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Sentence Starter Pack 4

Japan, as you might guess, is a bit of a hotbed of the Japanese language. The natural environment is ripe for sentence-mining. With that in mind, I’ve been taking pictures and collecting random everyday objects (advertisements, cereal boxes), with Japanese in them, to use for sentence-learning. You can do this outside of Japan, too, if you just buy lots of Japanese-language stuff, even food.

Anyway, so this comes from me buying clothes this past weekend.

Q: 服を着る
A: ふく を きる (PL2)
にしき【錦】立派な着物。 (This, by the way, is an example of a definition of a word in the definition. This is one of the cool things about using Japanese only, there’s this great recursion whereby one word leads you to the next
Clothes [object] wear
To wear clothes

Q: 服を試着する
A: ふく を し・ちゃく する(PL2)
Clothes [object] try-fit do
To try on clothes

Q: 試着室で服を着て見る
A: し・ちゃく・しつ で ふく を きて みる (PL2)
Fitting-room at clothes [object] wear-see
To try on clothes in the fitting room
■見る is used as an auxiliary (helper) verb. In this case, it’s helping the verb 着る (to wear). It has the meaning of (“try and see”), like “let’s try and see [if it works]”, a lot like in English.

Q: お客様へ
A: 御 きゃく さま へ (PL4)
[Honorable] customer [honorific] to
To our dear customers
■様(さま) is like さん, but even more polite. There is one word more polite than 様, and that is 殿(どの). I’ve only ever seen 殿 used in documents, in spoken language it seems to have become kind of archaic now.

Q: フィティングルームへの商品のお持込は3点まででお願いします
A: ふぃてぃんぐ るーむ への しょう・ひん の お もちこみ は 3 てん まで で お ねがい します (PL3-4)
Fitting-room [object] products/items [of] [honorable] bringing-in [as-for] 3 [counter] up-to [at] [honorable] request do
Please feel free to bring up to 3 items into the fitting room
(i.e. Please bring in no more than 3 items to the fitting room)
■持つ(もつ)= to hold/bring
■込む(こむ)= to insert/enter a lot of something
■持込む(もちこむ)= to bring in
■込む(こむ) is an auxiliary (helper) verb, that adds the meaning of inserting/entering (into) a place…
■する(する)= to do. します comes from する
■This sign on the inside says フィティングルーム, but the one on the outside says 試着室(し・ちゃく・しつ). Same meaning, but the kanji word seems more common to me.
■お願いします is very, very common in Japanese. It basically means “please”.

Q: 椅子の必要なお客様はレジカウンター迄お申し付け下さい
A: い・す の ひつ・よう な おきゃく・さま は(わ) れじ かうんたー まで おもうしつけ ください(PL4)
Chair [of] need [adjective-suffix] [honorable] customers [honorific] [as-for] register-counter up-to [honorable] notification please
Most honorable customers requiring a chair, kindly make your request known at the (cash) register counter
■申し付ける(もうしつける), to tell/order — always carries the connotation of someone higher (socially) talking to someone lower (socially). In this case, a customer to an employee at a business, since the customer is always right and all.

  3 comments for “Sentence Starter Pack 4

  1. Ryder
    May 6, 2009 at 08:34

    The usefulness of these example packs can’t be overstated, thanks Khatz!

  2. BenSan
    June 27, 2009 at 06:41

    Um, in the second to last sentence, why does it say “持込” instead of ”持ち込み”? You wrote “mochikomi” for the hiragana but was that a mistake with the kanji or something I just don’t know about yet?

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