Lesson 40 - Body parts

Now we will learn how to describe things about people. We will start with height. The word for height can either be se or sei, but for now, we will just use se. To say something like "I am tall" you would say Se ga takai desuTakai is the adjective for tall or high. Why do we use ga? Because we are talking about yourself, but the thing you want to stress about yourself is your height. You would not say watashi no se. Also, you cannot just say Watashi wa takai desu, for takai also means expensive. If you don't specify that you're talking about your height, people will think you are saying you are expensive instead. Conversely, you can say you're short or low by replacing takai with hikui. Two more adjectives to learn that will be handy are nagai (long) and mijikai (short).

The word for hair is kami no ke. Literally it means "fur of the gods". The word for the eyes is me, the legs/feet are ashi, the arms/hands are te, your nose is hana (remember, hana also means flower, so be clear about what you're talking about!) , your mouth is kuchi, the ears are mimi, your head is atama, and your stomach is onaka. Your chest would be mune, the neck is kubi, and your back is senaka.

Another handy thing to know is gender. Boy is otoko no ko while girl is onna no ko. The words otoko andonna mean "male" and "female" respectively, and ko is short for kodomo, or child, so therefore, each literally means "male child" and "female child".

Also, if you wanted to say "I wear glasses" you would say Megane o kakemasu or if you don't, you could say Megane o kakemasen. The verb kakemasu means "to hang" and megane means glasses, so the phrase literally means "I hang glasses". A few little bonuses for this lesson.

To say students of various different levels of school, you would say shougakusei (elementary school student), chuugakusei (middle school student), and koukousei (high school student). The time word ichinichijuu means "all day long" and the verb souji shimasu means "to clean". Let's describe someone, shall we?

For example if we have a small girl called Eiko: 
Eiko chan wa onna no ko desu. Se ga hikui desu. Kami no ke ga murasaki desu. Mijikai desu. Me ga midori desu. Megane o kakemasen. Ashi mo te mo mijikai desu.
Put into English, that would say "Eiko is a girl. She is short. Her hair is purple. It is short. Her eyes are green. She doesn't wear glasses. Both her arms and legs are short."

Vocabulary Review
背 Se/sei- height
高い Takai- tall/high/expensive
低い Hikui- short/low
長い Nagai- long
短い Mijikai- short
髪の毛 Kami no ke- hair
目 Me- eyes
足 Ashi- legs/feet
手 Te- arms/hands
鼻 Hana- nose
口 Kuchi- mouth
耳 Mimi- ears
頭 Atama- head
御腹 Onaka- stomach
畝 Mune- chest
首 Kubi- neck
背中 Senaka- back
男 Otoko- male
女 Onna- female
子供 Kodomo- child
男の子 Otoko no ko- boy
女の子 Onna no ko- girl
目がね Megane- glasses
掛けます Kakemasu- to hang
掃除します Souji shimasu- to clean
小学生 Shougakusei- elementary school student
中学生 Chuugakusei- middle school student
高校生 Koukousei- high school student
一日中 Ichinichijuu- all day long