Do you want to learn Japanese in a fun way?
If yes, I would like to introduce you to one of the greatest methods I have used to improve my English. Of course, in this case, Japanese for you.
I never used textbooks or vocabulary books to remember the rules of English and words. I only watched English movies and tv shows (Friends) to better my English. I use those movies as input and use the words I remembered to my friends as output. As a result, it takes time but, my English is getting better day by day. And you can do that too with Japanese anime あたしンち.
What I find amazing about studying a language this way is that it enables you to build a very strong foundation of the language you are learning. I learn English that English speakers use every day. You can learn Japanese words that Japanese people use every day.
I have made a post about learning Japanese with anime before. So if you haven’t checked it out, please go ahead and read it. I believe that would help you a lot to learn very useful Japanese words and phrases. As well as I explained about Atashin’chi.
Also, in today’s post, I will limit the usage of Romaji to train your brain to start thinking in Japanese. Therefore, if you do not know how to read Hiragana, I highly recommend learning Hiragana first. It is not too difficult and there are only 48 words to remember. I made a post where you can learn Hiragana, so please check that out too.
Now, let’s get started!
Let’s Watch あたしンち without Subtitles
Let’s watch 「みかん、母とお買い物」”Mikan is going to go shopping with her mother”.
This is a very important step that you watch the episode without any subtitles. Because it will help you recognize the rhythm of Japanese and listen to it actively.
If you are a beginner and want to understand the content of the episode, you can watch it with an English subtitle first. However, you can only use it the first time. Or otherwise, you will just read the English subtitle and not listen to the Japanese sound. Unless you are listening to Japanese very actively, you will not be able to improve your Japanese listening skills.
This episode is where みかん goes shopping with her mother 母.
There is going to be a lot of everyday use words and phrases when you go shopping in this episode. So, try to imagine that you’re in a supermarket with your mom or with your daughter. Now, you need to understand that みかん (16-year-old girl) and 母 (around 40-year-old mother) do speak differently. They both speak Japanese but the way they speak and the words they choose are different. It also applies to how women and men speak.
Additionally, I recommend you to take advantage of watching anime. Not only it is fun but the most vocabulary you see is used in the right situation. So, you can guess what those words mean from what you hear and what you see.
You can stop every 20 seconds and rewatch it as much as you want. Or you can change the playback speed to 0.75 if you want to know how they are pronounced. But be careful not to get used to the slowed speed. Once you understand the words, try to change the speed back to normal.
Let’s Learn Some New Words
あたしンち is not too difficult to understand, isn’t it!?
I am Japanese so I don’t know how you find the speed of Japanese spoken but, in my opinion, it is very slow compared to other anime or tv shows.
I hope you were able to hear and understand the word 皿 (さら, Sara) when みかん was holding a cute plate and asking her mother to buy it. If you did understand it this way, you would be able to use 皿 when you a plate or hear the word.
○○ちゃん is how moms or grandmothers usually address their children or grandchildren. In this case, 母 calls ユズヒコ ゆうちゃん.
My mother calls me ゆうたろう, however, my grandmother calls me ゆうちゃん which is the same way ユズヒコ is called. If your name starts with け such as けいすけ, he may be called けいちゃん. あすか＝あーちゃん. あずさ＝あーちゃん as well.
If you are familiar with Japanese culture, you may have heard of the terms 君（くん） and ちゃん and さん.
君 is usually used for boys, especially, younger men. In my case, older women would call me ゆうたろう君. My grandmother and great aunts sometimes call me ゆう君 along with ゆうちゃん, however, unless this someone is relative or very close to you, only a few people would call me ゆう君.
ちゃん is used for women, younger women. However, grandchildren (boys and girls) are cute as girls to their grandparents and therefore, they call their grandchildren ○○ちゃん.
さん is commonly used for everyone you just met or whoever is older than you. If I know someone but not really close to me, I almost 100% of the time use さん, even if this someone is younger than me.
If you want to know about the Japanese culture and rules when speaking Japanese, check this post below.
留守番 means house sitting.
お願いね means would you please?
In this case, ユズヒコ is just chilling at home, so 母 asked him to take care of the house in case something happens.
今 means now. : 今は忙しい（I’m busy now）
宿題 is homework
やっているから means because I’m doing○○
ダメー means no
ダメ is written 駄目 in Kanji. However, when there is ー or ～ comes after a word, these words tend to be written in Katakana or Hiragana. Also, だめ～ or any other words with ー and ～ sound childish or too friendly. Therefore, you don’t often hear them in a business scene.
It is a way of saying yes. However, it is weird hearing it from a 17-year-old girl. It is commonly said by older men.
Below are the polite ways to say ‘YES’.
Friendly ways to say ‘YES’.
Just be reminded that if you say はい twice in a row, it is considered rude. For example, はいはい instead of はい. はい is very polite, however, when you say はいはい, it shows that you’re reluctant to whatever you’re being asked.
“Do your homework” “Yes”
“Do your homework” “Ok (but I don’t want to)”
お買い物 means shopping.
匂い means smell.
