Reiko-chan's "Japanese for Anime Lovers" -- Lesson 13-16

LESSON 13

TODAY'S TOPIC: Sasuga!
"As may be expected"

Welcome back to Reiko-chan's Japanese for Anime Lovers week four. I hope you are getting familiar with Japanese sounds, pitches, and pronunciation by now. This week, we will learn more common expressions you hear in Anime, then from next week, I will start introducing some grammatical rules very slowly.
Today's expression, "sasuga" is one of the words I have difficulties in translation because its meaning changes depending on the context. "Sasuga (ni)" is an adverb, that may be used to mean "as may be expected" of a legendary Magic Knight, Hikaru is very powerful, "Great" Master "as" Clef "is," he is very skillful in his magic, and so on.

Now, let's listen to what Alcyone says to Ascot and repeat after her.

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Sasuga, Asukotto!
As may be expected, (your monster is great) Ascot!
As you know, Ascot is a summoner, who summons monsters and make them attack his enemies. Here, Alcyone saw the monster Ascot summoned and was very impressed. This expression adds the nuance that "I knew that you are great and you just demonstrated the greatness to me now" rather than just saying "you are great."

One more from Alcyone.

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Sasuga wa wagashi.
As may be expected of my teacher, (your magic is wonderful)
This is almost the same as above, except that this one has a particle "wa" after it. Whether you add "wa" or not, the meaning doesn't change. I included both expressions in this lesson because you will hear both expressions quite often in Anime. In this scene, Clef used one of his magic to prevent her magic. Alcyone was very impressed by the magic and said this. She knew that her teacher Clef is the best teacher of magic in Cefiro. So, she meant, "Great teacher of mine as you are," your magic is wonderful.
"Wagashi," which is not important here, consists of two words; "waga" means "my" and "shi" is "teacher." (both kinda old expressions)

Next, Let's listen to Ferio.

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Sasuga!
Great!
You can just say "sasuga" without specifying person who is great, like this (when understood in the context). Here, Ferio found out Hikaru, Fu, and Umi found a Mashin, then said this, meaning "You fully justify your fame as Magic Knights." However, I'm not sure Ferio knew the greatness of Magic Knights or not. That means, you can say "sasuga" whenever you witness a great deed, even of a person who is not so great as Magic Knights, Clef, or Ascot. For example, you can say, "Sasuga wa watashi no tomodachi!" (You are worthy of your friend, as to do such a great thing.) Here, just being your friend sounds something great. This sentence has a nuance that all people called as my friends are great, therefore you are great, too, and as a proof you did a wonderful thing like this. I am proud of you.

Next expression is "yappari or yahari." This is an adverb that means "after all." Its meaning also changes depending on the context. Listen to Fu-chan and practice saying yappari, please?

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Yappari!
As I suspected.
Here Fu found out that the fountain she suspected to be a monster was really a monster after all. "Yappari" is used when you had been thinking something and later what you had thought turned out to be right after all.

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Yappari.
I knew it.
She sounds sad, here, doesn't she? She realized that being a Magic Knight is very tough, which she was afraid to be so. You can say "yappari" when what you were afraid of is proven to be true.

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Ja, yappari, mahou?
Then, after all, (it was) magic?
You can put what you suspected after "yappari" like Hikaru does. Here, Hikaru and Fu were caught in a cold world. She thought that this was not a usual world and suspected that it was created by some kind of magic. When Fu found out that it was really unusual, Hikaru asked Fu this question.

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Yahari, hen desu wa.
As I suspected, (something) is wrong.
"Yahari" is a formal way of saying "yappari." As you may remember, "desu" is a Japanese be-verb, and "wa" is an ending particle that makes your speech feminine. "Hen(na)" is a na-adjective that means "strange" "suspicious" "odd" "funny" etc., depending on the context. Since verbs are usually put at the end of sentence, and when ending particles are used they are put at the very end, even after a verb, "it is strange" in English will be translated as "strange is" therefore, "Hen desu wa." If you want to say this in an informal way, say "yappari hen" "yappari hen da" or "yappari hen yo" and so on. Now, repeat after her and practice, please.

Omake (advanced)

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Yappa, uchi wa kouun na musume ya na!
I am a lucky girl after all
Caldina speaks "Osaka" dialect. I don't know why Osaka dialect is used very often in Anime, but it surely sounds very "hen." (funny) I put this here just because I want you to listen to this for fun. Don't try to speak like her, please.
"Yappa" = even more colloquial way of saying "yappari"
"Uchi" = "watashi" (Osaka dialect)
"wa" = a particle, topic marker (standard Japanese)
"Kouun" = lucky (pronounced as "kooun") (standard Japanese)
"musume" = young girl. (standard Japanese)
"ya" and "na" = emphasis. "Ya" is a particle used in Osaka dialect.

