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Lesson Transcript

Yoshi, Takase: おはよう東京。
Yoshi: ヨシです。
Takase: タカセです。
Peter: Peter here, Survival Phrases #45, Nagasaki connection is back!
Takase: お久しぶりです。
Yoshi: もう、待ってました!
Takase: ウソばっかり。
Peter: Long time, Takase, no we were really waiting for you Takase san
Takase: ありがとうございます。
Peter: Where have you been?
Takase: I was on a long holiday.
Peter: Yes. Can you tell us about that holiday?
Takase: I just went back to my home in Kyushu and I didn’t do anything.
Peter: But you had a vacation?
Takase: Yes.
Peter: Which is really nice.
Takase: Yes.
Peter: And, when Takase san came back, she brought お土産 – right Yoshi san?
M!:え? 本当に?
Peter: Oh,
Takase: I just gave it to Peter…
Peter: Sorry about that, Yoshi san, but for me Takase san is great, she brought back my favouriteえさ and えさis the word for pet food, kind of, but my favourite food which is Somen, it’s kind of like angel hair pasta, very thin noodles, it is phenomenal. Takase san, let’s ask you a question, and this is directly related to what we’re going to talk about today. What is Kyushu famous for?
Yoshi: Peter, Kyushu is too big to pick just one or two famous things.
Takase: Even Nagasaki is too big.
Peter: Really? Okay, so where did you go?
Takase: I went to my home-town in Shimabara.
Peter: Shimabara?
Takase: Yes.
Peter: Okay, what’s famous there?
Takase: Somen.
Peter: Yes! And it is amazing. Now, just as Yoshi said, in Japan any different places have something they’re known for, and as we’re talking about お土産 usually when people bring something back, and most of the time it’s something that that place is known for, so as we are talking about Takase san and her visit back to Kyushu and Shimabara she brought back Somen, famous food from that location and this is a very typical Japanese custom. Now when you go back home and you leave Japan, or if you're travelling inside Japan and you’re buying a souvenir for somebody in another location, or buying something in another location, you could buy that famous product, that famous food from the location you’re in and then bring it back.

