I hope you will speak more Japanese!

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I’m really excited to share about a project I started 4 years ago. I’m not a grammar expert in Japanese (or English!) but I do love speaking Japanese. People often ask me how or where I learned to speak.

My first Japanese class was in college at Western Washington University and my teacher was Nakata-sensei, a visiting professor from UBC. He introduced the class to natural pronunciation and intonation right from the beginning. WWU has a great Japanese program but I didn’t start speaking a lot of Japanese until I got to Japan and was really forced to use it.

This is the same situation people studying English face. We really need practice speaking before we can go out and confidently speak in public. There are a ton of books and classes to help us learn but not many forcing us to practice so many times that using the language becomes a natural reflex. I had great success using Carolyn Graham’s Jazz Chants with my English students and knew the same idea would work for people studying Japanese.

And so…today I want to introduce the first in a series of Japanese Chants to help people speak more Japanese!

Watch me introduce the chant here. A transcript of the chant is below.


Kyo wa atsui desu ne.
今日は暑いですね。
It’s hot today, isn’t it?

So desu ne. Mushi atsui.
そうですね。蒸し暑い。
Yes, hot and humid.

Kyo wa atsui desu ne.
今日は暑いですね。
It’s hot today, isn’t it?

So desu ne. Mushi atsui.
そうですね。蒸し暑い。
Yes, hot and humid.

Gogo wa ame desu yo.
午後は雨ですよ.
It’s going to rain this afternoon.

So desu ka. Ame desu ka.
そうですか。雨ですか。
It’s going to rain you say?

Kasa, mottemasuka.*
傘、持ってますか。*
You got an umbrella?

Ah! Wasuremashita!
あっ!忘れました!
Ah! I forgot!

*This chant uses mottemasuka because it is used by many people in conversation. Of course, correct Japanese would be “motteimasuka” 「持ってますか」.

So, did you like the chant?

If so, consider subscribing to my YouTube Channel then you’ll know whenever I upload a new chant. Also, let me know in the comments below what you liked about the chant or what did you NOT like about it! And please feel free to share it with your friends. Most importantly, please use my Japanese Chants to practice speaking more Japanese. I really hope they will help you enjoy speaking more Japanese.

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About the Author:

Hi! I'm Marci. When I'm not writing, building websites, or coaching clients, I love walking the streets of Japan and discovering spirit in all shapes and forms. Here on the blog, you'll also get a peek into what it is like to live with and care for my Japanese father-in-law who has Alzheimer’s. Enjoy!

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2 Comments

  1. Chiemi on October 20, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    Hi Marci!
    Ogenki desu ka? Kyo wa hen na tenki deshita ne (>_<)

    I love the rhythm and tone of the chant.
    This is very unique way of learning Japanese and sort of eye popping idea, in a good way, of course!
    I also like your explanation of "motte masuka" and "motte imasuka".
    Those are a small difference we usually don't notice.
    So I think what you are doing is really usuful and practical as you can see and explain from Japanese learner's point of view.
    Keep up your wonderful job!

    • Marci on October 24, 2014 at 4:02 PM

      Thanks, Chiemi! I’m glad you noticed about the “motte masuka.” I was debating whether or not to say anything but I knew if I didn’t someone would point it out! Hope you are enjoy the nice day it has finally turned into since you posted the comment!

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