May
2
2016

How to write letters or emails in Japanese? – with Seasonal expressions

Photo from *masa on flickr.com

 

When writing letters or emails, it is nice to add some intro or ending with some seasonal comments. I have covered the topic of “writing business emails in Japanese” in the past. Check out here if you would like to read it again or find out what I have posted regarding composing business Emails in Japanese.

This post is based on the request from one of the readers, all about the seasonal expressions that you can add to your letter. Just like it might be in English, we like to first start off our conversation talking about weather in Japanese. This is also true in writing. Rather than getting to the point right away unless your request is an urgent one, it is always nice to start a conversation based on current weather or season. It just gives you a soft introduction to the topic you want to cover. Also, sometimes, you might want to add some seasonal comments at the end of the letter/emails before you finish it.

So, here are some examples. I have constructed my suggestions based on Spring and Summer this time. I will cover more about fall and winter in my next article.  You can add one of these at the beginning of the letter or emails to add your personal touch.  Read on~.

 

Spring

Mada mada samui desuga ikaga osugoshi desuka?

まだまだ 寒い ですが いかが お過ごし ですか?

まだまだ さむい ですが いかが おすごし ですか?

It’s still cold around here, but how have you been?

______________________________________________

Sakura no hanaga mankai de totemo haru rashii desune.

さくらの はなが まんかいで、とても はるらしい ですね。

桜の 花が 満開で、とても 春らしい ですね。

Cherry blossoms are in full bloom, and it is surely springlike.

_______________________________________________

 

~expression that can be added towards to bottom of the letter/email as part of closing.

Sakuraga sakukoroniwa mata oaishitai desune.

桜が 咲くころには、また お会いしたい ですね。

さくらが さくころには、 また おあいしたい ですね。

I would love to see you again by the time cherry blossom blooms.

_______________________________________________

Natsumae ni mata oai shimashou.

夏前に また お会いしましょう。

なつまえに また おあいしましょう。

Let’s meet again before summer comes.

_______________________________________________

 

 

 

Summer

Totemo mushiatsui tenkiga tsuzuite imasuga ikaga osugoshi desuka?

とても 蒸し暑い 天気が 続いていますが、 いかが お過ごしですか?

とても むしあつい てんきが つづいていますが、いかが おすごしですか?

We’ve been having such a humid weather, how have you been?_______________________________________________

Nihon no natsuwa mushiatsui desuyone?

日本の 夏は 蒸し暑い ですよね?

にほんの なつは むしあつい ですよね?

Summer in Japan is humid, isn’t it?

_______________________________________________

 

 

~expression that can be added towards to bottom of the letter/email as part of closing.

Atsusa wa korekaraga honban desu.  Okarada ni okio tsuke kudasai.

暑さは これからが 本番です。 お体に お気を付け ください。

あつさは これからが ほんばんです。 おからだに おきをつけ ください。

It will be a lot more humid from here on. Take care (and stay cool).

_______________________________________________________

Atsusa ni makezu ganbatte kudasai

暑さに 負けず 頑張って 下さい。

あつさに まけず がんばって ください。

Don’t let summer heat wear you out. Do your best. (Good luck)

_______________________________________________________

 

I will cover more about fall and winter in my next article.

 

 

May
1
2016

An Italian Quiz For April – The Solutions

Here are the answers to our recent quiz. Well done those of you who had a go. Those who didn’t, I shall want to hear your excuses, and they’d better be good. None of that “the cat ate it” nonsense!

100_6351

But seriously, give us some feedback, was it too difficult? Did you not feel confident enough to post your answers? Do you have technical difficulties in posting your comments? Do let us know because your comments help us improve our articles.

