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Old 11-01-2005, 09:02 PM   #1
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Lesson #1

Please note that visuals are not up as of yet. Will be put up A.S.A.P as well as worksheet Also note that the break down section in introducing yourself is a little screwed up, must've been from the update recently so next lesson I'm coming up with a new system of breaking it down.

Lesson #1
-the writing system
-a - ko writing + worksheet
-rules of hiragana
-basics of sentence structure
-introducing yourself
-kanji of the day + notice


Welcome to the first lesson of Japanese! You can call me Sakatsu-sensei, sensei meaning teacher.
O.k. a few things to cover in this especially long introduction.
What I will be consentrating on is specifically writing and kanji. I'm also teaching the basics of sentence structure and introduction and include lessons on vocabulary in colors, dates/time (days of the week too!), Customs, a mini history lesson of Japan, Plain/past/formal forms of verbs, nouns and adjectives, and eventually learning christmas songs in Japanese. There will also be an emphisis on pronounciation! Around Christmas time, I'm thinking about teaching everybody how to sing christmas carols in Japanese and hold a little contest.
I'm going to try hard to include audio examples for hard to pronounce words.* However, I will be assigning nessisary homework so that people can LEARN how to write and be able to RECALL it months and years from now. I can't force you to do the homework but I strongly URGE you all to do it so that you'll recall it later, since you'll need it later for christmas for reading christmas carols.
It is up to you on how much you will learn and obtain from these lessons, either your completely new at Japanese or know a few things. After all, practice makes perfect!
I will try to provide the most accurate information that I know of, if I make a mistake please let me know....we all make them!

I'm going to be going at a semi speedy pace, but for those of you who are having trouble or struggling with pronounciation or have questions there are a few ways you can reach me:

Email: sakatsusensei@gmail.com
MSN messenger: sakatsusensei@gmail.com
Skype: Sakatsu101


I will delete emails containing questions like "what does this mean?" or "can you tell me what *blank* is in Japanese?"
I go by the if you don't make an effort to find out for yourself, you aren't worth answering policy!

Also, I do have a life, don't expect me to answer questions within a hour of sending it, however if it stretches to over a week and I haven't answered your questions then send another email with the question in it.

I believe thats it in this section...I may have to go back and change the lessons just a tad bit in the future, but I'll note it somewhere.

OH yes! Good luck students!!! I'm here to help you out, so don't heisitate!

Japanese is a hard language, its atleast the top three hardest, next to Chinese and English. If you don't get it the first time, relax and breath and count to ten and re-read the paragraph. There is no time limit to finish the lessons, work at your own pace and slow down if you need to.

Again, good luck~!



Now it would really help me out if you answered these questions and either send it to my email or you can P.M. me this... It'll help me out with future teaching methods and its background information on how much you know and stuff, so I can continue making the lessons you guys want to learn about.

You can just copy the text below and paste it into another email or a P.M. to answer.
Thanks much!

1. Who are you? (username is fine)
2. What got you interested in learning Japanese?
3. What Japanese do you know?
4. Why do you want to learn Japanese?
5. What would help you learn Japanese better?
6. What do you plan to do with the Japanese you learn from here?
7. What do you want to learn about the Japanese language?
8. Hobbies?
9. Anything else you want me to know about you? Worries/Concerns?


There are three writing "alphabets" you could say, two of them Hiragana and Katakana contain 46 characters each. And Kanji, well, its different.
Japanese write photonically meaning they write down what it sounds like. For example:

A - as in apple
I - as in ski
U - as in bugle
E - as in bed
O - well, its O.....oh.

Hiragana is the "alphabet" for words that are traditional to Japan, like Kimono and Tsunami. A long time ago, this used to be the writing system that only females used waaaaay back in old fedual Japan. The men just used Kanji.
Katakana was created later for foreign words to Japan like hot dogs and computers.

