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1.2: Dialogue 2

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    At a company function

    Oda: Sumisu-san, chotto goshoukai-shimasu. Kanai no Sakura desu.

    スミスさん、ちょっとご紹 介 しょうかい します。家内 かない のさくらです。

    Mr. Smith, I’d like to make an introduction. This is my wife, Sakura.


    Michael: Okusama desu ka. Sumisu desu. Hajimemashite.

    奥様 おくさま ですか。スミスです。はじめまして。

    Mrs. Oda? I’m Smith. How do you do?


    Mrs. Oda:Sakura-to moushimasu. Shujin ga itsumo osewa ni natte imasu.

    さくらと申 もう します。主人 しゅじん がいつもお世話 せ わ になっています。

    I’m Sakura. Thank you for helping my husband (Lit: My husband is always much obliged to you.)


    Michael: Ieie, kochira koso.


    No, no…he helps ME. (Lit: I’m the one who is obliged.)


    After taking a while...

    Michael: Okosan wa?

    お子 こ さんは?

    Do you have children?


    Mrs. Oda: Musume ga hitori imasu. Kotoshi daigaku o sotsugyou-suru n desu.

    娘 むすめ が一人 ひとり います。今年 ことし 、大学 だいがく を卒 業 そつぎょう するんです。

    I have one daughter. She is graduating college this year.


    Michael: Sore wa omedetou gozaimasu.




    Later talking to Emily.

    Michael: Nee okusan no namae, nan te itta kke?

    ねえ、奥 おく さんの名前 なまえ 、なんて言 い ったっけ?

    Hey, what was the wife’s name?


    Emily: Tashika, Sakura-san datta to omou kedo…

    たしか、さくらさんだったと思 おも うけど。

    If I remember correctly, I think it was Sakura, but….



    goshoukai ごしょうかい ご紹介 Introduction (formal)
    kanai かない 家内 wife; my wife (plain)
    sakura さくら 桜 Cherry; woman’s name
    okusama おくさま 奥様 wife: your wife (formal)
    ~sama 〜さま more respectful version of ~san
    mousu もうす 申す say; called (humble)
    +iu いう 言う say
    +ossharu おっしゃる say (honorific)
    itsumo いつも always
    sewa せわ 世話 care; help
    osewa ni naru おせわになる お世話になる become obliged to someone
    osewa ni natte imasu おせわになっています
    Thank you for your help/support (ritual expression)
    X koso 〜こそ be the very X
    kochira koso こちらこそ I’m the one who…; likewise
    okosan おこさん お子さん child; your child (formal)
    +kodomo/ko こども/こ 子供、子 child; my child (plain)
    +akachan あかちゃん 赤ちゃん baby
    musume むすめ 娘 daughter; my daughter (plain)
    hitori ひとり 一人 one person (See 9-2-3)
    sotsugyou そつぎょう 卒業 graduation
    +nyuugaku にゅうがく 入学 entrance into school
    +koukou こうこう 高校 high school
    +chuugaku/ chuugakkou ちゅうがく/ちゅうがっこう中学・中学校 middle school
    +shougakkou しょうがっこう 小学校 elementary school
    ~kke 〜け retrieving information(See 9-2-2)
    tashika たしか 確か if I remember correctly
    omou おもう 思う think


    Grammar Notes

    X to iu; X to omou

    We had a particle /to/ before, which means ‘with’ indicating the accompaniment. The new particle /to/ and its informal versions /~te/ and /~tte/ are introduced in this lesson. They indicate the quotation and report what someone says or thinks. They follow the quote, and are typically followed by the verbs iu ‘say’ and omou ‘think’.

    Ashita kuru to itta. He said that he would come tomorrow. or
    He said, “ I will come tomorrow.”
    Asita kuru to omou. I think that he would come tomorrow.


    Japanese does not make a clear distinction between Direct and Indirect quotations, except that more animated tones reflect direct quotations. Note that the tense of the quoted sentence remains as it was in the original quote regardless of the tense of the main verbs iu or omou. Compare the following.

    Meeru ga kita to itta /omotta. I said/thought that an email had come.
    (or, I said, “ An email came.”)
    Meeru ga kuru to itta/ omotta. I said/thought that an email would come.
    (or I said, “An email will come.”)


    More about [Sentence] to omou

    This is a structure where a smaller sentence (the quoted sentence) is embedded in a bigger sentence. The embedded sentence before /~to omou/ reflects the actual thought as it occurred and it is in the plain form regardless of whether the bigger sentence is in the formal or informal style. The final verb, omou or omoimasu, determines the speech style of the entire sentence.


    The sentences on the right above can be changed to the informal style by switching omoimasu to omou.

    You can ask someone for an opinion by saying:
    Dou omoimasu ka? What do you think?
    You can express your agreement by saying:
    Watashi mo sou omoimasu. I think so too


    More about /X to iu/

    In a casual speech, itta ‘said’ is often dropped and the sentence is ended with the quotation particle te/tte alone.

