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Talking About Your Hobbies


If you get to know a Japanese person socially, he or she may ask you Shumi wa (shoo-mee wah; What's your hobby?). Having at least one shumi (hobby) that you can talk proudly about is good. Is your shumi athletic, artistic, or academic in nature? Do you do any of the following activities?
  • dokusho (doh-koo-shoh; reading)
  • engei (ehn-gehh; gardening)
  • ikebana (ee-keh-bah-nah; flower arranging)
  • kitte no korekushon (keet-teh noh koh-reh-koo-shohn; stamp collecting)
  • ryori (ryohh-ree; cooking)
  • tsuri (tsoo-ree; fishing)

Exploring Mature

If you're tired of working in front of your konpyuta (kohn-pyooo-tahh; computer), take a trip to the yama (yah-mah; mountains) or the umi (oo-mee; sea). Your eyes need a change of pace, and the beautiful kumo (koo-moh; clouds), the tall ki (kee; trees), and a yotto (yoht-toh; sailboat) or two on the suiheisen (soo-ee-hehh-sehn; horizon) can provide a nice break.

While enjoying shizen (shee-zehn; nature), you may want to use a few of the words in below table

Nature Words
JapanesePronunciationTranslation
blchibeee-cheebeach
kaigankah-ee-gahnshoreline
kawakah-wahriver
kazankah-zahnvolcano
mizuumimee-zoo-oo-meelake
sabakusah-bah-koodesert
sanmyakusahn-myah-koomountain range
sunahamasoo-nah-hah-mahsandy beach
takitah-keewaterfall
umioo-meesea/ocean
yamayah-mahmountain

In addition to admiring the scenery, you may want to go

Liifinq the Sportinq Life

Do you participate in or watch supotsu (soo-pohh-tsoo; sports)? Whether you suru (soo-roo; play) or miru (mee-roo; watch), sports probably take up some of your time.

Yakyu (yah-kyooo; baseball) and sakka (sahk-kahh; soccer) are the most popular sports in Japan, but people also enjoy other sports, such as

Sumo (soo-mohh; sumo wrestling) is the national sport in Japan. The object of sumo is to push your opponent out of a ring or to force any part of his body, other than the soles of his feet, to touch the ground. Believe it or not, many strong sumo wrestlers are from America! If you're interested in becoming a sumo wrestler in Japan, start overeating and gain at least 300 pounds!

Saynq "I Can"

To say that you "can" do something rather than that you "do" something, add a suffix (-eru or -rareru) to the verb. You need to do a little surgery to attach the suffix to the verb. Both the amount of surgery necessary and the suffix you add depend on the class of the verb.

The only necessary sound adjustment in this process is to change ts to t before adding -era. So the "can" form of the verb motsu (moh-tsoo; to hold) is moteru (moh-teh-roo; can hold), not motseru (moh-tseh-roo). Motsu isn't an irregular verb - it's just that tse (tseh) isn't an authentic Japanese sound, so it gets simplified to te (teh).

And I should tell you what happens to two of the major irregular verbs, sura (soo-roo; to do) and kuru (koo-roo; to come), in the "can" situation. The "can" form of the verb suru is dekiru (deh-kee-roo; can do), and the "can" form of the verb kuru is korareru (koh-rah-reh-roo; can come).

Now tell me what you can do and what your friends and family can do:

Using your Artistic latent Don't be afraid to express your kimochi (kee-moh-chee; feelings) and kangae (kahn-gah-eh; ideas) artistically. Use your sozoryoku (sohh-zohh-ryoh-koo; creativity). You can even use the same techniques that you used as a kodomo (koh-doh-moh; child).

Which of the following art forms interests you?

If you go to Japan, visit karucha senta (kah-roo-chahh sehn-tahh; cultural centers or cultural schools). You can observe classes in traditional Japanese arts like

Do you play a gakki (gahk-kee; musical instrument)? If you don't, try one of these gakki:

For different types of musical instruments, you use different verbs to mean "to play." For wind instruments, use the verb hiku (foo-koo). For a stringed instrument or a keyboard, use the verb hiku (hee-koo). Other instruments need specific verbs:

Words to Know
ressunrehs-soonlessons
happyokaihahp-pyohh-kah-eerecital
rokku bandorohk-koo bahn-dohrock band
renshu sum [irr]rehn-shooo soo-rooto practice



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