Watch the following video to learn the basic Japanese greetings.
Before you learn how to ask and say when your birthday is, you need to learn how to say the dates.
月, がつ, is a kanji that represents ‘month’. Refer to the kanji section for other meaning and readings. Saying the months of the year is extremely simple in Japanese.
Following the above formula, January, which is the 1st month of the year is 一月（いちがつ）.
Dates work similarly in writing.
日,にち, is used to mean day. Therefore, the first day of the month is written as 一日, second, 二日, third, 三月 and so on. Then, 二十四日 represents the 24th day of the month.
However, these combination of kanji are not read the same way and require you to memorise a rule. Use the following hints to help you remember!
From 11th to 31st of the month, you use the normal number system with 日（にち）.
In other words, 11th is 十一日（じゅういちにち）, 25th, 二十五日（にじゅうごにち）.
20th, 二十日, はつか.
Except for 14th and 24th of each month, which are read as 十四日（じゅうよっか）and 二十四日（にじゅうよっか）respectively.
Practice saying all the dates of the month. Sing along to the song below.
お is used as an honorific device to refer to another person’s birthday politely. DO NOT use this for your own.
We now know how to say the month of the year, a date and days of the week.
In order to say for someone’s birthday, use the following structure:
(2) Interrogative/Question word
When responding, you do not need to mention たんじょう日 or the relevant topic again. Just state:
In Japanese, you provide the largest unit before the smaller ones.
I.E. Year, Month, Date
a) From what month does the Japanese schools start?
b) When do you go ‘flower watching’?
c) When is the ‘Golden Week’?
d) Write down the date of the Children’s Day.
e) In which month are the school excursions and picnics held?
f) During which months is the ‘flooding season’?
g) What is on 七月七日?
h) When is summer holidays?
i) When is the anniversary of the end of WWII
Children’s Day – 5 May
Thi was originally the Boys’ Festival Day. For a few weeks around this date, colourful wind socks, each made in the form of a carp, and coloured streamers are raised on poles. The streamers at the top of the pole blow out in the wind, and below them are usually several carp attached on under the other. The carp was chosen as a symbol for boys, because of its strength and courage. It can swim up fast streams and jump waterfalls without wavering.
This is one holiday in what the Japnese call 「ゴルデンウィーク」, ‘Golden Week’ – a week with four holidays! (See below)
ひなまつり, known as the Doll’s Festival or Girls’ Festival – 3 March
On this day, girls display a group of dolls on a set of steps. On the top step are the Emperor and Empress. Below them are ladies in waiting, courtiers, musicians and warriors. All the dolls are very elaborately clothed and are fully equipped with detailed miniature musical instrument, weapons and other such artefacts of ancient times. They are displayed pieces and are handled with the greatest care, rather than being dolls in the sense of cuddly toys.
The girls invite each other to their homes, have cakes, dress up in their best clothes, and for that day are the most important members of the household. After a few weeks, the dolls are taken down from their stand, carefully wrapped, and stored away for the next year, and sometimes for next generation.
National holidays in Japan
By now, you know how to reserve and purchase a ticket for any type of transport in Japan. However, as you may have heard already, public transport in Japan can be confusing and difficult to understand especially if you are not local. Therefore, this section will equip you with some essential phrases to make sure that you DO NOT get lost!
(http://www.hyperdia.com/en/ is a useful website to find out transport times)
Trains run regularly on major city lines and are extremely reliable.
The above shows what a timetable for an interstate trip may look like. However, if you are unable to find this information, you may want to ask the station officers when the next train is.
If you want to know when the train would arrive at the destination.
Now you know what time the train will leave, you need to get to the correct platform to get on the train. Unfortunately, you won’t find Platform 9 3/4 in Japan, unless if you go to Universal Studio Japan (USJ) in Osaka.
How do you ask which platform you need to get to?
So you get to Platform 1 and see a train waiting to leave, but are unsure if this is the right one.
Use the following timetable to practice.
Not only is it difficult to travel on public transport, it is extremely difficult to find the the most convenient exit to get to your destination even if you have arrived at the right station.
In order to express your desire to make a reservation for basically anything, you should use 〜をよやくしたいんですが…
Remember, we’ve learnt that 〜が… is often used to omit the latter part of speech as the implication is clear, yet you may not wish to make direct statements.
The above sentence suggests that you’d like to reserve a return ticket to Kyoto and what is omitted is that you are expecting or requesting them to help you purchase the ticket without being too direct.
In this sentence, although not always common, it could also be suggested that the speaker is wanting to know the price for a first class seat.
Use the phrase to start the conversation at the きっぷうりば (ticket office) and continue with the expressions you have learnt in the section on buying a ticket.
Let’s watch the following videos to hear the dialogue you may have when reserving flight tickets or seats.