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Kawaii Lesson Episode 7 – How to say NO in Japanese

Have you been following Kawaii Lesson diligently and learning your Japanese?

You want to say no, am I right? But you don’t know how to say no in Japanese? Well let’s fix this!

Saying no in Japanese

Saying no in Japanese isn’t an easy thing to do, as you rarely ever use the real word for no, which literally would be “iie” (いいえ).

But let’s take a look how the girls from Kawaii Lesson explain this lesson:

The formal and informal ways of saying no in Japanese

Informal:

uun = ううん

dame = だめ

Formal:

iie = いいえ

ikemasen = いけません

Different ways of saying no in Japanese

As explained in the video, Japanese may go great lenghts to give an explanation or excuse, if they can’t do or don’t want do something. This is often hard to understand for people from very direct cultures, which are also called low context cultures. Simply said, it is better to lie to you with a bad excuse, why something can’t be done or isn’t possible, than just directly say no, because somebody doesn’t want to do something. This has a lot to do with saving face, which is best explained with the concepts of honne and tatemae, for example in this article (you should read this).

Between friends, things can be a bit more open and honest. If you are just talking about facts, “uun”, or rather “u-un”, the opposite of “un” (a way of saying yes in Japanese), can be used without problems. For example “Wasn’t it raining yesterday?” – “Uun, the sun was shining!”
You will probably never hear “uun” as a response to the question if someone wants to go to the cinema with you or do whatever activity with you. Whatever the reason is why they can’t or don’t want to, you will rather hear a story as a response than a simple “uun”.

The word “dame” is more used for direct communication between people who know each other well or if you are REALLY serious that you don’t want something to happen. A girl might shout out “DAME!” if a guy come inappropriately close to her, while she pushes him away. Or a guy might say “dame!!!” if his girlfriend suggests that they should go to the next Kyari Pamyu Pamyu concert in Yokohama.

kyari pamyu pamyu kawaii lesson
Not wanting to go to a Kyari concert as a guy is a really good reason to say no in Japanese.

So saying “uun” is the informal way of saying that something is in fact differently, while “dame” is more a reaction to a suggested action. This does not cover 100% of the use cases, but it gives you a good idea about how it is used.

The Japanese word “iie” might be the formal equivalent to “uun”, but you will hardly ever hear it. The most common use is if you are getting thanked for doing something and want to seem modest or humble.
Examples: “Your Japanese is really good!” – “iie! It’s not good at all” or “Thank you so much for teaching English to me!” – “iie! It was a pleasure.”

Ikemasen on the other hand, might be considered to be more or less directly comparable.

Now let’s try together:

きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅの コンサート に行こうか?

きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ?? だめだよ!!!バカじゃねぇ?!

 

For more of Kawaii Lesson, check out their Facebook page and their separate social media:

Ami Haruna:
Twitter
Facebook

Tsubee:
Twitter
Facebo0k (acting)
Facebook (DJing)

Or just watch out for new episodes on Kimonogeisha.com!

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Kawaii Lesson Episode 6 – How to say “Yes” in Japanese

As you have been gathering quite the sentence repertoire, if you have been following Kawaii Lesson so far, it’s time to learn how to properly say YES in Japanese.

I mean, if you are offered some super delicious look sushi, it would be terrible to not be able to say that you actually want some, right?

So let’s give you the basics on how to say Yes in Japanese!

Informal:

un = うん

iiyo = いいよ = 良いよ

Formal:

hai = はい

iidesuyo = いいですよ = 良いですよ

 

Of course there are more ways to say Yes in Japanese, like saying “daijoubu” (だいじょうぶ = 大丈夫), which means “alright” or “it’s okay”. It’s also used to describe the state of something as okay or alright. It’s very versatile and should definitely be added to your vocabulary!

 

For more of Kawaii Lesson, check out their Facebook page and their separate social media:

Ami Haruna:
Twitter
Facebook

Tsubee:
Twitter
Facebo0k (acting)
Facebook (DJing)

Or just watch out for new episodes on Kimonogeisha.com!

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Kawaii Lesson Episode 5 – How to say “How have you been” in Japanese

In the last lesson from Kawaii Lesson, we learned how to say “How are you?” in Japanese. But what do you say, when you haven’t seen someone for a long time? “How have you been?” is the right answer in English, but what about Japanese?

