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Author Topic: Japan?!?!?!  (Read 1989 times)

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Offline MilitaryManTopic starter

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Japan?!?!?!
« on: June 13, 2012, 01:35:06 AM »
So about two weeks ago I received my new assignment, it looks like I'm going to a Japan for at least 3 years. I'm pretty excited about this since its pretty much the solution to all the problems ivd had since I moved to new mexico

Offline Sasquatch421

Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2012, 06:54:16 AM »
If you can, make sure you see Peace Park in Hiroshima it is something else...

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2012, 06:58:06 AM »
Congratulations! You'll have a blast, man. Japan is where they make the future. Also shochu (sweet potato vodka), for my money the best liquor ever.

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2012, 10:53:46 AM »
watch out for the Habu Sake though!

Offline Aidonsious

Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2012, 11:32:38 AM »
My husband is currently stationed at Fort Bliss in Texas and we travel to New Mexico all the time. I do not know the problems you are facing but this area has brought many challenges. I am so happy for you to have the aility to go to Japan. Have fun, be safe and enjoy it! Just bring a book or something for the looong plane ride.

Offline MilitaryManTopic starter

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Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2012, 01:17:36 PM »
well it just seems like once i got to new mexico my life just went down hill. i used to be stationed in abilene before i moved to albuquerque. i have a thread in "the bad and the ugly"that put up about a year ago that described the whole situation. maybe when you are approved if your still curious you can check it out

Offline Missy

Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2012, 07:07:59 PM »
Cool! I'd join the navy right now if I knew it would land me an assignment in Okinawa.

Offline MilitaryManTopic starter

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Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2012, 11:58:37 PM »
Well I wont be on the island that okinawa is on, I'll be on the main land best tokyo

Offline Kuroneko

Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2012, 09:38:38 PM »
I just got back from a three week trip to Japan.  You'll love it ;)

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Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2012, 01:51:18 AM »
     I'm jealous!  Gawd. 

Get over there...  And find me an English teaching job. 

Or anything, short of the yakuza maybe.   8-)

I have lived in Japan, I can get around half decently in the language with some review.

But these days I need something that can save money.  Maybe in a couple years...  But I would go sooner if I saw an opening, too!
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 01:54:30 AM by kylie »

Offline Kuroneko

Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2012, 02:01:35 AM »
gaijinpot.com lists jobs in Japan, including English teaching jobs. And try Aeon - http://www.aeonet.com/ or the JET program - http://www.jetprogramme.org/  they are the companies we direct students towards at my university. 

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Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2012, 03:37:33 AM »
      Honestly I expect/have read essentially, it's probably too expensive for me to settle in without some other job on the way.  Just paying airfare from Eastern US would pretty well knock me out.  Setup costs are really high there, in my experience.  Unless someone desperately wants English language Masters degrees in social sci -- and/or has a base with most expenses paid from the get-go.  ::)  Plus a couple of the times I went, the dollar was worth another 25-50% of what it is at the moment in yen. 

      I've done JET (as a Coordinator), so that option is exhausted.  I don't have a teaching certification specifically for ESL (at least not yet).  Still, will give the links a peek.  Thanks! 

Offline Missy

Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2012, 07:47:51 PM »
Well I wont be on the island that okinawa is on, I'll be on the main land best tokyo

Honshu. Cool! There's lots of neat stuff there as well. I've heard of some cool gardens in Kyoto, not to mention the shrine to Amaterasu near there.

Offline MilitaryManTopic starter

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Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2012, 09:57:56 AM »
i just saw my typo lol i ment near tokyo, ill be in Fussa city

Offline Koyume

Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #14 on: June 19, 2012, 07:30:39 PM »
Very cool. Are you doing some kind of crash course in Japanese, or do you already know some? Also, what is this thing I said about you?  ??? :-[

Offline Occident

Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #15 on: June 20, 2012, 04:21:43 AM »
Be wary. Things can be a bit xenophobic there as they don't as as much racial and cultural mixing as in most countries of the Western Hemisphere.

Offline Occident

Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #16 on: June 20, 2012, 04:22:14 AM »
Not that they would hurt you or anything.

Offline Kuroneko

Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2012, 01:46:46 PM »
For the most part I found the natives in Japan to be very friendly and polite.  I can't even count the number of times people came up to me just to talk and practice English. I do think it helps that I speak enough Japanese to get by.  I'm far from fluent, but people (especially older people) really seemed to appreciate that I was trying my best to commmunicate in their language. 

Offline Avis habilis

Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #18 on: June 22, 2012, 11:57:02 AM »
Off topic, but a funny story:

My wife's friend in the Japanese Ministry of the Environment speaks excellent English. One day she & some friends were out walking when they passed by a group of Swedes. Her friends told her "go & talk to them!" She had to tell them, "look, I only speak English - foreigners don't all speak the same 'not-Japanese' you know!"

Offline Occident

Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2012, 06:35:09 AM »
Off topic, but a funny story:

My wife's friend in the Japanese Ministry of the Environment speaks excellent English. One day she & some friends were out walking when they passed by a group of Swedes. Her friends told her "go & talk to them!" She had to tell them, "look, I only speak English - foreigners don't all speak the same 'not-Japanese' you know!"
English is the world's lingua franca. Just yesterday I was talking about how me and some others should try sending Swedes to Japan to see how they would react.