Lesson focus

Peter: Today’s conversation focuses on how to do that, and the way we do that is first by asking what is that location known for, what’s famous there? Yoshi san, what’s the Japanese word for this?
Yoshi: 名物
Peter: Literally, famous thing. The famous product, the famous thing that they’re known for.
Yoshi: This also could mean not only about the food, but like some famous festivals from the local places too but in this case we are going to talk about food.
Peter: Yes, again, we try in these lessons to give you the gist of it, and if you go somewhere and you talk about 名物most of the time it will get through that you are talking about food and especially if you go into a restaurant and you are going to the restaurant where these conversations are taking place and you talk about 名物. Yoshi san, are we going to have any trouble letting the person we are speaking to know that we are interested in eating that product or buying that product that that town is known for?
Yoshi: No.
Peter: There it is, so what we’re going to do now is give you the same conversation as last week except for we are going to substitute one line. Now this is really ideal for people travelling outside the big cities where people don’t speak English and the products that these towns are known for are different from the big cities. Takase san – how about your home-town? Is it a big city?
Takase: It’s a small town.
Peter: So, would today’s conversation work well in your town?
Takase: Yes.
Peter: OK, so what we are going to do now is give you the conversation, as always, one time fast, one time slow, and finally with the English translation. Here we go.
Takase: いらっしゃいませ。
Yoshi: 家族にお土産をかいたいんですが、ここの名物は何ですか?
Takase: こちらです。
Yoshi: いくらですか?
Takase: 1500円です。
Yoshi: 見せてください。
Takase: はい、どうぞ。
Yoshi: はい。これ、お願いします。
Peter: One more time, slowly please.
Takase: もう一度お願いします。ゆっくりお願いします。
Yoshi: かぞくに、おみやげをかいたいんですが、ここのめいぶつは、なんですか?
Takase: こちらです。
Yoshi: いくらですか?
Takase: 1500えんです。
Yoshi: みせてください。
Takase: はい、どうぞ。
Yoshi: はい。これ、おねがいします。
Peter: This time, Takase san and Yoshi san will give you the Japanese and I’ll give you the English. Here we go.
Takase: いらっしゃいませ。
Peter: Welcome.
Yoshi: 家族にお土産をかいたいんですが。
Peter: I want to buy a souvenir for my family.
Yoshi: ここの名物は何ですか?
Peter: What’s the famous product here?
Takase: こちらです。
Peter: This.
Yoshi: いくらですか?
Peter: How much is it?
Takase: 1500円です。
Peter: 1,500 yen.
Yoshi: 見せてください。
Peter: Please show me.
Takase: はい、どうぞ。
Peter: Here you are.
Yoshi: はい。これ、お願いします。
Peter: This please. Okay, very straightforward. Again, last week we gave you this exact conversation. Well, not exactly, right Yoshi san?
Yoshi: A little bit different.
Peter: Two things different. First thing is the line about the renowned product, also there’s one word difference – can you point that out?
Yoshi: The price? Yes.
Peter: What we are going to do first is give you a few vocabulary words, after that we are going to go through the new parts of the conversation. Now, if anything seems confusing about this conversation, please see last week’s episode. Again, everything is broken down in detail there. Here, we want to talk about the sentence we are focussing on about the famous product plus some famous products in Japan. So if you haven’t heard Survival Phrases #44, please listen to that one. Okay, Yoshi san, what’s the first word?
Yoshi: 名物
Peter: Famous product. Renowned product.
Peter: め・い・ぶ・つ、名物
Peter: And, Takase san, how much was it today? How much was that famous product?
Takase: 1500円
Peter: 1,500. Break it down?
Takase: せ・ん・ご・ひゃ・く・え・ん、1500円
Peter: Now, the reason we put in a different number this week is we want you to get familiar. Obviously, whenever you go to the shop it’s not going to be the same price and that’s why we specifically put in the following line.
Yoshi: 見せてください。
Peter: Please show me. That way you can see it, and see the price tag. Now, if the price tag is not on it, and it can only be communicated verbally, again we can go with the phrase:
Yoshi: 値段を、書いてください。
Peter: Please, write the price, and that way you can know how much it is. Okay? And if it’s a cash register, they can punch it up for you. Okay, now that we have that established, let’s take a look at the new sentence. Yoshi san?
Yoshi: ここの名物は何ですか?
Peter: ‘What is this location’s famous product’ is the translation but let’s take a look at the parts of the sentence and let’s take a look at it literally first. Yoshi san, first we have?
Yoshi: ここ
Peter: Here.
Yoshi: の
Peter: Now this is possessive, so here’s - here’s
Yoshi: 名物
Peter: Famous product. Here's a famous product. Okay, literally, now we interpret that as not ‘here’ but ‘this location’, ‘this town’, ‘this city’, here as in the place you’re at, so here’s, this location’s famous product. Then we have...?
Yoshi: は(va)
Peter: Topic marker.
Yoshi: 何ですか?