So let’s see that written, what we learned today:

Informal:  Hisashiburi = ひさしぶり = 久しぶり

Formal: Ohisashiburi desu = おひさしぶりです = お久しぶりです

Instead of the question “How are you?” which is used in English, you should understand “hisashiburi” more as a way of saying “Haven’t seen you in a while!”, which will often be answered with “hisashiburi desu neeeee”, which translates loosely into “It’s true, we really haven’t seen each other for a while!”.

Adding the “o” at the beginning of genki is a typical form of creating more formality for a word or an often used sentence.

 

For more of Kawaii Lesson, check out their Facebook page and their separate social media:

Ami Haruna:
Twitter
Facebook

Tsubee:
Twitter
Facebo0k (acting)
Facebook (DJing)

Or just watch out for new episodes on Kimonogeisha.com!

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Kristy’s JLPT N3 Grammar Benkyou: 〜は〜で有名/で知られている (~is Famous/Known For X)

After our last JLPT N3 grammar lesson 〜ば〜ほど (The More X, The More Y; Express Extent), we today teach you about the way of saying that something/someone is famous or known for something.

This includes the use of the word famous / 有名, which is probably one of the earlier words you learn in Japanese lessons, because it’s fun to talk about “famous” people or places. Today, you will learn to use that word correctly and how to differentiate it from something, that is not really famous, but just know for something.

For further understanding, here you can read all the expressions used by Kristy:

Construction / 文型
~はNoun で {有名だ / 知られている}
~はS ことで {有名だ / 知られている}

Examples in order of appearance (to copy/paste if you’d like to look up anything!)

ハリーポッターは稲妻模様の傷跡で有名です。

そのホテルは食事で有名である。

このお寺は古い桜の木があることで有名です。

L.A.は渋滞で知られている。

熊は冬眠することで知られていますが、動物園の熊も冬眠をしますか。

 

More training sentences

 

アイルランドは刺繍で有名である。 Ireland is famous for lace.

カリフォルニアは果物で有名です。 California is famous for its fruit.

このレストランは料理がおいしいので有名だ。 This restaurant is famous for its excellent cuisine.

この橋は若者の間で有名になった。 This bridge became famous among young people.

この公園はバラで有名です。 This park is famous for its roses.

この寺は桜の花で有名である。 This temple is famous for its cherry blossoms.

この地方の若い女性は美しいことで有名だ。 The young women of this district are well know for their beauty.

この都市は美しい公園で有名である。 This city is famous for its beautiful park.

これは景観で有名な山です。 This is a mountain famous for its scenery.

スイスは風光の美で有名である。 Switzerland is famous for its scenic beauty.

スイスは風光明媚なことで有名である。 Switzerland is famous for its scenic beauty.

スコットランドは毛織物で有名だ。 Scotland is famous for its woollen textiles.

スミス夫人は美人で有名だった。 Mrs. Smith was a famous beauty.

セザンヌは風景画で有名だ。 Cezanne is famous for his landscapes.

そこは風景が美しいので有名だ。 The place is famous for its scenic beauty.

そのホテルは食事で有名である。 The hotel is noted for its food.

その科学者は国の内外で有名である。 The scientist is famous both at home and abroad.

その国は経済の急成長で有名だ。 The country in famous for its rapid growth of economy.

その国は山の景色が美しいので有名です。 The country is renowned for the beauty of its mountain scenery.

その町は温泉で有名です。 The town is famous for its hot spring.

その町は古い城があるので有名です。 The town is famous for its old castle.

その店は値段が高いので有名だ。 The store is notorious for charging high prices.

その都市は大気汚染がひどいことで有名だ。 The city is notorious for its polluted air.

デトロイトは自動車産業で有名だ。 Detroit is famous for its car industry.

ビートルズは彼らの素晴らしい音楽で有名になった。 The Beatles set the world on fire with their incredible music.

フジモリさんは世界中で有名です。 Mr Fujimori is famous all over the world.

フランクリンは常識があるので有名だった。 Franklin was known for his common sense.

ローマは古代建築で有名だ。 Rome is famous for its ancient architecture.

ロンドンは、私のすんでいるところだが、以前は霧で有名だった。 London, where I live, used to be famous for its fog.

ロンドンは霧で有名だ。 London is famous for its fog.

は壮麗な宮殿で有名だった。 The king was famous for his splendid palace.

京都は古いお寺があるので有名だ。 Kyoto is famous for its old temples.

京都は古い寺院で有名である。 Kyoto is famous for its old temples.

