corrections welcome!!!

And now, for corrections.
  • We offer the following corrections to previous reports broadcast on Night Vale Community Radio:
  • One: Blue, not green.
  • Two: A low whirring sound was heard *only* by those to the *west* of it.
  • Three: The witness's name was Henry Gregson, and not, as we reported, Crystal Soul-Eater.
  • Four: We were feeling, at best, fine and not, as we stated on the record, "Pretty good, thanks".
  • Five: No. No. Do not do what we advised. We were so terribly, terribly wrong. If you have done it already, well, our heart goes out to those who miss you. Please forgive us. Please forgive us.
  • This has been corrections:
🔔 BELLS IN WITCHCRAFT 🔔

Originally posted by marklsmovingcastle

Bells might just be the earliest form of superstitious practise that I remember. My baba attached three sakura-patterned suzu bells on my schoolbag as a kid, purportedly for good luck and protection from evil spirits – and Japan is far from the only place to have associated bells and bellringing with mystic practise. They’ve been used worldwide to ward off evil and carry messages – and in a more metaphysical sense, sound is the movement of energy through substance. Sounds have the potential to work powerful magic.

Here are some of the ways I’ve found utilising bells to be helpful to my craft. While I’m more likely to use traditional suzu type bells, your own background, path and culture will likely have its own types of bells – and as ever, bells can be ornate antiques or they can be a bottle cap in a tin can, as long as they’re used with intent.

GETTING STARTED

🔔 As with so much of the craft, if you’re new to the witching bell, it’s a matter of exploration and experimentation. Get a “feel” for what works for you and the specific bell you’re using.

🔔 It’s good practise to ensure that the bell itself is cleansed, warded and protected – you don’t want anything nasty tapping into that power. All witching tools can do as much harm as good, intentional or accidental.

🔔 A good way to begin incorporating bells into your craft is infuse them into any typical ritual that you’re comfortable with, or even just a prayer or moment of contemplation at your altar if you have one.

🔔 Give the bell a soft ring while focusing on the energy it’ll ripple and move, try to track the movements it creates and what it touches. The tone it’s sending out.  The most primal and versatile use of the bell – and what many of the below come down to – is simply another manner of physically channelling energy, giving it shape and direction.

PROTECTION

🔔 “Passive” bells such as windchimes or small bells attached to belongings you don’t want disturbed are a starting point. They will scare off some forms of spirit all by themselves, especially if appropriately blessed, charmed or enchanted. Or cursed.

🔔 Gently tolling can draw energy into a ward or circle you are forming and enforce its protective properties, or for a simple cleanse, letting the sound travel to every corner of the area you are protecting. It’s a little more “cutting” than a smoke or incense cleansing, which I view as more “gentle” forms of cleansing. Both have their uses.

🔔 Harder tolling is, in my opinion, one of the most powerful ways in which to enforce a banishing – however, it’s best to you know what you’re doing with the bell before you go bashing it about.

DISCERNMENT

🔔 Bells can have quite the effect on your perception and awareness. Ringing and then stopping, listening to the silence left in its wake, can bring you new perceptions or make things you’d previously missed obvious. Let it attune your mind and senses to something new, whether that’s in your thoughts or something with a little more presence. Visualise travelling with the sound, taking heed of the energies it touches and disturbs. Take note of the echoes – you’ll learn what they mean with experience.

🔔 A set of windchimes can let you know if something is passing through or if there’s some unusual energy afoot – and, yes, it may also just be letting you know that it’s a particularly breezy day, but that’s witchcraft for you.

CONJURING

🔔 This can be as simple as calling good energies to witching tools, spell jars, tarot decks, crystals, altars and shrines, your favourite teddy bar, anything at all.

🔔 With spirit work, it can truly help to magnify your “calling”. This can range from gently bringing your latest offering to the attention of your friendly neighbourhood house spirit – all the way to trying to catch the attention of something more. Be mindful, however. As I said, I consider bells pretty powerful tools and a call that’s too loud is not good spirit work practise for the spirit worker’s own sake. It can really help coax something out of hiding if you’re gentle with it, though.

COMMUNING

🔔 Some use bells to mark the beginning and end of a ritual, and I’ve read that in Wiccan practise an altar bell can be used to invoke the Goddess, although as a non-Wiccan, I’ll welcome corrections on that if I’m wrong.

