Photos of JapanNihongo o Narau

Lesson 3: I am Japanese.
Click here for the kana version.

The word for Japan in Japanese is Nihon.  (Or Nippon)  Ni means sun and hon means root.  So, Nihon means "origin of the sun."  Japan is also known as the "Land of the Rising Sun."

There are several words for 'person' in Japanese.  Hito is the noun 'person.'  If you wanted to say "Who is that person?" you would say "Ano hito wa dare desu ka?"  Ano means 'that over there.'  (This will be discussed more in Lesson 4.)  Likewise, one says onna no hito for 'woman' and otoko no hito for 'man.'  These mean 'female person' and 'male person' and are much more polite than just saying onna or otoko which sound insulting alone.

The other two ways of indicating people are the suffixes -nin and -jin. Adding the suffix -jin to the name of a country makes the name of the nationality of that country. Nihon-jin means 'Japanese person.'  We will discuss the use of -nin later. 

Similarly, one can add the suffix -go to the end of a country word and it becomes the language of the country.  Note that there are exceptions to this as some countries share common languages.




The U.S.  Amerika Amerikajin Eigo
Germany    Doitsu Doitsujin Doitsugo
France      Furansu Furansujin  Furansugo
Italy     Itaria
Itariajin               Itariago
Australia    Oosutoraria
Oosutorariajin            Eigo
Canada    Kanada
Kanadajin Eigo/Furansugo
England     Igirisu Igirisujin                   Eigo
Mexico      Mekishiko
Mekishikojin              Supeingo
Spain   Supein
Supeinjin      Supeingo
Portugal Porutogaru
Porutogarujin Porutogarugo
Brazil Burajiru Burajirujin Porutogarugo
Korea, S. Kankoku Kankokujin Kankokugo


Lesson 3 Vocabulary:







suffix added to country to describe nationality
suffix added to country to describe language

Japanese language
English language

Home | Contact | Privacy
Copyright DL © 2002-2008