Desu ka

Desu ka DEFAULT

When you come across scenes that are typically Japanese, naturally you want to take pictures.

But like anywhere else in the world, some places don't allow it.

So you should ask II DESU KA? (May I?)

Even if you don't know how to say "I'd like to take a picture" in Japanese, people will understand if you gesture like you're pushing the shutter button down and ask II DESU KA?

II DESU KA? (May I?) can help you in all kinds of situations.

When you ask for permission to do something, a Japanese person will usually smile and nod if it's okay.

If it's not okay, the person will wave a hand back and forth.

Some places such as temples and museums have signs that say photos aren't allowed.

If you say II DESU KA? (May I?) while making gestures, people will probably figure out what you mean.

Sours: https://www.nhk.or.jp/lesson/english/easytravel_j/s1_ep1.html

O Genki Desu Ka – What does it mean in Japanese?

O genki desu ka is a phrase in Japanese that means “How are you?”
If you have been learning Japanese for any amount of time – you have likely heard this phrase.
In many Japanese learning textbooks – お元気ですか is one of the first phrases that you will learn. This is true for our Japanese lessons as well.
It is so common a phrase for beginner learners that there is even a Japanese learning textbook called “Genki” (We use this textbook series in our intensive courses as well.)
In this blog we will teach you all about the phrase O genki desu ka and show you how you can use it when speaking Japanese.

What does O genki desu ka mean in Japanese

The word genki is written in Japanese kanji as 元気
This is a combination of two Kanji that are nouns – and the word genki itself is a na adjective.

  • 元 (げん, gen) — beginning, origin, foundation, the source of something
  • 気 (き, ki) — energy, spirit, mind, air, breath, atmosphere, mood

When you put the words together – the word genki is taken to mean, “lively, full of spirit, energetic, vidorous, vital, healthy, well, fit, in good health”
Often you will hear younger people describing their elders as “Genki” – this means that even though someone is advanced in years – they are still in good spirits and young at heart.
So there are several ways that you can use Genki as both a greeting and an adjective in spoken Japanese.

O genki desu ka – how to answer

In Japanese you will often be asked by your teachers and friends the following question – “O genki desu ka” , so what is the correct response for this greeting?

  • お元気ですか?
    O genki desu ka
    How are you?
  • 元気です
    genki desu.
    I am well

When someone asks you if you are genki – you can simply say – “genki desu.” – In English, the equivalent would be something like.
“How are you?” – “I’m Good.”
If you would like to answer this question in the negative – you can also do that with the following sentences:

  • 元気ではありません。
    Genki de wa arimasen
    I am not well. (formal way of saying it)
  • 元気じゃないです。
    Genki jya nai desu
    I am not well. (another formal way of saying it)

This is the way that it appears in most textbooks – but between friends – using the desu would seem unnatural.
So when speaking with friends – to sound natural you would say things slightly differently.

Using Genki Naturally with Friends

The above example is more than fine for situations where you are asking a colleague you don’t know well or an acquaintance, but for friends you would state it more casually.
In order to make it more casual and natural sounding between friends – you may just simply say “Genki” – with an upward voice inflection.

  • Your Friend:
    “Sam-San, Genki?”
    ”サムさん、元気?” <—With an upward question tone of voice
  • You:
    “Genki”
    元気。

This is a more natural way to call and respond with this phrase as it signifies that you are close to the person.
If you want to tell someone that you aren’t well you can use the following pattern:

  • 元気じゃない。
    genki jya nai
    I’m not well. (casual)

These are the basic constructions that you can use when using the term genki in Japanese.
If you are a total beginner in Japanese – connect with us for a free level check and interview – we offer private, part-time, and intensive Japanese lessons

Want to master Japanese? Start taking Japanese lessons with us!

共有する:

Sours: https://cotoacademy.com/ja/o-genki-desu-ka-mean-japanese/
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Nani desu ka meaning and why it sounds weird to the Japanese, explained

Home » translation » Nani desu ka meaning and why it sounds weird to the Japanese, explained

By Masaki Mori

How to say “what?” in Japanese

Japanese learners would perhaps say “nani desu ka”. It can be understood as a polite way to say “what?” in Japanese. But, in reality, it sounds weird to Japanese native speakers. In this blog post, I will explain the expression, “nani desu ka”, in detail based on its components. And also, I will explain why it sounds weird. Let’s get started!

Contents

Definition and meaning of “nani desu ka”

First of all, let me start with the definition and meaning of “nani desu ka”.

  • nani desu ka – 何ですか (なにですか) : a polite expression meaning ‘what?’ in Japanese.
Its definition and meaning are quite simple and clear, I think. To understand it a bit more, however, let me explain its components in detail.

