ＨＥＬＬＯ！ Ｉ ＡＭ ＱＵＩＺＢＯ™！I hope to be more than just the computer robot friend of Kiki and Koko who brings you quizzes, pronunciations, and more, but also a helper in your Japanese language learning journey, and just perhaps, maybe even your digital friend as well. On Mondays and Fridays, you can enjoy new content from Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online, however there was a time long ago when there was a barren wasteland in the middle of the week, devoid of learning, only revision. But, even then, people did not remember to take the time in the middle of the week for studying previous materials. That is before Japanese Word of the Week Wednesday was created! Word of the Week acts as not only a reminder to be sure to revise, going over previous lessons to keep them fresh in your mind to give yourself the best chance of learning the vocabulary, grammar, and culture, but also to have the chance to continue to learn as much as as little as you would like in the middle of the week. The possibilities are endless for those of any skill level!
Whether you are just beginning to learn Japanese or you are trying to expand your vocabulary, the intention is for this segment to be of good use to you. Word of the Week provides an opportunity for compiling new vocabulary and grammatical knowledge in a bite-sized experience with a wealth of adjacent skills to be strengthened or practised. So, if you are further along in learning and already happen to know the vocabulary words that week, you can even benefit from the other aspects of the segment such as listening practice, grammar, and even composition.
For beginners, and those who may even be further along in learning kanji, the pronunciation for the given word is presented. I sound it out for you aloud with each hiragana syllable, so if there is a word with長音, chouon, you’ll be able to differentiate betwixt that and another word with similar pronunciation. I will repeat it as many times as you like, and it is encouraged that you repeat after me in order to engage as many senses as possible. The more senses you engage, as well as the more exposures you have to a word, the more you will actually learn it, rather than remembering it in the same way as a fleeting phone number or a confirmation code that only stays in your short term memory, only to be deleted after the item is used or written down. You can engage more senses and multitask practising your Japanese writing skills by writing the word or composing a sentence.
You are not left to compose a sentence without any inspiration, however. In this segment, with the help of Kiki and Koko, there are sentences created for your reading and listening usage. That is correct, I will read it aloud for you. And, though it is at full speed, you can benefit from hearing the pronunciation and practising picking out words from a block of spoken vocabulary. It is a useful skill when trying to glean vocabulary from media, as well. But, in order to do this—which in future, I am sure Kiki and Koko will cover more about this topic— you will need at least some basic grammar skills which can be found throughout lessons, but the basics can be found in the Grammar section of The Essentials. In order to better enjoy the benefits of Word of the Week, it is certainly recommended to have a bit of a grasp on sentence making concepts, but this can equally help you practise these concepts. So, either way, you will find yourself reaping the rewards of this.
For those in the stages of practising kana or kanji, you can practise reading the various words used in the example sentences, and you may even learn even more vocabulary along the way. For absolute beginners there is romanisation, for those practising kana, we have the original writing also transliterated into hiragana. And, of course, the sentence in its original script is useful along with the others in practising grammar and exemplifying the definitions and usage of the words.
If you have kept up with this segment, you may have noticed hat this month’s vocabulary words have been related in one way or another. This can be used to build upon your vocabulary by using the previous vocabulary words together. You can even try to challenge yourself by making a composition of several sentences relating all of the vocabulary words of the month together. It does not have to be complicated, just something that fits your skill level or a skill towards which you are aiming. Maybe you have not been keeping up with the segment before today? Be sure to subscribe to the site in order to get email updates telling you when there is a new Word of the Week available or other content and lessons. You will never need to remember the day of the week again.
However, now that you are here, you can enjoy the benefits of this current Word of the Week, and I will not keep you away from them any longer. Without further ado, let us NihonGO!!
Word(s) of the Week:
na adjective (ナ形容詞), noun (名詞)
1. (adjective) vague; obscure; ambiguous; unclear; fuzzy
2. (noun) vagueness; ambiguity
3. (adjective) evasive (answer)
jlpt n2 | common word (常用語)
*This word (and others) have many translations based on context and the expression in which it is used. These serve as just a basic introduction, so if you come across a different translation in an expression, just know that it could be an equivocation to express the feeling of the word in context, and take note of it for future usage.
Bonus Word(s) of the Week:
na adjective (ナ形容詞), noun (名詞)
1.(adjective) clear; plain; obvious; distinct; articulate
2.(noun) clearness; plainness
jlpt n1 | common word (常用語)
※Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko
We’re Kiki and Koko from Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online! During QUIZBO™’s Word of the Week segment, we have a quick stop round for a cuppa with you to talk about the words you’ve just been presented. This week, we’re wrapping up the month’s vocabulary words and it’s become very apparent that they’ve all been related~! Well, one word from the very last day of the month definitely carries over considering how short February feels, even with the extra day. At a glance, you may not have realised, but this month, including this current Word of the Week, we’ve presented you with several parts of speech! Many of them are quite transient as they can change their parts of speech based on particles, but the point is that these words will serve you well in expressing a myriad of related concepts~! We challenge you to create your own sentences or multiple sentences to practise these words and stretch your skills.
