Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Expressing "Does not have to"

Genki I had a lesson on expressing "have to do" for verbs, as in "You have to eat breakfast." Well, now it's time to learn how to express "Does not have to."

To say this, take a negative plain form verb, drop the い in ない, and add くてもいい. This なくて is the negative て form, used in plenty of other grammar structures.

プレゼントをくれなくてもいいですよ。
You don't have to get me a present.

アリスは納豆がきらいだから、食べなくてもいいよ。
Alice hates natto, so she doesn't have to eat it.

病めてるから、学校に行かなくてもいいよ。
You're sick, so you don't have to go to school tomorrow.

This grammar can also be used with nouns and adjectives in the exact same way - remove the い from the ない in their negative form and add くてもいい.

ステージはすごくなくてもいいよ。
The performance doesn't have to be amazing.

クリスマスパーティードレスはきれいじゃなくてもいいですよ。
The dress for the Christmas party doesn't have to be pretty.

彼は ベジタリアンじゃなくてもいいよ。
My boyfriend doesn't have to be a vegetarian.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Quoting with Casual Speech

In an earlier chapter, Genki introduced the quotation particle と, used before things like 言ってた and 話しました to quote another person's words. Well, a far more common and casual way of quoting things in everyday speech is って.

To quote someone with って, simply add it to the end of the sentence. The sentence can end in plain or keigo verbs, as well as particles like よ and ね.

アヤトはビーチに行きたくないって。
Ayato said he doesn't want to go to the beach.

カナトは人形が大好きだよって。
Kanato says he really loves dolls.

It can also be used in place of  と, and then followed by a verb just as と was. So it doesn't have to be used on its own, though it often is.

あきらさんは何て言ってた?
What did Akira say?

チョコレートを食べ過ぎたって言ってた。
He said he ate too much chocolate.

The above are two Genki examples. Note that って simply becomes て after the word 何. This transformation happens after words that end with ん.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Using そう to Say "I hear that..."

To give a "hearsay report" (i.e., say "I hear that..."), the sentence-final そう can be used. It's added to the end of a sentence that's in the short form.

留学生はかわいいそうだね。
I hear that the exchange student is cute.

リーさんは最近忙しいそうだよ。
I hear that Lee is busy lately.

新しい公園すごくきれいだそうですよ。
I hear the new park is really pretty.

トムのおじいさんは親切だったそうだね。
I heard that Tom's grandfather was kind.

カナト君の好きな食べ物はケーキだそうですよ。
I hear that Kanato's favorite food is cake.

君の友達は有名なシェフだそうだね。
I hear your friend is a famous chef.

メアリーとたけしは結婚したそうですよ。
I hear that Mary and Takeshi got married.

ジムさんはヨットを買うそうだね。
I hear that Jim is buying a yacht.

Following the usual pattern, nouns and na-adjectives must have だ placed after them when そう follows. Also note that "the reported speech retains the tense and polarity of the original utterance."

This may look awfully similar to when we learned そう to say "it seems like...", but there are some clear differences.

忙しいそう versus 忙しそう  (note the い)
好きだそう versus 好きそう  (note the だ)

Genki notes that with this structure, we do not say things like そうじゃない or そうでした, unlike the other そう grammar point we learned. そうです and そうだ are the main two used.

This structure can also be used to report things heard from people or other sources, like TV or newspapers. To specify where you heard it from, you can say [Source] によると, which means "According to [source]..."

天気予報によると、台風が来るそうです。
According to the weather forecast, a typhoon is approaching.

お母さんによると、バカだそうだなぁ。
According to your mom, you're an idiot.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Using 時 to Express "When..."

I know I've used 時 clauses in the past for various "when..." expressions, but there are some important rules to keep in mind when using it with verbs. Genki's explanation for this grammar point is rather convoluted, frankly, so I've consulted some other sources to help me better understand it.

To express "when..." in Japanese, the following sentence pattern is used:

Sentence A 時, Sentence B.

It means "When A, B." Sentence A always ends in the plain form, in the present or past tense. Here is a StackExchange example that has helped me better understand this. Quoted from that link:

The present-tense ~る時 pattern is used when the action has not yet been completed relative to the main clause.

The past-tense ~た時 pattern is used when the action is completed relative to the main clause.

日本に行くとき、カメラを買った。
On the way to Japan, I bought a camera. (The action of "going" isn't complete yet.)

日本に行ったとき、カメラを買った。
When I went to Japan (after arriving), I bought a camera.

I actually just had a bit of a breakthrough in thinking about one of Genki's example sentences, so I'm going to write that here and hope it helps this grammar point stick.

中国に行った時、ウーロン茶を買います。
I will buy oolong tea when I go to China.

At first, it seems strange that it's 行った rather than 行く. But the English translation is misleading. Because we're not buying the tea until after we've gone to China, we need that past tense. So perhaps a more accurate translation is:

中国に行った時、ウーロン茶を買います。
I will buy oolong tea when I've gone to China.

This is much easier to understand, and clearly lets us know that you're not going to buy the tea on your way to China, but rather, that it will be bought once the "going" is complete and you're already there. Hurray for breakthroughs!

If a noun is used directly before 時, then it must be followed by の. Na-adjectives must be followed by な. I-adjectives don't require anything special.

元気な時、公園を走ります。
I jog in the park when I feel fit.

犬が病気の時、病院に連れていきました。
I took the dog to the vet when it was sick.

さびしい時、友達に電話します。
I call up friends when I am lonely.