The last one is called Kanji which the Japanese borrowed and gave them Japanese meanings to them. There are hundreds and thousands of Kanji. I was over whelmed when I thought about learning thousands of Kanji, but those of us who are learning it as a second language needs to learn atleast a few hundred to get by. I mean, more than two hundred.
But don't worry, we're just starting out and first off! We'll be learning Hiragana first.


O.K. First you will be needing the whole chart. You can get that by clicking here.

This is how the chart works. Across the top you got the a i u e o. and in the columns its got all the hiragana starting with that sound (a, ka, sa, ta, na ect ect) and on the left going down, is the consonants for those five sounds (ka, ki, ku, ke, ko, ect. ect).

Don't worry that there's some spaces in the Ya line and Wa line, those were dropped after World War II since it was deemed unnessisary to the language. Less for us to remember! =]

In this lesson I will teach you the first two lines a - ko.
[insert image less. 1-1 a-o strip]


[insert image less. 1-2 ka-ko strip]
get the a-ko worksheet here.


Long vowels
Since Japanese is written photonically there are places where there's a longer note. This is expressed as writing an extra of that sound. For example:
[example less.1-2input here]

Double consonants

like ss and tt are represented by a small [chisai tsu] As small as [] indicates a one syllable pause.
An audio example is provided at the link below: *
[insert audio less. 1-1]
there's this little jump in the voice...


"English sentences are generally arranged by subject, verb, object but in Japanese the basic structure is subject, object and verbal... with the verbal (verbs, be-verb, adjectives and na-acjectives) coming at the end. Thus, such english senteces as "Today is Friday." and "Johnny ran to school.", appear in Japanese as, "Today Friday is." and "Johnny to school ran."

The order in which information is presented in the sentence is also different. In English important information tends to be given first, with less important items tacked on the end. In Japanese, less important items are gotten out of the way first, setting the stage for the important information which comes at the end. Hence the impression that Japanese sentences are "backwards". (Japanese For Everyone, p.g. 16)


ohiyo gozaimasu, watashi no namae wa mari desu. watashi wa jyuu ni sai desu. shyuumi wa tennisu to manga o yon mimasu. tokyo ni sunde imasu.

doozo yoroshiku

Broken down:

ohiyo gozaimasu is good morning

watashi no namae wa mari desu.
me/I ____^ this is a particle, this one represents ownership or something about an object
________________^ namae is name
_______________________^ wa is another particle. this one refers to an object/ more information about a subject.
_____________________________^ mari. Mary.
__________________________________^ desu. basically saying period at the end of the sentence its used in formal speech exceptions include when the verb is in masu form (will be explained later but for now just use desu at the end of a sentence)

watashi wa jyuu ni sai desu.
______________^ jyuu ni - 12
_____________________^ sai - age

shyuumi wa tennisu to manga o yomimasu.

^ hobby
_________________ ^ tennis
________________________^ to - and (pronounced toe)
_____________________________________^ particle o is put infront of a verb
^ to read
tokyo ni sunde imasu.
^ place
^ ni is usually used after a place or time
^ lives
^ in/living.

doozo yoroshiku - nice to meet you.


ohio gozaimasu good morning
konnichiwa good afternoon
konbanwa good evening
oyasumi nasai good night
doozo yoroshiku / hajimemashite nice to meet you

tenisu tennis
konpyuta- computers (anything related to computers)
suketto boddo skateboarding
anime anime
manga manga
oyogimasu swimming


ichi one
ni two
san three
yon four
go five
roku six
nana/shichi seven
hachi eight
kyuu nine
jyuu ten

(and vocabulary on the a-ko worksheet)

jyuu ichi = 11
ni jyuu san = 23
san jyuu roku = 36


it means moon.

a-ko worksheet (find above)
practice vocabulary and introductions outloud, flash cards are a good idea too.
practice sentence structure
and practice, practice, practice the hiragana!
[ * - I'm having technical difficulties getting audio samples up...]
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