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Self-study Lessons > Japanese > Beginner >

Japanese - codes vs. foreign grammar

by Michael Schaefer


There are a lot of similarities between learning a new language to communicate with and learning a code to keep your conversations private.

    As an example lets look at the Pig Latin code:

In order to convert a word to Pig Latin you take up to the first consonant from the front of the word to the back, adding -ay to the end to make it sound like a new word.

See if you can decode this important message:

    Oreignfay rammargay ancay ebay ustjay asay umbledjay.

That wasn't too hard. Now let's learn some Japanese words and use them in a basic sentence.

I/me = watashi
store/shop = mise
walking = arukimasu
is/are/am = wa (often written ha)
to/towards = he (often pronounced e)

   Watashi ha(wa) mise he(e) arukimasu.

That was pretty easy to figure out, wasn't it?

Did you notice the sentence started normally, but was backwards, compared to English, from the middle to the end?
That's because in Japanese, sentences typically end with a verb, and descriptive articles always come after the word they describe.







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