Offline MilitaryManTopic starter

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Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2012, 11:22:16 AM »
hopefully ill be able to communicate just fine while I'm there. I don't do to good learning other languages, but I'm sure that after a year of being there ill be fine

Offline Oniya

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Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #21 on: June 26, 2012, 01:07:28 PM »
Immersion is supposedly one of the best teachers, especially if you make every effort not to use English.  If you can, learn the phrasing for 'What do you call this in Japanese?' as a go-to.

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Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2012, 11:11:06 PM »
Some phrases...  But first some stuff to make sense of the phrases.

Pronunciation:

a -"a"h
i - m"e"
u - "e"w
e - "e"gg
o - "o"h
n - like oo"m"ph, but a hardened n instead of m

Any time you see a double consonant, stop short on the vowel before it for just a moment, and let the consonant roll off as if you "dropped" it after the fact.  The part that rolls off doesn't have to be super hard, it's more breathlessly catching up. (This is called a glottal stop.)  "Yatta!" pronounced more like Ya,[wait for it a split second] -TA! = "I did it!" (Or you, or we, whoever.)

When you see the same vowel twice, make it twice as long as a single one.  "Ee," an informal word for yes.  This is true for some (though not all) other vowel combinations.  The one to know right away: "ou" = a long "o" sound.  "Ikou" = informal, "let's go."

     So much of Japanese happens at the end of the phrases.  To make what comes next a little less odd...  A standard ending for polite language is "desu" or "masu."  This is actually pronounced a little more like just des or mas, with a sort of trailing off the last s.  It's not usually a full "SU" -- save that for sushi. 

Desu is basically a period to a statement:  Stuff "is" like whatever was just said.  That's the state of the world.  Or, one can "be" whatever is before desu:  Gaikokujin desu = (whoever applies) is a foreigner...  Canadajin desu =... is a Canadian, etc.  Btw: I say whoever, because in Japanese it is not mandatory to be explicit about the subject.  If you are the only foreigner in the room and you are speaking and introducing yourself, well, people are expected to figure out the "I" -- and likewise when others in the same room are speaking about "you" or (to each other) "him/her." 

"Masu" is an ending that gets attached to verbs, and usually marks the end of a phrase too.  It's a present or future tense thing.  Don't worry too much about desu or masu for now.  Just expect to hear lots of those.  ("Da" or "ta" are the informal versions of desu/masu, and you will hear them, but they often form subclauses so they're more confusing at first.)

So now that you're armed and bewildered...  Useful phrases:

(Nihongo de) Nan to iimasuka?  =  What is it called (in Japanese)?
Or simply, point to something and say, Nan desu ka? - What is it? 

Phrases ending in KA, often desu ka are questions.  I spell them here with a space before the ka to be clear, but in speech say it all as one word: desuka.  One thing: The "ka" falls slightly.  It doesn't rise as a question does in English.  Unless you want to sound a bit hysterical  ::)

Ikura desu ka? - How much does it cost?  How much is it? etc.

When you want to be more specific about "this/that"
Something you're pointing to, close to you:  Kore.
Something not too far, but closer to the listener than to you: Sore
Something apart from both you and the listener:  Are
So now you can say, [Kore - Sore - OR Are] wa nan to iimasu ka?   ... Or [Kore / sore / are] wa ikura desu ka?

"wa" marks topics.  X wa Y desu.  = Y is the state of X. (Remember, what you really wanted to know is probably at the end.)

Again: Kore wa nan desu ka = What's this? (or more literally, "this is what?")

Doko = Where
So very useful:  Otearai wa doko desu ka?  = Where's the restroom? 
(In a rush, get by with informal: Otearai wa doko? Sometimes you can forget desu ka.)
But substitute whatever you need for the restroom.  It can be the bank, the post office, Macy's, whatever.  Start memorizing stuff to look for ;)

Arimasu = polite form of "to have" (something)
Imasu = polite for someone living to exist
So...  Otearai arimasu ka = Is there a restroom?
Michael imasu ka = Is Michael here/there?   (And again, substitute whatever/whoever.)

Going Places:
Place ni ikitai desu. = I want to go [wherever place] - Toukyo ni ikitai desu, I want to go to Tokyo.  Etc.
If you're close that place and there is no other context, people may take this as a request for directions.
...  Btw, -tai turns verbs into desire/wanting stuff.  You can sometimes say these phrases without the desu, if you're nice (or very informally)
- Ka makes whole phrases into questions, so...
Kyouto ni ikitai desu ka? = Do you want to go to Kyoto?

Ni has a couple functions.  I think of it as a pointer that goes with targets.  They can be either places (as above)...
Or with times:

Time is Number + hour of the clock = JI + number + minutes = FUN (aka bun/pun but don't worry yet).
Verb form with shou on the end = "let's" (or more generally, suggestion)
For example, 3 = san. 5=go - (but you know to learn numbers right  O:) )
San-ji go-fun ni aimashou = Let's meet at 3:05.
Again, ka for convenient questioning... San-ji ni ikimasu ka? = Will you [or we, whoever] go at 3:00 ? 

