Dialogue for Presentation 8


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



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John and Akiko were supposed to meet to watch a movie, but John did not show up.  This conversation takes place when Akiko goes home and talks to the father in her host family.


あきこ:   ただいま


おとうさん: おかえりなさいえいが どうでしたか


あきこ:   みませんでしたジョンさんは  きません でした


おとうさん: えっ? きません でした どうしてですか


あきこ:   わかりませんだから、ひとりで ほんや に いきました


おとうさん: ああ、そうですか...




When Akiko enters the house of her host family, she says ただいま.  This is the ritual expression that a person uses when they come home.  Akiko’s host father (おとうさん= father) says to her おかえりなさい, which is the ritual expression that you use to greet a person who has come back home. 


Akiko’s host father asks her how the movie was.  In a previous dialogue, we saw the expression どうですか, meaning “how is it?”  Here, the です is in the past tense: でした。


Akiko announces that she did not see it.  The verb みます is in the negative past tense: みませんでした。 She tells her host father that John did not come.  The verb きます (come) is the negative past tense: きませんでした。


The father makes the sound with a rising question intonation.  Japanese speakers often use this sound when they are surprised by what they have heard.    Because Akiko’s host father is surprised, he uses a echo question that means, “He didn’t come?” to confirm that what he heard was right.  He then asks why.  どうして is a word that means “why” in Japanese.  


Akiko responds that she does not know.  わかりません is the negative of the verb わかります meaning “understand” or “ know.”  Akiko says that as a result, she went alone to a bookstore.  The word だから appears at the beginning of a sentence and means “therefore.”  (In other words, he did not come; therefore, she went alone to the bookstore.) 


The word ひとりで means “alone.”  When written in kanji, the word ひとりで appears as 一人で.  What does the first kanji character mean?  The second kanji character means “person” and is the same character that is read じん in kanji compounds such as “American” アメリカ人 (read as あめりかじん)or “Canadian” カナダ人 (read かなだじん).  is one of the kanji characters that you will learn toward the end of Chapter 4.  In short, the expression ひとりで, which is written in kanji as 一人で and which means “alone,” could more literally be translated as “by means of one person.”  


The word that means “bookstore” is ほんや.  Can you see where the word “book” appears in that word?  The ending is put at the names of different kinds of shops.  For instance, a flower shop is はなや in  Japanese (はな=flower) , and a shop that sells bread is パンや in Japanese. (パン=bread <— This word comes from the Portuguese word for “bread”; that is why it is written in katakana.) 


What particle does Akiko use after the word bookstore?  Why does she use the particle ?  (The answer is that the bookstore was the destination of her act of going.  is the particle used to mark the destination of someone’s action.) 


The father says, “Oh, really?” in response to Akiko’s statement.  Notice that he extends the at the beginning and the a sound of the final .  His way of saying it sounds very sympathetic, as if he feels sorry for Akiko and is mulling over her sad fate.


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