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

Stupid questions from a newbie

Neo

後輩
Joined
10 Jul 2003
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Greetings,

I’m a total Japanese newbie with limited knowledge of Romaji and total ignorance of Hiragana. Unfortunately, almost all the Japanese news websites are written in Hiragana and Kanji combo. Naturally, I thought about using software or a website that automatically converts Hiragana/Kanji to Romaji. I know for a fact there are a number of websites that offer such conversion from Romaji to Hiragana, but I’m yet to find any facility that does the reverse. Can someone kindly help? Incidentally, it occurs to me as totally fascinating that Japanese speakers can effortlessly extract whole words from a sentence made of a long and seamless string of hiragana symbols (in contrast with Romaji where words are always separated by spaces). Is there any trick for this?

Last but not least, I wonder if someone can help me with forming a sentence in Japanese with relative clause such as follows: Who is that short but beautiful girl who was at my party last night? (please use Romaji when responding.)

Mega TIA.
 

Elizabeth

先輩
Joined
22 Apr 2003
Messages
9,525
Reaction score
131
Originally posted by Neo
Greetings,

I’m a total Japanese newbie with limited knowledge of Romaji and total ignorance of Hiragana. Unfortunately, almost all the Japanese news websites are written in Hiragana and Kanji combo. Naturally, I thought about using software or a website that automatically converts Hiragana/Kanji to Romaji. I know for a fact there are a number of websites that offer such conversion from Romaji to Hiragana, but I’m yet to find any facility that does the reverse. Can someone kindly help? Incidentally, it occurs to me as totally fascinating that Japanese speakers can effortlessly extract whole words from a sentence made of a long and seamless string of hiragana symbols (in contrast with Romaji where words are always separated by spaces). Is there any trick for this?


I suppose it would be fascinating if they did -- but of course the kanji breaks up these long and seamless strings, if that is how you want to conceptualize it.

Last but not least, I wonder if someone can help me with forming a sentence in Japanese with relative clause such as follows: Who is that short but beautiful girl who was at my party last night? (please use Romaji when responding.)

First of all, a verb is in the middle of the sentence (kite ita in this case) always indicates the presence of a relative or modifying clause in Japanese. Followed directly by the modifiers and noun, thus avoiding the clumsiness of demonstrative adjectives and relative pronouns we're stuck with in English.

Secondly, short but beautiful girl sounds a bit grating because most girls are short by Western standards so the implication that particularly short girls were generally not attractive would probably may not be taken the way you intended. The level of formality also plays a role in all Japanese sentences, but one standard translation with "Short and cute (perhaps natural than beautiful?)" would be:

Yuube no paatii ni kite ita se ga hikutte kawaii onna no hito wa dare desuka?
 
Last edited:

mdchachi

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
6 Mar 2003
Messages
3,615
Reaction score
1,098
Re: the romaji issue
Your best bet is to learn hiragana & katakana. It's not that hard to do; there are not that many symbols and will be more useful to you in the long run. You could then use Japanese web sites for kids which will add hiragana to kanji web pages.
 

kinjo

Sempai
Joined
15 Mar 2002
Messages
3,393
Reaction score
32
I agree totally. If you spend only 10 minutes per day, you'll have hiragana learned within a few weeks.

Tiger
 

Eito

Kouhai
Joined
22 May 2003
Messages
22
Reaction score
0
And katakana vaguely resembles hiragana, so you wont have much of a problem trying to remember both at once.
 

Eriku-san

後輩
Joined
20 Nov 2003
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Concerning the learning of Kana

I am not exactly the sharpest knife on the rack, but I managed to learn about 95% of Hiragana in a day and a half. I am starting on Katakana right now. What I did was go through the internet and find as many sentences that had an example in romanji. I had gotten about 6 pages worth of example sentences (about 30 to 40 short to medium length sentences per page). Take note that I was not trying to use any Kanji or Katakana when I did this. With my 6 pages of example sentences and my Hiragana chart in hand I began to translate. After about the 3rd page I found I rarely had to look at the chart (only for the less common things such as wo, we, etc..). I went to bed after the 3rd page and resumed in the morning to finish the last 3 pages. After I translated my last sentence, I found that I knew Hiragana pretty well. You just have to be willing to put a little effort forth.
 

Eriku-san

後輩
Joined
20 Nov 2003
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Hiragana and Katakana Chart

This is the exact chart I used. Hope it helps!

Kana-Chart-01-005.gif
 

beluga

先輩
Joined
10 Nov 2003
Messages
151
Reaction score
0
Re: Re: Stupid questions from a Newbie

Originally posted by Elizabeth
Yuube no paatii ni kite ita se ga hikutte kawaii onna no hito wa dare desuka?
Shouldn't it be
yuube no paatii ni kite ita se ga hikukute kawaii onna no hito wa dare desu ka?
 
Last edited:

Elizabeth

先輩
Joined
22 Apr 2003
Messages
9,525
Reaction score
131
Re: Re: Re: Stupid questions from a Newbie

Originally posted by beluga
Shouldn't it be
yuube no paatii ni kite ita se ga hikukute kawaii onnna no hito wa dare desu ka?
Yes, it should. Sorry about that. This was before the days of Japanese fonts when things still had to be memorized or not. :p
 

beluga

先輩
Joined
10 Nov 2003
Messages
151
Reaction score
0
I have a question.

What's the diff between "kita" and "kite ita" in this example?

Thanks
 
Joined
2 Nov 2003
Messages
41
Reaction score
0
Re: Re: Re: Stupid questions from a Newbie

yuube no paatii ni kite ita se ga hikukute kawaii onna no hito wa dare desu ka?

it's preferred "kogara na" rather than "se ga hikui". but there are a lot of teen-ager Japanese girls taller than Britney Spears recently.

yuube no paatii ni kite ita kogara de kawaii onna no hito wa dare desu ka?
 
Top Bottom