京都は神社や仏閣で有名だ。 Kyoto is famous for its shrines and temples.

昨日、私は空港で有名な学者に会った。 I met a famous scholar at the airport yesterday.

私が生まれた町は古いお城で有名です。 The town in which I was born is famous for its old castle.

私たちの学校はクラブ活動で有名です。 Our school is famous for its club activities.

私たちの町は泥んこ道で有名です。 Our town is notorious for its muddy roads.

私たちは梅の花で有名な水戸公園を見に行った。 We visited Mito Park, which is famous for its plum blossoms.

十和田湖はその美しさで有名である。 Lake Towada is famous for its beauty.

 

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Kristy’s JLPT N3 Grammar Benkyou: 〜ば〜ほど (The More X, The More Y; Express Extent)

After our introduction of Kristy’s Grammar Benkyou section, we finally want to provide you quality gammar lessons, which will surely help you learn that JLPT N3 grammar and finally pass that darn test.

For your further understanding, here are the expressions used by Kristy:

Construction / 文型:
{Verb/Adj}-conditional {Verb/Adj}-plain ほど (when V is a する-verb, the 2nd VN is usually omitted)
食べれば食べるほど
勉強すれば(勉強)するほど
安ければ安いほど
Na-Adj なら Na-Adj なほど
便利なら便利なほど
{Na-Adj/Noun} であれば ({Na-Adj/Noun} で) あるほど
便利であれば(便利で) あるほど
いい学生であれば (いい学生で) あるほど

Examples in order of appearance (to copy/paste if you’d like to look up anything!)

その歌手は初めて聞いた時あまり好きじゃなかったけど、聞けば聞くほど気に入りました­。

その事を考えれば考えるほど、私はますますいやになる。

寝る時間がないほど忙しい。

兄に比べれば、彼はそれほど聡明ではない。

聡明(そうめい)

がいして、真理が基礎的なものであればあるほど、その実用の可能性も大きくなる。

If you don’t know a word or kanji, we highly recommend that you get the Rikaichan extension for Firefox or Rikaikun for Chrome. If you use IE then…you should probably consider using a different browser, before learning more Japanese.

More training sentences

 

「急げば急ぐほど遅くなる」は逆説である。 More haste, less speed is a paradox.

Vの角度が広ければ広いほど、スピードは緩やかになる。 The wider the V, the slower the speed.

あなたはたくさんの本を読めば読むほど、たくさんの事を知るだろう。 The more books you read, the more you’ll know.

これは、どんながんばり屋でもやる気をなくすほど忍耐のいることだ。 This is so enduring as to make even the most diligent worker give up.

コンピューターの勉強をすればするほど面白くなってきた。 The more I studied computers, the more interesting I came to find it.

そこに居れば居るほどその土地が好きになる。 The longer I stayed there, the more I like the place.

そのことを考えれば考えるほど、私はますますいやになる。 The more I think of it, the less I like it.

その質問が難しくなればなるほど答えることができなくなりそうだ。 The more difficult the question are, the less likely I am to be able to answer it.

その洞窟は手探りで進まなければならないほど暗かった。 The cave was so dark that they had to feel their way.

その本は、読めば読むほどわからなくなる。 The more you read the book, the less you will understand it.

その問題について考えれば考えるほど、一層難しくなるようにおもえた。 The more I thought about the problem, the more difficult it seemed.

たくさん持てば持つほど、それだけいっそう多く欲しくなる。 The more you have, the more you want.

なぜならば、精密に検査しても何か欠点が現れないほど美しいものは存在しないからである。 For nothing is so beautiful but it betrays some defect on close inspection.

ばかげた考えにもほどがある。 Of all the silly ideas!

ポップコーンは食べれば食べるほどもっと食べたくなる。 The more popcorn you eat, the more you want.

われわれが他人を疑えば疑うほど、他人もわれわれを疑うであろう。 Others will suspect us the more, the more we suspect them.

飲めば飲むほど注意力が鈍る。 The more you drink, the less careful you will be.

暇な時間が多ければ多いほど、それだけ彼は楽しい。 The more leisure he has, the happier he is.

外国人は一般に日本人がお互いに相手に言わなければならないほどのお世辞 を必要としないのである。これは頭に入れておいていいことである。 Foreigners in general don’t need as many compliments as Japanese are required to give each other, and it is good to keep this in mind.

