these are very, very good. We highly recommend, again, that you try one. Right Sakura?
Sakura: Yes and all these different stations have different boxed lunches. So sometimes you know, people look forward to eating that station’s lunch.
Peter: Yes. One of my good friends, his favourite food in Japan. He is a Japanese guy and he is about 70. His favourite food in Japan is the 駅弁.
Sakura: Oh really?
Peter: Yeah. So you definitely want to try this. Now the thing is, what’s in these, right? How do you if you can’t read Japanese? Now this is where the magical は(va) comes in handy. We are on the train and Noriko is next to us. All of a sudden, the trolley comes and you want to try the 駅弁 but what’s in this, what’s in this. What can we say, what phrase can we use Sakura?
Sakura: これは?
Peter: Yes, very nice. Now we can’t help you too much with the answer but usually like chicken, beef, we will get through, right?
Sakura: Yes, yes, yes.
Peter: Chicken, beef, fish. So you get the general idea of what you are about to eat but we got the philosophy. Eat first, ask questions later. So we think it might be okay if you – again so this は(va) is just going to come in very, very handy. Please don’t forget this. You can go very far without knowing the actual words for the questions but just the は(va) and the person who you are speaking to will usually understand what you are implying. For example, what’s your name or what’s this or where is. So it's a very, very good technique for those people who I know, you guys want to learn more but the time constraints just don’t allow you. This will be enough to get you through and you know, and the funny thing is, when you get more advanced in Japanese, you wind up using this because you know in basic Japanese, for example what is this, which is.
Sakura: これは何ですか?
Peter: And a little slower please.
Sakura: これはなんですか?
Peter: What is this? Can you give us what is..
Sakura: 何ですか?
Peter: Yeah. You know when you speak advanced Japanese, most of the time you don’t even use the question. Actually the advanced people would just say.
Sakura: これは?
Peter: Yeah because they understand the implication. So it’s funny that in the survival phrases, we are actually jumping completely everything right to the advanced stuff. So this is something that you just definitely want to remember and you definitely want to try to use because it will get you so far without putting so much in. Just a great, great expression, magical は(va).
Sakura: Yeah.
Peter: Okay. We are going to stop the lesson here today. What did you think, Sakura? I got a little excited right?
Sakura: Well it is very useful. So you should remember it.
Peter: Yeah. Everybody should remember these, right?
Sakura: Yes.
Peter: Amazing, amazingly important…
Sakura: Yes.


Peter: Okay. So we are going to stop here. So we will say to you.
Sakura: また明日ね。
Peter: Okay. See you tomorrow.


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