Learn Origami and Japanese
Anna Baffa VolpeGet in touch with me
12 min reading time
皆 さん、こんにちは！ Welcome back!
Today we do an exercise a little different from those proposed so far.
Below we share a short video teaching the technique of making an
origami (折り紙). The name of this ancient Japanese art is known as "Origami" in all countries and the meaning is fold paper:
折り verb base from 折 る the verb
I chose this video because each passage shows the sentence written in Japanese and the voice of the origami artist explaining. It is an exercise in reading, understanding and listening.
Below I transcribed each single sentences with the translation. I recommend listening to the video once or twice while looking at the sentences and then reading the kanji and new words with the various grammar rules.
Materials needed to make an origami
Let's see what the master asks at the beginning of the video: 必要な物,
the things that are needed for the realization:
In each passage and sentence we will find new terms and grammar rules for the conjugation of verbs.
In some passages I will focus on the rule or term to be clarified. It is an opportunity to review for those who already know the terms, and an opportunity to study and research ideas for those who have not yet seen the kanji and the words listed.
Verbs in the form masu
We will find throughout the video and the explanation the verb:
Recall that the verb in Japanese is not conjugated according to the person, so the same form applies to all people.
verbs used in this video at the end of the sentence are all in the masu form affirmative and in the present tense.
Well, let's try to make it right now.
In this sentence we have seen another very common and widely used form in the Japanese language: the Te form.
In particular the main verb in the て form combined with the verb 見る, which translates
try to do something,
try to do something.
貝殻, the shell
The video is taken from a series called 夏の折り紙, the
summer origami. In this episode the
shell has been chosen as the theme and object.
We can also use the expression:
how to fold a shell
折り方 has the same structure as 折り紙, use the base in i and the noun 方, which in this case means
how to write a kanji, from the verb 書く in its base in i + kata
Turn the sheet over and position it so that the corners are top and bottom, left and right.
Make sure you ...
Verb 1 + ように + Verb 2
The verb in the dictionary form or base in u + ように + another verb: translates the concept of
to do in order to.
Let's hurry up in order to make it in time for the bus!
Verb 1 is 間に合
to be in time + ように ＋ verb 2 急ぐ
hurry, in its exhortative form 急ごう!
裏 means the
返す is a verb which means
裏返す which unites the two concepts to form the verb
Right, left, top and bottom
The reported pronunciations of the 4 kanji are
kun pronunciations, Japanese pronunciations.
Kun Readings and On Kanji Readings
The kun pronunciation of a kanji is of Japanese origin, it is the Japanese word that has been associated with that kanji.
Bend the bottom corner in line with the top.
In the following sentence you will notice instead that the kanji 左 and 右 have another pronunciation:
左 reading yū for left
右 reading sa for the right
Here we have the reading according to the
The pronunciation on is of Chinese origin, it is generally shorter than the pronunciation kun and is used when two kanji join together and form a new word.
To differentiate the two pronunciations it is possible to find the kun reading written in hiragana and the on reading in katakana; if you use the
Latin characters, the pronunciation kun is written in small block and the on in Uppercase.
Fold the left and right corners together.
折り筋 is a word you will often hear in the art of origami:
筋 has several meanings, from
fiber, but also
crawlas in our case
折り筋 is therefore the
fold, often also translated
Fold the left and right corners together at the center.
Fold the two middle corners together with the outer corners.
We find the
て form, widely used in the Japanese language and with various meanings. You will notice that when he talks about folding he not only uses the verb 折る, but he precedes it with another verb: 合わせる in its te form:
- 合わせる means
joinin its te form becomes 合わせて + 折ります
In this case the te form has the value of coordinate proposition, expressed by the conjunction and:
join and fold, which we also render with
fold in line with ...
Open the left and right side.
The center of everything is 中心
街の中心部 city center
歴史的中心部 the historic center
地球の中心 center of the Earth
The central adjective becomes 中心の or 中心的な:
- 中心的な存在 is a central person, that is
a key personfor the situation
Fold the left and right edges in line with the center crease.
- 端 represents the
edgeof the sheet
The geometric figure of the
triangle is translated 三角 or 三角形, where the kanji 形 indicates the
figure, and the
Bend the right triangle to the left.
- 倒す in the masu form: 倒 します, the verb used in the sentence above means
to drop something,
put something on its side,
Fold the bottom right edge in line with the center crease.
Turn the two triangles to the right.
- めくる which in the masu form becomes めくります has the meaning of
flip through a book
Fold the bottom left edge towards the center crease.
Rotate the triangle to the right.
なるようになる "that will be" / "will be"
noun + になるように
なる is the verb
to becomeand is preceded by the particle に for example: 技師 になる
become an engineerThe meaning is therefore
to make something become ...
Bend so that the top corner is flush with the left and right corners.
Let's go back to our expression with なる and translate it literally:
- 上の角が左右の角と同じぐらいの高さになるように折る: bend so that the top corner becomes approximately the same height as the left and right corner
Bend the lower left and right corners slightly.
just a little,
ほんの 少し + verb: ほんの少し 食べる
ほんの 少し + の + noun ほんの少しの勇気で
with a little courage
When a person thanks us for a gift, we respond using the expression in the image above: ほんの少しの 気持ち or simply ほんの気持:
of nothing, it's just a thought.
Turn the paper over and draw a pattern with the marker.
The shell is complete.
yatta!: finished, well, we did it!