Saturday, January 30, 2016

I'm turning Japanese... I really think so

The IEC week is over! No more roadblocks! Yay! Yesterday was the last day of my weeklong self-imposed house arrest caused by traffic-phobia. Today we painted the town red - a red sun actually, as in the Japanese flag. We started by grabbing onigirazu @ Son-gohan BTC for lunch. I had wanted to try onigirazu for a long time but never got the chance until now. I got the tamagoyaki with crabmeat onigirazu. Princeton got the beef gyusando onigirazu. Both were yummy.

Finally got my hands on this onigirazu! Oishikatta!

Then we went to Kiku Trading to check out their new arrivals. I was looking for a Japanese teapot with a built-in sieve to catch the tea leaves but didn't find any that I liked. I fell in love with these chawanmushi cups instead. Can't wait to use them.

Are these chawanmushi cups? The ones I bought before don't have handles.

Last I got my Kose Sekkisei BB cream. Thank you, Michelle @ ProtoolsCebu! I'm now one step closer to becoming a Japanese beauty. Bwahahaha!

Trying Kose Sekkisei BB cream in shade 02. Might post a review in the future. ;-p

Got home a bit late today, so I'll be skipping my Japanese lessons. I deserve a break for my diligence these past twelve consecutive days. Hehe. ;-p

Friday, January 29, 2016

I speak five languages!?!

During the times when I'm not thinking about anything in particular, I sometimes have these odd realizations. Today it was that Japanese is my fifth language.

My native language is Cebuano. Although technically a dialect, it's the language I first learned to speak as a child. It's what we spoke at home. My second language is English since it's the primary medium of instruction in school. Plus, all the TV shows I watched growing up were in English. I remember memorizing the commercials and reciting along every time they came on. Then we had Chinese class from kindergarten up until high school. I never really learned to speak Chinese though, just some words and common sentences. I got by with memorizing the answers on the exams year after year. Still, you could say Chinese is my third language. In elementary we were introduced to Filipino a.k.a. Tagalog, our national language. Ironically, I found that to be the most difficult subject in school. Until now I speak broken Tagalog at best. But broken or not, it's still my fourth language. 

And now I'm studying Japanese, my fifth language. This time I'm learning it because I want to, not because it's required by the school. So now can I say that I speak five languages?

But no, wait... I studied Spanish for one semester in college and got a flat 1.0 (perfect grade). Then I speak six languages?! Hahaha! #justhavingfun

Monday, January 25, 2016

Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Lesson 1 Exercises

I almost missed the lesson exercises since the link was at the top of the page before the actual lesson and not at the bottom after it, which is when you would normally do the drills to practice what you've learned. (App design flaw? Hmm...) Anyway, I imagine the exercises would be rather hard for someone who can't read kanji or hiragana, so I'm going to write it in romaji.

But first, some additional vocabulary words:
  1. 大人 - otona - adult
  2. 子供 - kodomo - child
  3. 車 - kuruma - car
  4. 先生 - sensei - teacher
  5. 学校 - gakkou - school
  6. 小学校 - shougakkou - elementary school
  7. 中学校 - chuugakkou - middle school
  8. 高校 - koukou - high school
  9. 大学 - daigaku - college
(Note: I'm only adding kanji to my list of vocabulary words. There are still other vocabulary words in this lesson, but they're in hiragana such as "sore", "kore", etc.)

Conjugation Exercise 1

sore (that)
declarative = sore da (is that)
negative = sore janai (is not that)
past = sore datta (was that)
negative-past = sore janakatta (was not that)

otona (adult)
declarative = otona da (is adult)
negative = otona janai (is not adult)
past = otona datta (was adult)
negative-past = otona janakatta (was not adult)

gakkou (school)
declarative = gakkou da (is school)
negative = gakkou janai (is not school)
past = gakkou datta (was school)
negative-past =gakkou janakatta (was not school)

tomodachi (friend)
declarative = tomodachi da (is friend)
negative = tomodachi janai (is not friend)
past = tomodachi datta (was friend)
negative-past = tomodachi janakatta (was not friend)

gakusei (student)
declarative = gakusei da (is student)
negative = gakusei janai (is not student)
past = gakusei datta (was student)
negative-past = gakusei janakatta (was not student)

Conjugation Exercise 2

  1. Is college. = Daigaku da.
  2. Is not high school. = Koukou janai.
  3. Was teacher. = Sensei datta.
  4. Is adult. = Otona da.
  5. Was not child. = Kodomo janakatta.
  6. This was the way it was. = Kou datta.
  7. Wasn't that over there. = Are janakatta.
  8. Is not middle school. = Chuugakusei janai.
  9. Is friend. = Tomodachi da.
  10. Was not car. = Kuruma janakatta.
  11. Was this. = Kore datta.
  12. That's not the way it it. = Sou janai.

