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LESSON 21 Writing a Letter to a Friend OBJECTIVES


At the end of this lesson you will be able to:  Talk more about weather  Write a short letter to a friend  Read the kanji:   


Words kasa kaze tsuyoi mado akeru (akemasu/akete) shimeru (shimemasu/shimete)

umbrella wind strong window open (something) close (something)

Other words and expressions you will hear in this lesson reinkooto raincoat sakura cherry blossoms e to


1. Akeru ~ shimeru The verbs akeru and shimeru, which mean open and close respectively, must be used with a direct object. In Japanese the particle -o follows a direct object. Verbs which require a direct object are called transitive verbs. Mado-o akete-mo ii desu-ka? May I open the window? Mado-o shimemashita. I closed the window. Doa-o shimete-mo ii desu-ka? May I close the door? 2. The particle -e The particle -e, which is usually translated as to, is written as but is pronounced without the h-sound. This particle is commonly used with the verbs iku, kuru, and kaeru which indicate movement in a certain direction. As you have learned, the particle -ni can also be used to mean to. You will also see the particle at the beginning of letters. Ashita Tookyoo-e ikimasu. Tomorrow I’m going to Tokyo. Oneesan-mo paatii-e kimasu-ka? Is your sister also coming to the party? Mariko-san-e To Mariko [in a letter]


Seasonal references in letters You learned in Lesson 58 (Vol. 1) that Japanese often make comments about the weather when greeting each other. It is also a common practice to include a seasonal reference near the very beginning of a letter. The writer may choose from a number of rather set expressions for each of the four seasons. A typical one for spring might be Zuibun harurashiku natte kimashita (   ), which means It has become very spring-like. 193

Rather than attempting to be original by creating your own seasonal references in Japanese, you would be wise to buy a book with a list of all of the acceptable expressions along with other rules of letter writing. In this way you will not run the risk of insulting someone unintentionally or being misunderstood. As with many aspects of Japanese culture, doing things the “correct� way is extremely important. Four seasons in Japan The video section of this lesson includes a beautiful culture segment featuring the four seasons in Japan and common activities and events associated with each season. For more information on the four seasons, reread the Culture Notes in Lesson 60 (Vol. 1).



     "   "    7: 95   -(&1 95   ,0.)         #   /%1'*


umbrella wind strong window open (something) close (something) not good How’s the weather today? Is Michigan’s weather nice? How are Florida’s summers? The wind is strong here, isn’t it? Which should I choose? raincoat cherry blossoms to



In this lesson you will learn to read three kanji: 9, 6 and 5. Be sure that you know the readings of each kanji and can tell what the kanji means. Readings which are marked by an asterisk are for your reference only; you do not need to learn these at this time. You also do not have to learn any new words which are given in the examples. The correct stroke order for these kanji is given in the Optional Writing Practice section.


TEN; ame*, ama* (sky, heaven)

95 92 98 7:95  4;:953  

tenki tenjoo Ama-no gawa

weather ceiling Milky Way

Kyoo-no tenki-wa doo desu-ka?

How’s the weather today?

Ka-yoobi-no tenki-wa ame deshita. Tuesday’s weather was rain. 194


San-gatsu-no tenki-wa doo desu-ka?

How’s the weather in in March?


GEN, GAN*; moto* (beginning, foundation)


good health

  O-genki desu-ka?    Genki ja nai desu.

How are you? I’m not well.


KI, KE* (spirit, energy)

!  $ # !     $ 

tenki genki byooki

weather good health sickness, illness

Kyoo-no tenki-wa doo desu-ka?

How’s the weather today?

O-genki desu-ka? Ima byooki desu.

How are you? He's sick now.


  # & %        

        " !   How do you read them? What do they mean?


INTERACTIVE ACTIVITIES PART 1  Kakimashoo!  During this activity each student will work as a pair with two different )3+2- to check Assignment #1 from Part 2 of Lesson 20. The goal of the activity is to have two students carefully check the sentences in your letter to a Japanese pen pal, mark and discuss with you any errors found, and sign off on your page. Form your first pair and exchange assignments with your partner. Both partners independently check and neatly mark errors for the entire assignment. Use the same editing symbols as usual.  Vocabulary check Silently review the vocabulary for Lesson 21. Then have a )3+2- orally test your knowledge of them. Your partner says the  and you give the =>. Switch and test your partner.

PART 2  Yomimashoo! With a )3+2- take turns reading the following   and checking each other’s accuracy. Partner A looks only at the letter. Partner B looks at the 41 equivalent on the right. If Partner A makes a mistake, Partner B says, “Moo ichido yonde kudasai,� and then provides additional help if needed. Change partners and repeat the activity. READING WARM-UP Read these words aloud before you read the letter.

*(0 (Jefu)  (e) 75 (genki) : (watashi)

=> (Nihon) 8 (ima) $ (haru)  # (sakura)


% (kirei) 8= (kyoo) ;5 (tenki)


  (tomodachi) 9 (yama) /).,)(pikunikku)  (mata)

PARTNER B Shi-gatsu Mikka Doyoobi Hare

6= <"= % *(0 '


*(0 ' 75  :75

Jefu-kun, o-genki desu-ka?

=>8$  #  %

Nihon-wa ima, haru desu.

8=  ;5  :   9  /).,)& 

Kyoo-wa ii tenki deshita.

*(0 '  &  

Jefu-kun, mata tegami-o kaite

"#             ! 


Watashi-wa genki desu. Sakura-ga totemo kirei desu. Watashi-wa tomodachi-to yama-ni itte, pikunikku-o shimashita. kudasai. Yukie


 Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ask and answer! After you and your partner have both read the letter in the previous activity, take turns asking each other the following . You may ask them in any order. Partner A asks one question which Partner B answers without looking at the answer given below. Partner B may, however, refer back to the letters. Then Partner B asks a question. QUESTIONS 1. Nan-gatsu nan-nichi-no tegami desu-ka? 2. Dare-ga kono tegami-o kakimashita-ka? 3. Yukie-san-wa dare-ni kono tegami-o kakimashita-ka? 4. Nihon-wa ima fuyu desu-ka? 5. Nani-ga totemo kirei desu-ka? 6. Tenki-wa doo deshita-ka? 7. Yukie-san-wa doko-ni ikimashita-ka? 8. Yukie-san-wa dare-to yama-ni ikimashita-ka? 9. Yukie-san-wa yama-de nani-o shimashita-ka?

ANSWERS 1. Shigatsu mikka-no (tegami) desu. 2. Yukie-san-ga kakimashita. 3. Jefu-kun-ni kakimashita. 4. Iie, haru desu. 5. Sakura-ga totemo kirei desu.

6. Ii tenki deshita. 7. Yama-ni ikimashita. 8. Tomodachi-to ikimashita. 9. Pikunikku-o shimashita.


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