Learning Nihongo

I will be going to a free 60-hour Nihongo class provided by JSAT, a school in Bacoor, Cavite.

This page will be dedicated to the lessons discussed.

I will attend every MON-WED-FRI, so I will update this after each session (or probably a day after).

As Captain Takuya always write on his scripts:

I will do my best.

I will.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13  | Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16 | Day 17 | Last Week



Day 1:  WED.May16

So we met our Sensei for today, he said that he will not be our Sensei on the next session. His name is Mech Salazar, at least that is what he said when he introduced himself in Nihongo. So yeah, our first day Sensei is a Filipino (フィリピン人)

The first hour or two was for introductions. He explained how JSAT’s policies are with sending their students to Japan, the pro’s and cons’, age limits and such.

He also shared a bit about how you can get a job and a Japanese passport.

Then we went to the discussion proper.

He first introduced the 3 writing systems and that Nihongo is called a “Mora Language”.

Mora is a unit in phonology that determines syllable weight, which in some languages determines stress or timing  (wikipedia).

3 writing systems are as follows: 

  • Hiragana – the cursive writing, mostly used for words that originated in Japan (ex: かお)
  • Katakana – the stiff writing, used for loan or borrowed words (ex: ペン)
  • Kanji – Chinese characters (ex: 木村拓哉)

He then thought us the pronunciation by using romaji characters (ex: nihongo). Asked us to memorize Charts 1 -3.

After this he provided us a sheet that lists down greetings and basic expressions that can be used daily.

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This concludes the lesson for today.

Ja Mata Ne.

じゃまたね。


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Day 2: FRI.May18

So today our Sensei was changed. Now our Sensei Kyle is, I believe, a student.

He is nice and all but I felt like I won’t learn much from him. I hope they let Sensei Mech tech us again. Sensei Kyle seemed to be lacking the experience and knowledge since he is just a N5 passer and he’s never been to Japan previously.

Today, we got our module.

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Updated: attached are the links for the scans of the books we were provided. Here’s the link to the file I uploaded on my GDrive.

The start of lesson he gave us a list of common classroom expression that he, we, might be using at class. He asked us to pronounce the phrases / sentences with him.

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He decided not to do the Lesson 1 on the module yet and taught us how to right A, I, U, E and O, as well as Ka, Ki, Ku, Ke Ko.

I will not be attending school on Monday due to a company event I prefer not to miss (it’s a paid summer outing so yeah…)


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Day 3: MON.May21

I missed my Nihongo class today because of a company outing, it’s paid as over time for me so I attended. Lol. Self-studying lesson 1. Lesson 1 is mostly about introductions.

Grammar

Pattern1:

Noun 1 WA (written as は [ha] Noun2 DESU. N1 は N2 です

Wa is a particle that shows that the word before it is the topic.

Desu is usually at the end of sentences to indicate respect towards the listener.

Pattern 2:

Noun1 WA Noun2 JA ARIMASEN

N1 は N2 じゃありません。

Ja Arimasen(じゃありません) is the negative form of DESU (です)

Wa is always written as HA は.

For formal writing is is changed to N1 wa N2 DEWA ARIMASEN. N1 は N2 でわありません。

Pattern 3:

S KA KA is a particle that indicates questions, doubt or uncertainty. A question ends with a higher intonation.

Patter 4:

N MO (Nも)

Use MO instead of WA when the statement about the current topic is the same as previous topic.

Sample:

Ketsueki wa aka. Blood is red. 血液 (けつえきわあか)

Ringo mo aka. Apple is (also) red. 林檎 (りんご) も赤(あか).

Pattern 5:

Noun1 NO Noun2

No is a particle that connects noun, comparable to OF.

N1 of (belongs to) N2

Sample:

Miller-san wa IMC no SHAIN desu. Miller-san は IMC の 社員(しゃいん)です。

Miller is an IMC Employee / Miller san is an employee of IMC.

Pattern 6: 

(name) san

San is added as a sign of respect to the person

San. さん。

Add it to a name, can be used on both gender.

Note: when referring directly to the listener, You (Anata あなた ) is often omitted.

End of Lesson 1

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Day 4: WED.May23

So we started with the assignment, of course since I was absent I did know about it. I answered them still while on class.

There was even a quiz. Man, I only scored 13/20. The quiz was about the vocab from the day I was absent. I’m glad I was still able to answer more than half of the questions.

