Lesson 20 - Practice music

In the previous lessons, you learned how to say that you study and practice. Now we're going to find out how to say what you are studying and practicing. Practicing is used when you are talking about an instrument of some sort and can be used when talking about sports as well. A few useful instruments to know, all written in Japanese-english, are PIANO (piano), GITAA (guitar), BAIORIN (violin), and FURUUTO (flute). With studying, here are the basic subjects: kagaku (science), chiri (geography), ongaku (music), rekishi (history), shakai (social studies), suugaku (math), and taiiku (physical education). You may also use a language as an area of study if you are indeed studying that language.

Let's use a sample conversation between Yuu and Gara about what they study and practice.

Gara: Konnichi wa, Yuu kun.
Yuu: Konnichi wa, Gara kun. Nani o shimasu ka.
Gara: Benkyou shimasu.
Yuu: Nani o benkyou shimasu ka.
Gara: Rekishi ya suugaku ya kagaku o benkyou shimasu.
Yuu: Sou desu ka.
Gara: Hai. Nani o shimasu ka.
Yuu: Renshuu shimasu.
Gara: Nani o renshuu shimasu ka.
Yuu: GITAA to PIANO o renshuu shimasu.
Gara: Sou desu ka. Ja mata.
Yuu: Ja mata, Gara kun.

I introduced two new little words in this conversation. The suffix kun is similar to san, except it is used only by males and among friends. It is informal. Another one is to, which is similar to ya, as it means "and". The difference is that ya is an "and" used when the list can go on, but you end it. For example, if someone says Chiri ya shakai o benkyoo shimasu, they are really saying, "I study geography and shakai among other things." To is used when it is a definite list with nothing else that could be with it. For example, if someone said Chiri to shakai o benkyou shimasu, it is almost like saying, "I only study geography and social studies."

Basically, in the conversation, after saying hello, Yuu asks Gara what he is doing. Gara replies he is studying so Yuu inquires what he is studying. Gara replies that he studies history, math, and science among other things. Gara asks in return what Yuu is doing and Yuu replies that he is practicing. When asked what he was practicing, he replied "I am practicing the piano and guitar".


ピアノ Piano Piano
ギター Gitaa Gitar
バイオリン Baiorin Violin
フルート Furuuto Flute
科学 Kagaku Science
地理 Chiri Geography
音楽 Ongaku Music
歴史 Rekishi History
社会 Shakai Social studies
数学 Suugaku Math
体育 Taiiku  Physical education
くん Kun Pal / friend, used for males only
To  "and" in a definite list