みかん uses の匂い as her way to express her feelings that her mother is going to go shopping. Of course, she didn’t mean that she smelled the scent of shopping literally.
However, this expression is commonly used in Japan.
For example:「明日は焼き肉の匂いがするな～」（あしたはやきにくのいのいがするな～）”I think tomorrow’s dinner will be Yakiniku”
「この仕事はお金の匂いがプンプンする」（このしごとはおかねのにおいがぷんぷんする）”This job will for sure make me a lot of money”
ちょっと means for a while.
“Wait for a while”
たまには means once in a while.
息抜き mean break, time-off, relaxing time.
“you should take a break once in a while”
まあまあ is used when you try to calm someone down.
「まあまあおちついて」”Alright, I understand.. you should relax”
「まあまあそう言わずに」”Yeah, I know… Please don’t say that”
絶好の means absolute, perfect.
○○日和だね means it’s perfect for ○○.
「今日はお買い物日和だね」”Today is perfect for shopping, isn’t it!?”
「今日は海日和だね」（きょうはうみびよりだね）”Today is perfect for the beach, right!?”
魂胆 means plot, scheme, plan.
“I know what you’re planning to do”
This expression is not commonly used among young people. However, it is still used by more mature people like mothers and fathers.
ウロチョロ means walk around.
This is often used to tell children to stay around their mothers.
「ウロチョロしないで*静かにしなさい」（*しずか）”Stop running around and be quiet”
迷子 means lost child.
“If you keep running around, you will get lost”
一理 means a point.
“You have a point”
This is an expression that is often used when things didn’t go well.
「チェッ、また外した！」”Damn it, I missed it again!”
プリティ means pretty.
ナイス means nice.
These two words are obviously English, however, we use them as Japanese as well. Actually, there are lots of English words that sound the same but are used as Japanese words.
For example, ハンサム (handsome), アメリカ (America), ラジオ (radio), ベッド (bed), ソフト (soft), etc.
「彼はハンサムだね」”He is handsome”
「彼女はキュートだね」”She is cute”
おとなしい means being quiet or shy.
「彼はとてもおとなしい」”He is very quiet”
“You should be better at taking care of things you own”
This phrase is often said by mothers and grandmothers. This may come from our culture and the spirit of もったいない ‘mottainai’.
「もったいないから食べてしまいなさい」”You should eat it, or otherwise it goes waste”
As you can see that 母 is very strict with her budget and will not allow みかん to buy anything unnecessary.
熊 means bear.
カンカン means can.
カンカン is a very childish way to say a can or, in this case, a bucket. When mothers speak to their children, they speak like this. If you are 18 or older and use it in public, people will judge you.
戻す means to return.
そんなの means something like that.
そんなの is usually used negatively.
「そんなのいやだ」”I don’t like something like that”
偶然 means a coincidence.
「こんなところであうなんて偶然だね！」”What a coincidence that we have met at a place like this”
“My hands hurt”(because of the heavy lifting of groceries)
我慢する means be patient.
「*明日まで**お菓子は我慢しなさい」（*あした **おかし）”You have to wait to eat those snacks until tomorrow”
「わたしは我慢ができません」”I have no patience”
お茶 means tea.
お茶を飲む（or お茶をする） means literally ‘drink tea’. However, it also means ‘drink coffee or any non-alcoholic beverage’. So, if someone asks you 「お茶しよ！」, that means you go to a cafe and have something to drink.
休憩する means take a rest.
「疲れたから休憩しよ」”I’m tired, let’s take a rest”
Watch It Again
Now you understand some new words and phrases. You go back to the video and watch it again. You should be able to distinguish some words already.
If you do not understand more than 10% of its contents, you should go back to【Let’s Learn Some New Words】and learn the new words again! Because we forget almost 50% of what we learned within just an hour and 80% of it in 24 hours. You should come back as many times as you can, that helps you remember the words.
If you can listen to Japanese and understand some words without looking them up, you may want to try shadowing. This is one of the greatest methods to train your speaking ability by repeating what you hear. Especially, English and Japanese have completely different accents and pronunciations and therefore, the shadowing allows you to get familiar with the unique rhythm of Japanese.
But be careful if you do the shadowing because, in this episode, there are only two characters involved which are 母 and みかん. If you are a man, the way these two speak is not for you. If you want to speak like みかん, then you should shadow her. However, if you are a bit more a mature person, better mimic 母. Her way of speaking is a bit too much of the mother but, she sounds very intelligent to me.
Did you enjoy today’s post?
I hope you did.
As a native Japanese speaker, I had never realized how I sounded like when I spoke Japanese until I watched these videos to teach Japanese. We change the way we speak depending on the person, gender, mood, and so many aspects. For example, as I listed above that there are so many ways to say Yes. And if you are not familiar with them, it is hard for you to understand. However, you only need one or two ways to say Yes, and the ones you don’t use can be understood once you heard. So just take it easy and watch a lot of the other episodes.
If you have a question, feel free to ask me. My English Twitter account is https://twitter.com/learn_japanmore
One more thing, if you have friends who learn Japanese, please take a moment and share this post with them. That means the world to me. Thank you!!