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Let’s Learn Japanese Language #2


Let’s Learn Japanese #2

Dear readers, I’m sorry for being late to post this article. I know some of you have recently opened my page just to check whether my previous post about learning Japanese has already been continued or not.


Well, to start our lesson today. I would like to explain about introduction in Japanese.

Japanese people like to bend their body in front of other people whom they meet as a respect. It’s called as OJIGI. When we introduce ourselves to other people we must do ‘ojigi’ first before saying who we are and where we are from, after finish the introduction we close it with ‘ojigi’ too.

Hajimemashite : Let me introduce myself
Watashi wa … (Your name) desu : I am …
Watashi wa … (Your place) kara desu : I am from …
Douzo yoroshiku onegai-shimasu : It’s nice to see you

The word ‘desu’ has a similar meaning with ‘to be’ in English. Different with another languanges in this world, Japanese linguistics has a very unique pattern of sentences and statements. If English has pattern : Subject-Verb/Predicate-Object-Adverb
Japanese language is totally different. Japanese language has a pattern where the verb must be put at the end of statement! While after subject there must be an Adverb or Object, so the pattern is :

For example :
Watashi wa pan to tamago o tabemasu
(I eat bread and egg)

Watashi : I
Pan : bread
To : and
Tamago : egg
Tabemasu : eat


Before tackling complex sentence structures, it is essential to understand the basic structure of Japanese sentences. First, let us consider the following sentence.

(1) Watashi wa yuube tomodachi no apaato de terebi o mite ita.
(Last night I was watching TV in my friend’s apartment.)

(1) Is a simple sentence (I.e., a sentence with a single verbal). The structure of this sentence can be diagramed as follows.

(2) Pre-verbal element
Watashi wa {Subject (Topic)} : I
Yuube {Time} : last night
Tomodachi no apaato de {Location} : in my friend’s apartment
Terebi o {Direct object} : television

Mite ita : was watching

As (2) illustrates, Japanese simple sentences usually consist of a verbal and some pre-verbal elements. Complete sentences in Japanese must contain a verbal, and in some instances simple sentences have only verbals (e.g., imperative sentences). Thus, verbals are considered to be the ‘hub’ of sentences. As a matter of fact, sentences are constructed in such a way that the verbals are modified by pre verbal elements. About this structure I’ll explain next time at the next posts.

The expression of ‘Douzo yoroshiku onegai-shimasu’ actually has a deeply meaning which accurately is “Please, help me and receive my introduction kindly!” As I have told you before in my previous post about learning Japanese people that we must see what they show us, because there is a few words being said by them, but more acts shown by body language! So, please remember when you say the expression ‘Douzo yoroshiku onegai-shimasu’, you bend your body politely!

Here is a dialogue for more illustrations.


Budi : Minasan, konnichi wa. Hajimemashite. Watashi wa Budi desu. Watashi wa Indoneshia kara desu. Douzo yoroshiku onegai-shimasu.

Watanabe : Kochirakoso Budi-san. Hajimemashite. Watashi no namae wa Watanabe desu. Osaka kara kimashita. Douzo yoroshiku onegai-shimasu.

Budi : Good day, everybody. Allow me to introduce myself. I am Budi. I am from Indonesia. Nice to see you all.

Watanabe : Welcome, Mr. Budi! Let me introduce myself. My name is Watanabe. I came from Osaka. Nice to see you too.

The expression ‘Douzo yoroshiku onegai-shimasu’ is one of the most polite form when you say ‘Nice to see you’. It can be shortened into ‘Douzo yoroshiku’ or just ‘yoroshiku’, and it’s still respected as formal statement as well.

One thing we must remember, when we would like to give a visiting card to a Japanese, we must give it with ‘ojigi’ as usual. And so must the receiver. Ojigi is a very important thing in Japanese daily life. When you show your sympathy, please do ‘ojigi’! When you express thankful to someone, please do ‘ojigi’! And when you’re so sorry because of a mistake, please do ‘ojigi’!  


Budi : Kore wa watashi no meishi desu.

Watanabe : Doumo arigatou gozaimasu.

Budi : Shitsurei desu ga, O-shigoto wa nan desu ka?

Watanabe : Kenchiku-ka desu.

Budi : Sou, desu ka.

Budi : This is my visiting card.

Watanabe : Thank you very much.

Budi : Excuse me, what is your profession?

Watanabe : (I am an) architect.

Budi : I see.

Kore : This
Watashi no : My
Meishi : visiting card
Doumo : Very much
Arigatou gozaimasu or sometimes just ‘Arigatou’ : Thank you
Shitsurei desu ga : I’m sorry/Excuse me for being impolite
O-shigoto : your job/your profession
Shigoto : job/profession
Nan : what
Kenchiku-ka : Architect
Sou : Really?
Sou desu ka : Oh, I see.

Sometimes Japanese people do not mention subject or object in a direct communication along they know each other what the topics and the subjects being talked. Even they rarely mention themselves as the subject in the discussion. Like in the dialogue above when Budi asked Watanabe what is his profession, Watanabe didn’t say ‘Watashi wa …,’ as the meaning ‘I am a …’ But Watanabe replied by mentioning his profession directly ‘Kenchiku-ka desu’.

This is should be underlined by us, that Japanese people seems so careful when they would say ‘Anata’ to their discuss-mate. Although the word ‘anata’ (means : you) is more polite than ‘kimi’, but it’s seldom used in interactive discussion. People more often used ‘O’ as the subtitutor of ‘anata’. For example.

O-namae wa nan desu ka?
(What is your name?)
Not ‘Anata no namae’!

O-shigoto wa nan desu ka?
(What is your profession?)
Not ‘Anata no shigoto’!

O-kuni wa doko desu ka?
(Where is your country?)
Not ‘Anata no kuni’

It seems a little bit taboo to say ‘anata’. And here are some reasons why it’s hard to say.

1) Anata is often said when a mother gets angry to her child or her husband. And so does the husband;
2) Anata is often said when a teacher scolds his/her student;
3) Anata is often said when a mother in law calls her daughter in law (in this case the daughter in law doesn’t obey her advice).

So, be careful when you talk with Japanese! Do speechless, but more acts! See you at the next post! πŸ™‚


About Sugih

I'm just an ordinary people

9 responses to “Let’s Learn Japanese Language #2

  1. sushantganeshanbharat ⋅


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