For checking the quiz, we did it Japanese style. Maru (circle) for the correct answer and Batsu (X) for the incorrect ones.

Pardon my ugly hand writing.

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After that we did a little recitation, self-introduction.

We also practiced sentence constructions based on the patterns from lesson 1.

After that he then proceeded with teaching the T-Line hiragana.

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So when every one else is done practicing. We did a recitation again using flash cards. He would randomly pick cards for us to answer from the A-Line to the T-Line and the special N.

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This concluded our lesson for the day.


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Day 5: FRI.May25

So for today we did a little game. Lol. I made a few writing mistakes on the board (it’s a little embarassing) even though I had it written correctly on my notebook. Lol at me. It was like we create a statement or question in Nihongo and the other team will translate in Englisj and/or answer in Nihongo, you’ll get a plus point if you write it in Hiragana instead of Romaji.

After that we went on with Lesson two, Kore, Sore, Are and Kono, Sono, Ano pattern.

Kore was enpitsu desu.

じれはえんぴつです。

This is a pencil.
Then you just swap Kore with Sore or Ano to make it,”That is a pencil.” or “That (over there) is a pencil.” based on the pattern.

The Kono, Sono and Ano part is a bit confusing but I just made sure to remember that it is a possessive kind.

Rei (example): Kono watashi wa ringo desu.

このわたしはりんごです。 This is my apple. or This apple is mine.
After finishing up the lesson we did some listening and answered a few questions. I can understand a little now but if the person speaks too fast (which is how a Native Japanese speak) i miss a few words.

Till next time. 👍

頑張ってね。


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Day 6: MON.May28

We were supposed to check to see if our assignments are correct but a few were not able to finish making 20 sentences and a lot were absent.

Sensei decided to finish teaching chart 2 and chart 3 of Hiragana instead. Honestly, it’s easy once you have char 1 memorized.

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After that we did a little practice of lesson 2: Ko So A

Ko: Kore, Kono

So: Sore, Sono

A: Are, Ano

Also answered a few renshuu (from A – C, if you want to check the workbook).

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We also answered a mock test. We’re not really supposed to answer this one by one and it was supposed to be a recitation but I still answered it and I found out that I’m still a little confused with using the particles NO, MO and GA.

Next session we will be having a test about the vocabularies on lesson 1 and 2.


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Day 7: WED.May30

Today we did two quizzes.

The first quiz covers the lesson 1 and 2 vocabularies. It’s a lot easier now as we’ve been using the vocabs for about 3 or 4 meetings now.

I scored 17 / 20 with this vocab quiz.

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Then after a few minutes we had another quiz. This one covers everything, vocabs and grammar patterns. This one is 44 items.

Gomen. I have a very ugly hand writing.

So with this quiz I scored 42 over 44. It should have been 43 had I not forgot the tenten above the hiragana KI. LOL.

I also forgot what chair is in Nihongo. LOL at me.

Next lesson, we will go to the next lesson, lesson 3.


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Day 8: FRI.Jun01

Today we started lesson 3.

Ko – So – A – Do

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As seen on the image, we discussed the “Place” version of Ko /So/ A/ Do and it’s polite version.

Sensei also provided additional vocabulary words of different places, animals and colors.

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Everything basically revolved around this topic and we also had a recitation where in we need to create our own sentences, may it be statement or question, that uses the current lesson.

We were also given an assignment to create 10 sets of sentences using all grammar patterns from lesson 1- 3. Also, we were advised that we will have a quiz next meeting.

Ganbatte!


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Day 9: MON.Jun04

We spent the 3 hour session with a little review and sensei taught us about numbers before we have a quiz for lesson 3.

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And then we had the quiz after. Every thing was going well with the quiz until I found out that I got the spelling of HYAKU, BYAKU and PYAKU wrong. It caused me 5 items. T_T

I really cannot get over it. I was spelling them with an extra U at the end.

ひゃくう instead of ひゃく, same goes with the other two. I really feel stupid. Yeah I’m harsh with myself with trivial things like this. LOL.

Next session will have another quiz, this time it will include everything from Lesson 1 to 3, vocabs, particles and grammar.



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Day 10: WED.Jun06

Lesson 1-3 Quiz day!