A. General Knowledge

We asked you to give a complete answer in Italian to the following questions:

1. in quale regione si trovano i trulli? Answer: I trulli si trovano in Puglia
2. come si chiama la piazza dove si corre il Palio di Siena? Answer: La piazza dove si corre il Palio di Siena si chiama Piazza del Campo
3. quale famoso musicista ha composto l’opera ‘La Traviata’? (two possible grammatical constructions) Answer: Giuseppe Verdi ha composto ‘La Traviata’ or ‘La Traviata è stata composta da Giuseppe Verdi
4. quali ingredienti ci vogliono per fare gli spaghetti all’amatriciana? (see this post: The Amatriciana Dilemma) Answer: Per fare gli spaghetti all’amatriciana ci vogliono il guanciale, i pomodori, l’olio d’oliva extravergine, il vino bianco secco, il pecorino grattugiato, il peperoncino, sale e pepe, e gli spaghetti, ovviamente.
5. come si intitola il primo libro della Divina Commedia di Dante? Answer: Il primo libro della Divina Commedia si intitola ‘Inferno’
6. chi ha affrescato la Cappella Sistina? (two possible grammatical constructions) Answer: Michelangelo ha affrescato la Cappella Sistina or la Cappella Sistina è stata affrescata da Michelangelo

These two trees both play an important role in traditional Italian culture and cuisine. Can you identify them? The one on the left is fairly easy, the one on the right is very difficult.

These two trees both play an important role in traditional Italian culture and cuisine. Can you identify them? The one on the left is fairly easy, the one on the right is very difficult.

On the left: olivo, on the right: frassino, also known as l’albero della manna

B. Grammar

Translate the following sentences into Italian using the grammar rules illustrated in Dammi il Cinque Part 1 and Dammi il Cinque Part 2:
1. give me 200 grams of Parma ham = dammi 2 etti di prosciutto di Parma
2. is Maria there? tell her that I want to talk to her = c’è Maria? dille che voglio parlarle
3. let us in = facci entrare
4. go and get me a glass of water, please = vammi a prendere un bicchiere d’acqua
5. these are Giorgio’s reading glasses, give them to him = questi sono gli occhiali da lettura di Giorgio, daglieli
6. this song is beautiful. Let me listen to it again = questa canzone è bellissima. Fammela riascoltare/ascoltare di nuovo

C. Conversation

In a shop window you see a shirt you really like, so you decide to buy it. Translate the English sentences below into Italian. You can refer to these posts: Buying Clothes in Italy part 1 and Buying Clothes in Italy part 2:

Commessa: “Desidera?”
You: “Can I see that shirt that is in the window?”
“Potrei/posso vedere quella camicia che è in vetrina?”
Commessa: “Che taglia le serve?”
You: “44. Can I try it on?”
“La 44. Posso provarla/La posso provare?”
Commessa: “Sì, certo, il camerino è lì in fondo, a destra”
You: “The sleeves are a bit short. Do you have a similar model?”
Le maniche sono un po’ corte. Avete un modello simile?”
Commessa: “Nella 44 abbiamo questa camicia … è un po’ più elegante, ma molto bella”
You: “It’s comfortable … I like it. How much is it?”
“E’ comoda … mi piace. Quant’è/quanto viene/quanto costa?”
Commessa: “Viene 45 euro”
You: “It’s a good price, I might buy two. Do you have other colours?”
“E’ un buon prezzo, quasi quasi ne compro due. Avete altri colori?”
Commessa: “Abbiamo il bianco avorio, il celeste, il lilla, e il grigio”
You: “I like the blue one. I’ll have both shirts”
“Mi piace il celeste. Prendo tutte e due le camice”
Commessa: “Ottima scelta. Sono 90 euro”
You: “Here’s 100 Euros”
“Eccole 100 euro/Ecco 100 euro a lei”
Commessa: “10 euro di resto a lei. Arrivederci e grazie”
You: “See you”
“Arrivederci”

May
1
2016

An Italian Quiz For April – The Solutions

Here are the answers to our recent quiz. Well done those of you who had a go. Those who didn’t, I shall want to hear your excuses, and they’d better be good. None of that “the cat ate it” nonsense!

100_6351

But seriously, give us some feedback, was it too difficult? Did you not feel confident enough to post your answers? Do you have technical difficulties in posting your comments? Do let us know because your comments help us improve our articles.

