Japanese Conversation Thread

はじめましてぼくはじょんです。ハワイーから。みなどにからした。

Lol, i think that's wrong, but i'm trying to say: Hello, I'm Jon, from Hawaii, where is everyone from. Please correct me if i'm wrong!
posted by Balut

Comments 36

  • Velistasea
    Velistasea
    well, im a beginner too .im from indonesia, and Jon, i think your name must be written in katakana instead of hiragana :v
  • HuongHitachi
    HuongHitachi
    ハワイから来ました。- i'm from hawaii, and あなた or みんなはどの国「くに」の方「かた」ですか。- where do you come from? I think that maybe it's what you want to say :) and like @Velistasea said, your name- Jon in katakana is ジョン
  • HuongHitachi
    HuongHitachi
    みんなはどのくにのかたですか actually means "which country", i think みんなはどこからきましたか?is more suitable
  • Arachkid
    Arachkid
    I would say, given that this is an international community, which country works just fine. If someone volunteers more than the country, that's fine.
  • Balut
    Balut
    i'm not really good yet at using a japanese keyboard, and i really suck at any kanji, but Huonghitachi's last sentence was what i was kinda going for
  • Balut
    Balut
    if i wanna ask, "have you been to japan?" would i say,

    にほんにきましたか?
  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    Sounds more like "(You) came to Japan?"

    That only might make sense if you are actually in Japan yourself when asking it, but it's not the same as what you were trying to say.

    You probably want something more like this:

    日本に行ったことがありますか?

    日本 (にほん)
    行った (いった), past tense of 行く (いく)
  • Balut
    Balut
    thxs! why would i use ことが? and i would use あります because i'm asking if they existed or were there? would it be the same if i asked someone if they went to like, disneyland last week Saturday i would say:

    せんしゅうのどよび Disneyland に行ったことがありますか?
  • Balut
    Balut
    Thanks guys for your help, it's really helping, i got a lot of japanese friends and i can get my point across in broken sentences and at least understand what they're talking about, but explaining these things is such a big help for me, i wanna thank you and hope to keep learning
  • Hyper
    Hyper
    it's not really talking about the person, since it says ことが the がis speaking about こと so it basically is asking if the act of going to disneyland a week ago did exist.
  • Arachkid
    Arachkid
    Balut, if you were going to ask specifically about going last week Saturday, you wouldn't need こと. When you use こと it is essentially saying have you ever (been to Disneyland, been to Japan, etc). If the verb is different, it can be have you ever eaten eel. うなぎを食べたことありますか
  • HuongHitachi
    HuongHitachi
    i think that just use 行きましたか is alright. 行ったことがあります in this sentence is not really suitable, because せんしゅうのどよび is particular time. (for the clearly reason why i don't know how to explain- just because of my english)
  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    先週の土曜日 (せんしゅうのどようび) [notice the う that was missing]

    先週の土曜日、Disneyland に行きましたか?
    = Did you go to Disneyland last Saturday?

    Disneyland に行きましたか?
    = Did you go to Disneyland?

    Disneyland に行ったことがありますか?
    = Have you been to Disneyland?

    あります (ある) has more meanings than only "to exist". It is not an easy verb to understand. ある can mean "to be, to exist, to live; to have; to possess; to be located; to be equiped with; to happen, to occur, to come about". ある is similar to the English "to be" verb ("is, am, are, was, were, be, been, being"). It depends what context and situation ある is used in for how it should be understood.

    こと is important to make the verb phrase "go to Disneyland" into a noun phrase, so that it can be used as the subject or object. You can't just whack が onto the end of 行った and expect it to mean what you want. こと means "thing" or "matter", so putting it after the verb phrase makes it mean "go to Disneyland thing" / "the thing of going to Disneyland". And then ありますか basically asks "has it happened", "has it occurred".

