ＨＥＬＬＯ！ Ｉ ＡＭ ＱＵＩＺＢＯ™！When I am not reading characters, vocabulary, and sentences or generating quizzes for Kiki and Koko’s lessons, or absorbing solar rays with my photovoltaic cells, I introduce you to new Japanese vocabulary, weekly. This is Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online’s Japanese Word of the Week. Between Monday and Friday used to lay a wasteland between learning that has now been rejuvenated with a quick way to boost your learning potential. You can consider the act of looking at this segment a reminder to study Japanese. You can revise, or review, previous lessons at your own pace in order to catch up on lessons you may have missed or to help you memorise the information. Memorising the content will assist in making it more natural to you. The goal is not to simply read a script from your mind, but to synthesise these thoughts into your own everyday life. And, I am here to help you with that!
Word of the Week includes a Japanese word or phrase that I will not only pronounce for you, but I will put it into a sentence. This illustrates how it can be used as well as contextual clues. Though the sentence is not meant for repetition, it will assist you in becoming familiar with how Japanese sentences generally work. But, you can also incorporate the word into your own sentences with the previous tools given to you.
Even beginners can benefit from seeing sentences in three forms: one with romaji which can assist beginners in initial pronunciation before learning to read; hiragana, in order to learn the reading of the kanji; and its original form using kanji, hiragana,and katana.
I encourage you to repeat the word out loud after me. My voice may be computer generated, but I like to think I sound as human as I can. I always try my best and give consistent sound patterns for you to follow that also incorporate into sentences just like a human would use. That is also why I am always here to repeat them as many times as you need.
Without further ado, let us NihonGO!!
Word(s) of the Week:
Out-dated spelling: 學校, gakkou
※Quick Culture Corner with Kiki+Koko
We’re Kiki and Koko from Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! And, we’re going to provide for you a Quick Culture Corner to help add some context to the word. Of course, school doesn’t seem like an extremely complicated word, but there are a few fun facts that we’ll present here briefly.
So, you may notice that there were two spellings presented in the definition above: 「学校」and 「學校」. The former is the only one you have to actually remember for day-to-day use, but the second is interesting to mention as the first kanji is different to the former. There is an entire lesson’s worth of content to cover to explain why, but to make it simple for the sake of a Quick Culture Corner, there are a set number of kanji that used to have a huge sprawl of complex characters that may have been repetitive and unnecessary, or at least it was deemed that way by the Japanese Ministry of Education, the Japanese Language Council, and previously, the Temporary National Language Investigation Committee; and many characters were simply thrown out or instead were set aside in favour for their simplified counterpart. In this case, it’s one of the simplified counterparts. Even with the extremely high literacy rate in Japan, this still, of course, made learning a couple thousand kanji more doable than
The kanji 「學」is considered outdated and instead was agreed upon as 「学」. Even as of Heisei 16, or 2004, it’s not permitted to be used as a kanji in, or as, a legal name. There are many outdated kanji after the major script reformation as well as more recent ones, but they come up in older literature, documents, and media. It’s sort of like not necessarily ‘needing’ to know older English phrases and spellings for everyday life, but if you’re going to delve into anything from before the 1950s. And, somewhere you may read something historical would be during the beginning of the next school semester!
We figured this would be incomplete without at least one other quick Japanese school fact. And, that fun fact would be about 学期, gakki, or semesters. In Japan, there are 3 semesters or academic terms, just as in the UK, or at least England, where there are also three terms, but split into halves. In the states, it’s four ‘quarters’. But, it still allows for three longer holidays in Japan.
Whilst summer holiday in Japan starts around the end of the second term, it doesn’t always mark the end of the second term, as we explain in the Word of the Week for 「夏休み」, the academics don’t stop.
For quick reference, classes start in April, and end… well, at the end of March the next year. It feels very cyclical in comparison to stateside schools, never truly stopping, but leaving room for holidays. Semester 1、一学期, ichigakki, is usually April to late July. Semester 2,二学期, nigakki, is usually September till December. And, Semester 3 is normally January to March.
We hope that helps!! Until the next lesson!
Thank you, Kiki and Koko! I feel as though each time there is a segment including a Quick Culture Corner, there is usually a bonus vocabulary word to follow. As this is a useful school word, we will include 「学期」as our Bonus Word of the Week.
Bonus Word(s) of the Week:
1. semester; academic term
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.
Student 1: 今学期、学校で もしいい成績をとったら、親は 俺に 最新版のゲーム機を買ってくれるって言ってた。
こんがっき、がっこうで もし いいせいせきを とったら、 おやは おれに さいしんはんの げーむきを かってくれるっていってた。
kongakki, gakkou de moshi ii seiseki wo tottara, oya wa ore ni saishinhan no geemuki wo katte kureru tte itteta.
If I get good marks this semester at school, my parents said they’d buy me the latest game system.
Student 2: ほおっ！ うらやましいいい・・・！頑張ってね！
ほおっ！ うらやましいいい・・・! がんばってね！
hoo! urayamashiiii…! ganbatte ne!
Woah!! I’m so jealoooous…!! Do your best!
※帰宅部 is a joking term for students who aren’t in any afterschool clubs or activities.
おんらいんで がっこうへ かよって、 ききせんせいや こうこせんせいと にほんごを まなべます。
onrain de gakkou he kayotte, kikisensei ya koukosensei to nihongo wo manabemasu.
I can attend school online and study Japanese with Kiki and Koko.
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