JPNS 1000

Dialogue for Presentation 4


(Supplements for the textbook
Genki: An Integrated Approach, Vol. 1)



Click here to listen to the entire dialogue.

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


John is out in a restaurant and he is looking at a menu.  There is something in the menu that he does not recognize so he decides to ask about it.


John (pointing to a picture in a menu)


    Sumimasen, kore wa sakana desu ka?



    Sore desu ka?   Iie,        sakana ja   arimasen.      Tonkatsu desu.


John とんかつ なんですか。

    Tonkatsu?     Nan desu ka?


Waitress: にくです。

      Niku desu.


John:   あ、にくですか。おいしいですか。

     A,     niku desu ka? Oishii desu ka?


Waitress: はい、おいしいですよ。

     Hai,     oishii desu yo!


John:  じゃあ、とんかつをおねがいします。

     Jaa,       tonkatsu o onegaishimasu.


Notes: In the first line, John says すみません to get the attention of the waitress.  He points to the menu and asks if what he is pointing to is fish.  The word さかな sakana means fish.


The waitress uses an echo question to confirm which thing he is talking about.  She tells him that it is not fish, it is a とんかつ tonkatsu.  Tonkatsu are pork cutlets that are covered with breading then deep fried.  Because they are so tasty, they are very popular and relatively inexpensive in Japan.


Notice that the waitress says …じゃありません (ja arimasen)This means exactly the same thing as …じゃないです (…ja nai desu) so she could also say さかなじゃないです (sakana ja nai desu) in this situation.  Your textbook includes lots of practice with …じゃないです (…ja nai desu) so we have included the alternate version here in the dialogue to give you a little extra practice with it. 


John does not know the word tonkatsu, so he says asks tonkatsu?” with a rising question intonation, repeating it to himself.  This is a sentence fragment (not a complete sentence).  Note that in the Japanese text, we use an English-style question mark to indicate to indicate his tone of voice.  Sentence fragments with rising question intonations are about the only time that a person will use a question mark in Japanese writing.  You do not usually need to write a question mark after a complete sentence like さかなですか。 since the indicates without a doubt that this is a question. 


Sometimes in Japan, when people do not recognize a word but are trying to get a grasp it, they will repeat the word out loud to help get it into their head.  That is why John says とんかつ? (tonkatsu?) If he used the echo question とんかつですか (tonkatsu desu ka, It’s a pork cutlet?”), the implication would be that he understood the meaning of the word tonkatsu.  John, however, does not know what tonkatsu is, so he asks the question, “What is that?”  The waitress tells him that it is meat.  (にく=meat.)


A light bulb of understanding goes on over John’s head as he uses the echo question あ、にくですか (A, niku desu ka? “Oh, it’s meat.”).  He asks if it is delicious.  おいしい oishii is an adjective that means delicious or tasty. 


The waitress tells him emphatically that it is delicious!  At the end of her sentence, she uses the  particle yo, which is used in Japanese for emphasis.  It is somewhat like an exclamation point, emphasizing what comes before it.  She is saying, “yes, it IS delicious!” 


John decides to order the new food.  He says, じゃあ (jaa), which means something like “well then” or “in that case…” 


おねがいします onegaishimasu is an expression meaning “I request…” To request a noun, you should put the noun first, then follow it with the particle (about which more will be said in future lessons) and then おねがいします onegaishimasu.  In other words, XXX をおねがいします (XXX o onegaishimasu).  This means, “I request XXX” or “I’ll take XXX.”  It has more or less the same meaning as XXX をください (XXX o kudasai), which we practiced in dialogue 3.  If anything, the expression XXX をおねがいします (XXX o onegaishimasu) sounds politer. 


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Updated October 6, 2011