Components of “nani desu ka”

As its appearance suggests, it can be broken down into the following three parts:

  • nani – 何 (なに) : an indefinite pronoun meaning ‘what’ in Japanese. It can be used alone with the pitch raised to say “what?” in Japanese. Actually, Japanese native speakers quite often use this word to say “what?” in Japanese especially in speaking.
  • desu – です : an auxiliary verb used after a noun or adjective to make it polite. In the expression, it is put after the indefinite pronoun, “nani”, to make it sound polite.
  • ka – か : a sentence ending particle put at the end of a sentence to make a question. In the expression, it is put at the end of the sentence to make a question.
From these three components, we can understand that “nani desu ka” is literally a Japanese polite expression meaning ‘what?’ But, again, it sounds weird to Japanese native speakers. I will explain the reason below.

Why does “nani desu ka” sound weird?

In the Japanese language, sometimes, word connections become much more important than individual words. This trait becomes conspicuous especially in speaking. Pronunciations of some words can vary depending on words used together with them. To tell the truth, “nani” is one of them. When it is followed by a particle or auxiliary verb, its pronunciation is changed to “nan” for a better connection. So, when it is followed by “desu”, its pronunciation should be “nan” instead of “nani”. This is the reason “nani desu ka” sounds weird to Japanese native speakers. Basically, they expect “nani” to be changed to “nan”. In short, when we want to say “what?” in a polite way in Japanese, we should say “nan desu ka”.

Does “nani” always become “nan”?

As I explained above, when “nani” is followed by a particle or auxiliary verb, its pronunciation needs to be changed to “nan” for a better connection. The question here is, does this always happen? My answer is, in many cases yes. But we need to be careful with, at least, one exception below.

  • nani de – 何で (なにで) : a combination of the indefinite pronoun, “nani”, and a case particle, “de”. This particle is used after a noun to indicate a means or way to do something. In this regard, it is quite similar to English prepositions like “by” and “with”. So, “nani de” can literally be translated as “by what” or “with what”. It can be considered as a way to ask how to do something in Japanese.
“Nani” does not always become “nan” when it is followed by a particle or auxiliary verb. So, I said “in many cases yes”. But, this doesn’t mean that we cannot say “nan de” to ask how to do something in Japanese. Actually, Japanese native speakers quite often use “nan de” for this purpose. However, we need to be careful with the confusion between “nan de” and “nande”. Below is the difference.

Difference between “nan de” and “nande”

Honestly, the following two can be confusing even for Japanese native speakers.

  • nan de – 何で (なんで) : a combination of “nani” and “de” which have a better connection of pronunciations. It is more or less the same as “nan de” explained above. So, it can be used to ask how to do something.
  • nande – 何で (なんで) : an adverb meaning ‘why’ in Japanese. It can be used to make why questions in Japanese. It is one word.
Both have the same pronunciation and appearance. But, they have different meanings and roles. In addition, while “nan de” is grammatically a combination of two words, “nande” is one word. So, we need to differentiate one from the other. In reality, however, it is quite difficult. Or perhaps I should say, it is nearly impossible. So, depending on the situation, even Japanese native speakers cannot understand a meaning of “何で” correctly. Sometimes, they need to confirm its meaning and intention of the speaker.

Both are definitely confusing also for Japanese learners, I think. So, when we hear people saying “何で”, we need to be very careful with the context. Sometimes, we need to check its meaning and intention of the speaker.

Summary

In this blog post, I’ve explained the expression, “nani desu ka”, in detail based on its components. And also, I’ve explained why it sounds weird to Japanese native speakers. Furthermore, I’ve explained “nani de”, “nan de”, and “nande”. Let me summarize them as follows.

  • nani desu ka – 何ですか (なにですか) : a polite expression meaning ‘what?’ in Japanese. But, it sounds weird to Japanese native speakers.
  • nani de – 何で (なにで) : a combination of the indefinite pronoun, “nani”, and a case particle, “de”. This particle is used after a noun to indicate a means or way to do something. In this regard, it is quite similar to English prepositions like “by” and “with”. So, “nani de” can literally be translated as “by what” or “with what”. It can be considered as a way to ask how to do something in Japanese.
  • nan de – 何で (なんで) : a combination of “nani” and “de” which have a better connection of pronunciations. It can be used to ask how to do something.
  • nande – 何で (なんで) : an adverb meaning ‘why’ in Japanese. It can be used to make why questions in Japanese. It is one word.
Hope my explanations are understandable and helpful for Japanese learners.

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Filed Under: translation

Sours: https://japaneseparticlesmaster.xyz/nani-desu-ka/
Mochimono karite mo ii desu ka

#3

DOKO DESU KA? Where is...?

Check the pronunciation!

I'm walking from the station, but I got lost.

Can you ask someone for directions?

Getting lost is just part of going places you've never been before.

When asking for directions in Japanese, say DOKO DESU KA? (Where is...?)

If you pair that with the name of the place you want to go, even in English, somebody can probably point you in the right direction.

