Grammar + Lovelorn Teenager the Remix

Once again I got some great help on my Ringo's Good Friend comic from the users of Lang-8. tomochanさん, suteさん, and meguさん all gave corrections here.

Luckily for you, unlike previous comic entries, the grammar was a-OK. However, I received some corrections for word choice and fluency. Such as...

From tomochanさん: まさみ君がその手紙を読んだかどうか気になって、ろくに寝られなかったよ。(The original sentence was まさみ君がその手紙を読んだかどうかって、ろくに寝られなかったよ。)
I think adding  気になって (to worry) helps make the sentence more complete and concise. Perhaps it's comparable to saying "He said he couldn't believe she did that" instead of "He was like I can't believe you did that". 

From suteさん: まさみ君がその手紙を読んだかどうかって、ろくに寝られなかった(わ)よ。
isn't necessary, but it's a particle often used by women at the end of their sentences, kind of like a softener of sentences, so a sentence including it can seem more natural. I actually asked some people on Lang-8 about it a while ago, since I had heard it being used by men also. (This confused me, since we were told it was strictly a feminine part of speech.) The journal entry is here: 

From meguさん: きっと あのまきこって子かなわないね. (The original was でもまきこってあの子にかなわないね.)
I think this is  a case of how different cultures prefer words to be grouped (in regards to the あのまきこって子 correction). This correction shows how a Japanese speaker would organize the word structure to have better clarity and more natural sound. I get the feeling it isn't quite equivalent, but compare "that Makiko girl" or "that girl Makiko". I'm sure people have a preference as to which they say or write.


Japanese Games: Shiritori or E-shiritori

 An e-shiritori game between me and Doro

Here's a fun game, and one of the few that I knew about before coming to Japan: shiritori, and its pictorial equivalent, e-shiritori (尻取り、絵尻取り). The name means something like "take the end," so you might be able to guess the point of the game.

Shiritori you play by first saying a word. You can say any word you want, but words which end with the consonant "n" ん are out-of-bounds. The reason is, the next person has to take the last syllable of the word you've said, and think of a word which starts with that syllable. Then you must take the last syllable of that word, and on and on it goes, until someone inadvertently says a word ending in ん or can't think of a word. Also, you aren't allowed to repeat! An example of some basic play:


If you get a word which ends in a syllable with a ″ or ゜, such as でde or ぱpa, you can use the syllable with or without the ″/ ゜. For example, you can use てte instead of でde , or はha or ばba instead of ぱpa. Now that you know how to play, you can understand this video. They're playing Double Shiritori, where you have to provide two linked words per turn instead of one. As you can see, players get out if they say an "un-word" or repeat a word.

E-shiritori is a little different.

In this version, you think of a word, and without revealing the word to anyone you draw a representation of it (like in Pictionary, without words). The next person has to look at the picture, understand what word you meant to convey, and then think of a word beginning with your word's last syllable. They then draw a representation of it on the board. E-shiritori is harder than regular shiritori, because the more a drawing is misunderstood, the harder it gets to continue the game. As in regular shiritori, the game ends if you draw something ending with ん. When you are done, you can go back and reveal what word you  intended with your drawings. It's fun to see how off-track you've gotten by the end of it all! Here's a video of some comedians on the NHK "Surari to Ikou" doing e-shiritori. Good listening practice!

 Can you guess what the sequence is here?


Vocabulary of the Week: Unubore うぬぼれ

 The word this week is うぬぼれ, conceited or pretentious. I wonder if you can stick さん on the end, like you do with forgetful/scatter-brained (うっかりさん)...

So after my morning run I decide to brush up on some Japanese as I nosh on my oatmeal. Whilst browsing I came across the first episode of Unubore Deka うぬぼれ刑事 (Detective Conceited). (刑事 is really read "keiji", but I've heard it being called "Deka"). Starring Nagase Tomoya, and with Ikuta Toma and tons of other high profilers, it is apparently one of Japan's new summer dramas. You can see a bit about it here.

Well, it sounds interesting. Nagase is a detective who is obsessed with finding love, it seems, but unfortunately the girls he meets are all criminals. He watches videos by a man who talks about "feeling glances", and gives advice on just how long to hold one of these glances, and when to turn for the double take, etc. In the opening scene he is trying out these techniques on a girl at the conbini. It seems to work, and they go out for coffee, but really it isn't because she's into him, though he assumes she is; it's just because she thought he'd caught her shoplifting. Funny, right?

The series seems really dialogue heavy. I'm keeping up well with the story and the characters, but I know that there is tons of jokes, etc, that I'm missing all the same. The man that plays Nagase's father -- it was so hard for me to understand him sometimes, he spoke so quickly. But I enjoyed the series none the less, and caught some grammar points that I had learned. Plus this vocabulary, which you can use to insult the big-headed person in your life.

You can watch it here, if you aren't in Japan (TBS doesn't allow other countries video access.) Happy 聞き取り!

Space Whale Grammar Remix

Once again I received some great help from the people at Lang-8! Meguさん has given me a nice explanation of how to properly use  「思ったように」and「思うように」, which she recommended I change to 「思ったほど」 in the Space Whale comic. She also recommended I change 「だって」 to 「それに」. Man, do I need some more practice with だって!

You can find some other points that have been corrected if you look at the entry, but here is what meguさん had to say about 「思ったように」and「思うように」, translated into English:

"This is in regards to 「思ったように」and「思うように」, but these have a meaning of "as I hoped" or "as I like", which is a bit different from "as I previously thought" or "as expected".
For example[思うように]: I can't speak English as well as I'd like. / Life isn't going to go the way you'd like it to.
When you want to say "As I had previously thought" or "as expected", or "it didn't turn out like I thought it would", you should use 「思ったほど~ない」."

Original Japanese below, and at Lang-8:

Japanese Games Series, #1: いやいやよ

I learned a few little games while in Japan -- mostly from my little host sister, and some from friends or television -- so I thought I'd make a little series out of them and share them with you. They're great for those never-ending summer days and long car rides, or eternal and boring work shifts! They're good for practicing your Japanese and having fun at the same time! Or, you can modify these to be played with friends who don't speak Japanese. I've done this with my little brothers.

First in the game series is, admittedly, a game which I never played myself: いやいやよ。