What's new

Welcome to Japan Reference (JREF) - the community for all Things Japanese.

Join Today! It is fast, simple, and FREE!

Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

Several questions

kinjo

Sempai
Joined
15 Mar 2002
Messages
4,446
Reaction score
31
Hi, I'm Oyo. I live in the US now but I'm moving to Germany in less than a month (staying for a year as an exchange student)

I am becoming obsessed with languages. I hope to learn many before I die. I speak german quite well, and i'm learning swedish.

I've been watching a lot of anime lately, and "magically" have been understanding where before I was completely dependant on subtitles. My curiosity is getting the best of me, as japanese as you all know is so different and strange compared to western langauges.

I only know basic stuff that I've learned from watching anime, and I know a very limited amount of kanji, hiragana, and katakana.

Here are my random questions which have been bothering me:

-When is "itoshii wa" or "ora wa" used instead of "watashi wa", these are gender specific pronouns of "I", right?

-How do personal pronouns sometimes, seemingly, disappear from sentences? (maybe it's just different forms of them that I'm not recognising)

-Why does, for instance, "Keitaro wa" mean "Where's Keitaro", wouldn't a "ka" particle make more sense?

-Is "mas" a particle like "wa" or "ka", or is it just a suffix on various words?

-What does a "mo" particle do? Is it related to verbs or something?

-How do verbs conjugate, if at all, and where do they go in the word order?

-When are kanji used in written japanese? Could you write in all hiragana or would that just be stupid? (I know it wouldn't be "proper", but would it be understood?)

I guess that's all I can think of at the moment 😄

By the way, I love these smilies
 

jeisan

Kongming
Joined
24 Feb 2003
Messages
3,413
Reaction score
67
you could write it in hiragana, but since japanese has an excessive amount of words that sound the same but mean different things, writing it all phonetically would make it extemely confusing to read.
 

Mandylion

Omnipotence personified
Contributor
Joined
15 Mar 2003
Messages
1,145
Reaction score
43
"Keitaro wa" is just one of those things. The rest of the question is understood and taken in context. It is very informal.
Masu is not a particle, it is an ending in the present tense and on the same level as desu in polite speaking.
"mo" typically means, and, in addition, with that type of thing. like "kore mo" However the meaning can be modified by other words in the phrase. Also, other particles may be more correct in some instances when you want to say "and" or "with" specificially "to"
"ore" and such ways of saying "I" are gender and situation/politeness specific. "I" can also be said by watakushi, boku, and a few others.
 

avarame

Kouhai
Joined
5 Aug 2003
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
For the "Keitaro wa?" thing, it might make more sense to you to think of it as "What about Keitaro?" (which is still odd-sounding but at least it's in the form of a question :)

To clarify Mandylion's response, ore is used in casual conversation with friends and family. Watashi is a more modest term, used with superiors and strangers I think. It's more respectful than ore.

Personal pronouns DO disappear from sentences :) In Japanese it's perfectly ok to have a sentence without any subject. It's taken from the context of the rest of the discussion (like everything else in the language! :). If you're talking about Keitaro, you don't really need to say 'Keitaro' or 'he' in every single sentence, it's implied. To use your example... "Where's Keitaro?" - "Is over there." (Would that be "asoko da"? "asoko ni iru"?) It's implied that *Keitaro* is over there.
 
Top Bottom