Ramen and soba

1 December 2018 by wolfganghofmeier

Level: A1
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We shall get back to basic sentences soon, but will use this lesson to explain the use of hiragana, katakana and kanji again. Learners need to be aware of this to understand why Japanese writing can’t be taught in a beginner’s course.

We shall also point out that Japanese grammar and word order is very different from European languages, so English and Japanese sentences do not correspond to each other word for word.

The following example is from Forvo. For the pronunciation, use the link in the previous lesson.

If you were to eat, do you recommend ramen or buckwheat for the health?

もし、食べるとしたら、ラーメンと蕎麦ではどちらが健康にいいですか。

Moshi, taberu to shitara, rāmen to soba de wa dochira ga kenkō ni ī desu ka.

 

moshi – もし – if – written as two hiragana characters

taberu – 食べる – eat – a kanji followed by two hiragana characters (ta_be_ru)

to – と – a grammatical particle, written as a hiragana character

shitara – したら - if you do – hiragana

rāmen – ラーメン – ramen noodles – katakana

to – と – a grammatical particle, written as a hiragana character

soba – 蕎麦 – soba noodles – two kanji

de – で - a grammatical particle, written as a hiragana character

wa - は - a grammatical particle, written as a hiragana character

dochira – どちら – which – hiragana

ga – が - a grammatical particle, written as a hiragana character

kenkō – 健康 – health – two kanji

ni – に – for – a postposition (like a preposition, but after the noun) – hiragana

ī – いい – good – hiragana

desu – です – it is - hiragana

ka – か – question particle – hiragana

The following lessons will be much more basic. This explanation is being given to save the learner from trying to interpret Japanese sentences obtained from Google Translate in a literal, word for word manner.

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