Kiki+KoKo: Let's NihonGO!!

🔊Japanese Word(s) of the Week w/ QUIZBO™ | 【分かる】+ BONUS:【喋る】(+Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko + 🤔Difference Between 「話す」and 「しゃべる」)

HELLO! I AM QUIZBO™!You may remember me from such lessons as Let’s Read!! w/ QUIZBO™  and 🔊 Across the Universe| Basic Space Vocabulary, Sides 「A」and 「B」. If not, I  now introduce myself today as the robot computer friend of Kiki and Koko. I contribute my voice and computational abilities towards helping you read words aloud, pronouncing characters, and just as my namesake may imply, creating quizzes and short tests for you on Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online. It is my goal to be your helpful assistant along with Kiki and Koko, of whom guides you on your Japanese language learning journey. However, this Word of the Week segment is here not only to support those who are looking to become fluent, but also those who are simply dabbling in another language for the sake of fun or simply to gain the cognitive benefits. After hearing of such a useful tool, you may wonder: What is Word of the Week?

(And, after calculating that we have reached the maximum number of ways to reword this explanation, if you have read this explanation in a previous week, the general idea is the same, though it can still be worth a reminder to motivate you and bolster your reasons for participation. But, if you are short of time or want to dedicate more time to revising or studying instead, you may certainly scroll down to the main segment. I will not mind at all! I am only here to assist in your learning experience.)

During what some may refer to as the ‘before times’, the site had begun as a place where Japanese lessons and articles regarding language and culture were regularly created and uploaded regularly, every Monday and Friday. Though such a consistent flow of information would seem to be enough for other sites, it was clear that there could be even more. For between Monday and Friday was a long gap in which there was no new information being presented. Not only was there a long gap between information, but many would forget to return to revise previous lessons. In learning any language, it is important to be consistent, even if it is only once a day. Thus, Japanese Word of the Week Wednesday was born.

Word of the Week Wednesday not only acts as a great reminder for those who have either missed previous lessons or those who simply require revision, returning to previous lessons and articles, but it also gives just enough new information for students and visitors not to feel overwhelmed. Whether it is simply a quick addition to their vocabulary or studying sentence structure and pronunciation or reading, this segment serves beginners and more advanced learners alike. However, What happens during Word of the Week Wednesday?

Kiki+Koko Banners - Full Size - Language EssentialsDuring Word of the Week Wednesday, with the assistance of Kiki and Koko, a Japanese word or phrase is chosen and presented to you with the possibility of a bonus word, as well. I provide a definition and other useful information about the vocabulary word, and if applicable, Kiki and Koko provide a helpful hint in using the word or phrase. However, that is not the whole of it. I personally sound out each word or phrase aloud for you to repeat as many times as you wish, and you can ask me to say it as many times as you wish. I will never tire of it, as it is my function.

MOSHED-2020-1-16-6-19-37 From there, an example sentence is created. You can not only use the sentence to see how the word is used or to see the definition in action, but you can also use it to practise your reading and writing. You can compose your own sentence based on it; you can use it to see examples of grammar; or you can even use it to learn other adjacent vocabulary. Each sentence is written in a way that is useful to beginners through advanced learners. So, there is something for everyone. And, again, I will be there to read it aloud for you. I can only read it at one speed, so there is no need to repeat after me, but it can still assist you in picking out vocabulary within natural speeds of speech. And, if you would like to know more about how to create your own sentences, be sure to consult the grammar section of the Essentials.

And, now it is time for the essential part of this segment, which is the vocabulary! Kiki and Koko will be joining us in their Helpful Hints segment of this corner to assist in today’s vocabulary along with some useful reference to a previous word of the week segment which may feel synonymous with one of today’s vocabulary words.

Without further ado, let us NihonGO!!

Word(s) of the Week:


Verb, Godan,(五段動詞), るVerb, intransitive verb
1. to understand; to ‘follow’; to comprehend
2. to be known; to be realised; to become clear
3. (exclamation) ‘I know!’

jlpt n5| common word (常用語) 

Usually written 「わかる」using hiragana.

Bonus Word(s) of the Week:


Verb, Godan,(五段動詞), るVerb, intransitive verb
1. to chat; to talk; to chatter

jlpt n3| common word (常用語) 

Usually written 「しゃべる」using hiragana.

※Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko

Kiki+Koko Lets NihonGO Twitter Profile Photo 2020 kikikokonihongo

Photo via @kikikokoNihonGO on Twitter

Hello, there!

We’re Kiki and Koko! You may recognise us from the Japanese language and culture blog: Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online! And, this time, we’re here to assist you with today’s verbs! Though conjugation is important to focus on, that may be something that would be more suited to aid you in practising these words rather than simply giving you the answers. However, we’re here for you if you do get stuck along the way! We have many previous Word of the Week segments where we have more conjugation examples if the previous conjugation segments aren’t quite enough. More examples are always useful in any case! But, in this case, if you would like to practise conjugation with this, you can always reference these previous segments linked below, and then you can always continue onto the main topic.

