JPNS 3000

Dialogue for Presentation 1


(Supplements for the textbook
Genki: An Integrated Approach, Vol. 2)


Click here to listen to the entire dialogue.

Click on the links below to listen to each individual sentence. 


Sue and Takeshi run into each other out in public.
















Sue comments to Takeshi that they have not seen one another for a long time. They speak in the です・ます style indicating that they are still on polite terms and perhaps not terribly intimate friends. 


The at the beginning of the expression お久しぶり (“It’s been a long time”) is an sign of polite language; in other words, it helps put the phrase an a higher level of politeness.  Sometimes you will hear the expression久しぶりです without the initial, but including it will help you sound more polite.  Takeshi agrees; it has been a long time since they saw one another.


In the sentence旅行会社に就職したそうですね, Sue is commenting that she heard that Takeshi got a job at a travel agency.  就職 (しゅうしょく) is a noun that can means “employment.”  It can be combined with the verb するto mean “get a job” or “obtain employment.”  The phrase the 旅行会社 (りょこうがいしゃ) means travel agency.  This is a word that many foreigners tend to mispronounce.  Note that the expression “Place に就職する” uses the locative particle after the name of the destination (the location) where a person gets a job. 


Be careful about the pronunciation of the word 旅行.  The first vowel is short (りょ), while the second one is long (こう). 


As the textbook Genki explains on p. 96, this instance of そうです indicates knowledge obtained by hearsay.  It means “I have heard ~,“I have learned ~,” or “I understand ~ to be true.”  Unlike the other expression そうですwhich combines ONLY with adjectives, this particular one combines with different types of sentences.  As a general rule, what comes in front of the そうです of hearsay is a complete sentence in the plain form. 


                                              Hearsay sentence with そうです

               Verbs                    ジョンさんは行くそうです             I hear John will go.

               Adjective ()   その本はおもしろいそうです                    I hear that book is interesting.

               Adjective ()   彼は上手そうです                           I hear he is really good [at something].

               Noun+です      彼は日本人そうです               I hear he is a Japanese person.


The information that is being conveyed may have several different sources.  One could have heard a rumor, read the information from somebody, heard about it on TV or the internet, etc.  The source does not need to be explicitly identified in this sentence.  In fact, one reason that the wordsそうです are used so often in modern Japanese is that it is a convenient way for the speaker to convey some information that s/he knows while remaining vague about how the information was obtained. 


Do not confuse this hearsay そうです with the other sentence-final expression そうです which we learned in Lesson 13 and which combines with direct-style adjectives and negative verbs to mean “it looks like” or “it seems like.”  Theそうです of semblance cannot combine with a verb phrase (unless it is negated) or with a noun+です phrase.  As you probably remember, the negative verb which ends in ない or the adjective which ends in will change their form slightly by DROPPING the final .  Also, with the semblance そうです, adjectives will NOT appear with a after them.  See the chart below.  (Those little hints, plus important clues from context, can help you tell the semblance そうです from the hearsay そうです.)


                                              Semblance sentence with そうです

               Verbs                    ---

               Adjective ()   その本はおもしろそうです             That book looks interesting.

               Adjective ()   彼は上手そうです                                            He appears to be good [at something].

               Noun+です      ---            


Back to the dialogue…  At the end of Sue’s utterance旅行会社に就職したそうですね, she includes the particle because she is soliciting confirmation from Takeshi.  She has only heard the information about his new job at the travel agency secondhand, and so she hopes to check with him.  She tells him おめでとうございます meaning “Congratulations.”


Takeshi thanks her, but then says that he has lots of overtime work (残業 ざんぎょう), and it is the case that he is very busy.  Notice that he uses the extended predicate form (んです) because he is explaining some big of shared information, namely what you can tell from his tone—he is not entirely happy with his new job. 


Sue asks, “Is that so?” then tells him that is rough.  She then asks him why it was that he entered that new company?  Takeshi responds that if he thought that if he entered a travel agency, he would be able to travel (旅行会社に入ったら、旅行ができると思ったんです).


The use of ~たら, which appears in Takeshi’s final sentence, is new grammar in this lesson.  As the textbook explains on p. 97, this is one of a couple of ways of expressing a condition in Japanese.  In the expression “AたらB,” A is the condition for B to occur.  What proceeds the of たらis the direct-style past tense of a sentence. 


Here is how to transform different parts of speech into a たら phrase


               Verb                                   行く    -->            行った

               Adjective ()                 やさしい -->      やさしかった

               Adjective ()                 きれいだ -->      きれいだった

               Noun                                  土曜日だ -->      土曜日だった

               Negative clause                         行かない -->      行かなかった


After each of the たら phrases, you would find another phrase showing the consequence of what would happen in the たらphrase.  Here are some sample sentences. 



               If I go to Chicago, then I will go to the Sears Tower.



               If it rains, then I will not go to school. 



               If the test is easy, then the situation will probably be all right.



               If the game is Saturday, then I will watch on TV. 


The reason that the first part before the is in the past tense is because it has to be completed (to be actualized) for the second condition to happen.  As the textbook explain, there are a couple of subtly different but similar conditions that can be expressed using the たら.  For a number of sample sentences, see p. 98 and 99. 


Note that part B of the phrase “AたらB” can sometimes be in the past tense.  In that case, this means that condition A was already completed before B occurred.  For instance, see these sample sentences. 



               As soon as I arrived at Tokyo Station, I got off. 


Here, the condition of arriving at Tokyo Station was the thing that was fulfilled before the speaker got off the train.  In this sample sentence, the meaning is not radically different than the sentence 東京駅についた時、すぐにおりmした。  Even though the meaning is more or less the same, the Japanese will use the たら form quite often to indicate the first condition in a sequence of events, so be aware of this when speaking in Japanese to friends.   


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Updated February 22, 2013