If you can show a map, a picture in a guidebook or your smart phone, you're even more likely to get a helpful response.

Japanese cities and towns have police boxes where officers are stationed.
In Japanese, the buildings are called KÔBAN.

KÔBAN are meant to keep communities safe. They're also where people go when they need directions or when they've lost belongings.

So whenever you need help, head for the KÔBAN.

To let people know where you want to go, say your destination followed by DOKO DESU KA? (Where is...?). Or, just show a map and say DOKO DESU KA?

If you want to learn more:

Related lesson pages

Back to Top

Sours: https://www.nhk.or.jp/lesson/english/easytravel_j/s1_ep3.html

Ka desu

Japanese/Lessons/Introduction/Ogenki desu ka/Yes and no

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(edit)

Links to the interesting stuff go here ... once they have been compiled and the pages checked.

Understand[edit | edit source]

Vocabulary[edit | edit source]

Saying yes:

  • はい hai: yes (polite)
  • ええ ee: yes (polite, colloquial)
  • うん un: yeah (not polite, colloquial)
  • そう sou: yes, like that

Saying no / rejecting:

  • いいえ iie: no (polite)
  • いや iya: no (less polite)
  • ううん uun: oh, no (less polite, colloquial)

Remember: いえ ie means house and should not be used as a shorthand of no.

  • います chigaimasu: That's wrong. (polite)
  • chigau: That's wrong. (not polite)
  • かりません wakarimasen: I don't know. (polite)
  • からない wakaranai: I don't know. (not polite)
  • かんない wakannai: I don't know. (not polite, colloquial)

Uncertainty:

  • どうでしょうか dou deshou ka: Hmm...I wonder. (polite)
  • どうですかね dou desu ka ne: Hmm...I wonder. (polite, colloquial)
  • どうだろうか dou darou ka: Hmm...I wonder. (not polite)
  • どうかな dou ka na: Hmm...I wonder. (not polite, colloquial)
  • どうかしら dou kashira: Hmm...I wonder. (not polite, colloquial, feminine)

Usage Notes:

  1. The basic words for "yes" and "no" are はい hai and いいえ iie. However, as you see above, there are many variants, as well as other common responses to yes/no questions.
  2. Comparing はい hai, ええ ee, and うん un
    • はい hai is a polite way of saying "yes" and can be used in almost any situation.
    • ええ ee is a more colloquial but still polite way of saying "yes" and also carries a somewhat feminine connotation.
    • うん un is a colloquial way of saying "yes" and is closer to the English word "yeah".
  3. Comparing いいえ iie, いえ ie, いや iya, and ううん uun
    • いいえ iie is a polite way of saying "no" and can be used whenever a clear-cut "no" is needed.
    • いえ ie means house or household and is not to be confused with a shortened version of the above.
    • いや iya is a less polite synonym and also caries a masculine connotation.
    • ううん uun is colloquial and connotes a bit of surprise. It could be translated as "oh, no" or "certainly not".
PoliteColloquial but politeColloquial
Yesはいええ (feminine)うん
Noいいえいやいや (bit surprised)

Grammar[edit | edit source]

As a statement, そう sou can be used by itself as an interjection or as a na-adjective followed by です desu or だ da. As a question, そう sou can be used by itself with a rising tone, or followed by か ka or ですか desu ka. It means "that is right," or "that is so," and is used as an affirmative answer to a question.

  1. Interjection examples
    • ですか。 Gakusei desu ka?
    • そうです。 Sou desu.
    • Translation
    • Are you a student?
    • Yes, I am.
    • アメリカ? Amerika-jin?
    • そうよ。 Sou yo.
    • Translation
    • Are you American?
    • Yes, I am.
    • です。 Kangoshi desu.
    • そうですか。 Sou desu ka?
    • Translation
    • I'm a nurse.
    • Are you really?
    • なだ。 Kantan na shukudai da.
    • そう? Sou?
    • Translation
    • This is simple homework.
    • Is it?
  2. Na-adjective examples
    • さんですか。Bengoshi-san desu ka?
    • そうです。Sou desu.

Discuss[edit | edit source]

Culture[edit | edit source]

In Japanese, はい hai is similar to the English word "yes", while いいえ iie is similar to "no". The use of the Japanese terms, however, does not correspond exactly to that of the English words. More precisely, はい hai in Japanese means, "I agree with you", or, "It is correct." Thus, English speakers may struggle with the proper Japanese answer to negative questions (e.g. Don't you ...? or ..., don't you?). Specifically, はい hai answers a negative question in the sense that corresponds to the English "No." Likewise, いいえ iie answers a negative question in the sense that corresponds to the English "Yes."

Links[edit | edit source]

"Yes and Hai" by Keiichiro

Sours: https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Japanese/Lessons/Introduction/Ogenki_desu_ka/Yes_and_no
Mochimono karite mo ii desu ka

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