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Thread: Japanese for Erogamers

  1. #11
    Senior Member LazaK's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese for Erogamers

    Finally i found the time to read through this, first, super guide, i can't recommend it enough, especially the vocabulary part. Many people got the wrong idea on how to approach it. I couldn't explain it better. I'm a little bit further on my japanese learning adventure I combine learning japanese reading visual novels and/or light novels and/or manga and articles in Japanese using LWT (learning with text), Abby fine reader (for light novels in jpg/png format) and (Capture2Text) for mangas + Anki which works fine for me. Anyway, i'm waiting patiently for the rest!
    Last edited by LazaK; February 21st, 2018 at 08:51 PM.
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    Re: Japanese for Erogamers

    It really catched my interest, when you showed us how the same/similiar kanji were used in the sentences.

    I like updates...waiting for more!
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    Re: Japanese for Erogamers

    Really cool thread! Why haven't I discovered this earlier?! I especially really like the kanji part with how to remember them based on the radicals!
    Waiting for more updates too!
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    Re: Japanese for Erogamers

    < Previous lesson: Kanji (2)

    Sentence Structure

    Assuming that you've now learned all kana by heart and known how to build up your kanji, this might be a proper time to start looking at some visual novels.
    You can probably understand most of the story with a dictionary, but there's still the problem with how you should break Japanese sentences down into words.

    Japanese language has no obvious word divider like English's space. For example:


    Screenshot from ~Da Capo II~ Plus Communication

    杏が顔をあげる。
    Anzu raises her face.

    When written in English, those words are easy to look up because they're clearly separate by spaces. But in Japanese, all characters are written in succession with no divider at all, thus the issue of not knowing what to look up.

    Particles

    English is a subject-verb-object language. In a simple declarative sentence, the subject comes first, the verb second, and the object third. For example:

    Anzu raises her face.

    Anzu is the subject, raises is the verb, and face is the object (with her as its determiner). A grammatically correct simple sentence almost always has these three roles in this order, with determiners always preceding their respective words. We can easily determine the role of each word by its position this way.

    One the other hand, Japanese is a subject-object-verb language. For example, Anzu raises her face will be written as Anzu her face raises in Japanese. The order is not as strict as English. In fact, it's pretty flexible. The SOV order is more like a tendency, not a rule. We can switch these around and it'll still be grammatically correct. An object-subject-verb sentence is also possible.

    In short, word order doesn't really affect grammatical meaning, so we can't determine the sentence's meaning with word order. And in addition to these three main roles, there will be other elements like time, place, method, etc. as well. Though some word orders are more natural than others, it can be pretty confusing for a beginner to try to determine each word's role by its position in a sentence with a lot of words. (If you know German, it may be a lot easier to understand this flexibility. But let's not go in too deep about how German works.)

    Instead, we look at particles to understand the sentence's meaning.

    Particles are suffixes that modify words before them. They dictate the role of each word in the sentence. Let's look at the example sentence again. Try to ignore word positions entirely.

    あげる。

    indicates the subject of the sentence.
    (pronounced お) indicates the direct object of the sentence.

    With this, we understand that 杏 (あんず) (Anzu) is the subject, 顔 (かお) (face) is the direct object, and あげる (to raise) is the verb.

    Let's look at a few more examples.


    Screenshot from ~Da Capo II~ Plus Communication

    由夢振る。

    In this sentence, 由夢 (ゆめ) (Yume) is the subject, 手 (て) (hand) is the direct object, and 振る (ふる) (to wave) is the verb. This can be roughly translated as, "Yume waves her hand."


    Screenshot from ~Da Capo II~ Plus Communication

    赤らむ。

    indicates adverb.
    indicates possessor.

    急 (きゅう) (sudden) is the adverb, 顔 (かお) (face) is the subject, 茜 (あかね) (Akane) is the possessor, and 赤らむ (あからむ) (to redden) is the verb. This can be roughly translated as, "Akane's face suddenly goes red."


    Screenshot from ~Da Capo II~ Plus Communication

    委員長出迎えてくれる。

    indicates the co-participant. It can be translated as "and".

    This is an example of Japanese word order flexibility. The order here isn't subject-object-verb, but object-subject-verb. As you can see, we can shuffle words around and the meaning will still be the same, because it's particle that decides word role, not order.

    俺 (おれ) (I) and 委員長 (いいんちょう) (class president) is the object, 杏 (あんず) (Anzu) is the subject, and 出迎えてくれる (でむかえてくれる) (to welcome + to do for) is the verb. This can be roughly translated as, "Anzu welcomes the class president and me."