概して、真理が基礎的なものであればあるほど、その実用の可能性も大きくなる。 As a rule, the more fundamental a new truth, the greater will be its practical possibilities.

各人が個性的であればあるほど、それだけ他人の英知に寄与する。 The more unique each person is, the more he contributes to the wisdom of others.

学べば学ぶほど、いかに少ししか知らないかがわかってくる。 The more we learn the more we realize how little we know.

学べば学ぶほど、ますます自分が無知であることがわかる。 The more you study, the more you discover your ignorance.

学べば学ぶほど、自分が無知であることがよく分かる。 The more we learn, the better we realize our ignorance.

学べば学ぶほどますます学びたくなる。 The more you learn, the more you want to.

頑固になればなるほど孤立するよ。 If it becomes stubborn indeed it stands alone.

頑固になればなるほど独立するよ。 The more stubborn you are, the more isolated you become.

危険が大きければ大きいほど名誉も大きくなる。 The more danger, the more honor.

急げば急ぐほど事は旨く行かない。 The more haste the speed.

急げば急ぐほど物事はうまくいかない。 More haste, less speed.

去年の夏にくらべれば今年の雨はそれほど多くはない。 As compared with last summer we haven’t had so much rain this year.

禁煙するのが早ければ早いほど、そのメリットは大きくなる。 The sooner you give up, the greater the benefits.

君の帰りが早ければ早いほど、お父さんは喜ぶでしょう。 The sooner you return, the happier your father will be.

兄に比べれば、彼はそれほど聡明ではない。 Compared with his brother, he is not so intelligent.

研究すればするほど、好奇心が強くなるでしょう。 The more you study, the more curious you will become.

見れば見るほど、それだけ多くわかり、また興味も増してくる。 The more you look, the more you will see, and the more interesting they will become.

公平に評すれば、彼はそれほど怠け者ではない。 To do him justice, he is not so lazy.

考えれば考えるほど彼女はそれが嫌になった。 The more she thought about it, the less she liked it.

高く昇れば昇るほど、空気は冷たくなる。 As we go up higher, the air becomes cooler.

高く上がれば上がるほど空気は希薄になる。 The higher we go up, thinner the air becomes.

 

 

For more of Kristy, check out her Twitter for new fresh videos.
Also make sure to visit her NerdvanaStore on Etsy.

Watch out for new episodes for her JLPT N3 Grammar Benkyou on Kimonogeisha.com!

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Introducing Kristy’s Grammar Benkyou on Kimonogeisha.com

Today we welcome our new Japanese Language Learning Partner:
Kristy-Kun and her Grammar Benkyou

After introducing Kawaii Lesson for all the beginners out there, who are struggling with their first couple of Japanese sentences, we are now bringing in some content for the more experienced learners out there, who are currently studying for the JLPT N3. For comparison, Kawaii Lesson would be for the N5 level learners. More precisely:

JLPT N5: The ability to understand some basic Japanese.

JLPT N3: The ability to understand Japanese used in everyday situations to a certain degree.

Find out more about the different levels on the JLPT website.

To make it easier for you to find appropriate content for your level, we have added the JLPT levels as tags to the posts. Just look at the bottom of the post and click on the JLPT-Tag to find more relevant posts. Or just click on these two here: JLPT N5 and JLPT N3. Sooner or later we will have content for every level, so keep your eyes open!

Kristy’s focus: Learning Grammar

Kristy has a point, when she explains that in most materials, the grammar will be explained IN JAPANESE to you, which is not only confusing, but also misleading in many cases. Sometimes you just need someone to explain to you in English how to use an expression and when to use it. So her emphasis is on the English explanation and making you understand, using examples from textbooks and dictionaries. But let’s hear it from her, what her idea is behind her Grammar Benkyou videos:

The extension for Chrome that she mentioned is called Rikaikun and is a must-have for every Japanese learner and/or non-native Japanese speaker. Because, seriously, who can ever remember ALL of those Kanji?

This extension also exists for Firefox and is called Rikaichan.

An alternative to these two is called Perapera. I used this for a while in Thunderbird and basically works the same as Rikaikun and Rikaichan.

 

For more of Kristy, check out her Twitter for new fresh videos.
Also make sure to visit her NerdvanaStore on Etsy.

Watch out for new episodes for her Grammar Benkyou on Kimonogeisha.com!