Peter: What is? This location’s famous product, what is? Literally. Now we have to interpret, put it into English – what is this location’s famous product? And that’s what this sentence can be. Okay, now using the shop setting, when you’re buying お土産, a souvenir, it’s not necessarily a food, as Yoshi san said, but typically in Japan, I’d say – what do you say, Yoshi san? 9 out of 10 お土産 are some kind of edible food?
Yoshi: Umm, I think so.
Peter: Takase san, what would you say?
Takase: 95 per cent!
Peter: Even higher! Now, especially for…maybe we should clarify this a bit, maybe for a loved one, for example, Yoshi san, if you brought your girlfriend back a piece of fruit from your vacation, how is that going to work out?
Yoshi: I think it should be okay, as long as you know…
Peter: Takase san?
Yoshi: What if it was like, you know, you can bring back like a few hundred dollars-worth of melon from Hokkaido and stuff too?
Peter: Ah, I could see that working.
Yoshi: We’re not talking about the price
Peter: Well, let me just think. Takase san?
Takase: I wouldn’t be happy to get a piece of fruit.
Peter: Yes.Yoshi? I wouldn’t be too happy either. You know, it’s so anticlimactic, you meet your girlfriend, you run back, ‘I got you a souvenir, これ、お土産です,’ and you pull out an apple!
Yoshi: She might be a fruit lover, you know? Maybe she was dying for a piece of apple? But you know, isn't love all that matters?
Peter: Stop quoting Beatles songs!
Yoshi: Do you guys know what love is?
Peter: You just told us – all that matters.
Yoshi: If there’s real love, then, you know all that matters is your heart, not what you get for a souvenir, you know?
Peter: You know Yoshi, it’s funny, then I’ve had love with all my ex-girlfriends because usually right after I say that, that’s usually it.
Yoshi: Oh. Right, Chigusa san?
Peter: Okay, Yoshi has his preference, but I think what, the point I want to say is that it’s standard to give friends and co-workers and many different people something from the place you visited so they have these standard kind of food packages that you can cover 20 people at once, kind of the standard co-worker package, acquaintance package, but then for, of course, really close people, you may want to personalise it, so we’re not saying that across the board this is how it works out, it goes case by case, but we can generalise a bit. Yoshi san?
Yoshi: Do you know….
Peter: I should ask Takase san!
Yoshi: Do you remember what happened last week with the souvenir I brought to Chigusa san?
Peter: Yes. So you should have gone with the fruit?
Yoshi: Maybe, I don’t know.
Peter: Okay, now the thing about this. This line ここの名物は何ですか? Not only can we use this when shopping around for something to buy a souvenir for. Again, this only means ‘What is this location’s famous product?’ and again in this context, the person was in a souvenir shop so obviously he wants a souvenir for some friends, acquaintances, maybe co-workers. Yoshi san, what other cases can we use this phrase?
M!: If you want to try some famous food in a restaurant and stuff, maybe you can ask around, people walking by or in a different store. You can ask ‘I am going to lunch and what’s the famous food here?’
Peter: Perfect, can you tell us how to say that?
M!: すみませねん。ここの名物は何ですか?
Peter: Excuse me, what is the famous product here? What’s this location’s famous product? And, I cannot recommend this enough – if you go somewhere, please try this expression, get the lowdown, find out what’s the famous food there, or even check the internet. And even if you know beforehand, say you checked on the internet, ask them anyway. Use the Japanese. You know, it’s really fun. Find out what the famous food is and if you know already, confirm it. Then, you head to the restaurant. Takase san, how can we say ‘Please give me this location’s famous food?’
Takase: ここの名物を下さい。
Peter: One more time?
Takase: ここの、名物を下さい。
Peter: The first part is the same. Can you give it to us slowly please?
Takase: ここの、めいぶつをください。
Peter: Okay, first part’s the same. ここの名物. Then we have?
Takase: を(vo)
Peter: Object marker. Followed by?
Takase: 下さい。
Peter: Break that down?
Takase: く・だ・さ・い、下さい
Peter: Please. This location’s famous product please. Again, literally this location’s famous food please, because you’re in the restaurant. Again, interpreted by context of the sentence, location – where the conversations taking place, all these factor into the meaning of the expression. So we cannot recommend it enough, in fact we encourage it. So, Yoshi san, now that you’re armed with these expressions, shouldn’t you go to the countryside looking for 名物?
Takase: Is that the reason you go to the countryside?
Peter: Yes!
Yoshi: No.
Peter: Yoshi…
Yoshi: That’s a bad idea.
Takase: さすが。
Peter: Well, if you like off the beaten path, you like those kinds of occasions, these expressions will come in really handy, wherever you go. ここの名物は何ですか? Just keep asking because Japan has a tremendous amount and we did some research.


Peter: Okay, that’s going to do for today.
Yoshi: またね。
Takase: また明日。


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