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Posted: 2004-09-30, 2:57
by geoff
Nice to see some new faces interested in Japanese.

If the lessons are continued, please also consider using and adding to some of the material in the wiki, especially the grammatical part, as there is also a Japanese section:
It would be good to collect some of the grammar points there, as they are easier to find there than in a long list of forum posts.

Also you could maybe make use of the exercise system for exercises, once it is enabled again:


Posted: 2004-09-30, 2:58
by BobMaster0
Another big flaw was the use of を (object particle "o") in sentences with たいです (-tai desu). One thing that was drilled into my head in class was never use を with たいです. Even though it's the object, you have to use が (ga).

doitsu de daigakuin o shitai desu. (X)

doitsu de daigakuin ga shitai desu. (O)

I want to do grad school in Germany.

First of all, I'd like to note that using ~を~たい is not only just fine to use, but is actually preferable to using が. For example:

I want to eat sukiyaki.

Also, saying, 「大学院をしたいです。」 sounds kind of strange when you say it in Japanese. 「ドイツで大学院に行きたい(ん)です。」 would be better.

Just to back up what's already been mentioned, 大きい and 小さい are definitely far more common than the な-versions. Also, personal pronouns are not used too much. Most of the time they aren't need anyway since the subject drops from many sentences in speech (when the subject is understood).

Posted: 2004-09-30, 7:08
by BobMaster0
I noticed a few other minor points that aren't too big of a deal, but I thought I mention them anyway.
First of all, the word for cake should be keeki (ケーキ). I think I saw it with the long i sound. Also, douitashimashite (どういたしまして)was written douitashitemashite I believe.

I'm not sure how many people are coming here nowadays, but if there is still interest in continuing things I would just like to suggest making the switch to kana sometime soon. It's my personal opinion that learning Japanese through romaji is not the way to go, so I would recommend doing away with it sooner or later. Also, if someone does continue Daniel's work I think it would be nice to see some kanji lessons integrated into things. I'd like to see this section thrive and I would help out, but I'm really busy right now between two math classes and three language classes.

Posted: 2004-09-30, 7:23
by Kubi
BobMaster0 wrote:First of all, I'd like to note that using ~を~たい is not only just fine to use, but is actually preferable to using が.

Where does that information come from? The 口語日本文法便覧 (Handbook of modern Japanese grammar) gives the use of -たい with が, not with を.

tai desu

Posted: 2004-09-30, 11:58
by IkimashoZ
It comes from Genki. Genki states that ga or o is appropriate. I have very clear memories of sensei correcting us when we'd say "something o tai desu" though. My Yookoso book is equally obnoxious -- it states that both are acceptable and then moves on to other matters.

Time for the definitive work. I got out my "Dictionary of Japanese Grammar" and looked it up. Here's what it says:

"In some situations, if the verb in Vmasu tai is a transitive verb, the direct object can be marked either by ga or o. In general, the choice seems to depend on the degree of desire. That is, when the desire to do something is high, ga is preferred; when it is low, o is used."

That makes sense. Apparently sensei really wanted us to like things.

Also, if I were to continue lessons here, I would definately start introducing kana and kanji. You can't learn the language well without them.

By the way, geoff, what happened to the exercise system?? Any idea when it will be up again? I'm interested to see how it works.

Re: tai desu

Posted: 2004-09-30, 13:37
by Kubi
IkimashoZ wrote:Also, if I were to continue lessons here, I would definately start introducing kana and kanji. You can't learn the language well without them.

That's a true statement! I support that idea!

Posted: 2004-09-30, 17:16
by BobMaster0
My information came from a native speaker and she said pretty much the same thing the Dictionary of Basic Japanese grammar says.

lesson 1 in progress

Posted: 2004-09-30, 21:24
by IkimashoZ
I'm working on the free japanese language course that I'll submit to Unilang when it's done. Right now, I've got two problems.

1) I can't seem to get Mozilla to center my tables. They show up centered in the composer, but not in an actual browser. See the link below.

2) I need someone who can produce authentic Japanese to supply audio. I've contacted the only two people on my campus (besides my sensei) who are Japanese, but I haven't heard from them yet. Is there anyone here who can supply audio??

Thanks to anyone who can help!

I'll try to have a review lesson up on the forum soon.

- Matt

Posted: 2004-10-01, 6:40
by Kubi
BobMaster0 wrote:My information came from a native speaker and she said pretty much the same thing the Dictionary of Basic Japanese grammar says.

