Last time, we talked about the way Italian grammar could look weird to a Japanese student. And before studying some foreign language, I had never thought about any difficulties people could cope with while learning Italian. By the way, while I think of other ways my native language could be so challenging to foreign students (or you could leave a comment about it), I’ll tell you about some particles in Japanese. I haven’t been studying Japanese for a long time, so I still have a long way to go. But, what I’ve learnt so far is that particles help indentifying the meaning of a sentence and the “role” words play into it. My online teacher says the Japanese word for particles is じょし (joshi), meaning “helping words“, and always come just after the word they refer to.
Wa is the topic marking particle. Though pronounced as “wa”, its Hiragana is the sign for “ha”: は. The topic marking particle identifies what the sentence is about, and the hiragana は must be read as “wa” only when used as a particle. Do you remember the basic sentence structure we talked about last time? N1 は N2 です。 You can use this structure to talk about a wide range of topics: introducing yourself or someone else, talking about weather (it’s cold/hot/sunny/rainy…), giving simple information (this is the library/the railway station/the restaurant someone is looking for), describing objects, etc. In this sentence we have two different particles: で and を; で marks the means by which the action (eating) is accomplished, while を marks the object (sushi). Please, note that though を is the hiragana for “wo“, as a particle we must read it like “O“. で can also mark the place where the action is carried out, as in the sentence below:
…See you next time with other particles! (^_^)/°