Tania's Guide to:
My Japanese Coach
Lesson 1 - Basic Words
See What You Know
....Try & see how much you know so far before starting, it's okay if you didn't know any of these.
こんにちは。 私はタニア先生です。 *ahem* Sorry, just wanted to make for first step into my guide be in Japanese, xD. I said 'konnichiwa. watashi wa Tania sensei desu.' which translates to "Hello. I am Tania-(of being your instructor/teacher)." If you have studied some basic Japanese before you'll notice a few things about my sentence/translation(s). 1. It's in hiragana, katakana, & kanji. 2. When I translated it to romaji (the Latin lettered version of the sentence), that the 'wa' character, (は) is ACTUALLY a ha. And 3., I called myself sensei, which means teacher or instructor of some sort. Well, I actually don't want to be considered a teacher at all since I couldn't famine the idea, so just consider me a friend or just Ms. Tania in kind of an informal way. Such as 'chan' for girl, or 'san' for mr./mrs./ms. But not as a teacher (sensei) or a superior (sama). But I don't want to bore you with this little, "see what you know" review I'm just gonna get started with the tutorial already. *You can find the rest of my introduction in the description*
By the way, no need to worry if you have the My Japanese Coach game or not, this guide can help teach you Japanese even without the game, it would be more helpful pronunciation & spelling(characters) wise, as well as portability wise, but you don't need to rush out and get the game.
Tania's Character Key
...."What does that mean? Oh, there it is!" (๑◕ܫ￩๑)
「 」 | Romaji
Underlined Words | Titles & Links
| [Beginner Hint] Hints understandable to people who have: basic knowledge of many romaji versions of words / seen lots of Japanese-themed artwork / have studied basic Japanese words with romaji
| [Higher Level Hint] Hints understandable to people who have: more advanced knowledge in Japanese characters or pronunciation
~ | A marker that tells you to extend the previous sound.
- | A marker that tells you to pause/go on to another character (or separate from the previous one)
[ ] | Pronunciation boxes
| In-Game info, warnings, & tips
@タニア (@ Tania) | My thoughts or experience on the topic
| Info about future lessons
| Info about future chapters
If you don't think that are at the highest level for the hints then skip the higher ones, they'll confuse you now and trip you up, come back to it when ready.
MJC's Lesson / Vocabulary
....How the vocabulary is introduced to you in the game. (＊☉౪ ⊙｡)
Now then, shall we start? In the game you open up to your first lesson, Basic Words which is what the lesson is about really. You first meet your 'sensei,' Haruka, who takes a big bow and starts off the lesson immediately. She shows you a list of five words that she claims to be very basic and are said all the time. Here you go.
( When you see a period in the romaji version of the word, that means it's a different syllable. When writing in romaji don't use the periods, it's just there to help you remember the pronunciation. I came up with it myself, hope those periods help~)
Good 「ii」 いい
Bad 「da.me」 だめ （駄目）
Yes 「hai」 はい
No 「ii.e」 いいえ
Hello 「kon.ni.chi.wa」 こんにちは （今日は）
( Yes, it is correct to write the romaji of 'Hello' as 'konnichiwa' or 'kon'nichiwa.' The reason there's an apostrophe between the two N's is because usually in Japanese when there are two of the same characters it just makes that sound longer *Ex. kawaii [kah-wah-eee]*, but in 'konnichiwa' it's 'kon' then 'nichiwa,' instead of 'konn' then 'ichiwa.' The apostrophe is there to help distinguish that. I used to get confused why that was there too* -unless you already knew -)
Then you get your next set of five words, and here they are!
Goodbye 「sa.you.na.ra」 さようなら
This 「ko.re」 これ
That 「so.re」 それ
Thank you 「a.ri.ga.tou」 ありがとう
I (formal) 「wa.ta.shi」 わたし （私）
( Have you noticed the 'ou' in 'sayounara' & 'arigatou' don't have 'you' & 'tou' separated from the U? Wonder why? Lemme use the character 'yo' as an example; 'yo' [yoh] ends in an o, & the vowel u is one of the most silent, *Ex. Desu [deh-ss]*. Together it just extends the 'yo' character. *Yo [yohh] / Yoo [yo~hh] / You [yohh-ooh], -very silent 'ooh'-* When you speak at a normal Japanese speed then most U's are either very quiet or lost. Try listening to the differences here, be sure to listen to them separately at first.)
And that's all. Yeah, you can leave now. Just kidding, in the game that's pretty much it for the lesson, but you need to play mini games to earn mastery points to know you mastered the material and are ready for the next one, but even then it isn't much helpful. Of course you can play the mini games so many times that you have them memorized, but then when you go on to the next lesson you'll probably forget most of the last, so here's where my tips/hints come in.