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Kawaii Lesson 4 – How to say “How are you” in Japanese

What we learned so far from Kawaii Lesson:

How to say “Good Morning and Good Night” in Japanese

How to say “Good Afternoon and Good Evening” in Japanese

How to say “Hi and Hello” in Japanese

What we are going to add to our essentials today is: How to say “How are you” in Japanese.

So let’s see that written, what we learned today:

Informal: Genki? = げんき? = 元気?

Formal: Ogenki desu ka? = おげんきですか? = お元気ですか?

Both are the standard way of asking “How are you?” in Japanese. “Genki” itself just means something like “health”, “spirit” or “energy” and is mainly used in desribing one’s well-being.

Other uses are for example “Genki dashite!” which can be understood as “cheer up!” or “chin up!”.

Adding the “o” at the beginning of genki is a typical form of creating more formality for a word or an often used sentence.

 

For more of Kawaii Lesson, check out their Facebook page and their separate social media:

Ami Haruna:
Twitter
Facebook

Tsubee:
Twitter
Facebo0k (acting)
Facebook (DJing)

Or just watch out for new episodes on Kimonogeisha.com!

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Kawaii Lesson Episode 3 – How to say “Hi and Hello” in Japanese

 

After learning “Good Afternoon and Good Evening” together with Kawaii Lesson, we teach you something that you probably have to use everyday and maybe even heard before. But let’s take a look:

 

What did you learn today?

Hello = konnichi ha (wa) = こんにちは = 今日は

Hi (girls) = yahhoー = やっほー

Hi (guys) = yoー = よー
or              = ossu = おっす

If you want to find more about the ha/wa difference of konnichi ha, please take a look at the previous episode, where we explained this in detail.

Today we want to highlight the long vowel mark “ー”, which signals a long stretched sound. So, something that you would maybe write in English as “yoooo!” or “yowww” can be written with a vowel and “ー”.

 

For more of Kawaii Lesson, check out their Facebook page and their separate social media:

Ami Haruna:
Twitter
Facebook

Tsubee:
Twitter
Facebo0k (acting)
Facebook (DJing)

Or just watch out for new episodes on Kimonogeisha.com!

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Kawaii Lesson Episode 2 – How to say “Good Afternoon and Good Evening” in Japanese

After learning “Good Morning” and “Good Night” together with Kawaii Lesson, we move a step forward and teach you the basics of “Good Afternoon” and “Good Evening” in Japanese:

 

 

What you learned today is:

Good Afternoon= konnichi ha (wa) = こんにちは = 今日は

Good Evening = konban ha (wa) = こんばんは = 今晩は

An important point for today is the hiragana は – which is normally written and spoken as “ha”.

The exception is when it is used as a particle. Then it is spoken as “wa”, but still written as ha, as the real hiragana for the sound “wa” is わ.

In our example, it is used as an particle and attached to 今日, which literally means “this day”, and 今晩, which literally means “this evening”.

So if you are using konnichi ha or konban ha, you are basically saying “So, how about this day/evening, huh?”. But of course it’s just an expression and there is really no deeper meaning to it than good afternoon or good evening.

 

For more of Kawaii Lesson, check out their Facebook page and their separate social media:

Ami Haruna:
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Facebook

Tsubee:
Twitter
Facebo0k (acting)
Facebook (DJing)

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Kawaii Lesson Episode 1 – How to say “Good Morning and Good Night” in Japanese

As with everything you do, you have to start with the basics for you go pro. It’s the same for learning Japanese!

Today, after introducing them properly in the their first video, Ami and Tsubee prepared for you how to say “Good Morning” and “Good Night” in Japanese:

 

What you learned today is:

Good Morning (casual way) = ohayou = おはよう

Good Morning (polite way) = ohayou gozaimasu = おはようございます

Note that although you see the “ou” at the end of ohayou, it’s spoken like a long O-sound. You can’t rally hear the U at the end. It’s the same with the famous “desu” (to be), which is only pronounced “des“. You can also see that I you are only given the hiragana-versions of these expressions as using the kanji is very uncommon. When the kanji are commong, we will provide them for you.

Good Night (casual way) = oyasumi = おやすみ = お休み

Good Night (polite way) = oyasuminasai = おやすみなさい = お休みなさい

Here we have given you the kanji as an addition. You might see them occasionally, although the hiragana-only version is much more common.

For more of Kawaii Lesson, check out their Facebook page and their separate social media:

Ami Haruna:
Twitter
Facebook

Tsubee:
Twitter
Facebo0k (acting)
Facebook (DJing)