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How to be Asian ! - Page 3
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Thread: How to be Asian !

  1. #21
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    53

    Re: How to be Asian !


    I'd disagree with compunuts, I'd say about 2/3 of the people I met in Tokyo spoke English dropping to about 1/3 out in the sticks of Hokido. (I spoke about 6 words and was out there for a month and a half, so you can survive with little Japanese)
    Like you already said, it kind of depends on who you try to talk to. English is actually a required class in most schools, but unfortunately they seem to focus on reading and writing rather than speaking. My roommate had a pretty good success rate with women on bars because he would write the conversation on napkins rather than talking. Go figure...

    koko no dare wa nihongo de hanashimasu ka?
    You mean: koko ni dare ga nihongo o hanashimasu ka? (At least I think that's how it's supposed to go. I haven't been studying lately, which of course pisses of my wife)

  2. #22

    Re: How to be Asian !


    You mean: koko ni dare ga nihongo o hanashimasu ka? (At least I think that's how it's supposed to go. I haven't been studying lately, which of course pisses of my wife)
    You got me on the ga. I knew that; it just slipped my mind. As for o, I always see, "Do you speak Japanese?" translated as, "Nihongo de hanashimasu?" so I went with that format. [shrugs] But as for ni, I won't say you're wrong but this Japanese book I got from the library definately disagrees with you.

    You may be confused by now. Didn't you just learn that no can mean "in," "on," "at," or "of"? Yes you did. But note the difference. Ni is used when the main verb of the sentence is a verb of location (or motion, as you will learn later).

    Hoteru wa Tokyo ni arimasu.
    The hotel is in Tokyo.

    No is used when the main verb is of some other type.

    Tokyo no hoteru wa ikura desu ka?
    How much is the hotel in Tokyo?
    Hanasu is definately no location verb.

  3. #23
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    53

    Re: How to be Asian !

    Okay, it hurts to say this, but I was wrong with the correction. Not the ni/no part, but the whole sentence structure there is wrong. I checked with the wife this morning, and she threw out something that sounded completely different than what either one of us had. She said with mine, people will understand what I'm saying, with yours, they will probably understand, then get a chuckle about it later.

    Ni/No: I'm trying to figure out how to explain this. You're right, but you're also wrong. You have the right knowledge, but it's not being applied in the right way. Think of ni as 'at', and no as 'of'. That's not entirely accurate, but in this case it holds true. In your second example, the no has exactly jack shit to do with the verb. It's only saying "Hotel of Tokyo". It's not a locational parameter, it just translates that way. Wrap your head around this one: Watashi no hoteru wa Tokyo ni arimasu. - My hotel is in Tokyo.

    So back to the original example: koko ni dare ga nihongo o (de) hanashimasu ka? You're asking 'who at here' (koko ni dare), which is considered one unit, and has nothing to do with the verb. Your book is right, but it also leaves out slightly more complex sentence structure.

    As far as the de or o, I forgot to ask about this, but I just went with o because I've never heard de, and like I said, I haven't studied in a while. In conversation, neither one is actually said, it's just 'nihongo hanasu' or 'nihongo shaberu'.

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