    Screenshot from ~Da Capo II~ Plus Communication

    カードポケットしまった。

    (pronounced わ) indicates topic.
     indicates verb target.

    Some particles have more than one function and に is one of them. In addition to indicating adverb, we also use に for indicating the target of the verb. (Not only that, に has other functions too, but we'll see more of that later.)

    The word that comes before は is the topic of the sentence. We know that が is used with the subject, but if we want to imply that that subject is the topic we want to talk about, we'll use は with it. Thus we'll often (in fact, more often than not) see the subject goes with は instead of が. The topic of the sentence doesn't have to be the subject though. It can be the object, the location, the time, or something else. If we see a word with は slapped to it, we know that it’s the topic.

    You might be confused about the difference between は and が. At this stage, I don't want to go in too deep about it and I suggest you don't either because there are more basic things to focus on, but if you're curious, here's a brief explanation about it: The difference between は and が

    In this sentence, 俺 (おれ) (I) is the topic, カード (card) is the direct object, ポケット (pocket) is the target of the verb, and しまった (past form of しまう, to keep, to store) is the verb. This can be roughly translated as, "I put the card in my pocket."

    Breaking down a sentence

    The main function of particles is to dictate each word's role in the sentence. But when we highlight the particles like this, we can also clearly see what to look up in a dictionary.


    Screenshot from Haruoto Alice * Gram

    俺は全速力で羽動物の着地点へ駆ける!

    Assume we have a random sentence like this one. The first thing we do is try to look for particles.

    Most particles are just one hiragana character of length, some are two, and very few are more than two. We can identify them by looking for single hiragana characters among kanji.

    全速力羽動物着地点駆ける!

    indicates means.
    (pronounced え) indicates verb direction.

    Now we can look up these words in a dictionary and "assign" them roles in accordance with their respective particles.

    俺 (おれ) (I) -> topic
    全速力 (ぜんそくりょく) (full speed) -> means
    羽 (はね) (wing) + 動物 (どうぶつ) (creature) = 羽動物 (winged creature) -> possessor
    着地点 (ちゃくちてん) (landing point) -> direction

    The hiragana at the very end of the sentence is not particle, just the verb's okurigana (we talked about okurigana in earlier lesson).

    駆ける (かける) (dash) -> verb

    This can be roughly translated as, "I dash toward the winged creature's landing point with full speed."


    Screenshot from Haruoto Alice * Gram

    俺はその手紙を部屋のテーブルに置いた。

    Here's a slightly more difficult one. Let's try to identify those particles by looking for hiragana.

    俺はその手紙部屋テーブル置いた。

    We've got を, の and に pinned down.

    We know those katakana characters are part of a word because particles are always hiragana. From now on, I'll underline words too to clearly show where they are.

    俺はその手紙 部屋 テーブル 置いた

    The problem is the first part. We see quite a few hiragana, but which one is the particle?

    We already know about particle は, right? は marks the topic and is usually the first particle to appear in a sentence. If you see は near the beginning of the sentence alone, it's most likely the topic particle.

    その 手紙 部屋 テーブル 置いた

    Now we got them all. If we look その up, we'll see that isn't a particle, but a prefix that modifies the word after it (in this case, 手紙).

    俺 (おれ) (I) -> topic
    その (that) + 手紙 (てがみ) (letter) = その手紙 (that letter) -> direct object
    部屋 (へや) (room) -> possessor
    テーブル (table) -> verb target

    Now the only thing left to look up is the verb 置いた, but when we try to look it up...

    置いた = ???

    The dictionary has no entry of 置いた. The reason is that 置いた is not the dictionary form of the verb. This is the same for English language. Take the verb "jump" for example. The verb "jump" has many forms. "Jumps", "jumped" and "jumping" are all another forms of "jump". But when we look in a dictionary, we'll only find those forms under the entry "jump", which is the dictionary form of the verb.

    A more advanced dictionary will help you identify the dictionary form of the verb, like this:
    https://jisho.org/search/%E7%BD%AE%E3%81%84%E3%81%9F



    If you want to learn more about Japanese verbs, give this thread a look (credit to @pichu655889):
    http://www.anime-sharing.com/forum/l...%A9%9E-178579/

    Now we can translate the whole sentence. "俺はその手紙を部屋のテーブルに置いた" roughly means "I placed the letter on the table (of the room)".

    Fun? You can think of this as a puzzle game of some sort. Unfortunately, you'll still have to memorize some common particles before you can try to understand Japanese sentences. I'm listing common particles and their usages at the end of this lesson.

    More example:


    Screenshot from Haruoto Alice * Gram

    凛瞳は一口ココアを啜るとゆっくりとみんなを見回した。

    This is still more difficult than the previous one. There are a lot of hiragana characters to confuse us. Do you see now how kanji can be pretty helpful?