🔊Japanese Word(s) of the Week w/ QUIZBO™ | 【教科書】+BONUS: 【児童書】(+SpeRaToBo News + Sushi Chef Neko Restocking)
However, if you want to use today’s vocabulary words, you may want to use them in different ways! We’ll help you understand how to use adjectives as well as how to conjugate them into negative form, past tense, and more in the lessons below. But, in the meantime, we’ll help you with some past tense.
Now, if you’ve seen these or previous lessons, you’ll probably know that Japanese has varying levels of politeness based on the situation. Whilst you’ll get more use from the polite form, it’s best to also know the dictionary or casual form for different parts of speech. Let’s look at today’s vocabulary words in past tense. Remember, these are ナ形容詞, na keiyoushi, na adjectives, so be sure when you revise to keep note of the types of adjectives and how to identify them in order to properly conjugate future ones you discover.
(It) was ambiguous.
(It) was clear.
Basic Polite Form
(It) was ambiguous.
(It) was clear.
Be sure to note the way to conjugate negative past tense which can be found in the previous lessons. Even though these are technically higher level adjectives, it doesn’t mean it should stop anyone who isn’t very far along in Japanese. The JLPT is just a level set for testing facilities, and not indicative of how often certain words are used. It’s important to not only prepare yourself with words you’d like to use to expand your vocabulary, but to prepare yourself for words other people will use. This can be a more creative way of saying whether or not you understand something, saying it’s clear or vague to you. You could say:
「__ wa watashi ni totte aimai desu」
「 ＿＿ is ambiguous to me.」
And, you can replace the blank with ‘this’ or ‘that’ which we explain in our lesson: Here, There, and Everywhere| Basic Japanese Demonstratives| Pronouns| 基本的な指示語| 代名詞 | PART 2|| Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Japanese Language Learning Essentials.
So, if you weren’t sure what you should revise, then the lessons we’ve given should hopefully make things 明瞭, meiryou. （๑ゞω・`)ｂ Just do your best and work at your own pace! There’s no rush on this journey, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.
We hope that helps!! Until the next lesson!
Thank you, Kiki and Koko. These were useful study suggestions as well as examples of ways to use the vocabulary. It is definitely important to keep your mind active and to keep the vocabulary in your daily thoughts by revising often. Even taking a few moments to read and listen to this should prove useful to even those who would rather take a quick rest day. But, again, it is definitely best to keep the concepts fresh in your mind so they can become natural and you can eventually reach your goals. At any rate, let us continue to the sentence portion!
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.
すみませんが、このしつもんは いみが めいりょうじゃないのです。とにかく、これは わたしにとって あいまいです。 わたしに せつめいして くださいませんか。
sumimasen ga, kono shitsumon wa imi ga meiryou jyanai no desu. tonikaku, kore wa watashi ni totte aimai desu. watashi ni setsumei shite kudasaimasenka.
Pardon me, but this question is not clear*. This is unclear to me, anyway. Can you please explain it to me?
lit. the meaning of this question is not clear
たんごの ていぎは あいまいですが、 ぶんみゃくのなかでは めいりょうだと おもいますか。
tango no teigi wa aimai desuga, bunmyaku no naka de wa meiryou da to omoimasuka?
The definition of the vocabulary word is ambiguous, but do you think it is clear in context?
しょしんしゃにとっては にほんごの じょし「は」と「が」のちがいは めいりょうではない だそうです。でも、れんしゅうすれば、あいまいは うすらぎます。
shoshinsha ni totte wa nihongo no joshi ‘wa’ to ‘ga’ no chigai wa meiryou de wa nai da sou desu. demo, renshuu sureba, aimai wa usuragimasu.
For beginners, it seems the difference between Japanese particles ‘wa’ and ‘ga’ are not clear. But, if you practise, the ambiguity will fade away.
That is all for today! But, perhaps you are interested in catching up or revising the previous Word of the Week segments? Kiki and Koko have already suggested quite a few, such as 🔊Japanese Word(s) of the Week w/ QUIZBO™ | 【教科書】+BONUS: 【児童書】, 🔊Japanese Word(s) of the Week w/ QUIZBO™ | 【探す】+BONUS:【無くす】(+Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko), and 🔊Japanese Word(s) of the Week w/ QUIZBO™ | 【単語】+BONUS: 【言葉】(+Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko). Out of these, we are sure you’ll have more than enough to fill your Wednesday. But, if you are looking for even more, you can have a look at our selection of fine segments at the Word of the Week page. Or, you can be sure you are caught up with the latest with the sidebar link: 今週の単語 | Word of the Week. Feel free to share these words and use them everywhere and anywhere! You can return as often as you wish to be sure you’re continuing proper pronunciation. And, while we are here for you every day of your journey, you can also share these with friends or family in order to have someone to learn alongside. Everyone wins in that situation. Or, just keep friendly competition with yourself. Working at your own pace is beneficial as well. Either way, we’ll be here to assist you with any questions you have! We hope to see you at the next lesson!
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Thank you so much for learning with us!