Monday, January 25, 2016

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

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