CCSF Fall 2005 Japanese 2B Final Exam Study Sheet


This was the study sheet for our final exam in Takamatsu-sensei's Japanese 2B class in the Fall of 2005. Transcribed and translated by Leo Hourvitz, レオ・ホロビツ. All the mistakes are definitely mine!

Thanks to Mangajiin magazine for the classic four-line translation format.

スミス さん 二十三さい どくしん です。
sumisu san wa nijuusansai no dokushin desu
Smith (hon) (as-for) 23-year-old (poss) unmarried-person is/are
Mr. Smith is a single 23-year-old.

五年 間、 サンフランシスコ 会社
gonen no aida sanfuranshisuko no kaisha ni
five years (poss) time/interval San Francisco (poss) company at/in
つとめていた の です が、
tsutometeita no desu ga
being-employed-was (explan) but
日本語 勉強 しに 先月 日本 きました。
nihongo o benkyou shi ni sengetsu nihon ni kimashita.
japanese (obj) study in-order-to-do last month Japan at/in came.
For five years, he was working at a company in San Francisco, but last month he came to Japan to study Japanese.

日本語 勉強 しはじめて 八年 なります が、
nihongo o benkyou shihajimete hachinen ni narimasu ga
japanese (obj) study beginning-of-doing eight years at/in become but
もっと 上手 なりたい ので、
motto jouzu ni naritai node
more skillful at/in want-to-become therefore
日本 英語 教えながら
nihon de eigo o oshienagara
Japan at English (obj) while-teaching
日本語 学校 行く そうです。
nihongo gakkou e iku sou desu
Japanese school to go is-understood
He's been studying Japanese for eight years but wanted to learn more, so he's teaching English in Japan while going to Japanese school.
  • In the Japanese, this sentence ends with the ...sou desu construct, meaning the speaker understands the information to be true or has heard it elsewhere (it's sometimes translated as "apparently"). This kind of softening of the sentence is ubiquitous in Japanese, much more so than in English.

サンフランシスコ いた 時、 毎日 勉強 した ので、
sanfuranshisuko ni ita toki mainichi benkyou shita node
San Francisco at was when every day study did therefore
教育漢字 もう ほとんど おぼえて しまいました。
kyouiku kanji wa mou hotondo oboete shimaimashita
Kanji for Education (as-for) already mostly/usually remembering finished
When he was in San Francisco, he studied every day, so he's already mostly memorized the Kyouiku Kanji.
  • The -te form of a verb followed by various conjugations of the verb shimau (to finish) indicates the completion of the action denoted by the verb.
  • The kyouiku kanji (Kanji for Education) is the set of about 1,000 characters that Japanese children learn in elementary school.

辞書 見ながら、 何ど 書いて 勉強 した そうです。
jisho o minagara nando mo kaite benkyou shita sou desu
dictionary (obj) while-looking many times also write-in-order-to study did is-understood
Apparently he studied by writing them many times while looking in the dictionary.
  • In this sentence, the -te form is used to indicate the means by which he studied.
  • This sentence illustrates how English often requires pronouns where Japanese simply omits the noun completely. Many times native English speakers will try to use pronouns (e.g., kare or kanojo in sentences) when the Japanese sentence should simply omit the noun.

書きにくい できるだけ 何ど
kakinikui ji wa dekirudake nando mo
hard-to-write characters (as-for) as-much-as-possible many-times also
書く こと たいせつ 言っています。
kaku koto ga taisetsu da to itteimasu
write fact/matter (sub) important is (quot) is saying
He says that for the hard-to-write characters, it's important to write them as many times as possible.

それに 漢字 使わなければ わすれやすい ので、
sore ni kanji wa tsuwanakereba wasureyasui node
moreover chinese character (as-for) if-not-use easy-to-forget therefore
いつも 友だち 日本語 手紙 書いて、
itsumo tomodachi ni nihongo de tegami o kaitte
always friend(s) to/at Japanese in letter (obj) write-and
おぼえた 漢字 どんどん 使っています。
oboeta kanji o dondon tsukatteimasu
remembered chinese character(s) (obj) steadily is-using
Moreover, if you don't use Kanji they're easy to forget, so he's always writes letters to his friends in Japanese, regularly using the Kanji he knows.

スミス さん 新宿 です。
sumisu san no ie wa shinjuku desu
Smith (hon) (poss) house/residence (as-for) Shinjuku is
Mr. Smith lives in Shinjuku.

日本 来て から かう
nihon ni kite kara kuruma o kau
Japan to/at coming from car (obj) buy
つもり でした が、 日本語 学校
tsumori deshita ga nihongo gakkou mo
intention was but Japanese school also
新宿 ある ので、 やめました。
shinjuku ni aru node yamemashita
Shinjuku at/in exists so gave it up
When he came to Japan, he intended to buy a car, but the Japanese school is also in Shinjuku, so he gave up on that idea.
  • The -te form of a verb followed by kara indicates the following action took place after the action given by the verb was completed.

こちら 来て から すぐ 英語 教えはじめました が、
kochira ni kite kara sugu eigo o oshie-hajimemashita
this-way at/in coming from soon English (obj) began-teaching but
その 電車 使っています。
sono toki wa densha o tsukatte imasu
that time (as-for) train (obj) is using
"From coming this way, he soon began teaching English, but as for that time, the train is being used."
He started teaching English right after coming here, but for that he uses the train.

電車 いつも 多い です から、
densha wa itsumo hito ga ooi desu kara
train (as-for) always person (sub)many is so
できるだけ 早く 出かける そうです。
dekirudake hayaku dekakeru sou desu
as-much-as-able quickly/early go out is-understood
There are always lots of people on the train, so he leaves as early as he can.

教える おもしろい です とても いそがしい ので、
oshieru no wa omoshiroi desu ga totemo isogashii node
teach (nom) (as-for) interesting is but totally busy so
あまり 飲みに行く 時間 ありません。
amari nomi ni iku jikan ga arimasen
almost-not go in order to drink period of time (sub) not-exist
Teaching is interesting but totally busy, so there's almost no time to go out drinking.
  • I just translated it, I didn't write it. Pre-bubble Japanese work ethics are being represented here.

さいきん 日本 古い 神社 きょうみ
saikin nihon no furui jinja ni kyoumi o
recently Japan (poss) old shrine at/in interest (obj)
待ちはじめた ので、 今度 京都 けんぶつ
mochihajimeta node kondo kyouto kenbutsu o
started-to-hold so this time Kyoto sightseeing (obj)
したい 言っていました。
shitai to itte imashita
want-to-do (quot) was-saying
Recently he got interested in old Japanese shrines, so he was saying he wants to tour Kyoto.
  • Again, the pronouns are all omitted in the Japanese version, but it's very hard to construct the English sentence without using them.
  • The omisison of the personal pronoun often makes Japanese sentences seems like they're in the passive voice ("Recently, an interest in old Japanese shrines began to be held, so it was said that this time sightseeing in Kyoto was wanted."). While that captures the less-personal nature of the Japanese sentence, in fact it's all in the active voice; the pronouns are just omitted.