Gengo Girls #38: Ha Ha Ha

Gengo Girls #38: Ha Ha Ha


Japanese has a lot of spoken grammar markets. They use to mark sentences as questions. They use to mark topics. And they use things like and to mark various other important bits of information that we’ll talk about much later.

Which is good news for us because it can make analyzing complex sentences much simpler. Even in a sentence with dozens of adjectives and adverbs and prepositional phrases you can still depend on to point you to the main subject. Most of the time…


言語ガールズ #38

Ha Ha Ha

Blue: Let’s talk about the reason that sometimes sounds like “wa” even though it’s usually pronounced “ha”.

Yellow: Is the reason: “Because 日本語 is confusing”?

Blue: In 日本語 every sentence has a main topic, subject or theme.

Blue: That theme is marked by putting a right after it, and it’s these topic marking that sound like “wa”.

Blue: So if you wanted to talk about cats your sentence would start off with “猫は”.

Yellow: Like in 猫は可愛いです.

Blue: Now you can figure out the topic of any sentence by just looking for whatever word comes before the .

Yellow: That’s almost useful enough to make up for one letter having two sounds.