Example complex vocabulary entry (?)


(Ideally this would all be tabular, or formatted nicely in some other way so as to distinuish the "core" information from the extended information.)

やってみる - Try It (different take)


Duration: 1-5 minutes

  • sample vocabulary list:
    • おはようございます: good morning (formal)
    • おはよう: good morning (informal)
    • こんにちは: good day
    • こんばんは: good evening
  • sample activity:
    • Practice greeting other students based on the current time of day. What would you say to someone if you ran into them six hours from now?
    • What would you say if you were speaking to a social superior, such as your teacher? What would you say to a close acquaintance?
    • If you are alone, practice thinking of people in your life and how you would great them differently. Say each greeting phrase out loud as you think of the person.

Common Japanese Greetings (sample cultural note)


Much like English, the Japanese use different greetings for different times of day. Also like English, the Japanese use a different, more formal set of greetings when dealing with people of differing social levels. Where in English you might say "mornin'" to your friends and "good morning" to your instructors, the Japanese instead choose between おはよう (for less-formal relationships) and おはようございます (for social superiors or more formalized relationships).

As in English, the greeting expressions have a direct relationship to the idea being expressed, but not necessarily the same thing that would be literally translated. As examples:

今日は。 (こん)(にち) (today) は (topic marker) Good day.
今晩は。 (こん)(ばん) (tonight) は (topic marker) Good night.
おはようございます。 お (honorific) (はよ)う (some fancy conjugation of "early") ございます (it is, very polite) Good morning.

If walking up to someone and announcing that it is, in fact, early seems like an odd greeting, think about some of the many varied things that English speakers accept without a second thought: "Top of the morning to you."; "Howdy."; and "G'mornin'." to name a few.

There are other subtle differences not clearly shown by the literal translations above. Where in English, you would wish someone in the late night hours (midnight until sunrise) "good morning", the Japanese consider this time period an extension of the evening and therefore will greet each other with こんばんは.

(etc. etc.)