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Disclaimer: "Kai's Japanese Lessons", along with later "Nihongo Lessons," is not endorsed by an educational supervisor. This form of "education" will not be eligible for school transcripts, etc.

Note: Reading this blog will not, in any way, help you understand the SAO wiki more than you can. However, it may help you define some Japanese terms written with the {{nihongo}} template (but most terms will not be addressed this early in the lessons).


Welcome to Kai Socrius's third Nihongo lesson! Excuse the massive hiatus. This lesson will introduce:


Hiragana and Katakana

There is no need to continually post this. Refer to Week 2 for the two charts.

The Particle


The 11 Particles
Click the title for the meaning of each particle!
は (wa) か (ka) が (ga) と (to) で (de) に (ni) の (no) も (mo) へ (e) や (ya) を (o)


The particles separate the words from different words, and have a meaning in themselves. Here are a few sentences to show how different the particles are:

Japanese Character Japanese pronunciation English
街の路machi no michicity's road
街と路machi to michicity and road
街に路machi ni michiroad in the city
街は路machi wa michiThe city is a road.
街か路machi ka michicity or road

A note on Entry 4, which uses the particle は. は in itself means "to be" or "is". This is a case of colloquial sentence structure (which includes the omission of です, だ, or other "copula"), «noun は noun» is a sentence in itself.

The Sentence

For all of us novice translators, you must know the anatomy of the Japanese sentence. While I am able to identify the different parts, some may be confused of where terms end and start, or distinguish a particle from an actual word.

The structure of a sentence is like a train. Why yes, it is a very corny analogy, but it is completely viable. Each part of the sentence is like a car for the train, which can go on forever... and ever... and ever... until the reader decides to stop reading Japanese run-on sentences.

The Structure of a Sentence

Categorization

There are several categorizations for the Japanese Language:

  • Noun
  • Pre-noun
  • Verb (Will do a complete lesson on verbs alone; extensive lesson.)
    • Group 1
    • Group 2
    • Group 3
  • Particle
  • Copula (Ending "particle") (e.g.: です)
  • Adjective (There are two kinds, will make a lesson on these...)
  • Adverb
  • Interjective

Making/Translating the Sentence

The most simple of Japanese sentences is constructed thus:

[Subject of sentence][Particle][Predicate]

The predicate is any description you are giving the [Subject of sentence], may it be a verb, adjective or another noun.

  • [()][は][(おお)きい]
  • Trees are big.

Here is a slightly longer sentence:

  • [(おれ)][は][(よろい)][を][切断(せつだん)][でき][(けん)][を][()っている]
  • [I][は][armor][を][cut][can][sword][を][to possess (at the moment)]
  • I have a sword that can cut [through] armor.

Of course, you can have really long sentences that are composed of many nouns, verbs, and particles...

Example from Rondo of the Transient Sword

  • Text: そして恐ろしいことは、オンラインRPG世界では、その程度の数字は«ちょいちょい発生しちゃう事象»なのだ。
  • Sentence Composition: [interjective][adjective][noun][particle]、[noun (as adjective)][noun (as adjective)][noun (subject)][particle][particle]、[pre-noun][noun (as adjective)][particle][noun (subject)][particle]«[adjective][noun][verb][particle]»[copula]。
  • Words in Structure: [そして][(おそ)ろしい][こと][は]、[オンライン][RPG][世界(せかい)][で][は]、[その][程度(ていど)][の][数字(すうじ)][は]«[ちょいちょい][発生(はっせい)][しちゃう][事象(じしょう)]»[なのだ]。
  • Raw Translation: [and][terrifying][thing][は]、[online][RPG][world/realm][で][は]、[that][amount[† 1]}}][の][numeric/figure][は]«[frequently][occurence][to have done/to happen][event]»[ending particle: confidence[† 2]]。
  • Published Translation: And the terrifying thing is that, in the realm of online RPG, that numeric was a «frequently occurring event».

Note: This sentence is one of the "standard" sentences that I had translated within Rondo. There are longer ones, with at least 3 clauses...


Any questions on Week 3? Leave a comment below.

Notes

  1. This term was omitted in the Published Translation because it was not required for sentence details.
  2. Most copulas are not written out in the Published Translation. Only if it is necessary is it written into the sentence.

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