The quiz is a total of 70 items, and as I said with day 9, it included everything from lessons 1 – 3.

Here is the quiz unanswered.

So I got 63/70.

Here are the answers, pardon my writing. These are my actual test sheets and I wrote the correction with green inked pen.

After the quiz our sensei taught us about body parts, he even draw. LOL.

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Next will be the start of our second module. Lesson 4. Almost all of the lesson with be in HIRAGANA except for KATAKANA.


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Day 11: FRI.Jun08

We started lesson 4 and most, if not all, were written in Hiragana. I found that I can read hiragana quite well I just a little over a second. LOL.

Lesson 4 is all about time. How to say time in nihongo and how to use the particle NI. It was not as confusing as the other particles as you, mostly, use it after a numeral.

We were though the Kanji for the days of the week.

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We we’re also given assignments to compose 10 sentences using anything from lessons 1 to 4.


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MON.Jun11, WED.Jun13, FRI.Jun15

NO CLASSES. Due to heavy rainfall


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Day 12: MON.Jun18

We started the class by doing our assignments that’s already a week late. LOL at the storm. We were asked to either write it in Hiragana or English and then other person will translate it as needed.

It was actually quite fun.

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We learned Katakana today. A line and K line.

He also informed us that we will have a new Sensei (again) for lessons 5 to 6 and we will be merged with another class.

We will have a test the next class for Lesson 4 and I have not memorized the vocabs yet. T_T


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Day 13:WED.Jun20

We were tough different verb groups.

I – Ending in U

II – Ending in RU

III – SURU / KURU

We also did some samples.

We just worked on that and a little recitation.

Nothing much aside from these.


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Day 14-:THU.Jun21

We were taught that GAis used fort the verb Arimasu or Imasu.

Then we were also given lists of some counters:

SAI for age

KAI for floor (building)

DAI for Vehicles

KO for circle objects

PON for long objects


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Day 15-:MON.Jun25

We have a new sensei. Joji san. She doesn’t want to be called sensei. LOL.

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She’s a lot better than Kyle (sorry), she was able to explain things and concepts better. She clarified how to read numbers, money wise.

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She also taught us about the pattern S-T-P-O-V-Q (subject – time – place – object – verb – question)

Did a few recaps like how to read numbers (money) if they are over a thousand (EG: 123,256 YEN)


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Day 16-:WED.Jun27

After today we will be on our 2nd to the last week.

We are now on lesson 5. Topic is about using HE [E]. He is used to denote place.

In this lesson we also learned about DE. De denotes the method used to travel, specifically, vehicles used to travel.

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Day 17-:FRI.Jun29

We had a test for lesson 5 and man! I cannot, for the love of me, answer most of the questions. I was not able to remember the days of the month. (EX: 1st day – Tsuitachi, 2nd day – Futsuka and such).

I really am disappointed in myself.

I only answered 37 correly and it was about 50 items or so.

Better luck next time


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Day 18-22.MON.WED.FRI.TUE.WED

JUL02,04,06,10 and 11

I’m gonna write the last lesson in one go.

Now we are on the last lesson for this free Nihongo class. Lesson 6 is about the particle WO (O). It’s a particle that denotes actions. Only being used for transitive verbs only.

Joji-san really does well with teaching the concept and proper usage of the sentence patterns.

She always asks us to take turn in giving examples or translating her English examples to Nihongo which I think is very effective.

The vocabulary for lesson 6, for me, is easier to memorize since you often use it.

We learned how to says thing like where we ate and what we ate, what we are doing or if we are doing nothing. It was quite nice.

Still need to work on the listening aspect though as Japanese most of the time talk very fast. I only catch a few of the words they are saying. LOL.

On the 2nd to the last day we took the lesson 6 exam. And, yatta!, I only have 2 mistakes (because I do not read carefully. HAHA!!) 41 over 43, not bad right?

She had us write an essay kind of assignment but it’s just really like a diary.

The next day we had our last assessment exam. We had to take a 133 items exam covering lessons 1 – 6. A lot, right? I go 104 out of 133. I was happy. There are still somethings I need to work on from lessons 1 to 6 but I think my 30 year old brain did good. Did great actually.

So from here I’m gonna be self-studying Nihongo. Hopefully by this December or next year July I’d be ready to take N5 (at the least) nor N4 (at best)

Ganbatte ne!!


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