Yes, I checked that as well now and found the same. Looks like the other one I quoted first is not too reliable :(

Re: lesson 1 in progress

Posted: 2004-10-01, 6:41
by Kubi
IkimashoZ wrote:

I've had a look there, and it looks quite nice on first glance. I'll check a bit more thoroughly later, at the moment I'm somewhat busy.


Posted: 2004-10-01, 12:52
by IkimashoZ
Okay, here are the topics that Daniel covered, that I got from my quick run through the thread (and it was kind of quick because I have a lot of reading to do for my lit. class today) Here goes:

X は Y です
か (question)
の (possession)
で (position)
に (destination)
に (time)
days of the week
が (conjunction)
へ (destination)
と (and / with)
negating verbs
plain past positive
plain past negative
adjective past positive
adjective past negative
で (method)
は (topic)
inverted word order
も (also)
~も~も (both...and...)
progressive ~ている
ね (sentence ender - inquisitive)
よ (sentence ender - forceful)
に (purpose of movement)
numbers (1-10)
telling time
~て~ (...and...)

Is there anything anyone would like particularly clarified before I start the review? Is there anything anyone would like covered first?

Posted: 2004-10-01, 14:15
by BobMaster0
Here are just a few suggestions for things to cover:
~は~が~ (physical traits)

Posted: 2004-10-01, 19:47
by DarkPlague07
great! A review sounds good. :)

Review #1

Posted: 2004-10-01, 21:25
by IkimashoZ
Okay, why don't we do this for a review. It'll also give me an idea of where everyone who's participating is at in terms of language skill.

The self-introduction is very important in Japanese culture. And since it's also a convenient way for us all to get to know each other, why the hell not, right?

The self-introduction exists as a kind of bracket for all your personal information. You begin with はじめまして (nice to meet you) and end with どおぞよろしく (lit. please regard me favorably).

Build a simple introductory paragraph for yourself using the following vocabulary. Use X は Y です sentences. If you need any extra vocab, you can leave a message here, e-mail me, message me privately, or use This is honestly the best dictionary I've ever found on the web.

出身 (しゅっしん) origin/hometown
~州 (しゅう) suffix for a state (pol.)
~市 (し) suffix for a city

学生 (がくせい) student
高校生 (こうこうせい) high school student
大学 (だいがく) college
一年生 (いちねんせい) freshman
二年生 (にねんせい) sophomore
三年生 (さんねんせい) junior
四年生 (よねんせい) senior
大学院生 (だいがくいんせい) graduate student

専攻 (せんこう) major
言語学 (げんごがく) linguistics
数学 (すうがく) mathematics
歴史学 (れきしがく) history

趣味 (しゅみ) hobby
テレビ・ゲーム  video games
外国語 (がいこくご) foreign languages

My Self Introduction:


Pop me some questions. I'm sure there's stuff you want to say that I haven't provided words for. Maybe I used some kanji or vocab you don't understand. Maybe you need to go over hiragana and katakana. I just want to know where you're at.

Also, if you can't view the characters, let me know. You've really got to fix that, because you can't learn Japanese from romanizations.

Posted: 2004-10-02, 1:16
by Guest
heh- i can't read the characters. I guess I need to download something? I don't know.

Posted: 2004-10-02, 1:18
by DarkPlague07
oh- that was me. sorry.


Posted: 2004-10-03, 22:29
by IkimashoZ
I spent the afternoon in the technology center of my university. I'm integrating kana into my Japanese for Beginners course that I will eventually submit to Unilang. I did the movies today and just finished adding them. Let me know what you think.

Posted: 2004-10-04, 8:36
by Kubi
Ok, here am I:


Re: Actually...

Posted: 2004-10-04, 8:41
by Kubi
IkimashoZ wrote:Let me know what you think.

Impressing work that you've done there. You do that very well! One remark, though: don't explain the pronunciation with English sounds, at least not for the vowels, it just doesn't match. Most English vowels are more or less "diphtonguised", but the Japanese ones aren't. Rather use either examples of other languages that really have the same sounds, or give SAMPA or IPA values.

Posted: 2004-10-04, 12:59
by IkimashoZ
Kubi wrote:はじめまして。私はドイツ人のくリスチアンで、ユニランのニクネームはクビと申します。「リュネブルク」というの町に住んでいます。四十歳の化学技師です。私の趣味は合気道や外国語です。どうぞよろしく。

すごいですね。How many years of Japanese have you had?

Thanks for the comments on the website. I think I will include IPA sounds. I've got to have something for people who for whatever reason, can't hear the sound files. I myself have no sound on this computer because XP screwed over my sound card.