Monday, August 2, 2010

Pimsleur Japanese Level 1 - Lesson 1 Notes

New Vocabulary:
  • sumimasen - excuse me
  • wakarimasu - understand
  • wakarimasen - don't understand
  • eigo - English (language)
  • iie - no
  • nihongo - Japanese (language)
  • sukoshi - a little
  • amerika-jin - American (nationality)
  • anata - yo
  • desu - am / are
  • watashi - I
  • hai - yes

New Grammar Concepts:
  • ga - added to eigo and nihongo when used in a sentence
  • ka - (particle) used at the end of a sentence to form a question
  • wa - (particle) added to anata and watashi when used in a sentence

New Sentences:
  • Sumimasen. - Excuse me.
  • Wakarimasu ka. - Do you understand?
  • Eigo ga wakarimasu ka. - Do you understand English?
  • Wakarimasu. - I understand.
  • Eigo ga wakarimasu. - I understand English.
  • Wakarimasen. - I don't understand.
  • Iie, wakarimasen. - No, I don't understand.
  • Eigo ga wakarimasen. - I don't understand English.
  • Nihongo ga wakarimasu. - I understand Japanese.
  • Nihongo ga wakarimasen. - I don't understand Japanese.
  • Nihongo ga wakarimasu ka. - Do you understand Japanese?
  • Sukoshi wakarimasu. - I understand a little.
  • Nihongo ga sukoshi wakarimasu. - I understand Japanese a little.
  • Anata wa amerika-jin desu. - You are American.
  • Anata wa amerika-jin desu ka. - Are you American?
  • Watashi wa amerika-jin desu. - I am American.
  • Hai, sukoshi. - Yes, a little.

Japanese Conversation:

Man: Sumimasen, eigo ga wakarimasu ka.
Woman: Iie, wakarimasen. Nihongo ga wakarimasu ka.
Man: Hai, sukoshi wakarimasu.
Woman: Anata wa amerika-jin desu ka.
Man: Hai, watashi wa amerika-jin desu.

Does anybody want to take a shot at translating the Japanese conversation above into English?


  1. man: Excuse me, do you understand English ?
    woman: No, i don't understand. Do you speak Japanese ?
    man: yes, i understand a little.
    woman: are you American ?
    man: yes, i am American.

  2. Thanks for writing up these notes :)

  3. Thanks for writing these notes they helped me out a lot.

  4. Really enjoying your site. Thanks! If you want to see my trip to Japan, go to

    1. Thanks. I definitely want to see! :)

  5. You forgot to put watashi wa before some of them that start with "I" in english

    1. Hi, Justice Davis. In Japanese, the subject is usually omitted because it's understood. :)

  6. I have just found this site and I am overjoyed. どおもありがとございます。

  7. Thank you very much for your efforts in posting these notes on Pimsleur's course.

    It certainly clarifies many things which Google Translate could not do for me.

    Fantastic job. Will the missing lessons (17-29) be posted as well?

    Thank you very much once more.


    1. Hi, Joseph. You're welcome. I'm working on it. I plan to type up one lesson a day except when I'm doing Tae Kim's grammar lesson. Hope I can sustain the motivation this time. Hehe. ;-p

  8. I just now got to Lesson 17 and I am very grateful that you posted the transcripts for this and other lessons.

    Your efforts have been a tremendous help in clarifying many words which Google Translate have not always done.

    Thanks again for a tremendous job in this area.


  9. This really helps a lot!
    I've been learning Japanese on and off for so long now... This time I really want to pursue and get fluent enough to really get conversations going!

    Too bad I do not find a decent Japanese language course on topic of classical Japanese martial arts, though.
    But, hey... better regular courses than nothing, desu ne?

  10. Do you have these notes in pdf format? Great work!