Well, this is all for today. You had fun? Gooooood!

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Hona!
(Bye or see you), then. (Osaka dialect)





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Lesson 14

Today's topic: Masaka!
Impossible!

I am sure you heard this expression quite a lot in Anime. This expression is really truly used very frequently in Anime as well as in daily conversation. This is an adverb, that means "Impossible!" "You don't tell me (say so)!" "What do you know?" "You're telling me!" "Well, I never!" "Well, I declare" "The idea!" "Indeed!" and so on, (again) depending on the context. I believe this phrase is very useful for you, too.

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Masaka!
You don't tell me! or Oh, you are kidding!
Umi and her friends were on their way to the legendary fountain, Eteruna. And, of course, the guide was Mokona. Umi said this when Mokona (somehow by saying "pu pu pu puuuu") told her to go through a place filled with monsters. Here, she meant "You don't tell me! It's impossible!"
Now, listen to her carefully and repeat after her, please?

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Sonna, masaka,,,
No way,,, I had least expected this to happen.
This is a phrase she said when she found that Magic Knights are 14 years girls. She expected Magic Knights to be strong grown up men, maybe?

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Masaka, Mokona,,,
You are telling me,,, Mokona,,,
She just couldn't believe what Mokona was trying to tell her, here.

Let's remember one more expression, Moshikashite. This word means "perhaps" "maybe" "possibly" "by any chance" "it is to be feared that..." and so on.

First, listen to Hikaru and practice saying it, please.

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Moshikashite,,,
Perhaps, (what Clef told me was true.)
Seeing a deserted village, she was afraid that what Clef told her (Cefiro was being destroyed) was true. Since she didn't tell what she feared, Fu asked her what was it, saying,,,

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Moshikashite?
Perhaps? (What?)

When you use this expression, it is a good idea to add a sentence to explain what you are thinking.

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Ja, moshikashite, kore ga (Escudo)?
Then, this is (Escudo) by any chance?
Here, "Escudo" part is omitted because Umi and friends are talking about Escudo (therefore understood about topic). Umi was surprised at the same time very much in doubt. This "It's hard to believe, but it may be the Escudo according to what I heard" feeling is expressed by "Ja moshikashite" here.
Kore is "this" in English, and "ga" is a particle that is put after a subject of the sentence. Ja, repeat after her, please?

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Moshikashite, daini no Mashin ga.
Maybe, the second Mashin is (over there)?
Watching Mokona's strange behavior, Hikaru thought Mokona was trying to tell her that the second Mashin is over there. As you may know, Mashin is the huge robot you see at the beginning of each episode. It can be translated as Magical God (ma = magic, shin = god). She was not sure about this (because Mokona only says "pu pu pu pu") and this feeling was expressed by "moshikashite" here.
"dai ni" means second. By putting "dai" before a number, you can make it first, second third and so on. For example,
First = dai ichi
Second = dai ni
Third = dai san
Fourth = dai yon


Well, hope you have fun today, too. Remember, you can ask me any questions about Japanese through E-mail. (no flame, please)

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This is a new mark of mine. (I am a big fun of Kenshin in "Ruroo ni Kenshin.")
Mata ashita de gozaru!
See you again tomorrow.





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Lesson 15

Today's topic: Naze?
Why?

Today, we will study two words that correspond to English "why?" They are naze and doushite. They both mean "Why?" "For what reason?" or "How come?" "Doushite" can also mean "how" "in what way" or "on the contrary" in some cases, but when it is used to mean "why," its meaning is the same as naze.

Now, let's begin today's lesson. First, listen to Umi-chan and repeat after her, please.

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Naze?
Why?
You can also say like Hikaru.

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Naze da!?
Why?!
It is a very strong expression. It sounds like "Why? I demand explanation for this!"

Or you can repeat naze like Emeraud does.

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Naze, naze,,,
Why, why? (I really don't understand.)
And of course, you can make sentence using naze.

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Naze kita?
Why (did you) come?
As usual, pronoun is omitted here. "Kita" is a plain past tense of verb "kuru" (to come). Don't worry about this verb yet, because this is one of few irregular verbs in Japanese and very hard to understand its conjugation pattern. (easy to pronounce though ^_^) This is a very informal way of saying "why did you come?" If this sentence was spoken by Fu without omission, it would be,,,

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Anata wa naze ki mashita ka?

