🔊Japanese Word(s) of the Week w/ QUIZBO™ | 【会話】+ BONUS:【口語】(+Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko: ‘What is “colloquial”?’)

HELLO! I AM QUIZBO™!I am your personal Japanese language learning assistant. You may recognise me from Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online as the one who reads characters and vocabulary words for you. If not, perhaps you may recognise me in future as the robot computer friend of Kiki and Koko. And, it is my hope that I will become another conduit for knowledge in your Japanese language learning journey. You may simply want to dabble in Japanese for a form of mental work-out, or perhaps you want to learn just a bit in order to communicate with friends and family, or maybe you simply want to know enough to watch some of those moving cartoons that I hear so much about. In any case, Word of the Week is here to not only support those who want to become fluent in Japanese, but also those who simply want to stop by for a few words here and there to get some cognitive benefits. However, you may still be wondering: 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 as well as some context that may be helpful for the future of your language learning journey.

Without further ado, let us NihonGO!!

Word(s) of the Week:


Noun,(名詞), suru verb (「名詞+する」)
1. conversation

jlpt n4| common word (常用語) 

Bonus Word(s) of the Week:


Verb, Godan,(五段動詞), るVerb, intransitive verb
1.colloquial speech/language; spoken language
2. (modern) spoken Japanese; a (modern) spoken Japanese writing style

jlpt n?| common word (常用語) 

※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! Your guides to Japanese language and culture from Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online! Usually, we stop by during QUIZBO™’s Word of the Week segment in order to clarify some things about the vocabulary used. This can end up a bit lengthier than we intend. However, today, because these vocabulary words are mainly nouns, we’d rather focus on a word than many beginners may not know in English. It’s a word that doesn’t seem to occur often in daily speech, but as a language learner or linguist, it’s a word you’ll encounter as often as you study. This is the word 「colloquial.

「Colloquial」is literally the opposite of formal. It’s most easily defined as ‘informal’. It’s usually implication of being conversational. Though colloquial can often feel as though it’s a negative word, used in a way that makes the words seem incorrect, it’s best to think of it as the modern dialect. It’s something you wouldn’t use in most situations, but in certain times and places, it can prove useful for making meaningful and close conversation.

Though, the word we gave today isn’t the one and only way to express the idea of a colloquialism. The word 「俗語」zokugo, is closer to being translated as the word slang itself. And it’s how you’d refer to something that is colloquial language or is a colloquialism. You’ll see this in many dictionaries, sometimes with the first kanji alone. However! 「俗語」zokugo, can imply vulgarity, as well. So, be careful with these.

All in all, learning a language is all about balance. It’s fun to know colloquial terms in order to make fun jokes and understand what all the hip young kids are jiving to these days, but it’s equally important to be able to understand how the language works in serious and formal conversation. No one would feel good about saying someone’s relative got a vibe check during a serious ceremony. There’s always a time, a place, and a specific audience for colloquialism, but just be careful to read the air, as we say in Japanese. It’s important to every part of communication!

We hope that helps!! Until the next lesson!

Thank you, Kiki and Koko. It certainly would be quite a social faux pas to use slang during something quite serious. Someone would feel it as disrespectful and one could become upset. No one wants that unintentionally in their communication skills. And, communication is all about using the vocabulary you have learnt in proper sentences that express those feelings. Talking of which, 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:

普通なカトゥーンを 視聴することだけで 英会話を 勉強するのは無理よ~。日常会話ではないし、口語的なんだし、職業人としての人生にちゃんと使えないの。
ふつうなカトゥーンを しちょうすることで えいかいわを べんきょうするのは むりよ~。にちじょうかいわでは ないし、こうごてきなんだし、しょくぎょうじんとしての じんせいに ちゃんと つかえないの。
futsuu na katouun wo shichou suru koto de eikaiwa wo benkyou suru no wa muri yo~. nichijoukaiwa de wa nai shi, kougoteki nandashi, shokugyoujintoshite no jinsei ni chanto tukaenai no.
Studying English conversation by watching regular cartoons is unreasonable~. It’s not everyday conversation; it’s colloquial; and I can’t properly use it in my professional career.

Example #2:

友達と 喋りたかったら 口語を知ることは 重要でありますが、世界に暮らしたかったら、正しい文法とか 敬譲語とか 知らなければなりません。
ともだちと しゃべりたかったら こうごを しることは じゅうようでありますが、せかいにくらしたかったら、ただしいぶんぽうとか けいじょうごとか しらなければなりません。
tomodachi to shaberitakattara kougo wo shiru koto wa juuyou de arimasuga, sekai ni kurashitakattara, tadashii bunpou toka keijougo toka shiranakereba narimasen.
If you want to chat with your friends, it’s important to know colloquial language, but if you want to get along in society, you have to know proper grammar and honorific language.

Example #3:

会話の中で相手は 何と言うかなんて誰もわからないから、広い範囲に渡る話題について単語覚えるべきです。そして、言うことが分からなかったら、学習機会でしょう。
かいわのなかで あいては なんというか なんて だれも わからないから、ひろい はんいに わたる わだいに ついて たんごを おぼえるべきです。 そして、いうことが わからなかったら、がくしゅうきかい でしょう。
kaiwa no naka de aite wa nanto iu ka nante daremo wakaranai kara, hiroi hani ni wataru wadai ni tsuite tango wo oboeru beki desu. soshite, iu koto ga wakaranakattara, gakushuukikai deshou.
In conversation, no one knows what the other person will say, so you should remember vocabulary for a wide range of topics. And, if you don’t understand, it will be a learning opportunity.

That is all for today! But, maybe you have not had enough Japanese vocabulary, yet? Perhaps you would like to learn more vocabulary related to today’s vocabulary? Well, maybe you can give this one a go:🔊Japanese Word(s) of the Week w/ QUIZBO™ | 【単語】+BONUS: 【言葉】(+Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko) Or maybe you want to experience an even broader range of vocabulary. In which case, 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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