Ni can also "point" something to people:
Kore, (Name ni) agemasu. = This is for you (i.e. it's a present.) 
Technically, you don't even need the stuff in parentheses, but it sounds nice and polite.  In Japanese, you can just say a person's name to be polite and usually avoid having to pick whatever pronoun to call them.  So it can be Kore, Yamashita-san ni agemasu, etc.  "Kore" is "this," or whatever you're holding and offering out to them.  There are more flowery ways to say this, but worry about that another time ;)

Stuff that's more set piece:
Arigatou gozaimashita = thank you (for something already done).  Shita makes it past tense.
Arigatou gozaimasu = thank you (for something generally in progress / that will be done)
Arigatou = generic thank you, quick but informal
Doumo = really super generic thank you, like for random person who holds a door open at a store or for a cup of tea poured in the office
Sumimasen= all-purpose apology, or attention grabber when asking for help - more a "sorry to trouble you with extra fuss" sense
Gomen kudasai = Polite way to call for attention at stores/hotels
Gomen nasai= Rather polite apology (like for stepping on someone's toes work-wise or really botching/interrupting some particular thing)
Chotto = "Wait, hold on, a little more" - Can be used to indicate something isn't quite right, or to grab attention from someone getting away too quickly (informal)

Eeee = Something to say while thinking of wtf to say.  Japanese often like people to make involved sounds even when they're not saying much.  ::)
Ee (shorter) = yes
Iie = No
Iya (said quickly) = No, informal [ as opposed to Iyaaa, which is more like "Ugh" or  "No way!" or "how awful"]
Nai = a negative for verbs - so just Nai desu = no, there aren't any (such things) here.  Arimasen = the same (politer). 
Imasen or Inai = Not here, but for people (or animals).

Conversation fillers:

Sou desu. = Yes, That's the sum of it.
Sou desu ne. = Hmm, well, let's see [just expect it - this one takes practice to guess if it's just "involved" or supportive or just thinking.]
Anou = "Well, umm" (sort of hesitant to mention something/interrupt, or maybe  trying to think)
Eeee-to = digging something out of memory here


Then there's the stuff you'll soon be sick of:

...  The thing to notice here is GA paired with the question at the end.  Ga as used here, is actually fairly similar to wa (it ushers in stuff to describe whatever topic came along just before).  For now, the topic is ability - or lack of ability - to do stuff:

Nihongo ga wakarimasuka (hanasemasuka)? = Do you understand (can you speak) Japanese?
Nihongo ga wakarimasen (hanasemasen)? = Negative forms of the above.
Ohashi ga tsukaemasuka? = Can you use chopsticks?  (Practice if you haven't, if your hands are not totally off for them.)


     Anyway, that's a start. Have fun!   8-)

Offline Kuroneko

Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2012, 12:19:19 AM »
I highly recommend the book Japanese Demystified by Eriko Sato for language learning.  I wish I'd had it way back in college when I studied the language formally.  Rosetta Stone's Japanese program is also really good.

Just a tiny note, arimasu is actually the verb 'to be' for inanimate objects, and is slightly different than 'have', which is motte imasu.  But arimasu is generally used to ask about the existance of a non-living thing, as in Kylie's bathroom example ;).   

And wow, that was really nice of you to write all that out, Kylie.  You rock :)


Offline Oniya

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Re: Japan?!?!?!
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2012, 08:04:52 AM »
Phrases ending in KA, often desu ka are questions.  I spell them here with a space before the ka to be clear, but in speech say it all as one word: desuka.  One thing: The "ka" falls slightly.  It doesn't rise as a question does in English.  Unless you want to sound a bit hysterical  ::)

Ikura desu ka? - How much does it cost?  How much is it? etc.

From the (admittedly very little) Japanese I've listened to, 'desu ka' often comes out 'deska'.

When you want to be more specific about "this/that"
Something you're pointing to, close to you:  Kore.
Something not too far, but closer to the listener than to you: Sore
Something apart from both you and the listener:  Are
So now you can say, [Kore - Sore - OR Are] wa nan to iimasu ka?   ... Or [Kore / sore / are] wa ikura desu ka?

"wa" marks topics.  X wa Y desu.  = Y is the state of X. (Remember, what you really wanted to know is probably at the end.)

Again: Kore wa nan desu ka = What's this? (or more literally, "this is what?")

Also - I believe there's no silent 'e'.  Am I correct in saying that 'Kore', 'sore', and 'are' are two syllables, Kylie?

Doko = Where
So very useful:  Otearai wa doko desu ka?  = Where's the restroom? 
(In a rush, get by with informal: Otearai wa doko? Sometimes you can forget desu ka.)
But substitute whatever you need for the restroom.  It can be the bank, the post office, Macy's, whatever.  Start memorizing stuff to look for ;)

An essential phrase in any language!