ＨＥＬＬＯ！ Ｉ ＡＭ ＱＵＩＺＢＯ™！You may know me as the robot computer who helps you to pronounce words at Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online. Or, perhaps, you remember me from the quizzes I help create. But, this segment is not quite the same as the others that you may have experienced on the site. Betwixt Monday and Friday used to exist an emptiness where no guided learning existed. Out of this, the need for another segment, one that could both allow for a restful day of learning smaller concepts as well as the opportunity for more learning based on the skill level of the reader, was born. This segment is known as ‘Word of the Week Wednesday.’
During Word of the Week Wednesday, a word of phrase is presented in Japanese. However, it is not only written, I will be here to pronounce it for you character by character. In this, definitions are included. But, that is not the whole of it. Each word is exemplified through sentences which not only assist you with context, but also grammar, writing, and more. Each sentence is then read to you as many times as you wish, but it will be at full speed, so it is more useful to be used to pick the word out of the sentence rather than repeating.
During Word of the Week, you can either use it as a rest day, or as a day to revise and study previous lessons you may have missed. Though, Word of the Week Wednesday is not only for Wednesday, as you can return any day in order to fully learn the word. In order to learn the vocabulary, it is important to engage as many senses as possible. You can write a sentence to practise your grammar, characters, and handwriting; you can say a sentence aloud; or you can try to apply it in daily conversation. Either way, we will be there every step of the way. If you are just beginning at learning to create sentences, or you simply need a bit of assistance with grammar, be sure to visit the grammar section of the Essentials.
I say ‘we’ will be with you every step of the way not only because Kiki and Koko will be there to assist, but also because they are currently here, as well, to assist you with the current vocabulary as well as present you with a bit of a Quick Culture Corner.
Without further ado, let us NihonGO!!
Word(s) of the Week:
noun (名詞), no adjective (ノ形容詞)
jlpt n3 | common word (常用語)
Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko:
*This word has other forms and readings as well as some outdated ones. Whilst おみなご is an archaic pronunciation meaning something closer to 女児, じょじ, meaning ‘baby girl’ or ‘schoolgirl’ in a much younger sense, おなご, a still older term, would be the sort of implication of ‘girl’ meaning a servant girl or a maid servant. But, this is just an interesting note. If it’s for conversation or normal writing, you can definitely stick with the main reading, as the others may be more than a bit strange in the wrong context.
Bonus Word(s) of the Week:
onna no ko
expression, noun (名詞)
1.(young/little) girl (赤ん坊/子供/若い女); daughter (i.e.娘)
2. young woman (若い女)
jlpt n5 | common word (常用語)
Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko:
*This word also has many readings and forms, but it’s more important to know that you should focus on the pronunciation. Remember that おんな is through syllables slurred together. O-n-na. It’s in the same way as you would pay attention to the extra syllable in こんにちは, ko-n-ni-chi-wa.
※Helpful Hints + Quick Culture Corner with Kiki+Koko
We’re Kiki and Koko of Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! And, we’ve been busy putting away our 雛人形, hinaningyou, from yesterday’s 雛祭り, hinamatsuri, otherwise known as 女の子の日, onna no ko ni hi, until February next. For some, the consequences of leaving 雛人形, hinaningyou, set up after 雛祭り, hinamatsuri, may not be much of a weight, but after enjoying the kid-friendly 飲み物, nomimono, and delicious 食べ物, tabemono, we think we had our fill of 祝い, iwai. But, maybe you have no idea what any one of those words mean? That’s what we’re here for! You can use the respective links in order to find out more about each vocabulary word. You can learn about the holiday that’s celebrated throughout Japan every February-ish through 3 March, but you won’t find on a roster as it is oddly not considered a national holiday. Learn about 雛祭り, hinamatsuri,and feel like a Japanese princess with us. (ꈍ ꒳ ꈍ✿)
Now, let’s take a closer look at QUIZBO™’s vocabulary words. There are so many ways to say the word ‘girl’ in Japanese based on the context as well as just general vocabulary. Like saying ‘girl’ versus ‘lady’ versus ‘woman’, however there are so many words in between. But, today’s two that are presented are an interesting example for beginners of how the pronunciation of kanji differentiates based on the usage and context which can change the implied meaning.