All right, next, please practice "Doushite." As I explained in Lesson 1's FAQ, it is pronounced as "dooshite." (o + u = long "o" sound)

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Doushite?
How come?

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Doushite da?
How come?
As you know, Hikaru talks like a boy. Therefore, this expression may not be used by female. "Da" at the end is the plain (informal) form of verb "desu." As you might have guessed, you don't need to put question maker "ka" at the end of sentences that use "naze" and "doushite," because those words are interrogatives.

Now try this. I think you can understand the meaning without my help. Hikaru said this when Hikari (her dog) attacked her.

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Yamete, Hikari! Doushite?

(Answer: Stop, Hikari! Why?)

Omake (advanced)

Dou-shite is a conjugated form of (scary, isn't it?) dou-suru (= what do you do?). And the plain past tense of dou-suru is dou-shita. (this phrase consists of two words: dou (how) and suru (to do))
This dou-shita can mean "what happened to you?" or "What the matter with you?" as in followings.

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Doushita no, Ryuushii?
What's the matter with you, Luci?
Here, Ascot is asking Luci, one of his monsters, when it started act strange. "No" is not a question maker here. This particle just makes your speech softer and sympathetic in this case. Now, once more,,,

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Doushita no, Fu-chan?

Did you catch all the words? You did? Sugoi! Since, we will learn a lot tomorrow, I will not teach you any more today. I hope you are enjoying my lessons.





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Lesson 16

Today's topic: Demo
But

Today, we will learn vocabulary such as but, of course, by the way and so on.
First, demo is a conjunction, that means "but" "yet" "still" "though" "however" and so on. It is easy to pronounce. Listen to Alcyone and Hikaru, and practice, please.

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Demo,,,
But,,,

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Demo!
But! (I have a good reason for that)

Next one is almost the same as "demo." It is just formal, therefore can be used in written style.

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Shikashi, osokatta na.
But, it was too late.
"Osokatta" is a past tense of an i-adjective "osoi (late)" and a particle "na" is used for emphasis purpose. Note: Japanese adjectives do conjugate! I will explain this next week, if you want me to do ^_^. Here, Zagato told Clef "in spite of (all your effort), it is too late (to save Princess Emeraude, now)"

Next one, dakedo also means, "but," "however," and "for all that," etc. Dakedo is very colloquial.

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Dakedo,
But,,,

Next one is naruhodo. It means "I see," "it is true," "indeed," "that makes sense," and so on depending on the context.

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Naruhodo!
I see!
Of course you can add particles after naruhodo to emphasize what you say, such as "naruhodo ne!" "naruhodo na!" and so on. (but not "ze" "yo" "wa" "ka")

Next one is Tonikaku. It means "anyway" "anyhow" "at any rate" and so on depending on the context.

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Tonikaku,,,
Anyway,,,
Tonikaku is usually used alone, I mean, without ending particles or a be-verb. (though you can say "tonikaku desu ne,,,")

Here is another example.

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Tonikaku, saa hayaku i-ra-ssha-i
Anyway, come here now.
"Saa" (a + a -> long "a" sound) means "come now" or "come" here. She is urging Hikaru and her friends to come. "Irasshai" is a very polite way of asking someone to come. (respect form, yack!)
Note: "Ra-ssha" part is pronounced like "rush" in English (though "r" sound is different), but try to stop voicing between "ra" and "sh." (see FQA lesson 2 for more information.)
As you know, "hayaku" is an adverb that means quickly.

Next one is tokorode. It means "by the way" "well" "now then" etc. It is very useful when you want to change the subject during conversation.

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Tokorode,,,
By the way,,,

OK, this is the last one. Mochiron means "of course" "naturally" "undoubtedly" "without question" and so on.

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Mochiron!
Of course!
Mochiron, you can add particles after this, like mochiron yo! If you want to be polite, say like me.

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Mochiron desu yo.

How did you do this week? Daijobu? What? My lessons are too easy? Oh! Sasuga! Since we have learned enough common expressions and you are now familiar with Japanese sound, let's learn some grammars from next week. Sounds horrible? Demo, daijobu! I will try as much as possible to make things easy for you.

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Ganbatte kudasai ne!





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This is the end of Week 4

This Page is updated on Aug. 3, 1996.
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