TIL: Pimsleur 1-2 and 1-3

Wasn’t able to make an update last night, and I likely won’t on Tuesdays or Thursdays as I teach on those nights. Right now I’m trying to cut my sugar in-take (because I spent $36 on candy last week including White Cheddar Popcorn, Twix, Pocky, and a few bags of junk from the local candy store), and making friends with a treadmill at lunch. So my caloric Feng Shui is totally wrong. By the time I’m home at night it’s kind of hard to force myself to stay up late doing anything that requires concentration.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not still trying to learn. When I’m on the treadmill, I’m listening to Pimsleur. Now that I’m three lessons in, I’m both finding it tricky and enjoyable. It really helps to have something to keep my mind going when I feel like I’m a hamster. The way they continuously revisit what you’ve already learned while forcing you to pick up new phrases seems helpful. The mind is constantly trying to recall stuff that it’s not very familiar with, but there’s always something you recognize to help you get a little Dopamine hit.

Since there’s a couple of sounds that I wasn’t 100% sure if I was hearing correctly over the sounds of people working out and Queen on the gym speakers… here are the various phrases that have been introduced so far:

Lesson 1

    – すみませんあなたはえいごがわかりますか。 Excuse me, do you understand English?
    – いいえわたしはいえごがわかりません。 No, I don’t understand English.
    – わたしはにほんごがすこしわかります。 I understand a little Japanese.
    – あなたはあアメリカじんですか。 Are you American?
    – はいわたしはアメリカじんです。 Yes, I am American.

((It seems that typing in Katakana isn’t so hard… when you type a word such as amerika, you actually get a drop down list that lets you convert to Katakana from Hiragana. Yay!))

Things to take note of from the lesson:

    – わかります / わかりません – wakarimasu / wakarimasen – “understand” / “don’t understand”
    – すみません – sumimasen – “Excuse me/Pardon”. As you can tell by the “sen” at the end of the verb, this is the negative form of a verb. After looking it up, it looks like This is a negative form of the verb “sumimasu” which means “it ends.” So, “sumimasen” literally means “it does not end,” and by extension “I’m indebted.” “Sumimasen deshita” is the past, or perfective, form of
    “sumimasen.” It literally translates as “it did not end” or “I was indebted,” which actually means “I’m sorry for what happened.”
    – です – desu (u is silent) – “is” / “am”

    – わたし / あなた – watashi / anata – “I” / “You”
    – えいご / にほんご – eigo / nihongo – “English” / “Japanese”

    – は / が / か – ha (actually pronounced wa) / ga / ka – wa is the topic marker… I am the topic, but ga is the subject marker. ka is a spoken question mark. We’re asking about your English comprehension. You wa English ga understand ka. Anata wa eigo ga wakarimasu ka.

    – いいえ / はい – iie / hai – “no” / “yes”

    – アメリカじん – amerikajin – “American”. Amerika uses Katakana since it is a foreign word.

    – すこし – sukoshi – “a bit”/”few”/”a little” Sukoshi was a bit tricky to hear in the recordings as it seems to be pronounced more like “sko” than “su-ko”.

Lesson 2

    New stuff:
    – ありがとうございます – arigatou gozaimasu – Thank you (ございます is added for politeness)
    – おはようございます- ohayou gozaimasu – “good morning”
    – じゃまた -ja mata – “see you” “good bye”
    – じょうず – jouzu – skilled (じょうずです) I am skilled.
    – じゃありません – ja arimasen – “am not” じゃ is a contraction of では, like can’t is a contraction of cannot. Both are acceptable. In spoken Japanese, it’s probably more natural to say じゃ, because it rolls off the tongue easier. では would be used more in written contexts. But basically, they’re interchangeable. You can actually say dewa mata above for good bye as well, but it sounds more rigid. ja is more informal. More on that here.
    – いい – ii – “good”/”nice”
    – おてんき – otenki – “weather”
    – ね – ne – “eh?” as in “It’s nice weather, eh?” or いいおてんきですね。

Lesson 3

New stuff:

    – でも – you can use でも (demo) at the beginning of a sentence to mean “but,”
    – まだ – still or yet. So if we combine it with the previously learned じょうず, we can get でもまだじょうずじゃありません。 -> demo mada jouzu ja arimasen -> But, I am not skilled yet.
    – よく – nicely; properly; well; skillfully; skilfully
    – いやな – unpleasant feeling
    – ども – Domo is an adverb which means “very” . Its function is to make you sound serious, and it can be used with either Arigato gozaimasu (Thank you) or Sumimasen (I’m sorry.). If you just say domo by itself, it’s interpreted as thank you, but not as sorry.
    – こんにちは – “greetings!” “hello” “good day”
    – にほん – The Japanese names for Japan are Nippon (にっぽん) and Nihon (にほん). They are both written in Japanese using the Kanji 日本.