女の子, onna no ko, is a word meaning ‘girl’ used primarily for babies to teens. You might hear someone calling an adult woman 「女の子」, onna no ko, but it’s usually used for younger people. However, when you see 女子, it’s pronunciation changes to joshi. Don’t be scared off by kanji, though! If you’re not sure what kanji even is, then be sure to read our quick introduction to Japanese writing, but in the meantime, know that hiragana generally always stays the same. If changing pronunciations seem scary, just look at the text you’re reading right now! If you hear words like heart and heard, daughter‘s laughter, wholly holly, examining mining; shoes, does, goes; or more importantly, bough, cough; doll, roll—English is probably more deceivingly difficult because looking at the letters, you wouldn’t expect twenty-six to make so many sounds! So, don’t underestimate yourself. If you can read English, with time, effort, an practise, you can learn kanji. But, we digress!
女子, joshi, whilst still meaning ‘girl’, and whilst the kanji implies a young girl, it can still be used by any age which may be translated as ‘lady’ which may still be considered ‘girl’. You’ll see it as the labels for the lady’s toilets, or restrooms for those in the states—though it’s not a place we’d enjoy doing any resting（ ´థ ౪ థ).
You’ll also see 女子 used in other contexts where it’s most likely adults attending like Women’s Universities, 「女子大学」, joshidaigaku. You’ll hear high school students referred to as 女子高生, joshikousei. Which brings us to a main highlight: in English, you may see someone say ‘jk’ to indicate they’re ‘just kidding’, but in Japanese, ｊｋ is an internet abbreviation of 「女子高生」. It shows it’s such a widely used term despite technically based on kanji alone, one might think it’s the same as 女の子, onna no ko. But, nope, there’s so many implications and meanings that don’t quite come through based on even a dictionary alone.
It really goes to show that it’s important to have a trusted guide to help you along with even day-to-day vocabulary words. And, we hope to continue to assist you and help you on your journey for your personal Japanese language and culture learning goals~!
We hope that helps!! Until the next lesson!
Thank you, Kiki and Koko. And, thank you for having me at your ひな祭り会, hinamatsurikai, (hina festival party), yesterday. It was certainly an enjoyable experience even for a computer robot like myself. And, you made some important points. Luckily, even as a computer robot, I am able to discern context, especially thanks to the two of you. 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.
ひなまつりに、おんなの こは ひなまつりかいをしたり、きものをきたり、たのしいおかしを たべたりします。これにくわえて、ひなにんぎょうが てんじされます。ひなまつりに、おんなの こは おひめさまのように あつかいされるのだと いえますね。
hinamatsuri ni, onna no ko wa hinamatsurikai wo shitari, kimono wo kitari, tanoshii okashi wo tabetari shimasu. kore ni kuwaete, hina ningyou ga tenji saremasu. hinamatsuri ni, onna no ko wa ohimesama no you ni atsukai sareru no da to iemasu ne.
At hinamatsuri, girls do things like having hinamatsuri parties, wearing kimono, eating fun sweets. In addition to this, hina dolls are displayed. It can be said girls are treated like princesses at hinamatsuri.
きみの じょしせいふく、ちょう かわいいだわ！うちの がっこうせいふくは こんなに かわいかったらいいのに・・・
kimi no joshiseifuku, chou kawaii da wa! uchi no gakkouseifuku wa konna ni kawaikattara ii no ni…
Your girl‘s uniform is super cute! I wish my school uniform was that cute…
けさ、 くらすのじょしから 「才（よчｏぅ」という めせーじが きた。
kesa, kurasu no joshi kara 「才（よчｏぅ」to iu meseeji ga kita.
gyarumoji de ‘ohayou’ desu.
This morning, I got a message from a girl in my class saying 「才（よчｏぅ」.
It’s ‘good morning’ in gyaru moji (gal letters)
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 some useful reading, like the lesson about 雛祭り, hinamatsuri, or 🔊Japanese Word(s) of the Week w/ QUIZBO™ | 【祝う】+ Bonus: What is the 【㊗】 emoji? | (+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!