Today’s Japanese class was funny, starting with our teacher drawing some fruits and a quite detailed fish on the blackboard. What looks like primary school math is actually a clever explanation of “全部で” (ぜんぶで), which means “in total, altogether”, and not only for prices.
Additional fun was provided by pictures displaying scenes we should describe to practice the current lesson’s new words and forms. Today’s main topic were expressions for giving and receiving. It’s interesting that the verb for “to give” is different depending on the recipient: あげます if it is someone else, くれます if it is me or someone in my group (very context depending term). もらいます means “to receive”.
Naturally the scenes contained people exchanging presents, including a series of a male and female character exchanging presents up to a ring in the last picture, and our teacher randomly assigned the names of two students to those characters. One of the female characters in another set of pictures looked like a girl from our class. In both cases the result was amusing embarrassment, a key component to Japanese humor. 😉
Kanji and Culture
I enjoy how kanji tell something about how the things they describe are seen in Japanese culture, and this evening I made an interesting discovery while looking up some words: 日常茶飯 (にちじょうさはん), which means “an everyday occurrence”, the first two kanji together (日常) meaning something like “everyday, usual”. The interesting part are the other two: 茶 means “tea”, and 飯 “cooked rice” (the links lead to descriptions on jisho.org). Guess what’s normal in Japan!