Tania's Gameplay Info
...."HOW DO I PASS THIS GAME!? / Why don't I have all my Mastery Points!?" (￣(エ)￣)
In this part of the game the only two mini(practice) games you have are 'Hit-a-Word' & 'Multiple Choice.' 'Hit-a-Word' is actually 'Whack-a-Mole' except you have to get all the GOPHERS that have word you're looking for. It says the word in Japanese with the English version written on the top screen, you must hit the gophers with the correct romaji or else you lose points, so if you don't hit the right one or not enough to get 60% passing you don't get Mastery Points for that word. You have to get at least 60% on a word 5 times to master it & only have 7 seconds to get at most 100%.
As for 'Multiple Choice,' it's basically a timed test, you have 50 seconds to answer your 10 questions, you have four choices. It shows you the English word then if you select the correct romaji you hear it pronounced in Japanese.
I'm not trying to scare you away, ok? These mini games are really fun, easy to get used to, very helpful, & addictive! cX
Tania's Study Help
...."I just can't seem to remember this one! / Uggh, I keep getting these confused!" (♥ó㉨ò)ﾉ♡
OK, now for all of you not playing MJC right now or need more help mastering the vocabulary, let's get started!
One of the best things to do so far is to NOT practice remembering the Japanese characters yet! I had to learn that myself the hard way. The best option is to just focus on remembering the romaji and not the characters. Right now, (if you are just a beginner), there's no point in remembering those yet, you might not know which character is what & it will make the whole practice VERY confusing, believe me. Your next lesson is Pronunciation it will really help figuring out the differences between many English Japanese words, and how the Japanese pronounce it. After that you can go back here & practice pronunciation, but not until maybe lesson 17, Kana 5 in Chapter 4 should you try to memorize any vocabulary in Japanese hiragana. (Lesson 24, chapter 5 for katakana) So DON'T worry about it yet, by then it'll be very easy.
@タニア) When I tried to study using the kana characters it was so horribly hard and made me hate practicing, which is sad since it's the beginning of the game. I had made flashcards to help me study and well... It just didn't work, at all. I didn't write the stroke order correctly, since I didn't know it yet, and didn't know what each 'symbol' meant, it was just scribbles to me. But when I started to practice with romaji it was SO much easier, it looks like English, you can easily recognize the sound, & it became fun. *In the description you can also find some easy &/or challenging study games & ideas*
Now then for memory tips on the vocabulary.
When it comes to 'good' or 'ii' I remember it because when I think of good things I get excited and usually make silly sounds like 'yee~!' or a squeal. So when I try to think of 'ii' I think of 'Yippee!' x3
As for 'bad' or 'dame' I remember it since it sounds so low & negative compared to 'ii.' I also think of the word 'damn' since it sounds and is spelled similarly and both mean negative things.
'hai' is a word almost everyone knows, it just sounds so cheerful, positive, & agreeing.
I like to remember 'iie' since it sounds so cute. It sounds like someone is saying "Umm... No." The 'ii' sounds like you're thinking about it, and they the flat 'e' sounds like a flat 'no.' But that's only when you say it slow, when you say it normal speed it sounds like a sarcastic 'yeah.'
'konnichiwa' is another one of those really commonly known ones, it just has that certain ring to it like 'hello.'
Again, commonly known word. I've seen 'sayounara' in lots of shows I saw when I was younger. It also has a ring to it like 'konnichiwa.'
'kore' & 'sore' are so simple since they only have 4 letters each just like 'this' & 'that.' They are also spelled similarly, they only change one letter! Cx
'arigatou' is also kind of easy since it sounds like an honest and polite word like 'thank you.'
Umm... I don't have much on 'watashi,' but one way I remembered was because it ends in an 'I.'
I know many of these might not apply much to you, or aren't too helpful, I understand that. I was only trying to give you some ideas , the best way to practice these is by actually using them. These are commonly said words so it isn't too hard, 'konnichiwa,' 'sayounara,' 'arigatou,' 'hai,' & 'iie' can be practiced with friends or family. The rest can be practiced throughout your day; say if you do something wrong, "dame," point back & forth from one place to another, "hai, iie, hai, iie," or, "kore, sore, kore, sore," very simple, funny, & fun~! One of the best places to practice would be here on DA, in messages, comments, journals, chats, descriptions, ect!
I hope that helped and that you enjoyed that lesson! Try to not cram everything in all at once & be sure you remember it completely before starting any other lessons~! Arigatou~ Sayounara~