🔔 In my experience, very simple forms of communication via bell work a lot better than anything too complex – “come here” and “stay away” have already been covered, and other than that they can serve as greetings or signals of a start or end of some practise or ritual, the opening or closing of a door, etc.

🔔 They can also serve as a warning or a litmus test regarding spirits, a signalling of your presence and awareness, lack of fear, or willingness to defend – but be prepared to deal with whatever responses these garner.

BINDING

🔔 Bindings are where you most often see that famous (clockwise) circular motion of the bell, embodying the meaning of the spell. This can be a simple binding to seal a spell or charm or enchantment, or a spirit-binding.

🔔 Personally, spirit-binding is something I do as little as possible simply due to my beliefs holding the autonomy of spirits in very high regard. However, sometimes situations arise that call for it, and I’m aware that not all bindings are unwilling. Far from it – and some spirits are dangerous when unbound.

🔔 As an animist (believing that all things, including inanimate objects, contain a spirit of their own), I consider gently nudging a spirit back into its physical form a sort of semi-binding, and that can be useful.

I’ll leave you all with a note that I am an urban apartment-dwelling witch through and through, so I understand that we can’t all be jangling away at all hours. I myself have a glass windchime in my front window that makes a distinct but muted sound when disturbed by passers-through, and highly recommend wooden ones also. I also only use my small and relatively quiet suzu bell for my crafting – one given to me by my baba herself.

Feel free to add any of your own findings, and happy tolling.

Honestly I think the entire world was fractured in 1983 into many different timelines. It varies per timeline what caused the fracturing and what happened to the timeline after that but I think that’s the point at which our Night Vale got weird, basically.

I’m also 95% sure Cal is from some irradiated version of Night Vale and that in his universe, he survived the atomic blast, but his wife (and so many other people) didn’t. That would explain how discombobulated and physically deteriorated he is. He’s basically living in a post-nuclear-disaster timeline.

On a character level, this last episode did something I always love when this show does, which is remind us that Night Vale is actually a pretty fucked up place to live. Like, these people form their own communities, they stick together and are there for their friends, they use love and art and science to carve out a place in their fucked up world. But their world is still very fucked up and there are people who want to get out, who want to experience time normally, who want to live somewhere they aren’t under threat constantly. And that’s totally understandable. It’s also ultimately not helpful. I think it can be both.

Cecil’s message of solidarity hits hard in the age of Trump and neo-fascism. Everyone wants out of this, but for most of us that’s not reality. For most of us we are going to have to keep making our way in a really fucked up world. And Cecil is saying, let’s keep doing that. Let’s stick together because we do know this evil, and we’re scared but we can live, we can outlast it. Night Vale, like our world, has never been able to rely on the benevolence of its government. This new horrific fragmentation of worlds is no different. So much bullshit is going on in Night Vale that it feels like the actual news cycle, and I think that is completely intentional. Cecil is saying don’t let it swamp you down. Focus on fighting it. Focus on solidarity with your community.

Hyrule Encyclopedia, Page 17

(translation under the cut)

Keep reading

Okay so we all know that one bit of Russian in The Abduction, right? Imma chime in with what I’ve been told by Russian friends is the correct pronunciation to save a life. 

Vsego horoshego
Na pososhok
Poekhali

see-voe ho-roe-sha-va
na poe-soe-shoke
po-ey-cha-lee 

That “cha” is pronounced with the same sound a chet in Hebrew makes, but a hard ‘k’ sound works too. 

“Well, science is neat and I still believe that. But I know now that a lot of things are neat. Having a quiet breakfast with another person is neat. Calling someone over to experience a particularly noisy sunset is neat. This town is neat. Night Vale is neat. Love is neat. Love is, is very neat actually and um, and you are neat. That first night when we sat on the trunk of my car and looked at the lights above the Arby’s? When I got up to leave I looked at you, and I tried to think of how to say everything I was feeling. But I’ve never really been good at describing feelings, I’m only good at describing facts, and love, love isn’t a fact. You know? Love, it’s it’s a hunch at first and then later it’s a series of decisions, a lifetime of decisions. That’s love. And, I didn’t, I didn’t know how to express that and so I just said: “I’m glad I decided to call you.” And now, um, tonight, I say I’m glad again, for this decision and, all the decisions that will come every day after. Which is to say, scientifically speaking of course, speaking from the point of view of mere facts and logic and you know, what with the science and all…  I just thought that it was time for us to make a life together.”

- Carlos to Cecil, Toast, Episode 100


For @hellostarkid

TRAVEL VOCABULARY
Japanese/French/English 

  • 旅行(りょこう) * ⇒ voyage (m.) ⇒ travel
  • 旅(たび) * ⇒ voyage, excursion (f.) ⇒ travel, excursion
  • 旅館(りょかん)⇒ ryokan (m.) (hôtel traditionnel) ⇒ ryokan (traditional inn)
  • 予約(よやく) * ⇒ réservation (f.) ⇒ reservation
  • 指定席(していせき)⇒ place réservée (f.) ⇒ reserved seat
  • 飛行機(ひこうき) ⇒ avion (m.) ⇒ plane
  • 航空会社(こうくうがいしゃ) ⇒  compagnie aérienne (f.) ⇒ airline
  • 航空券(こうくうけん) ⇒ billet d’avion (m.) ⇒ plane ticket
  • 国内線(くにないせん) ⇒ vol intérieur (m.) ⇒ domestic flight
  • 電車(でんしゃ) ⇒ train (m.) ⇒ train
  • 新幹線(しんかんせん) ⇒ Shinkansen (m.), ligne grande vitesse (LGV) ⇒ Shinkansen, bullet train
  • 特急(とっきゅう)⇒ (train) super express (m.) ⇒ limited express (train)
  • 急行(きゅうこう)⇒ (train) express (m.) ⇒ express (train)
  • 準急(じゅんきゅう)⇒ (train) semi-express (m.) ⇒ semi-express (train)
  • 船(ふね)⇒ bateau ⇒ boat
  • 1泊2日(いっぱくふつか)⇒ 2 jours/1 nuit (séjour) ⇒  1 night-2days (stay)
  • 出発(しゅっぱつ)* ⇒ départ (m.) ⇒ departure
  • 到着(とうちゃく)* ⇒ arrivée (f.) ⇒ arrival
  • 〜発(はつ)⇒ départ le/à…  ⇒ departure the/at…
  • 〜着(ちゃく)⇒ arrivée le/à… ⇒ arrival the/at…
  • 日帰り(ひかえり)⇒ excursion (f.) d’une journée (f.) ⇒ one-day trip
  • 国内(こくない)⇒ intérieur (m.) ⇒ domestic
  • 海外(かいがい)⇒ étranger (m.), outre-mer (f.) ⇒ foreign, overseas
  • 案内(あんない)* ⇒ guide (m., f.) ⇒ guide
  • 泊まる(とまる)⇒ séjourner ⇒ to stay (at)
  • 宿泊(しゅくはく)* ⇒ séjour (m.) ⇒ stay
  • 〜泊する(はくする)⇒ passer X nuit(s) (f.) ⇒ to stay X night(s)
  • 3泊(さんぱく)* ⇒ séjour (m.) de 3 nuits (f.) ⇒ 3-day stay
  • 連絡口(れんらくぐち)⇒ correspondance (f.) ⇒ transfer
  • 〜方面(ほうめん)⇒ vers…, en direction de… ⇒ towards…, bound for…
  • 〜番線(ばんせん)⇒ quai (m.) n°… ⇒ track number… 
  • (〜)線(せん)⇒ ligne (f.) (peut être utilisé comme suffixe) ⇒ line (can be used as a suffix)

*: also a 〜する verb.

anonymous asked:

hey! so, i am finding it so hard to do lower intermediate translation for japanese. i practice so much, and while i see improvement, , when i come across very long sentences with a lot of verbs and need for nomanlisers and modifying noun related things, i always freak out and do so badly. just yesterday i did so poorly on my translation exam because i just become so lost and confused under pressure and with a time limit. do you have advice on how to practice translation? any material out there?

Hi Anon!

Firstly, wowza… I commend you on battling through exams and time constraints because that’s always super tough! 

Secondly, as someone who studies casually and without time constraints, I have the luxury of taking this business at my own pace as well as the freedom to laugh in the face of my own blatant inadequacy. I imagine that with your studies, there might be a more pressing need to see results. My lax study habits may not mesh with the criteria you have. I apologise if any of this fails to meet your needs and can put you on to smarter folk if you like (Just flick me a message any time)

H’okay! Wall of text ahead… (・・;)ゞ 

Material for practising translation? Literally anything written in Japanese.

That’s right. Read, read, read. Reading explodes your grasp of vocabulary and grammar. Having a parallel text in english is especially helpful for those of us who can get the gist easy enough, but sometimes stumble with precision. Finding reading material is one google search away, but here are a few for good measure:

I’ve linked you to Tofugu’s reviews on both books as I feel they are quite accurate. I own both books and am getting through them slowly with much enjoyment. The Short Stories volume is particularly good, in that it often shows furigana for a kanji the first time you encounter it, then promptly drops it thereafter, requiring you to fire up those recall engines. Not recognising a particular kanji at all means scouring the parallel english text like a regular Sherlock Holmes for its english meaning. Definitely be prepared to use your dictionary and jot new info down on paper. It’s slow going, but fun (especially for sleuths and those who get a kick out of linguistic dread)

How to practise sentence translation?

You mentioned practising a lot, but find that the sentence length, frequency or odd placement of verbs and the occurrence of “nominalisers” like こと and の get you sweatin’ (saaaaame)

My advice probably outlines things you already know, and is perhaps better thought of as “sentence understanding” rather than translating, but it may have some merit:

  • Make long sentences into several smaller ones. 

When confronted with a Japanese sentence, I ask myself two things - Do I know these words yet? (vocabulary) and - Do I understand how the words are interacting with each other? (grammar) Generally the answer to these questions depend on my exposure to both aspects - e.g. over the past several months, how often have I needed to recall this kanji? How often have I seen or heard this sort of grammar pattern?

If my answer is “Oh yeah! Some of these words seem familiar! Also, I have a reasonable understanding of how particles link things together” then I should also be able to break any sentence into manageable chunks and come away with the gist, if not more - especially if I use the aid of a dictionary.

I define a “chunk” as being a word+particle combo, or anywhere a pause seems it could naturally follow - e.g それ 公園東の方… To me, this always feels like a little break in which to get my bearings and question what information might come next. 公園.. Yes, I’m listening… “at the park” what?

  • See mid-sentence informal verbs as a little flag which marks a relative or descriptive clause.

A relative or “adjectival” clause is just a mini sentence or one bigger chunk which describes the chunk that follows it. Sentence-ception (⌐■_■)

ぎんさんは [ お菓子を 食べるのが ] 大好きな人 ですね

As for Gin-san, he is a person who loves [ eating sweets ] isn’t he?

See that there? That leads into my next point.

  • Treat nominalisers as a switch for the verb it’s attached to.

A verb+こと/の combo is a chunk that requires some thought before you can add it to what comes next. Because こと is a word meaning “abstract thing” - tagging it to a verb switches the verb from being an action to being the experience or concept of performing an action. In fact, as in the example sentence, it can switch an entire relative clause ending in a verb into one!

Consider the verb “walk”  歩く …On it’s own, it means X walks. It is an action that someone performs. However, if we want to talk about the “thing” we call walking, we need to use こと. の does the same thing to a verb, but carries a sort of personal or intimate nuance. Often used for verbs that are directly sensed or experienced. 

So, Gin-san is a person who loves what? Eating sweets.

Originally posted by zechs

That’s about as simple as it goes for me, I’m afraid. If anyone reading would like to add their advice - especially those who are studying formally and dealing with the same pressures, by all means do!

がんばって!

Jeremy with five of the lead actresses from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. This photo is begging to be captioned! (X)

They are, clockwise from front left:

Gayle Hunnicutt - Irene Adler, “A Scandal in Bohemia”

Barbara Wilshire - Violet Smith, “The Solitary Cyclist”

Rosalyn Landor - Helen Stoner, “The Speckled Band”

– HELP, I think she looks like Miss Harrison from “The Naval Treaty” but it’s hard to be sure…does anyone recognize her? –

Betsy Brantley - Elsie Cubitt, “The Dancing Men”

@kinfirms​ tagged me in a post talking about how internet “mom” culture is toxic, (I saw your tags, dont worry <3) and wanted to talk about it a little, but without the queer phobic language it was giving off.

For the most part, I fully and readily agreed with parts of the post detailing how adults can and do behave inappropriately in online spaces towards minors, and how the parental name thing can be a power move. 

I grew up with a lot of fandom “mom” types, who with hindsight, turned out to be rather toxic and predatory. One of them actually took great joy in being a “corrupting” force, and would make lewd jokes and inappropriate comments towards us. And us being vulnerable kids who wanted to fit in and belong went along with it, because it made us feel special to be talked to like we were fellow adults. 

Except we weren’t fellow adults and nor were we being treated as such. We were impressionable youths being treated like toys to stroke an older person’s ego, and that was 110% not okay, and those adults should have known better not to engage with us on those topics.  

I’m hyper aware of being an older person in certain groups now, and try to act accordingly. I try to distance myself while managing to remain encouraging and supportive and hopefully, a positive signifier that people like me can and do grow up into happy (semi-)functional adults. I know there were times growing up when I feared I would not.

I will also never insist that anyone call me “mom”. It’s not a name I picked for myself. It’s an honorific deserving of great respect and mindfulness towards those who gave it to me, not the other way around. People can use it if they want to, and I will respond to it if people use it, but it’s not a role or title or sign of authority, and it’s 100% up to others if they want to use it or not, I don’t mind either way. And just for the record, I also respond to Aunt, Sister, Cousin, Bib, or even my rarely used actual name, Joy :)

I work very hard to respect the boundaries of others, and adhere to my own rules of interaction. I don’t follow back anyone under the age of 18 (with very few exceptions), and I always try to ensure the age of someone when they start talking to me about certain things. 

Most of the people calling me “mom”? Seem to be in their early 20s, chronically ill or queer like me, and or at college age and going through that weird panicked stage of “help, I need an adultier adult how the heck do you make a food budget” so it’s not too much of a problem, but I still take those extra steps anyway. 

I tag my work, I put it under cuts and generally make it known that I don’t want anyone under the age of 18 to read my 18+ work, because it’s the responsible adult thing to do—and it’s my responsibility to lay down those terms. Not the minor. 

If a minor ignores my requests, my tags and the numerous other steps I put in the way to keep my NSFW work hidden? That’s on them, and I can only hope they find it positive and maybe possibly affirming as well—just don’t tell me about it. (I speak from experience, as a minor who went onto 18+ forums looking for something that would show I wasn’t alone with my thoughts and feelings. I found acceptance in queer fanfic that society and family otherwise denied. I wasn’t awful for liking both Superman and Louise Lane, I wasn’t awful and wrong or alone for not being sure if I wanted to be Princess Leia or be with her. And that was very important for 15 year old me, even if it would take another 15 years for me to feel safe enough to tell others.)

When people started calling me “mom” of their own volition, I had a real internal debate over how I felt over using that same moniker others had used before me, and done so in a harmful manner. I wasn’t too keen on it at first, it felt weird, but when people kept on using it without me prompting them to, I came to the decision that hey, it’s just a fun nickname poking fun at my personality, so I just kinda rolled with it. But I also made the conscious decision that if I was going to allow for that nickname, I would strive very hard to be worthy of it and be the adult I needed as a young person, and not like the people I had known.

But that all said? Not all adults take this mindset, and do not behave appropriately towards teenagers and young adults, and you should absolutely be wary of anyone who puts themselves in that position of authority.* It makes me extremely uncomfortable when I see other adults talk about younger people as their “minions” or pets. 

They are not. 

They are people who are deserving of your fundamental respect and often looking for some sort of help or guidance from a role model they lack in real life, or even just want friendly people to talk to about the things they love. They are not there to prop up your ego. Don’t do that shit. Reflect on your own behavior and say “if this was my child, would I be happy about the way I am interacting with them?” 

If the answer is “no” or “I’m not sure”, that’s also a no, and you need to back the fuck off and reevaluate how you interact with others as a whole.

If you are in a fandom or online forum space where the adults are not behaving mindfully of your age, undermine you, or insist on inserting themselves in your life as an authoritarian parental figure? Go with your gut instinct and get the fuck out of dodge. 

You are no one’s minion. You are you, with your own boundaries and levels of comfort. Don’t let anyone try to take them from you or make you feel bad for being uncomfortable with their behavior. That’s a common tactic used by abusers, and if you say to someone “what you are doing makes me uncomfortable” and their response isn’t “I’m sorry, how can I change that?”, but defensive anger or guilt tripping you? Fuck ‘em. There are other groups, other people to talk to. Make your own if you have to. Block anyone that makes you feel uncomfortable. You don’t have to put up with that bullshit to prove your own maturity or worth.


*And just because I feel this is important to say: please question me. Challenge me, point out when I say or do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. I won’t be mad or offended. I welcome corrective feedback. Tell me if I use an out dated term or if I word something poorly so I can apologize, reevaluate my behavior and try to change for the better. I’m human and therefore always learning and making mistakes, but they come from a place of ignorance, never malice. Take care of yourselves out there <333

2

Murata stream update: while working on the next chapter, he put together and doodled a whole roster of characters in Halloween costumes! In order drawn on stream, we have:  

  • Mumen Rider + Kuseno (Kappa)
  • Glasses (Harry Potter)
  • Psykos (in a bowl of soup)
  • Puri Puri Prisoner (as an angel/cupid)
  • Watchdog Man (Cerberus)
  • Flash (9-tailed kitsune)
  • Sweet Mask (as a Prince)
  • Saitama (as jack-o-lantern)  
  • Bang, Bomb, Rin-Rin
  • Stinger (looks like Journey to the West/Dragonball theme) 
  • Garou (wolf)
  • Metal Bat + Zenko
  • Sonic (cat)
  • Genos (two, as a demon and casino bunny, both with cleaning supplies)
  • Drive Knight (headless horseman)
  • Pig God (Marshmallow man)
  • Snek + Tareo
  • Zombieman (two, as Jason and a literal zombie)
  • Black Sperm + Gums (Totoro theme)
  • Lightning Max + Genji
  • Bang + Stinger
  • Chain n’Toad (Reaper)
  • Metal Knight (as Wizard of Oz theme, erased; then a literal slab of metal)
  • Child Emperor, Charanko
  • Darkshine, Boros
Fourth of July Explained for Non-Americans

The Fourth of July is the holiday on which Americans give thanks twice as much to George Washington, George Bush, George Herbert Walker Bush, and Jimmy Carter.

One common American tradition on the Fourth of July is that of the Presidential Prayer Beads. At dinner time, one family member takes out a bracelet with 45 beads and uses it to help name each president and their role in building America. Every time the country elects a new President, families add a bead to their bracelet. Highly observant families also have bracelets devoted to the number of states, Constitutional Amendments, and Sessions of Congress.

Families settle down to the Independence Dinner after they finish counting and reciting all their beads and praying to each president. There is no single type of Independence Dinner. This reflects how America is a melting pot or tossed salad of different cultures and ways of life. In fact, that’s just what a lot of Americans do: they serve melting pots and tossed salads, but what’s in those meals differs with each region, city, or even neighborhood!

During the Independence Dinner, all Americans have their tv, radio, or web browsers open, listening for the First Bite made by the president. It’s customary that no one in the family starts eating until the President takes a bite of his or her own dinner, which has been broadcast throughout the country as long as there has been sound recording equipment or word of mouth in the Washington, D.C. It used to be a custom that the President would visit a household and take the First Bite from their dinner, but this ended with the Scalding of 1949.

After the Independence Dinner, Americans set out their lawn chairs on the grass, dirt, balcony, or in front of an open window. They do this to get a perfect view of the Fourth of July Fireworks. If you are staying in America during the Fourth of July, you will not need to travel very far to see the show because they are visible in virtually every part of the country. If an American does not live closer to a fireworks show, there is a good chance that their household plans to hold a fireworks show that year. Many states restrict the sale of fireworks, but if an American goes to a store and says I am holding a Fourth of July Fireworks show the law enforcement will usually look the other way. In major cities, this is less important because the town government will pay for the fireworks show.

When the Fourth of July Fireworks end, most Americans go to sleep. All burnt fireworks are recycled and all unused fireworks are sold back to retail stores at half price. If an American lives near the border with Mexico or Canada, they may cross the border to spread the festivities.

I hope this has been helpful. Criticisms and questions are welcome. If I missed something, please let me know. Happy Fourth of July!

anonymous asked:

I'm sorry, but do you know of any super easy guide to japanese verbs? I've looked through so many videos and websites and I just leave super confused T_T I understood some parts, but there are some things that are so confusing to me ;;

2/2: (confused-by-verbs-anon) yes, of course, answer whenever you can! i’m still really in the beginning level of jpn. what I’m most confused about is the a-i-u-e-o line… I understand the two types of verbs + irregulars, the polite, negative, past forms. but I don’t understand how that line comes into this…

Ok, so unfortunately I don’t know of any one resource that clearly and succinctly explains how Japanese verbs work. Most courses introduce verb forms and verb endings little by little, which makes sense, considering there are a lot. But yeah, a general overview would be great (if anyone knows of any good resource, please share!)

