Happy New Year 2017!
Yet another years has gone by. I haven’t posted anything for the last three months. However, “Nihongo Day By Day - English” surpassed 10,000 page views last November and December! Arigato gozaimashita!! I thank all of you — those who just had a quick look and also those who read the entire articles. I’m very happy.
To commemorate reaching 10,000 page views, I’ll write a follow-up to my Japanese station announcements article, which has been the most popular article on this blog.
In the first version, I introduced “door ga shimarimasu”, but I sometimes hear “door o shimemasu”. What is the difference between “ga” and “o” and also between “shimarimasu” and “shimemasu”?
door ga shimarimasu: The door will be closing on its own.
(watashi wa) door o shimemasu: I (the train crew) am closing the door.“Shimemasu” is for someone’s action and “o” is an object marker.
Next, you hear something like this.
“muri na go-josha wa o-yame kudasai.muri na: impossible, unreasonable
(go-)josha: boarding (“go” is an honorific prefix)
o-yame kudasai: to stop/quit (“o” is an honorific prefix)
What is impossible boarding? Is that something like the trains in India that have people crammed both inside and on top of trains?
No, that never happens in Japan. Rather, “muri na go-josha” refers to dashing to get on the train right before the door closes.
As I wrote last time, Japan loves warnings. Other people will caution you even for things you have to take care of by yourself.
“kono saki yuremasu node, go-chui kudasai.”
kono saki: from now on/from this point on
node: because/thereforeEveryone more or less expects that trains will shake, though...
These next announcements are rather important. Trains stop at every station along Tokyo Metro, but JR lines and other train lines have different types of trains, such as express or super express. They are quite difficult to get your head around.
“kono densha wa shimbashi ni teisha itashimasen. Tsugi no densha o go-riyou kudasai.”
kono densha: this train
shimbashi: a name of the station in Tokyo
teisha shimasu: to stop
itashimasen: the humble form of shimasen
tsugi no densha: next train(go-)riyou kudasai: please use
“shuten made kaku eki ni tomarimasu”
shuten: final stop/station
kaku eki: each stationtomarimasu: to stop
If you miss these announcements, trains sometimes don’t stop at your station or else they stop at every station and take longer than expected to reach your destination.When you’re unsure whether or not a train stops at your destination, try to ask someone this question:
“kono densha (pointing at the train) wa your destination ni tomarimasu ka?”(Is this train going to stop at your destination?)
It’s tough to get on and off trains or buses at unfamiliar places. Even if you carefully check your surroundings and the destination or number of train/bus, it’s easy to make mistakes. The other day I took the wrong bus in Kyoto - twice!
Even when I go to an unfamiliar station in Tokyo, I have no idea which direction to go and even board trains going in the opposite direction from time to time. This is not a language issue, but just depends whether or not you understand the layout of the area.
Lastly, I’m going to post as many articles as I can this year, so I hope you will keep reading. Thank you!