Thursday, July 19, 2012

chirori (ちろり): aluminium sake pitcher

"Sake is sometimes warmed and served in metal containers known as chirori" - Wikipedia

(this item on rakuten)

Brian and I saw one at the Saké and Tofu event yesterday.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

ikutsu (いくつ): how many; how old

ikutsu can be used to ask how many or how old. It is used for things that are counted using hitotsu, futatsu, etc.

ex: imouto-san wa ikutsu desu ka.
oikutsu desu ka. (instead of nansai desu ka)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Kana stroke order and direction

I know this is a bit basic but I started doing my Genki I exercises again and found that my hiragana and katakana looked like crap. I figured it was time for me to start writing these nicely and found these pages that have a little animated GIF of how every character should be drawn:

Hiragana guide

Katakana guide

ko-so-a-do system

This other blog describes the ko-so-a-do system that the previous post applies to:
KoSoADo — How to say ‘this’ in Japanese

[ko | so | a | do]  +  [re | ko | chira | no | nna | u | itsu | ...?]

That's 28 new words!

Monday, July 2, 2012

koitsu, soitsu and aitsu

Yesterday at Asian-Ya I learned about a way to say "them" which uses the same distance rules as kore (this thing), sore (that thing) and are (that thing over there). You simply substitute the re part with itsu and you are now referring to persons instead of things:

Koitsu: this person
Soitsu: that person
Aitsu: that person over there (person in sight but relatively far, or someone not in sight but familiar to both the speaker and listener)

This is supposed to be crude vocabulary according to my dictionary. 

Kana mnemonic

Hiragana and Katakana mnemonic from Can You Chopstick? These two guides are a great way to learn the two Japanese kana alphabets, Hiragana and Katakana. The drawings are not always very representative but they did stick for me. Enjoy!

Random rules

Here are some random little rules that might be useful as you learn Japanese. These were never properly explained in my main book or by my teacher, I found them in other references:

. RU/U verbs: is there a way to determine which is which when a verb ends with RU. I have learned that:
-ARU, -ORU, -URU endings: ALWAYS "U" verb.
-IRU, -ERU: OFTEN (greater %) "RU" verb.
Not necessarily a perfect answer, but it helps with figuring out "U" verbs "on the fly".

. "I" adjectives can usually be converted to adverbs by replacing the last I with KU: OSOI (late) becomes OSOKU.
ex: Osoi desu (it's late) vs. osoku nomimasu (drinking late)

. "nani" becomes "nan" in before d, t and n.

hashioki (はしおき): chopstick holder

Yesterday we went to K-ZO in Culver City and saw their chopstick holders (hashioki - はしおき) which are in the shape of the jewel of the Imperial Regalia of Japan: