Dialogue for Presentation 2
(Supplements for the textbook
Jon and Akiko live in the same dormitory in Tokyo, but they do not know each other. Akiko decides to ask Jon if he is an international student.
Click on the links below to listen to each individual sentence.
Akiko: Ano, ryuugakusei desu ka?
Jon: Ee, uesutan mishigan daigaku no gakusei desu.
Akiko: A, soo desu ka? Senmon wa nan desu ka?
Jon: Nihongo desu. Ima, ni-nensee desu.
Akiko: A, ni-nensee desu ka? Watashi wa yo-nensei desu.
Jon: A, yo-nensei desu ka?
Like you see in Akiko’s first sentence, people often use あの (ano) to help get someone’s attention. あの (ano) is a hesitation noise, something like “ummm” or “uh” in English.
Uesutan mishigan daigaku ウェスタン・ミシガンだいがく is the way to say “Western Michigan University” in Japanese. The word だいがく(daigaku) means “university.” Many names of universities follow the pattern of place name plus だいがく(daigaku). For instance, Tokyo University in Japanese is とうきょうだいがく(Tookyoo daigaku) and University of Chicago is シカゴだいがく (Shikago daigaku).
In Akiko’s second sentence, she asks 「あ、そうですか。」(A, soo desu ka?) This question is extremely common in Japanese. It literally means, “Oh, is that so?” and is used very commonly, much like the English question, “Oh, really?”
Akiko asks John what is せんもん (senmon) is. The word せんもん means “specialization” or, in the case of a university, “major.”
John answers that it (his major) is Japanese. He also adds that he is a sophomore. In Japanese, to say that you are a freshman, you say, いちねんせい (ichi-nensee) or literally “first year student.” A sophomore or second-year student is にねんせい (ni-nensee), a junior or a third year-student is a さんねんせい (san-nensei), and a senior or fourth-year student is a よねんせい (yo-nensee). Can you see where the numbers one, two, three, four appear in the Japanese words? Be careful when saying the word “senior.” The number four (よん yon) is shortened to よ yo in the expression “fourth-year student” (よねんせい yo-nensei).
Akiko uses what is called an “echo question” to reconfirm that she heard Jon correctly. When John says, he’s a second-year student, she says, “Oh, a second-year student?”
Akiko tells Jon she is a fourth-year student. Jon responds with an echo question.