A. General Knowledge

We asked you to give a complete answer in Italian to the following questions:

1. in quale regione si trovano i trulli? Answer: I trulli si trovano in Puglia
2. come si chiama la piazza dove si corre il Palio di Siena? Answer: La piazza dove si corre il Palio di Siena si chiama Piazza del Campo
3. quale famoso musicista ha composto l’opera ‘La Traviata’? (two possible grammatical constructions) Answer: Giuseppe Verdi ha composto ‘La Traviata’ or ‘La Traviata è stata composta da Giuseppe Verdi
4. quali ingredienti ci vogliono per fare gli spaghetti all’amatriciana? (see this post: The Amatriciana Dilemma) Answer: Per fare gli spaghetti all’amatriciana ci vogliono il guanciale, i pomodori, l’olio d’oliva extravergine, il vino bianco secco, il pecorino grattugiato, il peperoncino, sale e pepe, e gli spaghetti, ovviamente.
5. come si intitola il primo libro della Divina Commedia di Dante? Answer: Il primo libro della Divina Commedia si intitola ‘Inferno’
6. chi ha affrescato la Cappella Sistina? (two possible grammatical constructions) Answer: Michelangelo ha affrescato la Cappella Sistina or la Cappella Sistina è stata affrescata da Michelangelo

These two trees both play an important role in traditional Italian culture and cuisine. Can you identify them? The one on the left is fairly easy, the one on the right is very difficult.

These two trees both play an important role in traditional Italian culture and cuisine. Can you identify them? The one on the left is fairly easy, the one on the right is very difficult.

On the left: olivo, on the right: frassino, also known as l’albero della manna

B. Grammar

Translate the following sentences into Italian using the grammar rules illustrated in Dammi il Cinque Part 1 and Dammi il Cinque Part 2:
1. give me 200 grams of Parma ham = dammi 2 etti di prosciutto di Parma
2. is Maria there? tell her that I want to talk to her = c’è Maria? dille che voglio parlarle
3. let us in = facci entrare
4. go and get me a glass of water, please = vammi a prendere un bicchiere d’acqua
5. these are Giorgio’s reading glasses, give them to him = questi sono gli occhiali da lettura di Giorgio, daglieli
6. this song is beautiful. Let me listen to it again = questa canzone è bellissima. Fammela riascoltare/ascoltare di nuovo

C. Conversation

In a shop window you see a shirt you really like, so you decide to buy it. Translate the English sentences below into Italian. You can refer to these posts: Buying Clothes in Italy part 1 and Buying Clothes in Italy part 2:

Commessa: “Desidera?”
You: “Can I see that shirt that is in the window?”
“Potrei/posso vedere quella camicia che è in vetrina?”
Commessa: “Che taglia le serve?”
You: “44. Can I try it on?”
“La 44. Posso provarla/La posso provare?”
Commessa: “Sì, certo, il camerino è lì in fondo, a destra”
You: “The sleeves are a bit short. Do you have a similar model?”
Le maniche sono un po’ corte. Avete un modello simile?”
Commessa: “Nella 44 abbiamo questa camicia … è un po’ più elegante, ma molto bella”
You: “It’s comfortable … I like it. How much is it?”
“E’ comoda … mi piace. Quant’è/quanto viene/quanto costa?”
Commessa: “Viene 45 euro”
You: “It’s a good price, I might buy two. Do you have other colours?”
“E’ un buon prezzo, quasi quasi ne compro due. Avete altri colori?”
Commessa: “Abbiamo il bianco avorio, il celeste, il lilla, e il grigio”
You: “I like the blue one. I’ll have both shirts”
“Mi piace il celeste. Prendo tutte e due le camice”
Commessa: “Ottima scelta. Sono 90 euro”
You: “Here’s 100 Euros”
“Eccole 100 euro/Ecco 100 euro a lei”
Commessa: “10 euro di resto a lei. Arrivederci e grazie”
You: “See you”
“Arrivederci”

May
1
2016

An Italian Quiz For April – The Solutions

Here are the answers to our recent quiz. Well done those of you who had a go. Those who didn’t, I shall want to hear your excuses, and they’d better be good. None of that “the cat ate it” nonsense!

100_6351

But seriously, give us some feedback, was it too difficult? Did you not feel confident enough to post your answers? Do you have technical difficulties in posting your comments? Do let us know because your comments help us improve our articles.