    That's my take on it anyway. Could be utterly wrong! :D
  • Balut
    Balut
    lol thanks man, your explaining is helping a lot. I know most of those sentences, like simple form: Disneyland に行ったきましたか、
    i have no problem forming these kinds of sentences, using the ことが and then あります confuses me when adding to sentences. I'll ask my friends more about it. but thanks. do you know how to use or? like if i wanted to ask:

    do you like coke or sprite?
    do you want coke or sprite?

    basically how do i compare things? i can never get the sentences structure spot on, like i said i can make simple sentences, but i'm trying to expand my communication a little more rather than just short simple grade school sentences, haha.
  • Balut
    Balut
    I think the hardest thing for me is that even though i have japanese friends and i can generally understand what they are saying, i get confused cuz everything i've ever studied is proper japanese, and they don't talk that way with each other, so i get really confused on how to put sentence structure, its kinda whats holding me back, creating sentences. i know quite a bit of vocab, but when i try to put it together in a sentence i get so confused, even though on paper i could ace a vocab test.
  • Balut
    Balut
    not to mention most of them are girls, lol so me learning how to talk like a japanese valley girl won't sound good, ええええまじでlol
  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    Haha. In England I've virtually never seen any Japanese people. I did speak to a Japanese person once before though. You're from Hawaii right? sounds pretty different there. :)

    There are loads of ways to ask if someone wants coke or sprite.

    coke と sprite と, どちらがいいですか?
    Literally: "coke and sprite, which is good?"

    Or can replace the いい with 好き (すき) to ask "which is liked?" (which do you like?), or use one of the various other ways to ask it.

    と = "and". You don't need the second と, but its up to you.
    どちら = "which". ^^
  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    Should say どちら actually means "which direction, which way", but can also be used to mean "which one" (like in the sentence above) or "who".

    どれ or どの is the normal word meaning "which", but どちら seems to be more what is used when asking someone to chose between only a couple of choices you've given them. :)
  • Balut
    Balut
    so there is no or ? i use which? or any of the ど variations?
  • Balut
    Balut
    and for someone who isn't in contact with japanese ppl a lot you seem to know your sh*t, haha. yea hawaii is kinda different, there is literally so much japanese things here, i have friends who hardly speak any english cuz they don't have to, lots of just strictly japanese businesses and ppl here.
  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    You can ask it with "or" instead. I think even something as simple as this would be okay:

    coke か sprite が欲しいですか?

    か = "or"
    欲しい (ほしい) = "is wanted, is desired"

    I'm assuming, in all of these sentences I'm suggesting, that you are in a situation where you are holding a can of Coke in one hand and a can of Sprite in the other, asking a friend which one they want to be given.

    I knew Hawaii had more Japanese people living there than most countries, but that sounds like more than I thought it was like.

    In England it seems like Japanese are the most unlikely nationality in the whole world you'll bump into. You come across people from China (especially Hong Kong), Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, etc. but in my experience Japanese people are invisible here.

    That one Japanese person I mentioned I had spoken to was a random girl from Osaka. She appeared at a BBQ at my home, probably invited by someone who was invited by someone else (no idea who though), and it was such a surreal experience. Me and my sister tried talking about some popular anime series to her and she had never heard of any of the stuff we were talking about! We only noticed she was there for a short time, and she didn't really speak any Japanese (just basic English), and then we never saw her again. ;_;
  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    Reading back what I wrote, it kind of sounded like I said Hawaii is a country too. I should probably have written "than most places" instead of "than most countries", but I was comparing the situation there what it's like in countries in Europe and elsewhere. ^^;
  • Arachkid
    Arachkid
    You would definitely use か instead of と.
  • Balut
    Balut
    cool! k so if i wanna ask what they want i would say なにがほしですか right?

    and hawaii is basically a totally different country than regular america. haha. asians are the majority here and the whole culture is more asian influenced than anything. other than the hawaiian culture. they mix well. ppl here of so many different ethnicities, and a lot of ppl are bilingual or more, i myself was brought up bilingual, i speak fluent tagalog, philippine's major language
  • Balut
    Balut
    if i wanna ask what do you want to drink to i say なにおのめたいですか ?
  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    なにがほしいですか  (ほしい, not ほし)
    "What do you want?"

    なにが飲みたいですか
    "What do you want to drink?"

    飲みます (のみます) = "drink" (verb)
    飲めます (のめます) = "[be able to] drink" (verb)

    I think with 飲めたい (のめたい) it would mean more like "what do you want to be able to drink?". I've not seen it used before though. 飲みたい is probably what you meant, which, in that sentence, would mean "what do you want to drink?". Maybe both are actually okay(?), but I don't know.

    In a basic beginners Japanese book I have (called "Japanese For Beginners"), the suggested way of asking your original question is:

    (あなたは)Coke と Sprite のどちらにしますか?
    "Which one do you want, Coke or Sprite?"

    Sprite にします。
    "I'll have Sprite."

    The translations listed above are how they translated it. That book was printed in Japan and the authors are all Japanese. I guess the simplest way to casually ask it would just be this:

    Coke? Sprite? どちら?

