Let’s Learn Japanese With Luna! Part 4

This is part 4 of our weekly series of Japanese lessons with ZenPop's mascot Luna. In this series, we look at a frame from ZenPop’s original manga, FULL MOON MAGIC and teach you Japanese from it. The manga is drawn and written by a talented Japanese manga artist and is currently entirely in Japanese. We have started to add English translations under each frame, to help those who do not understand Japanese to read it. You can read it for free on Instagram here.

Let's get started with lesson 4!

"Bunnies who can’t make mochi...get sent to earth!"

bunnies who can't make mochi...get sent to earth

モチ(もち)を つかない ウサギたち は 地球 (ちきゅう) に 落 (お)ちる の じゃ!

Mochi wo tsukanai usagitachi ha chikyuu ni ochiru no jya!

 

モチ (mochi) - rice cake

Have you ever tried mochi before? Mochi is a traditional Japanese rice cake that has been eaten for centuries. Mochi used to be used as an offering to the gods, and then cut into pieces and shared for good luck. Now it is mostly eaten as a celebratory food during special occasions and festivities. There are lots of different types of mochi, but the most popular ones are; daifuku mochi, sakura mochi, warabi mochi, botamochi, and kusamochi.

Japanese mochi

 

を  (wo) - Japanese Particle

Can you remember what を is used for? To recap the particle を (wo) marks the direct object of a sentence, and is pronounced as "o". When the direct object is linked to a verb, then this particle is used, this can be anything from studying Japanese to playing soccer. In both of these examples, there is an object directly linked to a verb.

Here are a few more examples

  • 映画(えいが)を見(み)ます。(eiga wo mimasu) - To watch a movie.
  • バナナを食(た)べます。(banana wo tabemasu) - To eat a banana.
  • お茶(ちゃ)を飲(の)みます。(ocha wo nomimasu) - To drink tea.

 

つかない  (tsukanai) - Not to knead

In today's manga frame the nai-form (negative form) of this verb つかない (tsukanai) is used which means "not to knead." We will go over the nai-form in more detail in a later lesson.

 

うさぎ (usagi)

Can you remember what usagi means? Here's a little clue:

rabbit gif

Unless you answered with makeup brush or mirror, you're correct; it means rabbit!

 

-たち (tachi)

-たち (tachi) is a pluralizing suffix and can be attached to any noun or pronoun to create a quasi-plural representing a group of people or animals. Here are a few examples:

  • ルナちゃんたち (luna-chan-tachi) - Luna and company
  • わたしたち (watachi-tachi) - We, us (I and company)
  • あなたたち (anata-tachi) - you, you guys (you and company)
  • ウサギたち  (usagi-tachi)  - rabbits

Japanese rabbit island gif

 

は (wa) - topic marker

We’ve covered が (ga), but we haven’t covered は (wa) yet, these particles often cause a lot of confusion for Japanese learners. The major difference between the two is that は (wa) is used to identify what it is you’re discussing, for example, “私(わたし)はルナです,” expresses “I” as the topic of the sentence.

 

ちきゅう (chikyuu)

Can you remember what chikyuu means? Check out the last part of our blog to recap.

 

に (ni)

に (ni) has a lot of functions, but in today's sentence, it is used to indicate the final destination and comes before motion verbs, here are a few examples:

  • 日本(にほん)に いく (nihon ni iku) - To go to Japan
  • 駅(えき) に 走(はし)る (eki ni hashiru) - To run to the train station. 
  • 買い物(かいもの)に 行(い)きます (kaimono ni ikimasu) - To go shopping. 

 

落(お)ちる (ochiru) - To fall

落(お)ちる (ochiru) means to fall. In this case, we localized the language to "get sent," but please do not use it in this way as it doesn't technically translate as that. 

 

に (ni)

に (ni) has a lot of functions, but in today's sentence, it is used to indicate the final destination and comes before motion verbs, here are a few examples:

  • 日本(にほん)に いく (nihon ni iku) - To go to Japan
  • 駅(えき) に 走(はし)る (eki ni hashiru) - To run to the train station. 
  • 買い物(かいもの)に 行(い)きます (kaimono ni ikimasu) - To go shopping. 

 

の (no)

To refresh your memory about the use of the Japanese particle の (no) check out lesson one of our Learn Japanese With Luna Series.

 

じゃ (jya)

じゃ (jya) is a colloquial, collapsed form of だ (da) meaning です (desu).

 

If you put everything together, you should get モチをつかないウサギたち は地球 (ちきゅう)に落(お)ちるのじゃ! - Mochi wo tsukanai usagitachi ha chikyuu ni ochiru no jya! Which can be localized as “Bunnies who can't make mochi...get sent to earth.”

That’s the end of this lesson, let us know how you’re finding these lessons. We will be back again next week with part 5! Let’s continue this story together to learn more about Luna, her adventure on Earth and learning Japanese through it. Until next time.

 

Read Part 5

Previous lessons:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

 


Tell us about your progress! #learningwithluna

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Article| 22/03/2019 | nihongoZenpop