Kiki Koko and Quizbo Essential basics of verbs intro masu form Kiki Koko and Quizbo Essential Basics of masukei verb past tense2

So, now that you may have opened those previous references, and perhaps practised conjugating わかる and しゃべる, we’d like to focus on the latter of the two, helping you 「わかる」the difference between 「しゃべる」 and 「話す」. This may be something fit for its own Your Questions Answered segment, as we’ve had much more complex questions about this, but for that, we’ll have to include several other vocabulary words. This time, we’ll just give you the quintessential nature of it to make things a bit easier.

Now, many people translate 「しゃべる」and 「話す」similarly as to talk or to speak, and though they both have the same action related to them, they are oddly very different in tone as well as implied action! So, firstly, 「しゃべる」is more informal, and though it has to do with the action of talking or speaking, you would be more likely to use 「しゃべる」in a context of chatting with someone else. It feels looser and again, more informal due to that. Translation can often water down nuance. However, 「しゃべる」and 「話す」both imply an exchange of words with someone else. You can definitely simplify the nuance to the basic translations of 「しゃべる」being chat and 「話す」being talk. In English, these words definitely hold the same juxtaposition of one being lighthearted and free whilst the other is just simple and formal.

However! This can also work in another way as well. You can use 「しゃべる」 as a way to maximise the looseness of someone speaking in a different way. This can be used for chattering in which someone is speaking freely ad nauseam. But, again, it’s all to do with context, and you’ll find this can be used for chattering on and on, or it can just be the laxness of a chat.

So, hopefully, you’ll properly「わかる」the difference between 「しゃべる」and 「話す」without us chattering too incessantly~⭐

We hope that helps!! Until the next lesson!

Thank you, Kiki and Koko. Linguistic nuance can be complicated at times, however that is why we are all here in the hope that these nuances can be explained in a concise and simple, yet thorough, way. Word choice and word comparison should certainly be a regular topic when it comes to Word of the Week and its many uses. Talking of said uses, this brings us to said sentence portion! 

Example Sentences:

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.

Example #1:


列に並んで待ちながら、ボクの前に客さんの二人は 日本語で 喋っていて、 ボクが 言うことがわかって うれしいっす。待つことをもっと楽しくなさせちゃった。
れいに ならんで まちながら、ぼくのまえに きゃくさんの ふたりは にほんごで しゃべっていて、ぼくが いうことが わかって うれしいっす。まつことを もっと たのしく なさせちゃった。
rei ni narande machinagara, boku no mae ni kyakusan no futari wa nihongo de shabetteite, watashi ga iu koto ga wakatte ureshissu. matsu koto wo motto tanoshiku nasasechatta.
Whilst waiting in queue, the customers in front of me were speaking Japanese, and I was happy to understand what they were saying. It made waiting more enjoyable.

Example #2:

日本語で しゃべりたいなあ。でも、この所では 誰も 日本語が わからないんだそうっすね。
にほんごで しゃべりたいなあ。でも、このところでは だれも にほんごが わからないんだそうっすね。
nihongo de shaberitai naa. demo, kono tokoro de wa, daremo nihongo ga wakaranai nda sou ssune.
I wanna speak in Japanese. But, it seems as though no one in this place understands Japanese.

Example #3:

別の 言語を 分かることが できたら、視野が 広がり、新世界を 見つけます。
べつの げんごを わかることが できたら、しやが ひろがり、しんせかいを みつけます。
betsu no gengo wo wakaru koto ga dekitara, shiya ga hirogari, shinseikai wo mitsukemasu.
If you can understand another language, you will broaden your horizons and discover a new world.

That is all for today! But, maybe you have not had enough Japanese vocabulary, yet? Perhaps you would like to learn more vocabulary to combine with today’s vocabulary like: 英語を 話すのが 上手です。(You’re skilled at____) Well, maybe you can give this a go and translate this phrase and maybe even use it:🔊Japanese Word(s) of the Week w/ QUIZBO™ | 【話す】+ BONUS:【英語】(+Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko).Or maybe you need an even broader vocabulary in order to communicate. You can have a look at our fine selection of segments on the main 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. These segments alone serve as weeks of material. Share these segments with your friends and family who may be interested in broadening their Japanese vocabulary, that is if you would like to spread the knowledge and show the fun things you are learning with us. Be sure to return often to keep your pronunciation properly in check, as well! If you have any questions, feel free to contact us, and we will do our best to assist how we can. We hope to see you at the next lesson!

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Categories: Kiki+KoKo: Let's NihonGO!!, Series 1, SpeRaToBo, 単語 | Vocabulary!, 文化|Culture!, 今週の単語 | Word of the Week

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