100 Japanese Things

In Which 100 Japanese Things Shall Be Revealed, So That You May Learn Much Japanese From Them

Thing #7:みんなの歌 (Minna no Uta) March 24, 2008

Filed under: beginner,Uncategorized — markyg80 @ 7:04 am
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If you want to learn some songs a nice place you might want to start is みんなの歌 (みんなのうた).

(video embed now removed from YouTube, but some obscure site has it, just follow this link and scroll down)

I stopped studying French at age 13, but still resonating around my brain are such lyrics as “Bonjour monsieur bonjour madame, bonjour mademoiselle, je me presente, je m’appelle Fabian Petit, Je suis Fabian Petit…”, and, “tu as un animal? ” The reason for me saying this is, of course, that I think lyrics have a wonderful way of sticking to your brain, whether you want them to or not (cut to me singing the “tu as un animal” song to myself).

Moving on, みんなの歌 simply means “songs for everyone” and that’s what they are. They are aired on NHK everyday around 4.30ish and, more importantly, any time you like on YouTube. If you do happen to catch them on TV everyday you’ll be pleased to see that they keep the same songs for a week or two so you can get lots of practice in before you display your skills at karaoke (yes, they have most of the songs at karaoke).

I personally love these songs simply for what they are (aside from the Japanese practice), my favourite is 「僕は熊」 “I Am A Bear” (scroll down linked page to view). From which you can learn a useful phrase like:



my main rival is fried shrimp

Another favourite is「じーじーの絵手紙」(「じーじーのえてがみ」), “Grandfather’s Picture Letters“).

From this you can learn a phrase like:



playing on on the boat I got a wee bit aroused“, or a less
risqué translation might be “playing on the boat, its all a bit exciting“.

Truth be told, this next song gives me a bit of a headache, but it’s got a good message so I shall throw caution to the wind. It’s in support of the もったいない campaign, もったいない in this case means “wasteful”, but beware its multitude of meanings.

It’s called もったいない.

Useful sentence:

「お水の流しっぱなしは Ah~ もったいない」

「おみずのながしっぱなしは Ah~ もったいない」

“leaving the water running is Ah~ wasteful”

And that makes sense in any language.

There are plenty of みんあの歌 songs around and new ones coming out on NHK all the time and all the videos have subtitles too so you can learn the words fairly trouble free. Enjoy!


One Response to “Thing #7:みんなの歌 (Minna no Uta)”

  1. Jes Says:

    This entry, above all else, has helped me so much with my Japanese studies. The songs are a) subbed, b) catchy, and c) in bite-size chunks.

    I love Minna no Uta!

    If anyone wants a streaming playlist of Minna no Uta songs, they can go to this link: http://mixtube.org/playlist.php?id=1251

    Not all of the songs are from Minna no Uta, but they are all simple and catchy.

    “Ippon demo, ninjin…”

    (I like streaming the songs while I’m doing homework.)

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