ＨＥＬＬＯ！ Ｉ ＡＭ ＱＵＩＺＢＯ™！Welcome to Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online’s Japanese Word of the Week. Monday and Friday feel ages apart, and three days without learning some Japanese language knowledge could make you feel like you are not receiving a steady flow of information. That is why this segment was created! Though this is meant for Wednesday, the Word of the Week is just as useful every day, Monday through Friday. So, do not think that because you may have missed previous segments that you are behind. There is always time to catch up and learn at your own pace.
During Word of the Week, as the name suggests, I will present to you a Japanese word or phrase. However, I do not simply give you the word and leave you to your own devices. What good is a word if you may not know how it is used? That is why I will create a few sentences to show different contexts in which the word can be used. Sometimes words have multiple definitions which I can illustrate using difference sentences. But, this is not only to show different definitions, but to secretly teach you other new words and grammar.
In turn, you will be introduced to the feeling of a Japanese sentence structure and look. The sentences will be written in their original kanji, hiragana,and katana, but because this is meant to teach anyone from beginners to those simply looking to refresh or expand their vocabulary, there is also a purely hiragana and romaji version.
But, that is not the whole of it! I will also tell you the pronunciation of the word using the latest in technological advancements. You can ask me as many times as you like to repeat the word, as well. Speaking the word aloud after me will definitely assist your learning! I am always here to repeat them as many times as you need. Without further ado, let us NihonGO!!
Word(s) of the Week:
noun, suru verb, no-adjective
1. mobile telephone; cellular telephone
※Technology Culture Corner with Kiki+Koko
We’re Kiki and Koko, here for a Quick Technology Culture Corner on QUIZBO™’s Wednesday Word of the Week! Well, this may or may not be much of a culture corner as it is a quick explanation of 携帯電話、keitaidenwa, and how the word is used. Technically, slang is a part of culture, so this definitely counts as a Quick Culture Corner.
So, in English speaking parts of the world, people don’t usually find themselves saying, ‘mobile phone’ (or ‘cellular phone’ for our American friends), every time they refer to their smart device in conversation, but rather, they find themselves shortening it. In QUIZBO™’s sentences, included after this passage, each of these instances, 携帯電話、keitaidenwa, can be replaced with the shortened version, 携帯, keitai, which is usually written in katakana as ケイタイ, keitai. However, the slang is usually implied with context in speech, and even though it can be shortened using kanji often in writing, it is also even more so often used with katakana in order to make the difference between the original word and the shortened word. This is because the word 携帯, keitai, itself is meant to describe anything, ‘portable’ as in ‘handheld’. which means that you might see words like 携帯ゲーム機, keitai geemuki, which would translate to ‘portable type game console’ like handheld games. Or, 携帯ラジオ, keitai rajio, ‘portable radio’, or 携帯テレビ, keitai terebi, ‘portable telly‘. But, this applies to non-technology objects as well, and is also an example of how you might see the 用, you, to show it’s ‘for the use of..’ which could also be used in the other words, such as 携帯用鏡, keitaiyou kagami, ‘portable mirror’. So, the context and the actual wordage would be implied and it would be more obvious that the person isn’t talking about an app.
Though, long long ago, there were 固定電話、koutei denwa, landline phones with a swirly-curly cable coming from the speaking bit of it, so we figured we should mention the word’s roots which is 電話, denwa, meaning ‘telephone’. So, if you’re referring to a regular phone that hangs on the wall of your gran’s kitchen, you can use 電話, denwa, but for the mobile phone you carry around with you every waking moment, you can use 携帯電話、keitaidenwa, or 携帯, keitai, OR ケイタイ, keitai.
However! There is another word you must know! And that is smart phone! This is technically 高機能携帯電話, koukinou keitaidenwa, but people really don’t use that, so you can erase that from your mind and remember スマートフォン, sumaatofon. Rather, スマフォ, sumafo. But, even forget that one as well because the word everyone uses nowadays is, スマホ, sumaho. ケイタイ, keitai, can refer to any old flip-phone, but スマホ, sumaho, lets you know it’s probably the latest diamond-encrusted, gold-plated intelligent phone with a detachable camera and 50TB of memory that can probably take over the world. Or, well, really just any phone that can run the Twitter or watch a YouTube.
But, why スマホ, sumaho? Well, in our future lesson about katakana, we’ll explain why it actually sounds very similar. But, if you also read our current lesson on hiragana 【はひふへほ】then, you might realise there’s actually no ‘F’ in Japanese… at least in the way that English speakers would think, which is why 【ふ】is grouped with the rest of the H gang. So, you’ll see the proverbial F’s in the chat, but there is no dedicated group of letters that makes a real and true ‘Fffff’ sound. This means スマフォ, sumaafon, oddly sounds closer to スマホ, sumaho, than you would think.
We hope that helps!! Until the next lesson!
Thank you, Kiki and Koko, for your addition to my Word of the Week! Actually, because of this, I will add a second Word of the Week for a landmark time where there are two Words of the Week.
Bonus Word(s) of the Week:
1. smartphone; smart phone
abreviation for: スマートフォン, sumaatofon
Also spelt: スマフォ, sumafo
The first row is in Japanese with Kanji. The Next row is in hiragana, then romanised using rōmaji with the final row translated into English.
へんな でんぱは ぼくの けいたいでんわを ぼうがい しています。 がいうちゅうから つったてるかなあ。
Hen na denpa wa boku no keitai denwa wo bougai shiteimasu. gaiuchuu kara tsutatteru kanaa.
Strange radio waves are jamming my mobile phone. I wonder if they’re transmitting from outer space…
今週は、最新の スマホを 買ったばっかりで、今は もう廃れたのです。
こんしゅうは、 さいしんの すまほを かったばっかりで、 いまは もうすたれたのです。
konshuuwa saishin no sumaho wo katta bakkari de, ima wa mou sutareta no desu.
This week, I just bought the latest smart phone, and now, it’s already out-of-date.
携帯電話の アプリが あっても、腕時計とか 電卓も 思いがけず 廃れたことない。
けいたいでんわの あぷりが あっても うでどけいとか でんたくも おもいがけず すたれたこと ない。
keitai denwa no apuri ga attemo, udedokei toka dentaku mo omoigakezu sutareta koto nai.
Even with mobile phone apps, surprisingly, things like watches and calculators haven’t become obsolete.
いぜんは けいたいで でんわを かけたものだった
izen wa keitai de denwa wo kaketa mono datta.
You used to phone me on [your] mobile.
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