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18 April 2006 @ 02:12 pm
Lesson One  

おはよう Good Morning


Good Morning (polite)


Good Afternoon


Good Evening






Thank you


Thank You (polite)


Excuse me; I'm sorry; Not at all!

These are some very basic expressions and phrases in Japanese. It is important to note, that when speaking, speak "like a flowing river." If you're an American like me ( ^^; ) pay attention to how you speak. You will notice that there is a great variety in how you accentuate your words. Japanese people did not accentuate anything unless they are trying to stress something- and we will learn that later. When you say, "おはよう" for instance (pronounced O-HAI-yO, the 'y' is practically non-existant) all thress syllables should be spoken at the same pace and given the same accentuation.

-Gozaimasu (GO-ZAI-MAS, no 'U') is a politeness marker. It can not be used everywhere, so for now only denote it to the phrases above.

Ohayou can be used to greet anyone before 11am, after that, you switch to Konichiwa until 5pm. After that, Konbanwa. Ohayou literally means "What a day." Sayonara is the most known version of goodbye, I will review the others later. It is said when the person speaking does not know when he or she will see whom he or she is speaking to again. It could be in a few hours, a few days, months or even years... if ever again.

Sumimasen can used both to get someone's attention politely and to use as a sort of "You're welcome."

*Note: It is an EXCELLENT idea to watch untranslated anime or current TV dramas to pick up accentuation and accents. If you were to, by chance, speak to a japanese person with an american accent, 70% of the time they will think you speaking English to them!