    First, that は near the beginning of the sentence is most probably the topic particle. And the word at the end of the sentence is the verb.

    凛瞳 一口ココアを啜るとゆっくりとみんなを 見回した

    We know that を is the direct object particle. In Japanese, this is the only usage of hiragana character を. It does not appear in any normal Japanese words. So を in this sentence must be particle.

    凛瞳 一口ココア 啜るとゆっくりとみんな 見回した

    一口 and ココア are most likely separate words because of different character types; kanji and katakana.

    凛瞳 一口 ココア 啜るとゆっくりとみんな 見回した

    We have to divide the remaining lump somehow. What we do now is look for a word that begins with 啜 in a dictionary. We find that 啜る is a word means "to sip".
    This is already a second verb of the sentence, so this sentence is possibly a compound sentence.

    凛瞳 一口 ココア 啜る とゆっくりとみんな 見回した

    In-game line-breaking also helps. It tells us that the next part ends at と.

    凛瞳 一口 ココア 啜る ゆっくりとみんな 見回した

    What we have left is only confusing hiragana. Beginners might not recognize common hiragana words immediately. The best we can do is try to make a guess a bit and comfirm it with a dictionary.

    Is it "ゆ"? No.
    Is it "ゆっく"? Nope.
    Is it "ゆっくり"? Yes. There's an entry of "ゆっくり" in the dictionary.

    Learning about particles beforehand also helps. If we know と is also used as an adverb particle similar to に then we can divide this easily.

    凛瞳 一口 ココア 啜る ゆっくり みんな 見回した

    凛瞳 (りんどう) (Rindou) -> topic; this is the character's name.
    一口 (ひとくち) (a mouthful) -> quantity; words that express amount of things like this don't need particle.
    ココア (cocoa) -> direct object
    啜る (すする) (to sip) -> verb

    "Rindou takes a sip of cocoa" is the first part of these compound sentence. It's joined with the second part with conjunctive particle と.
    A と B = B immediately after A; Action B happens after A without any interruption.

    ゆっくり (slowly) -> adverb
    みんな (everyone) -> direct object
    見回した (みまわした) = past form of (見回す) (to look around) -> verb; this has the nuance of turning to look at everyone equally.

    Now we can translate this whole sentence. "凛瞳は一口ココアを啜るとゆっくりとみんなを見回した" roughly means "Rindou took a sip of cocoa and slowly turned to look at everyone".

    Omission

    Look at this sentence. Can you find its subject?


    Screenshot from MeltyMoment ~メルティモーメント~

    今日はみんな早くおうちに帰ったのかな?

    The main verb of this sentence is 帰った, past form of 帰る (かえる) (to return). The topic of this sentence is 今日 (きょう) (today), but that clearly isn't the subject because "today" isn't the one that does the "return". There's no particle が that identifies the one that does the action either.

    Let's break this down.
    今日 みんな 早く おうち 帰った かな

    - With that topic particle, it is clear that the topic is "今日".
    - "帰った" is the main verb.
    - "おうち" (home) is the target of the verb "帰った".
    - "早く" (はやく) is the adjective "早い" (はやい) (early) made adverb. This kind of adverb doesn't need a particle.
    - の is a nominalizing particle, which can also be used to make the clause explanatory.
    - かな is an end-sentence interjectory particle, used when the speaker is uncertain about something.

    That left みんな (everyone). It might be a little puzzling because there is no particle attached to みんな in this sentence, but this みんな is, in fact, the subject of the sentence.

    This example can be roughly translated as, "Is it because everyone already went home?"

    The reason が is omitted here is that this is casual speech. Undoubtedly, in formal Japanese this would be "みんなが", but sometimes we can omit some particles and still retain the core information we want to convey. For example:

    朝ごはんを食べる?

    朝ごはん食べる?

    There is no different in meaning between these two sentences. The only difference is that the first sentence has を attached to 朝ごはん (あさごはん) (breakfast) while the second sentence does not. But we still know by common sense that because the verb is 食べる (食べる) (to eat), it would be very weird if 朝ごはん were the subject, so 朝ごはん is definitely the object.

    We can omit some particles like this and the sentence will still sound completely natural. Particles that are usually the object of omission are が and を, but other particles can be omitted too. Let's look at another example.


    Screenshot from MeltyMoment ~メルティモーメント~

    あのお店寄ってみていい?

    あの お店 寄ってみて いい

    - お店 is お + 店 (みせ) (shop). お is a honorific prefix used before a noun to address it in a polite way.
    - あの (that) is a prefix.
    - 寄って (よって) is て-form of 寄る (よる) (to drop by).
    - みて is て-form of みる (to try).
    - いい means "okay".

