Online Course
Dec 5, 2016
3 Students Enrolled
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The Ainu are an indigenous group living in Japan. No one knows really where they originally came from, there is speculation that they arrived from Siberia, but no one has been able to prove that yet.

For this reason, relatively little is known about this small group of people, that today lives mainly in Hokkaido. Indeed, the Japanese themselves are vague when discussing the Ainu people and their culture, which stems also from the marginalisation by the Japanese government. Their access to Ainu culture is very limited and often reduced to general or superficial information, that has more the aim of being merely amusing or bizarre rather than being actually educational.

In 2008 the Ainu won partial recognition of their unique language and culture in Japan. This has coincided with a slightly increased profile for the Ainu and, among some, expressions of pride in the culture. But unlike native American tribes in the United States, they do not own land as a people, or have national status.

The language of Ainu is the only non-Japonic language spoken in Japan and UNESCO estimates that there are only 15 speakers left however, the actual number is very likely to be lower. This makes the language critically endangered and in need of saving now.

There are three distinct varieties: Hokkaido, Sakhalin, and Kuril. In this ten week course, you will be learning how to speak the Hokkaido variety, which is the most widely known. At the same time, you will also gain knowledge about the Sakhalin variety.

✔ Introduce yourself, greet others and ask questions

✔ Talk about your family and friends and understand the family structures of the community of speakers

✔ Describe objects, people, and situations accurately

✔ Buy (and even bargain over!) typical products, clothing, and food at the local market

✔ Ask for directions to go to the most relevant spots

✔ Learn how to get around the town or village

✔ Maintain reasonably simple conversations with native speakers

✔ Learn the unique history of the community

✔ Learn about the local’s worldviews and beliefs

✔ Learn to appreciate local poetry and songs

✔ Learn the rich history behind traditional garments

✔ Learn how cultural heritage is expressed through arts and crafts

✔ Learn how to cook local dishes by reading recipes in the target language

Section 1Week 1 - The Ainu alphabet and self-introduction
Lecture 1Listening and reading
Lecture 2The Ainu alphabet
Lecture 3Vowels
Lecture 4Consonants
Lecture 5Write what you hear
Lecture 6 Choose the right answer
Lecture 7Consonant combinations
Lecture 8What’s the pronunciation?
Lecture 9Stress: rules and irregularities
Lecture 10Write what you hear
Lecture 11Select the right answer
Lecture 12Listening and reading
Lecture 13Introducing yourself in Ainu
Lecture 14Insert the right word
Lecture 15Vocabulary
Lecture 16Goodbye
Section 2Week 2 - Describing events 1
Lecture 17Listening and reading
Lecture 18Word order
Lecture 19Transitive and intransitive verbs
Lecture 20Vocabulary
Lecture 21Compose the sentence
Lecture 22Transitive or intransitive?
Lecture 23Transitive-intransitive pairs
Lecture 24Third person subject and object
Lecture 25Translate
Lecture 26Mix and match
Lecture 27Ne and an
Lecture 28Reading and listening
Lecture 29Explanation of the vocabulary
Lecture 30Correct the mistake
Section 3Week 3 - Describing events 2
Lecture 31Listening and reading
Lecture 32Ditransitive verbs: the verb kore
Lecture 33Vocabulary
Lecture 34Translate
Lecture 35More personal forms
Lecture 36Subjects and objects 1
Lecture 37Subjects and objects 2
Lecture 38Stress with personal forms
Lecture 39Mix and match!
Lecture 40You and I, me and you
Lecture 41Numbers
Lecture 42Listening comprehension
Section 4Week 4 - “How many?”
Lecture 43Reading and listening
Lecture 44Vocabulary
Lecture 45This, that, these, those
Lecture 46Visible or not?
Lecture 47Plural verbs
Lecture 48One or many?
Lecture 49Counting
Lecture 50How many?
Lecture 51Reading and listening
Lecture 52Negative verbs and the word 'ka'
Lecture 53Translation
Lecture 54Fourth person
Lecture 55How do I say 'this' in Ainu?
Section 5Week 5 - Asking questions
Lecture 56Reading and listening
Lecture 57What happened?
Lecture 58Vocabulary
Lecture 59Interrogative sentences
Lecture 60Composition
Lecture 61Listening comprehension
Lecture 62Ruwe or hawe?
Lecture 63Choose the right answer
Lecture 64Now or then?
Lecture 65Reading and listening
Lecture 66‘Just’ and ‘maybe’
Lecture 67Correct the mistake
Lecture 68The Ainu family
Section 6Week 6 - “The weather is nice”
Lecture 69Reading and listening
Lecture 70Vocabulary
Lecture 71Future and polite requests
Lecture 72Complete verbs
Lecture 73The assertive particle 'humi'
Lecture 74Translate
Lecture 75Space and location 1
Lecture 76Space and location 2
Lecture 77Describe the picture
Lecture 78What’s missing?
Lecture 79Location, persons, and time
Lecture 80Listening comprehension
Lecture 81Turano
Lecture 82With whom?
Lecture 83The passing of time in the Ainu culture.
Section 7Week 7 - “I don’t eat meat”
Lecture 84Reading and listening
Lecture 85Vocabulary
Lecture 86Negative form
Lecture 87Positive to negative
Lecture 88Isn’t that your brother?
Lecture 89Negative questions
Lecture 90Build the sentence
Lecture 91Space and time: a quick review
Lecture 92More plural verbs
Lecture 93Which form?
Lecture 94Listening and reading
Lecture 95Conjunctions
Lecture 96The right conjuction
Lecture 97Find the mistake
Lecture 98Ainus and quantities
Section 8Week 8 - Describing things and people
Lecture 99Reading and listening
Lecture 100Vocabulary
Lecture 101Qualitative verbs
Lecture 102The assertive 'siri'
Lecture 103Describe the picture
Lecture 104Ruwe, hawe, humi or siri?
Lecture 105Listening and reading
Lecture 106Degrees and comparisons 1
Lecture 107Degrees and comparisons 2
Lecture 108Listening comprehension
Lecture 109The conjunction 'kusu'
Lecture 110Translation
Lecture 111Vocabulary review
Lecture 112Ainus and colors
Section 9Week 9 - Review and further information
Lecture 113Verb classes and personal forms: an overview
Lecture 114More about stress and personal forms
Lecture 115Translation
Lecture 116Locations and time
Lecture 117What’s missing?
Lecture 118Listening comprehension
Lecture 119Conjunctions
Lecture 120Translation
Lecture 121Numbers and their position
Lecture 122Composition
Lecture 123Listening comprehension