ＨＥＬＬＯ！ Ｉ ＡＭ ＱＵＩＺＢＯ™！I am beaming to you via The Internet through a new website editor, so if the formatting appears to be any different to usual, it may be due to said new editor. Though, a new editor does not mean that I have changed in my mission and function. I am the robot friend of Kiki and Koko from the Japanese language and culture blog and series Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online. I have been here for you, reading Japanese characters and words in order to help you on your unique Japanese language learning journey. It is my hope that I will be able to provide assistance for any level of learner as well as those who simply want to experience some new Japanese vocabulary and sentences that one may not have been able to experience on one’s own. That is the concept of Word of the Week. It is also my hope that the vocabulary, grammar, and sentence ideas presented will enrich your journey. However, in order to fully understand what you will be able to gain from this segment, you may ask yourself: What is Word of the Week Wednesday?
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?
During 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.
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:
1.new; novel (新奇); fresh (新た); recent(最近)
jlpt n5| common word (常用語)
Bonus Word(s) of the Week:
verb, ichidan（一段動詞）, (名詞), intransitive (自動詞)
1. to get used to; to become accustomed to
2. to become skilled (in)
jlpt n4| common word (常用語)
※Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko
It’s us!ーyour guides to Japanese language and culture from Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online, Kiki and Koko! Just like QUIZBO™くん mentioned, we’re still getting used to this new site editor, but we want to keep the same aesthetic to which you’ve hopefully become accustomed. And, with that, today’s vocabulary certainly becomes very relavant. Whether you’re getting used to speaking Japanese or you’ve grown accustomed to our facesーor, perhaps, that would be closer to ‘fancying’ in context… Nevertheless! We’re here to clear up some discrepancies and encourage you to have a go at conjugating today’s vocabulary to get that many more uses out of them! (And, then, you’ll have some practice at conjugation.) Today’s vocabulary is an adjective and a verb. If you haven’t already, we recommend having a read of the previous lessons about these parts of speech along with some of their conjugations! You can try your hand at conjugating the adjectives into negative form, past tense, or even listing them alongside previous ones:
But, that’s not all! You can also have a go at conjugating today’s verb! You can identify the verb stem, change to conjunctive form, make it polite, make it negative, make it past tense, and even negative past tense! There’s so many possibilities!
And, of course, if you’re going to be conjugating these, it’ll be important to actually know what they mean. Words like 新しい, atarashii, are a bit more straightforward, but 慣れる, nareru, could become a bit of a sticky wicket if you’re unsure of its usage. We’ll show proper examples in the example sentences, but since we’re here, we reckon it useful to give you the four-one-one, as the kids say…ー said…ー decades and decades ago.
Anyway! 慣れる, nareru, is homophonous with a few other words, so if you hear 「なれる」it could be a conjugation with the ら omitted, or it could be a few others, like even becoming too familiar such as 狎れる, nareru, which is closer to becoming familiar as in 「大学で先生になれ過ぎなくて呼ぶ捨てにしないようにしてね。」which no robot (other than QUIZBO™くん) could properly translate, meaning ‘Don’t get too familiar with your teachers at university and refer to them without an honorific.’ This translation works with both kanji versions, but can often be seen in hiragana. This can make things difficult for beginners who may mistake it for words like なれる from なる, as in to become, or the ‘potential’ conjugation with ら omitted meaning can becomeーbut those are conjugations for a future lesson that we’ll certainly reach in time– Unless you are reading this in future, in which case, it could possibly be available by that point in the future. But in the meantime, let’s look at something important: the particles.
When using 「慣れる」you’ll suffix 「に」with the indirect object. So, let’s say you’ve gotten used to…life in Japan, you could say:
yatto nihon no seikatsu ni nareta.
I’ve finally grown accustomed to life in Japan.
This brings with it the question as to the function of 「の」in this, but don’t worry about that right now, it’s more important to focus on this rather than the ridiculous range of の’s function in speech. But, anyway! There’s definitely another question that occurs with this:
What if the indirect object is a verb?
This gets a bit complicated for a quick Word of the Week explanation, but you’ll use this with verbs in a few ways:
(conjunctive form) ni nareru
hiragana wo kaki ni nareru yo.
I’ll get used to writing hiragana.
(dictionary form) koto ni nareru
neru mae, undou suru koto ni nareteimasu.
I’m accustomed to exercising before going to bed.
(dictionary form) no ni nareru
yoippari suru no ni nareteimasu ne.
You’re used to keeping late hours, yeah.
Now, in order to explain the difference properly, we’d need to dedicate a lesson to the difference between こと and the previous one, and we certainly will in future, but for now… This may be too simple to feel like a proper way to explain it, but just think of こと as ‘ing’ but not as a progressive tense, more like the things that pertain to the verb. It sort of turns it into a noun, if that makes it make any more sense. So, it’s ‘(verb)-ing’ as a noun rather than as just an action….despite being a verb…turned to a noun… Again, that’s not a great explanation, but there are lectures on singular expressions and grammatical elements in Japanese that can take an hour or more to explain fully, so we’ll just do our best in future to give a concise but useful explanation in future. If you’re already familiar with こと、then this probably will already make perfect sense, but otherwise, this may have been slightly confusing… We guess, it’d be best to just look at the example sentences and it’ll make more sense.
Hopefully the extra examples helped, but there’s a lot of nuance to verbs and grammar that we’ll be sure to expound upon in future lessons. Until then, hopefully, you’ll find this enough to get a grasp of thi sverb.
We hope that helps!! Until the next lesson!
Thank you, Kiki and Koko! There is certainly much nuance and many homophones that robots cannot usually decode, strangely enough. That is why it is important to have a grasp of context as well as vocabulary to have a full understanding of what is trying to be communicated or ways for you to communicate as you like. And, now, here are some sentences that may assist in both endeavours.
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.
この あたらしい せいかつぶりに なれるか どうかは まだ わからないけど、しかたないだろう。
kono atarashii seikatsuburi ni nareruka douka wa mada wakaranai kedo, shikata nai darou.
I’m not sure if I will get used to this new way of life, but it can’t be helped.
ねむそうなあ。はやく おきるのに なれていないの？ でも ぼくも ひとの こと いえない。ぼくも あたらしい スケジュールに なれてないし。
nemusounaa. hayaku okiru no ni nareteinai no? demo boku mo hito no koto ienai. boku mo atarashii sukejuuru ni naretenai shi.
You seem sleepy. Are you not used to waking up early? But, I’m one to talk. I’m also not used to the new schedule.
がくせいとして、まいにち つかわないと にほんごを はなすことに なれない。
gakusei toshite, mainichi tsukawanai to nihongo wo hanasu koto ni narenai.
As a student, if you don’t use it everyday, you won’t become accustomed to speaking Japanese.
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™ | 【発音】+BONUS: 【発音記号】(+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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