A. General Knowledge

We asked you to give a complete answer in Italian to the following questions:

1. in quale regione si trovano i trulli? Answer: I trulli si trovano in Puglia
2. come si chiama la piazza dove si corre il Palio di Siena? Answer: La piazza dove si corre il Palio di Siena si chiama Piazza del Campo
3. quale famoso musicista ha composto l’opera ‘La Traviata’? (two possible grammatical constructions) Answer: Giuseppe Verdi ha composto ‘La Traviata’ or ‘La Traviata è stata composta da Giuseppe Verdi
4. quali ingredienti ci vogliono per fare gli spaghetti all’amatriciana? (see this post: The Amatriciana Dilemma) Answer: Per fare gli spaghetti all’amatriciana ci vogliono il guanciale, i pomodori, l’olio d’oliva extravergine, il vino bianco secco, il pecorino grattugiato, il peperoncino, sale e pepe, e gli spaghetti, ovviamente.
5. come si intitola il primo libro della Divina Commedia di Dante? Answer: Il primo libro della Divina Commedia si intitola ‘Inferno’
6. chi ha affrescato la Cappella Sistina? (two possible grammatical constructions) Answer: Michelangelo ha affrescato la Cappella Sistina or la Cappella Sistina è stata affrescata da Michelangelo

These two trees both play an important role in traditional Italian culture and cuisine. Can you identify them? The one on the left is fairly easy, the one on the right is very difficult.

These two trees both play an important role in traditional Italian culture and cuisine. Can you identify them? The one on the left is fairly easy, the one on the right is very difficult.

On the left: olivo, on the right: frassino, also known as l’albero della manna

B. Grammar

Translate the following sentences into Italian using the grammar rules illustrated in Dammi il Cinque Part 1 and Dammi il Cinque Part 2:
1. give me 200 grams of Parma ham = dammi 2 etti di prosciutto di Parma
2. is Maria there? tell her that I want to talk to her = c’è Maria? dille che voglio parlarle
3. let us in = facci entrare
4. go and get me a glass of water, please = vammi a prendere un bicchiere d’acqua
5. these are Giorgio’s reading glasses, give them to him = questi sono gli occhiali da lettura di Giorgio, daglieli
6. this song is beautiful. Let me listen to it again = questa canzone è bellissima. Fammela riascoltare/ascoltare di nuovo

C. Conversation

In a shop window you see a shirt you really like, so you decide to buy it. Translate the English sentences below into Italian. You can refer to these posts: Buying Clothes in Italy part 1 and Buying Clothes in Italy part 2:

Commessa: “Desidera?”
You: “Can I see that shirt that is in the window?”
“Potrei/posso vedere quella camicia che è in vetrina?”
Commessa: “Che taglia le serve?”
You: “44. Can I try it on?”
“La 44. Posso provarla/La posso provare?”
Commessa: “Sì, certo, il camerino è lì in fondo, a destra”
You: “The sleeves are a bit short. Do you have a similar model?”
Le maniche sono un po’ corte. Avete un modello simile?”
Commessa: “Nella 44 abbiamo questa camicia … è un po’ più elegante, ma molto bella”
You: “It’s comfortable … I like it. How much is it?”
“E’ comoda … mi piace. Quant’è/quanto viene/quanto costa?”
Commessa: “Viene 45 euro”
You: “It’s a good price, I might buy two. Do you have other colours?”
“E’ un buon prezzo, quasi quasi ne compro due. Avete altri colori?”
Commessa: “Abbiamo il bianco avorio, il celeste, il lilla, e il grigio”
You: “I like the blue one. I’ll have both shirts”
“Mi piace il celeste. Prendo tutte e due le camice”
Commessa: “Ottima scelta. Sono 90 euro”
You: “Here’s 100 Euros”
“Eccole 100 euro/Ecco 100 euro a lei”
Commessa: “10 euro di resto a lei. Arrivederci e grazie”
You: “See you”
“Arrivederci”

May
1
2016

German Nationalparks – Part 9: Jasmund

In previous months, we have already explored a large part of the geschützte Schönheit (protected beauty) of German nature. We went to the windige Küsten (windy shores) of the Wattenmeer, the eindrucksvolle Felsen (impressive rocks) of the Sächsische Schweiz, the Jahrhunderte alten Wälder  (centuries old forests) of the Bayerischer Wald, the Erzminen (ore mines) in the Harz, the Tiger (tigers) roaming around in the Eifelthe Tausend Seen (thousand lakes) of Müritz, the hohe Gebirge (high mountain ranges) of Berchtesgaden, and the atemberaubende Natur (stunning nature) of the Schwarzwald.

