What is my Japanese penpal saying?
I know he’s asking a question, because “ka” is at the end of every question in Japanese.
“Nihongo” is literally “japanese”
And “anata” means he’s referring to me.
Is he asking if I speak Japanese?
If so,, would I say
“Hai, watashi wa wakari-mas skosh”?
“Skosh” is “a bit”, but how to I do the word order?
Where would “ni-hong-go-ga” fit in my sentence?
“anata ha nihonngo oboemasita ka”
1. “ha” must be “wa” when the particle “は” is used as a subject marker.
2. “nihonngo” should be “nihongo”.
( ka” is a question marker, as you said.)
Anata wa nihongo o oboeteimashita ka?
The word oboeru means learn or remember. (Anyway an act putting something into your memory)
So what your penpal want to say is;
Did” you been remember Japanese (language) ?”
or “Did you been learn Japanese (language) ?”
or “Have your learned Japanese (language) ?”
The simplest ways to answer in a casual way are;
“Zenzen” = “Never”
“Sukoshi” = “A little”
“Takusan” = “A lot of”
If you want say “I understand Japanese a little”using the phrase “”ni-hong-go-ga”; you cannnot.
Because the particle “ga” cannot be used as a object marker in this case.
“I learned Japanese language a little.” =
“Hai. Nihongo o sukoshi oboe mashita.” or “Hai. Nihongo o sukoshi narai mashita.”
Kappa’s sentence “iie, zenzen oboemasen” is unnatural. No Japanese use such a phrase.
(which is normally spelled as “anata wa nihongo oboemas(h)ita ka”, as Ensenada has pointed out.)
anata = “you”
wa = the topical particle
nihongo = “Japanese language”
oboemashita = the polite past tense form of “oboeru”, “to memorize/learn”
ka = the question particle
So it’s like “Have you learned some Japanese?”
I think the most natural way to respond to this would be “Hai. Nihongo o sukoshi oboe mashita”, as Ensenada has said, using the past tense form “oboe mashita” cos your penpal used the past tense form “oboemashita ka”.
If you want to use “wakari masu(= I understand)”, “sukoshi(= a bit)” and “nihongo ga”, then I think you could say like “(watashi wa) nihongo ga sukoshi wakari masu” (the subject “watashi wa” can be left out as implied), which literally means “I understand Japanese a little”.
As for romanizations, “anata ha nihonngo oboemasita ka” is Wāpuro rōmaji >>>https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W%C4%81pur…
In Hepburn romanization it’d be “anata wa nihongo oboemashita ka”, and
in Kunrei-shiki/Nippon-shiki romanization it’d be “anata wa nihongo oboemasita ka”.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanizati…
(I don’t know which ones KAPPA is referring to by “the 1st and 2nd sets”, though.)
I remembered a little bit = “hai, sukosi oboetemasu”
I don’t remember at all = “iie, zenzen oboetemasen”
Romaji is not an official alphabet, I hope you know that. The romaji their penpal wrote, the 1st set, is how Japanese would write it if it was in kana. The romaji that you wrote, the 2nd set, is what a foreigner were to learn first before they learn kana. Japanese people that are used to the 1st type of romaji will not understand you if you use the 2nd set.
I still mistakenly type “furu” (2nd set) instead of “huru” (1st set) and they would not understand me.
I originally used “omoidasu”, until I looked back at his friend’s question and he used “oboemasu”. So I just went back and changed that word without looking at the rest of the sentence.