All of those are Genki examples. Note that the adjectives and nouns do not need to be conjugated for tense. They're fine just the way they are.

This is probably one of the most difficult grammar points I've studied thus far, because it's so completely different from English. It definitely calls for more reading practice to get the hang of it.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Expressing Hope with といい

"I hope you're doing well" or "I hope you ace your test!" and other similar expressions are very frequently used in English. We generally say "I hope" followed by some sort of positive event that we wish to occur.

To express this in Japanese, the といい pattern is used. This consists of the plain present tense form of a verb, followed by といいですね or といいね for more casual scenarios. This is used when "wishing for the good luck of somebody other than yourself," says Genki.

元気にしてるといいね。
I hope you're doing well.

カナトは迷路で迷わないといいね。
I hope Kanato doesn't get lost in the maze.

パンツを見つけるといいですね。
I hope he finds his pants.

リーさんがその松を登れるといいね。
I hope Lee-san can climb that pine tree.

If you want to say that you hope for something for your own good, then it's better to use といいんですが or といいんだけど, both of which sound more modest.

食べ物が美味しいといいんですが。
I hope the food is yummy.

車を直すといいんだけど。
I hope they fix my car.

Finally, it's important to note that this expression is used when hoping that something nice happens, meaning that it's generally out of your control. If it's something in your control, then the verb can be conjugated to the potential form, and then the といい pattern can be added.

日本では新しい友達を合えるといいんだけど。
I hope I can meet new friends in Japan.

秋、カナダに行けるといいんですが。
I hope I can go to Canada in the fall.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

More Ways to Make Requests

Up until now, making a request essentially consisted of using a verb's て form plus ください. Well there's a billion more ways to do it, but this chapter covers three more. Here they are, ranked from polite to casual.

いただけませんか
くれませんか
くれない

It's best to use いただけませんか when making a polite request to someone above you, or to a stranger.

ちょっと待っていただけませんか?
Could you please wait for a second?

かばんを預かっていただけませんか?
Could you please look after my bag?

くれませんか is roughly equal to ください in terms of politeness, and Genki states that it's the form most appropriate for speaking to someone like a host family.

ノートを貸してくれませんか?
Would you lend me your notebook?

この机を組んでくれませんか?
Would you put this desk together?

Finally, くれない is the most casual of them all (barring just using plain て form) and is used to very casually ask for a favor. Genki says it's good for speaking with members of your peer group.

財布取ってくれない?
Pass me my wallet, will you?

ドアを閉めてくれない?
Close the door, will you?

Dance With Devils - Synchronic

Another song translation? Holy snap. It feels like it's been ages since I did the first one, but I'm suddenly super eager to do another one. I think it's because I have two drama CDs coming in the mail soon, and I'm sooooo looking forward to translating those. They're the only two I've seen without translations.

Anyway, let's get started. This song is Synchronic, from the same Dance With Devils CD my friend gave me. I liked this song alright at first, but now I love it more and more every time I listen to it. As always, I'm a beginner with translations, so I'm sure there's some improvements to be made here.

Future Universe Future Universe
I felt your heart beating fast now
Meeting is inevitable

奇跡なんかじゃない
偶然なんかじゃない
必然の刹那
共鳴する鼓動

闇を抜け出す Stardust
離れ離れの Feel 繋いで
滑り落ちてく Two heart
夜空彩りながら

Because 偶然じゃない
重なり合うその Sympathy
そうきっと We can be one

今運命がシンクロして
想像越える未来が到来
Future Universe Universe
宇宙が描いた Story

太陽と月の心拍が
ふたつの震わせて
Future Universe Universe
今目覚める本
巡り逢う二人の Synchronic

We are meant to be
It's not a coincidence

幾億年の時間
越えて辿る未来
惑星を飛び越えて
僕らは巡り逢う

闇をかきわけ One way
君の元へと Feel 届けよう
瞳閉じれば ほら
心は響き合うから

混沌の世界の中でも
ふたりの願いは Synchronic
Future Universe Universe
歩き出した Story

運命がシンクロして
想像越える未来が到来
Future Universe Universe
宇宙が描いた Story

太陽と月の心拍が
ふたつの震わせて
Future Universe Universe
今目覚める本
巡り逢う二人の Synchronic

Future Universe Future Universe
I felt your heart beating fast now
Meeting is inevitable

It's no miracle
It's no coincidence
An inevitable moment
A resonating pulse

Stardust that slips away from the darkness
These scattered feelings connecting
Two hearts that fall together
As they both color the night sky

Because it wasn't merely chance
This overlapping sympathy
Surely, we can be one

Our fates now synchronized
The coming of our envisioned interwoven futures
Future Universe Universe
Our story painted in the cosmos

The beat of the sun and the moon
Leaving two hearts trembling together
Future Universe Universe
Our now-awakened instincts
With our collision, synchronic

We are meant to be
It's not a coincidence

For all eternity
Pursuing our futures entwined
Leaping over planets
We collide once more

Pressing through the darkness one way
Met with the feeling of being at your side
If you close your eyes, listen
The reverberation of our hearts as they join together

Even amidst chaos of this world
Our wishes shall be synchronic
Future Universe Universe
Our continued story

Our fates synchronized
The coming of our envisioned interwoven futures
Future Universe Universe
Our story painted in the cosmos

The beat of the sun and the moon
Leaving two hearts trembling together
Future Universe Universe
Our now-awakened instincts 
With our collision, synchronic