    This can be roughly translated as, "Is it okay to drop by that shop?"

    The verb target particle に is missing, but we still understand that "shop" is the target of the verb "to drop by". It wouldn't make much sense if "shop" were the subject or something else.

    You'll see this kind of omission very often, much more often in character's spoken lines than the narration. It makes breaking down sentences more troublesome because there will be less particles to help with dividing words. You'll have to guess a bit and seek help from the "begin with"/"end with" function of your dictionary.

    Common particles

    This is only for reference. It's nice if you can remember all this, but you don't have to remember it all in one go for now.

    (pronounced は):
    - topic particle. EX: 象は鼻が長い。

    :
    - identifier particle, used to identify the subject doing the verb. EX: 雨が降っている。 Also used to identify the noun being modified by the adjective. EX: ネコがかわいい。

    (pronounced お):
    - direct object particle. EX: ごはんを食べる。

    :
    - too/also, used during the conversation when the topic has something in common with previously mentioned topic. EX: A: わたしはリンゴが好きです。 B: わたしもリンゴが好きです。

    (pronounced え):
    - directional particle. EX: 学校へ行く。

    :
    - verb location particle, used to indicate where the action is taking place. EX: デパートでシャツを買った。
    - used to indicate means. EX: 鉛筆で名前を書いた。

    :
    - verb target particle. EX: 学校に行く。 EX: お金を箱にしまった。
    - used to indicate adverb. EX: 丁寧に断る。
    - indirect object particle. EX: 友達にプレセットをあげた。

    :
    - end-sentence interrogative particle, used to give an interrogative mood. EX: A: リンゴが好きですか? B: はい、好きです。

    から:
    - used to indicate starting point. EX: わたしはインドネシアから来ました。 Also used with point of time. EX: 授業は9時から始めます。

    まで:
    - used to indicate ending point. EX: 駅まで歩きます。 Also used with point of time. EX: 授業は4時までです。

    :
    - exhaustive listing particle. EX: デパートでオレンジとリンゴを買った。
    - with. EX: 友達と来ました。
    - quotative particle. EX: 先生から授業がないと聞いた。

    :
    - inexhaustive listing particle. EX: デパートでオレンジやリンゴを買った。

    :
    - indicates possessor. EX: これはわたしの車です。
    - nominalizing particle. EX: 泳ぐのが好きです。
    - linking particle, used to link a noun with other noun to give description. EX: これは数字の宿題です。

    The difference between は and が:
    See here.

    The difference between へ, に and まで:
    へ indicates direction while に indicates target.
    "学校へ行く" means to go in the direction where the school is located.
    "学校に行く" means to go with the school as the intended destination.
    You can think of "へ" as "toward" and "に" as "to". The difference is small unless you really want to stress the nuance.
    まで indicates the ending point. It's used to emphasize the extent of the action.
    "駅まで歩きます" means to finish the walk at the station. You're not walking to the station because you have some business there. Your goal is maybe to get some exercise, or to take your dog for a walk, or something else.

    The difference between で and に:
    で indicates verb location. The location marked by で doesn't really have anything to do with the action. For に, the location is involved with the action.
    "買った" in "デパートでシャツを買った" is the action between the customer and the merchant. The department store is merely the location where the purchase is taking place.
    "しまった" in "お金を箱にしまった" is the action between the money owner and the box. The box is the target of the action "keep".

    The difference between と and や:
    と is used for exhaustive listing while や is used to give only some examples of a whole set.
    "デパートでオレンジとリンゴを買った" means you only bought oranges and apples from the store and nothing else.
    "デパートでオレンジやリンゴを買った" means oranges and apples are only examples of what you bought. There may be other fruits like mangos or bananas too.

    That's it for this lesson. Next time we're finally going to actually play through some game.

    Next lesson: Playthrough (1) >
    Last edited by Frankincense; May 26th, 2018 at 05:20 PM.
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    Japanese for erogamers

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  7. #15
    Senior Member pingtoryan's Avatar
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    Re: Japanese for Erogamers

    Wow, so many technicalities...I must be getting so very jaded...or I had most of it drilled into my head that it almost became a second nature...

    Going to actual playthrough soon? I expect a lot of things popping up...you intend to cover them as you go?
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    Re: Japanese for Erogamers

    Yes, but don’t know if that will work out.

    I plan to play two game alternately. One, I’ll pick one of DC2PC’s new route. The other, still haven’t decided.
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    Re: Japanese for Erogamers

    @Frankincense; sensei is the best!

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