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  • izupenrob 6:10 am on October 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Conversation hack   

    Self Introductions 自己紹介 (じこしょうかい) 

    Something that I regularly get asked is how to do “self-introductions”. This seems to be the most preliminary stage of learning a language, yet could be the most pressuring because it is your initial contact with the person you are talking to, meaning that this wiill be your “first impression”.

    One of my favorite sales/negotioation coach Brian Tracy says “You’ve heard it said that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.” (Source: Brian Tracy International) So most of us know how important (and how pressuring!) this could be.

    So here’s an imaginary character “Felipe(フェリペさん)” from Brazil. Like many foreigners trying to pave through a living in another country, he works 2 jobs. Let’s see what we can do.

    We’ll have two versions of his introduction. 1) His original 2) Editted version based on his original.

    1) Original Version
    29歳。 4年前ぐらい 日本へ 来ました。


    I’m Felipe. I’m Brazilian. 29 years of age. 4 years ago, I cam to Japan. I live in Tokyo.
    Right now, I work in a company (located) in Tsukiji, and do NHK.

    This self-introduction is actually really good. Considering that it has “all the right contents”. You have the name, age, your relationship with Japan, and your current status (work). This should definitely get you going to conversation in different topics. I personally believe the only thing you will need to do is just combining the sentences.

    2) Edited Version

    今築地の会社で フルタイムで 働きながら、NHKでもバイトをしています。

    Hi, I’m Feliipe. I’ve been living in Japan since 4 years ago. I’m 29 years old.
    I currently work fulltime at a company (located) in Tsukijji, and at the same time, I also work at NHK.

    The above will sound something that a lot of native Japanese speakers would say. This also, has “all the right informaton” but at the same time, it concurs with the overall “trend” of how people speak Japanese today.

    the structure follows this

    今、NOUN/ACTIVITY NAME (を)し+ながら、PLACE(conceptual/physical) でも VERBて+(い)ます。

    a) 「NOUN (を)し+ながら」 works verb similar with 「NOUN+します」 as the し=します。
    b) 「でも」 in this case can be understood as conjunction of 「で(at, physical/conceptual)」and 「も(also)」。 *It is not the same 「でも」 meaning “but”
    c) 「VERB て+(い)ます」 or 「NOUNして+(い)ます」 is also a good structure to use, when you are explaining something such as an occupation. Think of it as saying “I’m currently —-ing (i.e. working, studying, resting”.

    The above should help you sound like most other natives.

    Also, if you are looking to add that “extra twist” and make yourself more memorable, try to put in some joke about yourself based upon a true fact. These are just merely examples to start with, but you can come up with your own.

    Adding that “extra” impression
    After you’ve made your point, now it’s time you can be creative, or good around, and say something most impressionable that suits your character like. BUT make sure to say something like below, AFTER you’ve made your NORMAL self introduction!

    東京で一番好きなレストランは ロボットレストランです。
    My favorite restaurant in Tokyo is the “Robot Restaurant”.

    I have seen “Spirited Away”, over a million times.

    The vocaloid known as “Hatsune Miku” is my imaginary girlfriend. (=in japanese it would be “Lover at my heart”)

    The basic of a Japanese conversation is to first either a) make rapport b) mirror the person c) answer the person’s intended question without getting “too creative”. But after you’ve made enough initial engagement, give a shot with your whit and humor!


  • izupenrob 1:06 am on August 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Conversation hack   

    Different ways of making requests. 


  • izupenrob 12:56 am on August 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Conversation hack   

    stating Personal opinions and remarks with 「~と 思います。 」 

    「~と 思います。」
    I think that ~
    I believe that ~

    The literal translation for 「と思います。」means “I think that~” or “I believe that~” . It sounds like a rather conservative or reserved mannerism, but in a culture like that of Japan that avoids conflicts in confrontation, it is more appropriiate to say “I think it is~” or “I believe that it is~” to state an opinion.

  • izupenrob 1:39 am on July 29, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Conversation hack, Particle rules,   

    Difference between used of に and で 

    Usual rules as follows, but in many cases often in colloquial languages に and で are also interchangeable, hence making it difficult to understand.

    conceptual place に

    physical location で
    actual opportunity で

    thanks to Lucia, Felipe and Justin-san : )

  • izupenrob 7:32 am on July 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Conversation hack,   

    I remembered it 思い出しました。( おもいだしました)。 

    思い出しました。 I remembered it.

    Good to use, when you literally, “remembered something”… something you might say in a language lesson, or a language exchange session.

    Yes I remembered it!

    今日は レッスンが ないこと (を) 思い出しました。
    I remembered the fact that there was no lessons today
    =Eng. I just realized that I didn’t have a lesson today.

  • izupenrob 7:27 am on July 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Conversation hack   

    How to say “That’s surprising to me” 驚きです。 

    Good way to react in a conversation is to say that you are “startled” “astonished” or “surprised”.
    You can express these feelings (reactions) with the word 「驚き」 or the phrase 「驚きです」。

    驚き(おどろき)=surprise, astonishment

    それは 驚きです。
    That is surprising (to me)

    そんなに 日本語を 話せるなんて 驚きです。
    It’s a surprise that you can speak Japanese as such (or much as you are “right now”)
    = It’s surprising that you can speak that much Japanese.

  • izupenrob 7:21 am on July 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Casual speech, Conversation hack   

    How to say “Badass” or “Cool” 

    かっこいい or かっこいい  badass or good looking/cool looking

    日本の足袋は かっこいいです。
    Tabi (traditional workman socks) that of Japan, is really cool looking (badass!)

    You can also use カッチョいいー! or カッケ―! for extra slangish conversation.

    この 音楽 めちゃ かっちょいい! 
    This music is so badass! ( This music is such a blast!)

    スゲエ かっけー!
    Wow definitely badass! (or This is definitely a blast! )

  • izupenrob 2:16 am on July 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Conversation hack, Resources   

    Great Resource for Essential Japanese 

    I found the wikitravels website to be really handy. It covers quite a lot of the essential phrases and also covers some basic grammar.


  • izupenrob 11:24 pm on July 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Conversation hack   

    How to say “must do” 

    The tone of voice for phrasing “must do” in Japanese sounds like you are saying “I am inclined to–” or “one(a person) must —” .

    Versions of “must do” (if do not do, its no good)
    Neg-い+きゃ ならない(/なりません) = (very casual)
    Neg-い+ければ ならない(/なりません) = formal

    Neg-い+きゃ いけない(/いけません)=(very casual)
    Neg-い+ければ いけない(/いけません)= formal

    今日の夜(/今晩)、勉強しな ければ ならないって。
    今日の夜(/今晩)、勉強しな きゃ ならないって。 (more casual)
    I hear (from Mary) that she has to study tonight.

    Other ways to say is with  basic formVERB + べき + (です*optional)

  • izupenrob 11:13 pm on July 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Conversation hack,   

    Long time no see! 

    しばらく for a while (usually used in negative connotations)
    ひさしぶり for a while (usually used in positive connotations, closer to “long time no see!”)
     #おひさしぶり = honorific way to say ひさしぶり、but usually it is also used in casual speech.

    以前お会いしてから、 しばらく ですね~
    It’s been a while since we have last met.

    ひさしぶりですね! お元気ですか?
    Long time no see! How are you today?

    #Justin Palmer 1.7.17

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