Good Words You (Probably) Didn’t Learn in Japanese Class (1)

"Doing it this way, I got a perfect score!!"と日本語で書いてある。

“Doing it this way, I got a perfect score!!”と日本語で書いてある。

たしか日本語授業中勉強しなかった良い言葉(1)

「こうやって」That’s a pretty important word, if I do say so myself. And I did say so.

They Never Taught Me This!

They never taught you a lot of things. I mean, I learned a lot in my Japanese classes in college, but without venturing far from those textbooks, there was a boatload that was unexplored territory.

Of course, there’s no time to teach you everything! That’s why you have to supplement your learning. I wish they taught kids that. The material you’re getting in class is the bare minimum. It’s taking everything important and distilling it until there’s only the most important stuff left. Or, rather, what the distillers consider the most important stuff. Like someone panning for gold in the middle of nineteenth century California. Except where this metaphor breaks down is that getting the gold isn’t really your goal when you want to know everything about the river itself.

So, you get the best bang for your buck when it comes to Japanese class. A ton of important words. Little fluff. Study two or three hours a week in large chunks and you’ll have a passing knowledge of the most common Japanese words.

Unfortunately, in trying to weed out that fluff, they also weed out a lot of useful words here and there. I understand why they took these words out, but your knowing them will make your Japanese life a lot easier.

Anyways, I’ll try to keep these posts short and sweet. No sense wasting a lot of your time on a word.

こうやって

Ever come to explaining something and you just didn’t have the verb? Well, this should help.

こう:like this
やる:to do
=こうやって:do it like this

When you want to tell someone to do something, just mimic the action and say 「こうやって」 alongside it. Alternatively, if you’re familiar with the こそあど line, then it’s no shocker that if you see someone else doing the same thing, 「そうやって」 will tell someone to do it like they’re doing.

Example 1:

Some kids are baseball in a small park in later spring. Souta is just learning how to swing the bat and his older brother Kenta notices just how wrong he’s doing it.

けんた:おい、そうた!このやり方は間違ってるよ!
そうた:え?どういう意味?
Kenta comes over and takes the bat from Souta’s hands.
けんた:えっと、見て *does the action* こうやって…
そうた:あ、そっか。わかった!

Example 2:

A new teacher is trying to figure out how to work the printer at the office. He decides to suck up his pride and ask.

しょう:ね、ゆりか先生、ごめん。この印刷機がちょっと分かりません。
ゆりか:印刷したいでしょう?
しょう:そうですね。でも、なんとなく出来ません。
ゆりか:このボタンを押して数を確認して。そしてあのグリーンボタンをして…
しょう:あ、こうやって?*he says while trying to do it*
ゆりか:そうです!
しょう:はい、手伝ってくれてありがとうございます。

And there you have it. If you ever have to explain things, this will hopefully help save your rear.

All the best!

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