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LESSON 12- What nationality are you?

Of course, if you are a traveler abroad, it is handy to be able to say what nationality you are. You've learned that the word hito means person, but there are three more ways to say it: jin, nin, and kata, which is a very polite way to say it. When talking about nationality, you use jin. When saying a nationality, first you say the country, then you add jin onto it. (Remember, the countries have Japanese pronunciations) The word for the United States in Japanese is AMERIKA, so if you wanted to say American, you would write AMERIKAjin. (A more complete list of countries will be listed in the Vocabulary Review) If you wanted to say "I am an American", you would say AMERIKAjin desu, or if you wanted to say you aren't American, you would say AMERIKAjin dewa arimasen. If you wanted to ask "Are you American?", you would say AMERIKAjin desu ka.
A more formal way of asking nationality is Doko no kata desu ka. The word doko means "where". It basically means "What is your nationality?" or "Where are you from?". Remember, kata is the polite way to say "person".
One more way of asking is Nanjin desu ka. Nanjin means "what person". The literal translations is "What person are you?" but it is taken as "What nationality are you?"
Let's try a conversation. Emily, who is Italian, is meeting Hans, who is German, for the first time.
Emily: Konnichi wa. Watashi wa EMURI desu.
Hans: Konnichi wa, EMURI san. Watashi no namae wa HANSU desu. Doko no kata desu ka.
Emily: ITARIAjin desu. Nanjin desu ka. OOSUTORARIAjin desu ka.
Hans: Iie, OOSUTORARIAjin dewa arimasen. DOITSUjin desu.
Emily: Aa, hajimemashite douzo yoroshiku. [bows]
Hans: Hajimemashite. [bows]
In the beginning, Emily says "Hello. I am Emily." Hans replies "Hello, Emily. My name is Hans. Where are you from?" Emily replies "I am Italian. What is your nationality? Are you Australian?" (ITARIA is the Japanese for Italy and OOSUTORARIA is Japanese for Australia) Hans replies "No, I am not Australian. I am Germn." (DOITSU is Japanese for Germany. It may not sound like "Germany" because it comes from the word "Deutsche".) Emily then says nice to meet you and Hans says it in reply.
Another thing you may want to make note of is that when you add go onto the end of a country, it means their language. Therefore, FURANSUgo (FURANSU means France) would be "French". This doesn't work for all countries though, like America. We speak English and therefore cannot say AMERIKAgo. The word for "English" is Eigo. This applies to other countries as well, like Mexico, England, and some South American countries.

Vocabulary Review
Jin- person
Nin- person
Kata- person (very polite)
何人 Nanjin- what person
何処 Doko- where
アメリカ AMERIKA- America
オーストラリア OOSUTORARIA- Australia
カナダ KANADA- Canada
中国 Chuugoku- China
韓国 Kankoku- Korea
イギリス IGIRISU- England
ドイツ DOITSU- Germany
フランス FURANSU- France
オランダ ORANDA- Holland
インド INDO- India
イタリア ITARIA- Italy
ニュージーランド NYUUJIIRANDO- New Zealand
ロシア ROSHIA- Russia
メキシコ MEKISHIKO- Mexico
スペイン SUPEIN- Spain

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