Here are a few resources that helped me make sense of things: 

  • this chart, by Aeron Buchanan (but it’s more of a cheat sheet: you kind of need to understand what’s going on to be able to use it)
  • A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar
  • and, concerning the a-i-u-e-o thing, this post by @nihongokudasai​ gives a quick overview of why it’s useful, though I would add that it’s only relevant for the 五段(ごだん/godan) group (they call it alternative, but that’s how Japanese students learn, and that’s how I’m learning too—I actually don’t know what it’s alternative to!)

But I’ll try to synthesise all of that for you. (I’ll include romaji, because you used it in your ask, but my advice would be to learn hiragana asap—if you haven’t already—before going further.)

Japanese Verbs 101

So you can’t really think of Japanese conjugation like English conjugation, because it doesn’t decline in tenses but in “forms” (形・けい・kei). What those forms will look like depends on which group the verb belongs to.

A quick revision of the groups:

五段(ごだん)/ Godan

  • 書く(かく)/ kaku : to write
  • 帰る(かえる)/ kaeru : to return

一段(いちだん)/ Ichidan

  • 食べる(たべる)/ taberu : to eat
  • 寝る(ねる)/ neru : to sleep

不規則動詞(ふきそくどうし)/ Irregular verbs

  • 来る(くる)/ kuru : to come
  • する / suru : to do

Ichidan verbs always end in る (ru), but some godan verbs do too. The real difference between the two is how you obtain the different stems that will allow you to conjugate:

  • ichidan means one level, and there’s one way to get the stem: remove the る (ru).
    Like this: 食べる > 食べ (taberu > tabe)
  • godan means five levels, and there are five different stems, ending in a-i-u-e-o (that’s where it comes into play!).
    So for example the verb 買う/ かう/ kau will become: かわ(!)、かい、かう、かえ、かお / kawa(!), kai, kau, kae, kao.
    And the verb 書く/ かく/ kaku will become: かか、かき、かく、かけ、かこ/ kaka, kaki, kaku, kake, kako.
    Knowing your hiragana chart will allow you to build all the godan verb stems! (here’s a cute one if you need it)
  • the irregulars you have to learn, but there’s like two of them, you’ll be fine!

How do I conjugate, then?

Now, it’s really simple. You just need to learn which stem works with which verb ending (if it’s an ichidan verb it’s easy!), and you can conjugate!

A few examples:

  • One you already know, the polite (masu) form:
    Ichidan: 食べる (taberu) > 食べ+ます (tabe + masu) > 食べます (tabemasu). 
    Godan, use the -i ending: 書く (kaku) > 書+ます (kaki+masu) > 書きます (kakimasu)
  • The neutral negative form:
    Ichidan: 食べる (taberu) > 食べ+ない (tabe+nai) > 食べない (tabenai)
    Godan, use the -a ending: 書く (kaku) > 書+ない (kaka+nai) > 書かない (kakanai)

There’s no instant or foolproof way to learn all forms for all verbs, but as beginners we wouldn’t know what to do with them anyway. Knowing a few forms for a few common verbs is a good place to start.

For example the verb kaku > to write:

  • あ > negative > かない
    彼はめったに両親に手紙を書かない
    かれはめったにりょうしんにてがみをかかない
    He rarely writes to his parents.

  • い > masu > かます  
    母にひと月に一度手紙を書きます
    ははにひとつきにいちどてがみをかきます
    I write to my mother once a month.

  • う > plain > か
    日本語で書くことは難しいです。
    にほんごでかくことはむずかしいです
    It’s hard to write in Japanese.

  • え > conditional > か
    誰でも自分の名前は書ける。
    だれでもじぶんのなまえはかける
    Anyone can write their own name.

  • お > volitional > か
    すぐ彼に手紙を書こう
    すぐかれにてがみをかこう
    I’ll write to him right away.

Bonus

When you feel ready to tackle it, the 〜て (te) form is really useful. There’s a nice post on it here, by @kyoumigaareba, with some romaji if you’re not quite ready to do without yet. 


I hope this was helpful, and not even more confusing! (Don’t hesitate to ask for more details if one point isn’t clear.) がんばってね!

Daily-Duwang Halloween Event begins today!

 This week is「 S M A S H I N G  P U M P K I N S 

So our Duwang kids are stealing getting pumpkins ready to carve for the 11th-17th :) hosted by Koichi and Echoes~