    Nan te? What did he say?
    Meeru ga kuru tte. He said that an email would come


    The verb iimasu (iu, Group 1) means ‘say, tell’. Ossyaimasu (ossharu, Group 4) is its honorific version (raising the person) and moushimasu (mousu, Group 1) is its humble version (lowering the speaker). The humble form is used to lower the action of the speaker or members of the speaker’s group. In short, the honorific forms describe your out-group people and the humble forms describe your in-group. The In-group/Out-group border between two people may shift depending on who else is involved.


    There are a couple of special expressions that involve the quotation particle.

    1. /X (name) to iimasu/: This means ‘it is called X’. It is ritually used in introductions.

    Sumisu to moushimasu. Douzo yoroshiku. My name is Smith. How do you do.
    Kochira, Honda-san to ossyaimasu. This person is called Mr/s. Honda.
    Onamae wa nan to ossyaru n desu ka. What is your name?

    You can also use this pattern to ask the names of things.

    Kono ryouri wa nan to iu n desu ka. What is this dish called?
    Kore wa eigo de nan to iu n desu ka. What do you call this in English?
    Kaisha no namae, nan te iu no? So, what is the company’s name?

    2. /X (name) to iu Y/: This means ‘Y called X’.

    PSU to iu daigaku ‘an university called PSU’
    Oda-san to iu hito kara denwa desu. It’s a phone call from a person called Oda.
    Nan to iu eki de oriru n desu ka.
     So, we are to get off at which station (a station called what)?


    ~kke Retrieving previously shared information

    The sentence particle ~kke indicates that the speaker is trying to recollect the information that was previously shared with the person he is talking to. The information itself can be about the present time or any other times, but because it was shared in the past, the sentence preceding this particle is in the Past form. The only exception is da, as seen below. Note that this particle cannot follow ~desu and therefore it’s impossible to have the formal affirmative form of adjectives before it.


    Affirmative: Koko, jihanki arimashita kke? Is there a vending machine here?
     Koko jihanki atta kke?

    Negative: Koko, jihanki arimasen deshita kke? Isn’t there a vending machine here?
     Koko, jihanki nakatta kke?


    Affirmative: Kore furukatta kke? Is this old?
    *The formal form is not possible.

    Negative: Kore furuku arimasen deshita kke? Isn’t this old?
    Kore, furuku nakatta kke?


    Affirmative: Ashita no apo wa go-ji deshita kke? Is tomorrow’s appointment at five?
    Ashita no apo wa nan-ji datta kke? 
    Ashita no apo wa nan-ji da kke?

    Negative: Ashita no apo wa go-ji ja arimasen deshita kke?
     Isn’t tomorrow’s appointment at five?
    Ashita no apo wa go-ji ja nakatta kke?


    Classifier for Counting People

    The classifier ~ri/nin is used to count the number of people. The ~ri plus the Japanese number is used for the number one and two (hito-ri, futa-ri), and the ~nin with the Chinese numbers is used for three and above (san-nin, juuichi-nin, hyaku-nin, etc.) The question word is nan-nin ’how many people.’

    The classifier for counting (small) animals like dogs, cats, insects, fish, ~hiki/piki/ biki. This sound change of /h-p-b/ is similar to the classifier ~hon/pon/bon.


    Family Terms

    For each family term, there is at least one plain term and one formal term in Japanese. The plain terms are used to refer to one’s own family. They are also used in legal documents. The formal terms are used to refer to other people’s family. Thus uchi no chichi means ‘my father’ and otaku no otoo-san ‘your father.’

    While one refers to her mother as uchi no haha when talking to people outside of her family, she uses okaa-san when directly addressing her mother or talking to another member of her family about her. This is because within the family, generally speaking, the older members call the younger members by their given names while the younger members call the older members by the formal family terms. Therefore, an older brother calls a younger brother by his given name while the younger brother calls the older brother as onii-san or onii-chan ‘big brother.’

    Another characteristic of Japanese family terms is that each family member can be referred to and addressed by the family term that is to be used by the youngest member of the family---from the viewpoint of the youngest member. It’s therefore not uncommon for a husband and wife to call each other okaa-san ‘mom’ and otoo-san ‘dad’, or for a parent to call the older son as onii-chan ‘big brother’ and the youngest son as boku ‘me.’

    Sometimes, non-family members address strangers by the family terms that typically represent the age groups. Obaa-san ‘grand-ma’ and Ojii-san ‘ grand-pa’ are often used to address seniors, and onee-san ‘big sister’ and onii-san ‘big brother’ to address young people. Strangers often call a woman accompanying a little child okaas-san ‘mom.’ One caution is in order: Oba-san ‘auntie’ implies a middle-aged woman. Make sure the woman is not too young to be called that, or you’ll be in trouble.



    1.2: Dialogue 2 is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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