    :P
  • Balut
    Balut
    yea i get confused here, none of my friends ever use のみますか to ask, they say it short by using tai, in theory i guess in books it's wrong, but in street language, they tell me no one really talks the way i'm learning. haha that's y i get so confused. like asking someone to eat sometimes they say either なにがたべべる or なにがたべたい ,or i'm just so confused already that i'm mixed up, haha. but that's how i understood what they explained
  • Balut
    Balut
    i spelt that wrong but u get the idea
  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    飲みます (飲む) is different to 飲みたい.

    飲みます (飲む) is a verb meaning "drink".
    飲みたい is the 飲み- part of that verb (the "stem" of the verb in some grammar lingo) with the -たい adjectival ending added to it. This ending roughly means "want" and it is for expressing desire to do something ("want to drink" in this case).

    Cokeを飲みますか = "Do you drink Coke?" / "Will you drink Coke?"
    Cokeが飲みたいですか = "Do you want to drink Coke?"

    Cokeを飲めますか = "Can you drink Coke?" (allergies? sugar/caffeine...)
    Cokeが飲めたいですか = "Do you want to be able to drink Coke?" (huh?)

    I was trying to show that のみ__ and のめ__ have different meanings, but you probably only wrote のめ__ earlier by accident? If you are asking what someone wants, then it is normal to use のみたい, たべたい, etc. because that -たい ending is for talking about desires. ^^
  • Balut
    Balut
    oooooooohhhhhhh i totally get it. it'd be like in english there's a lot of ways you can ask the same question but in japanese the word changes rather than a lot of the sentence structure. i get it. dude you ever thought of being a teacher lol
  • Balut
    Balut
    does it work the same if it's a na, i, ru, or whatever else type of verb/adj ?
  • Balut
    Balut
    how'd u get down the different verb forms? cuz at the moment if i hear anything like that starts with nom i know they're talking about drinking something, so i've gotten away just by word association, but learning the forms i think would really step up my level.
  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    It's hard to know what site would be best to suggest for learning Japanese verb conjugation. There's loads out there.

    Pretty much anyone you ask will tell you to check out Tae Kim's grammar guide:
    http://www.guidetojapanese.org/learn/

    I really liked this site when I first wanted to learn Japanese verbs. It is really simple to understand. It mentions if you look at the contents, it covers the -たい ending really early on. You can work your way through all the pages in no time at all:
    http://ww8.tiki.ne.jp/~tmath/language/jpverbs/

    Or even just the wikipedia page for Japanese verb conjugation is decent for listing all the various forms. It's not as basic as the above sites though:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_verb_conjugation
  • Balut
    Balut
    aiite, i'll be sure to check those out, do you have any suggestions on how to get better at making sentences?
  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    Making my own sentences is the part of Japanese that I find hardest. Even kanji doesn't seem as hard as getting the hang of sentence structure. I'm not too bad at reading sentences and understanding them, but I really struggle at making my own ones.

    Until recently, the only purpose I was learning Japanese for was to be able to understand it when reading or listening to Japanese. I never had any intention to learn to speak or write Japanese as I didn't think I'd ever travel to Japan or meet Japanese people.

    But recently I've been wanting to write Japanese, and I've changed and now wish to travel to Japan. I haven't done any practice to try and get better at speaking or writing yet, but I plan to try to write lots of different kinds of sentences on computer/paper in Japanese. If I go to Japan I hope I might be able to attempt to have conversations with people there, which would be helpful for sentence forming practice too.

    I don't think I'm the best person to ask that question to right now though. I actually had to think fairly hard just for those basic Japanese sentences I wrote earlier.

    I think there are lots of good Japanese grammar teaching websites out there, but it doesn't seem like there are any sites which specialise in teaching you to write your own sentences. One day I would like to create a software or website which helps people learn to write senteces in Japanese.

    There are, however, some websites like Lang-8, where you write sentences in Japanese and native speakers correct your sentences. This is good for sentence forming practice, but I haven't used it much at all yet:
    http://lang-8.com
  • Balut
    Balut
    ah...., well it sounds like your doing fine. when i speak in japanese i use broken sentences and sound like a child. but I've been told my pronunciation is like near natural, so thats cool. the simple sentences i have no problem forming. so i can state things with no problem. i guess my problem lies in more like communicating and interacting with people and being able to express my thoughts. to be honest you've been very helpful, especially explaining the different verb forms. you wouldn't happen to know when to use て、or で?
Balut

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