Today, we will discuss another wonderful park, with its own beautiful features – Nationalpark Jasmund, in the north east, right at the Ostsee (Baltic Sea).

The National Parks in Germany (Image by Lencer at Commons.wikimedia.org under license CC BY SA 3.0)

Der Nationalpark Jasmund

The Nationalpark was established on September 12, 1990. It is the smallest German national park, with only 3003 hectares (ca. 7400 acres), and is located on the Halbinsel (peninsula) Jasmund on the Insel (island) Rügen.

In the 19th and in the first half of the 20th century, huge Findlinge (boulders) were removed to expand docks. This allowed the Ostsee to crash into the Kreidefelsen (chalk cliffs) with full force, as the Findlinge could not break the waves anymore. With every storm, even today, the Kreidefelsen are reduced, because the water always tears some of the Kreide (chalk) into the sea. This also means that the landmass of the Nationalpark is shrinking every time…

What is special about the Nationalpark Jasmund?

Die Kreidefelsen

The protruding rock on the left is the Königsstuhl (King’s Chair).

The obvious specialty of Nationalpark Jasmund are the Kreidefelsen (Chalk Rocks). The most impressive is the Königsstuhl (King’s Chair), with an height of 118 m (ca. 360 ft)! As I said above, through storms these Kreidefelsen are eroded bit by bit, and that is a shame for such a rare sight. A good example of this are the Wissower Klinken, which were washed away a lot in a storm in 2005.

Before the storm in 2004 (Image by Lapplaender at Commons.wikimedia.org under license CC BY SA 3.0 de)

After the storm in 2005 (Image by Lapplaender at Commons.wikimedia.org under license CC BY SA 3.0 de)

Der Buchenwald

Another important feature of the forest is the old Buchenwald (beech forest), which is one of the few protected ones in Germany.

TRANSCRIPT

Der Buchenwald auf Rügen durch den wir heute wandern ist ganz außergewöhnlich. Einzigartig, sogar. Deshalb steht er unter besonderem Schutz, und deshalb haben die Vereinten Nationen ihn auch zum Weltnaturerbe erklärt.

TRANSLATION

The Beech Forest on Rügen we’re hiking through today is very extraordinary. Unique, even. That’s why it enjoys special protection, and that’s why the United Nations have declared it as World Heritage.

If you want to the whole movie (with English subtitles!) click here!

So, the Buchenwald is even on the list of World Heritage sites!

Sein Name

The Besucherzentrum (visitor’s center) Königsstuhl close to the Kreidefelsen (Image by Chron-Paul at Commons.wikimedia.org under license CC BY SA 3.0)

What else is special? Sein Name (Its name)! The park is called Jasmund, after the peninsula it is located on. It is one of the most unknown parks of Germany, even though it attracts more than a million visitors every year! How is this possible? The Nationalparkverwaltung (national park administration) does not have a lot of money for advertising to tourists. And the Touristikbranche (tourist industry) mostly advertises with Kreidefelsen and Königsstuhl, the main attractions of the park. The main task of the park is to make sure that all these Besucher (visitors) do not destroy the nature it is supposed to protect!

In the video below you can see the Königsstuhl and how it is connected to the Besucherzentrum. You can actually stand on the Königsstuhl and see the other Kreidefelsen and of course have a stunning view on the Ostsee!

 

I will leave you with a wonderful video of the park, that highlights all of its beauty!

Would you like to visit Nationalpark Jasmund?

Let us know below in the comments, or send us a message on Facebook, by clicking on the button below!

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