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    how do you say... say what!?!

    By John Tubles
    Aug 14, '09 9:47 PM EST

    Hi again folks… my one year adventure in Japan is fast approaching and I’m starting to feel a little bit unprepared. No panic or hysteria in my part but I have been having dreams about being in Japan and not being able to communicate properly. I was hanging out with my Japanese friend yesterday and she said that if I get stuck, I should try and use English words and make it sound like Japanese that would make sense in a katakana form i.e. hamburger = hanbaagaa (not changing L’s to R’s)... but I don’t want to make an arse of myself and seem disrespectful to Nihongo (Japanese Language) by making up words… so after a couple of weeks of putting it off, I’m finally going to start making my own Japanese phrase book. I think I’m good with every day words because I can look it up in a jisho (dictionary) but the architectural terms is what I’m having trouble with…

    So I divided the architectural terms in to 3 categories

    Design Phase: for desk crits and also final presentation

    Concept, parti, openings, site, context, surroundings, responsive, relationship, interaction, public vs. private, indoor/outdoor, analysis, lighting, organic, rigid, multipurpose, grid, organize/arrange, procession, pen, paper, marker, eraser, pencil, triangle, straight-edge / ruler, scale, shapes: circle, square, rectangle, triangle, cube, sphere, city, view, plants, user, perspective, formal/informal, shading, space planning, area, perimeter, line, plane

    Model making: tools and materials

    Card board, chip board, foam core, bass wood, balsa wood glue, scissors, cutter, cutting mat, plexi-glass, paper, spray paint, paint, paint brush, tape, hammer, nails, screw, screw driver, drill, blade, table saw, jig saw, sand paper,

    Building: components, materials and spaces

    Cantilever, columns, overhang, roof, slope, wall, floor, window=mado , door=doa, seating, storage, kitchen, bathroom=ofuro, toilet=otearai, bed room, living area, dining area, outdoor space, tree=ki, bushes, grass, parking, fence, stairs, hallway, steel, wood, glass, plastic, rubber.

    so if you know any of these words please let me know… it would be great help and domo arigato gozaimasu in advance!...

    oh by the way this is how you say "my major is architecture"
    [masculine] Boku no senmon wa kenchikugaku desu.
    [feminine] Watashi no senmon wa kenchikugaku desu.


    • Kamu Kakizaki

      the hiragana ke is wrong fyi

      Aug 14, 09 10:07 pm  · 
      Kamu Kakizaki

      good luck with the nihongo! i'll get back to you on the translations.

      Aug 14, 09 10:15 pm  · 

      most of those words you can just say in katakana and will be understood. some words won't work, but surprsingly french versions will do. esquisse for example is a common word in my lab at university of tokyo.

      wood models are not part of architecture education in japan as far as i can tell so probably you don't need to worry about screw (bisu) or nail (kugi). the other words i suggest looking up in dictionary. you may beed to get a specialised one that focuses on architecture, but am quite sure you can get by without it if you choose to.

      in any case, no japanese will ever believe you as a foreigner can speak japanese so don't fret about it. i have been here on and off for about 15 years and people still talk to my Japanese wife instead of me, even if they are addressing questions to me personally. its just one of those cultural quirks that seems unlikely to ever go away ;-)

      btw, the hiragana you wrote in image above says ki, not ke. as for feminine and masculine, don't bother worrying about it. i used to say boku all the time but came to understand is really a word boys say more than men (so i feel like a 10 yr old when i say it), and the other choice (ore) is a bit too macho for my tastes. so i say watashi instead. but if you must assert masculinity recommend 'ore' instead.

      good luck with kyushu. is brilliant place to live in japan. feel free to drop line if you want advice on what is like to be foreigner in this country (if you are anything like most people who come here probably nothing you imagine will quite match reality).

      Aug 14, 09 11:59 pm  · 
      John Tubles

      hahaha... gomen nasai... i stand corrected... [ito sensei i failed you-hahaha] clearly i'm forgetting my hiragana... thanks for everything and yes i would gladly accept any advice/help/info/where to go/what to do and see...

      Aug 15, 09 1:06 am  · 

      sasu ga

      Aug 15, 09 2:25 am  · 

      this is really good:

      Aug 15, 09 6:12 pm  · 

      Have fun in Japan, I'm hoping to tranfer there one day.

      Aug 17, 09 7:01 am  · 

      Orhan spotted John in the Urban LA project.

      John's 100-word bio & images are 3 down from the top, he also has a video on the film page “Sunset Boulevard” about half way down.

      Enjoying your posts, good way to keep up with you while you're in Japan.

      Aug 17, 09 9:40 pm  · 

      i think you are super brave for jumping in japan like that! the concept/model words you listed are probably all understandable in katakana pronounciation of the english words. ganbattene! (goodluck!)

      Aug 18, 09 12:58 am  · 

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