Vocabulary (Review)

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Lesson Transcript

Welcome back to JapansePod101.com’s Kantan. If you’ve been following the last 25 lessons, you can now read and write hiragana and katakana. みなさんお疲れ様です。(Mina-san, otsukaresama desu). Well done everyone.
Today we are going to move out of the classroom and into the real world. We are going to review the kana characters by taking a look at some actual signs and products in Japan. If you have problems reading any of the characters, brush up by reviewing the previous lessons. Are you ready? Then let’s go and take a look at some real world katakana.
Here is a word you might see often in Japan. Can you read it? It says エレベーター(erebētā) as you can probably guess, this is an elevator. How about this one? エスカレーター(esukarētā) that’s an escalator. Both of these are seen a lot in big train stations in Japan.
Do you know this word? How about now? As you might have guessed, that is カメラ(kamera), “camera”. This is simply camera and in this case, it refers to security camera. Several large famous electronic stores in Japan have the word カメラ(kamera) in their name.
Here is one you will see often. It says マナーモード(manāmōdo). This comes from the English phrase “manner mode” which is the vibration mode for your cell phone. You might see this word all over Japan but can you read it? It says カラオケ(karaoke) known as karaoke in English is extremely popular in Japan and you see karaoke places everywhere.
How about this word? ステーキ(sutēki) As you might have guessed, this is “steak”. The names of many different kinds of foods are written in katakana.
Can you read this one? It says オススメ(osusume) is a Japanese word that means recommended or recommendation. You may be wondering why it’s in katakana even though it’s a Japanese word. I mentioned in the previous lesson that sometimes Japanese words are written in katakana to emphasize them. This is a perfect example that you will see often.
Here is an example of both hiragana and katakana used together. Can you read it? It says いちごミルク(ichigo miruku) or Ichigo milk. いちご(ichigo) is the word for strawberry. So this is strawberry flavored milk.
How was it? Now that you know both hiragana and katakana, you are off to a great start with reading and writing Japanese. Try to read as much hiragana and katakana as possible. If you are in Japan, you will find it woven in between kanji on billboards, advertisements, posters and anything else you set your eyes on. The more you practice, the smoother and quicker you will be able to read it.
Now for Chihiro’s last tip. Just like in English, Japanese has many fonts too. As we have seen, kana may look a little different according to the font and they may have a はね(hane) here and there but some lines maybe connected when you learn them as separate or vice versa. Handwritten characters also vary from person to person. So it’s a good idea to get used to all the different styles that exist.
Well, that does it for kantan kana. I hope you learned a lot with this series. For additional resources for learning Japanese, be sure to visit our website at JapanesePod101.com, thanks for watching all the way through. ありがとうございました。(Arigatō gozaimashita.)