Question Answer Exercise

Q1) Tomodachi? - Is friend?
A1) Un, tomodachi. - Yes, is friend.

Q2) Gakkou? - Is school?
A2) Uun,  gakkou janai. - No, is not school.

Q3) Sore datta? - Was this?
A3) Uun, sore ja nakatta. - No, was not this.

Q4) Sou? - Things are that way?
A4) Un, sou da. - Yes, things are that way.

Q5) Kore? - This?
A5) Uun, Sore janai. - No, is not that.

Q6) Sensei datta? - Was teacher?
A6) Un, sensei datta. - Yes, was teacher.

Q7) Shougakkou datta? - Was elementary school?
A7) Uun, shougakkou janakatta. - No, was not elementary school.

Q8) Kodomo? - Is child?
A8) Un, kodomo. - Yes, is child.

(Please note that all sentences have been translated literally without the use of articles "a", "an" and "the" which do not exist in Japanese. Tae Kim assures us that learning Japanese grammar from a Japanese person's point of view, not an English-speaking person's point of view, is more effective in building a strong language foundation.)

Tae Kim's Japanese Grammar Lesson 1 Notes

So Lesson 1: Expressing State-of-Being of Tae Kim's Guide to Japanese Grammar was fairly easy. I learned four new vocabulary words:
  1. 人 - hito - man
  2. 学生 - gakusei - student
  3. 元気 - genki - healthy; lively; well
  4. 友達 - tomodachi - friend
(To simplify things, I will use the romaji and not the kanji of these words from here on.)

Then I learned to conjugate them into the following words:

hito da - person (declarative positive non-past tense)
hito datta - was person (positive past tense)
hito janai - not person (negative non-past tense)
hito janakatta - was not person (negative past tense)

gakusei da - student
gakusei datta - was student
gakusei janai - not student
gakusei janakatta - was not student

genki da - well
genki datta - was well
genki janai - not well
genki janakatta - was not well

tomodachi da - friend
tomodachi datta - was friend
tomodachi janai - not friend
tomodachi janakatta - was not friend

(There is no "a", "an" and "the" in Japanese so they are omitted in the translations making them sound funny. Don't mind that.)

My handwriting sucks, I know. I haven't practiced writing
Chinese characters since high school. ;-p
There are only non-past and past tenses since both present and future tenses are expressed the same way in Japanese. You just figure it out through the context in which it is used. Furthermore, the positive and negative of each word has different forms.

It's not that hard to understand, really. Tae Kim advocates learning the plain forms of Japanese words before learning the polite form like most textbooks and lessons teach. I'm quite excited for lesson two next week. For now, I'll keep using the four new words I've learned to make sure I remember them. Ooh, I feel like I'm back in school. Haha! ;-D

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Skipping Pimsleur for Tae Kim Today

As I was cleaning up my iPad this morning, I rediscovered this app called Tae Kim's Guide to Learning Japanese Grammar that I downloaded a long time ago. I opened it to see whether or not I should delete it along with the other unused apps that were cluttering my device and decided to keep it. So now I plan to study one lesson a week to supplement my Pimsleur audio lessons. (To be honest, I haven't been progressing on Pimsleur Japanese Level 3 since I've just been typing up notes for level 1 lessons. But it's good that I got to review old lessons.)

I like that Tae Kim's guide is visual. I can learn the kanji to vocabulary words as I'm learning how to construct grammatically correct sentences with them. I think I discovered the website first and downloaded the IOS app afterwards. They also have an Android app for those interested. Here's their website: Tae Kim's Guide to Learning Japanese

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Ohisashiburi desu

Wow. Has almost two years gone by? I hadn't realized my last post was in 2014, and just one lone post for that entire year! Quite a long slump there. I've been neglecting my Japanese studies, although I've watched quite a handful of Japanese movies and TV series during my absense. Couch potato, I know.

Anyway, I hope I make progress this year. Good luck to me. ;-p