February 14, 2008

Japanese Lesson on Base I nakereba narimasen

Ghetto grammar supplement #114

Today’s ghetto grammar takes us to Kansas, where along with Toto today’s lesson will show us how to say a very long, and unfamiliar Japanese bunpo structure, 1st presented in my other article here. It only looks long and formidable at first but I’ll tell you the secret ghetto way of learning this seemingly difficult grammar.

Do you remember the song “Follow the yellow brick road”? Even if you don’t, just say the words “follow the yellow brick road” and chant it a few times to yourself. Yes do it now ! Say it again then after you get a feel for the rhythm its time to commence the practice session. Always pronounce your words with pure vowels, we want to make our choir teacher proud of our diction, and good habits now are better than bad habits later and the people we speak to may understand us. (Or at least nod as if they do)
Lets say it again just to make sure we have the right rhythm. This exercise only works with rhythm. After a second of repeating it, you can feel the rhythm. What we then do is super- impose our dreaded mile long bunpo^ for must verb onto rhythm of the chant ‘follow the yellow brick road”
I ka na ke re ba na ri ma sen.

This works good with one syllable stemmed verbs like iku where the stem becomes I so that the whole chant becomes:

I ka na ke re ban a ri ma sen.
Hanasu, also works.
Hanasanakereba narimasen – hanasu in base I = hanasa
As does Kaeru, and kaku
Kaeranakereba narimasen
Kakanakereba narimasen

Try some of your own to the unique rhythm of ‘follow the yellow brick road”
Your Japanese will surely impress the masses with its new rhythmical style, and not only that but you can now say, “I must verb” in Japanese with ease.

Follow the yellow brick road. Ganbatte ne! Do your best! Makurasuki sensei.