I had to get up way too early this morning. At 7:00am, I had my Japanese lesson through Cafetalk, which was, as always, really good. We worked on the lyrics to the song Tsunami, which is a really sad song, by the way, and then I asked some questions about Chapter 10.
One of the big features of Chapter 10 is above, below, in front of, in back of, to the right of, to the left of, inside of, outside of, near and between. That’s a lot of words, but the grammatical structure is the same for each of them, and it is the reverse of English. Instead of “on top of the TV” it is テレビの上に (the TV’s top on, more or less).
I was stumped by one exercise, though. There was a picture of a set of shelves, with each shelf containing a different item. In the example, you were asked where the stapler was. The answer was: したから ２だんめです.
I have to honest with you, this one stumped me totally. した is the word for indication something is below something else…てーブルのした – underneath the table. から I’m used to seeing as “from” as in, I have to work from 9 until 5 (９じから ５じまで).
Now, knowing that much, it should have obvious to me that したから means “from the bottom”, but it wasn’t. I didn’t get it at all. だんめ is a counter used for shelves. したから ２だんめです therefore means that it is one the second shelf from the bottom. If I changed it to うえから ２だんめです, that should be the second shelf from the top.
It actually makes perfect sense, but I had to have it explained to me.
Next week we will continue with the lyrics to Tsunami and it will be Chapter 11, but, as I write this, Christmas and New Year’s are coming up, and the first week of January is always exceptionally busy at work, so it will be a challenge to really get my studying in. This is where the motivation factor has to kick in.
I will get my studying in every day, even during the next couple of weeks.