1. Countries and nationalitiesイギリスigirisu ドイツ doitsu ちゅうごく chuugoku アメリカ amerika にほん nihon タイ tai オーストラリア oosutoraria
name of a country + jin nationality にほん じん にほんじん nihon + jin nihon jin ちゅうごく じん ちゅうごくじん chuugoku + jin chuugoku jin ドイツ じん ドイツじん doitsu + jin doitsu jin イギリス じん イギリスじん igirisu + jin igirisu jin アメリカ じん アメリカじん amerika + jin amerika jin オーストラリア じん オーストラリアじん oosutoraria + jin oosutoraria jin タイ じん タイじん tai + jin tai jin
Basic Noun Sentence 1. XはYです"Im Smith.", "Im an American.", and "Im a lawyer." These sentences will all betranslated into Japanese using an appropriate noun and the ending word "desu". ∼です。 It is . . . / I am . . . スミスです。 (I am) Smith. sumisu desu アメリカじんです。 (I am) an American. amerika jin desu べんごしです。 (I am) a lawyer. bengoshi desuNote that none of above sentences has a "subject" like the "I " found in their Englishcounterparts. Sentences without subjects are very common in Japanese; Japanesespeakers actually tend to omit subjects whenever they think it is clear to the listenerwhat or who they are referring to.
What are we to do, then, when it is not clear what is being talked about? To makeexplicit what we are talking about, we can say: は アメリカじんです。 is an American. wa amerika jin desuWhere stands for the thing that is talked about, or the "topic", which is later inthe sentence identiﬁed as amerika jin. スミスさんは アメリカじんです。 Mr. Smith is an American. sumisusan wa amerika jin deusSimilarly, one can use the pattern " X wa Y desu" to identify a person or athing X as item Y. X は Y です。 X is Y. As for X, it is Y. wa desu わたしは たかはしです。 I am Takahashi. watashi wa takahashi desu ブラウンさんは ひしょです。 Ms. Brown is a secretary. braun san wa hisho deus リンさんは ちゅうごくじんです。 Ms. Lin is a Chinese. rin san wa chuugoku jin desu
"は (wa)" is a member of the class of words called "particles." So is the word "の (no)",which we will turn to later in this lesson. Particles attach themselves to Phrases and indicate how the phrases relate to the rest of the sentence.Note also that nouns like "ひしょ (hisho)" and "ちゅうごくじん (chuugokujin)",which are preceded by "a ". In Japanese, there is no item that corresponds to"a ", nor is there any item that corresponds to the plural " -s " at the end of anoun. Without background situations, a sentence like "ひしょです (hishodesu)" is therefore ambiguous between the singular and the pluralinterpretations; it may mean "We are/you are/they are secretary", as wellas "I am/you are/she is a secretary".
2. Question SentencesIt is very easy to form questions in Japanese. Basically, all you need to do is add "か(ka)"at the end of a statement. がくせいです。 (I am) a student. gakusei desu がくせいですか。 (Are you) a student? gakusei desu ka The above sentence, " がくせいですか " , is a " yes / no " question. If the question is gakusei desu ka correct, you answer "はい" as "yes", and if its not correct you answer "いいえ" as "no". hai iieQuestion: がくせいですか。= (Are you) a student? gakusei desu kaYes answer: はい。= Yes, I am. or はい、がくせいです。= Yes, I am a student. hai hai, gakusei desuNo answer: いいえ。= No, Im not. or iie いいえ、がくせいでは ありません。= No, Im not a student. i ie, g aku se i de w a ari mase n Please note that "は" in the negative ending of a sentence "ではありません" d ewa ar ima se n should be pronounced as "wa" just like the particle "は". "は" itself standing wa alone or in a word is pronounced as "ha" as one of hiragana "は". ha