Campaigns and special offers are a big part of life in Japan. You get discount coupons and points for just about everything you purchase, and store owners will be more than happy to give you a membership card to encourage you back.
Taking advantage of these offers is not easy though, especially the points system. That could be the topic of several very long posts in itself! But today I thought I’d introduce a good example of a type of offer you might come across in Japan. This one is a pre-order bonus, in particular for the soon-to-be-released Olympus PEN E-P3. (You might have guessed that I’m a bit of a fan!)
Key word here that should grab your attention is 予約. This can be anything ranging from a pre-order in this case, to something like a hotel reservation, booking at the dentist or an appointment. Basically it’s something done in advance.
Below that we see: PENは、第３世代へ。OLYMPUS PEN E-P3.
Any ideas? I’ll give you a hint – 世代 (せだい), means generation, and へ is the particle showing direction.
えらべる みっつの コース
Choose from 3 courses
Nothing too special here. We can see the verb 選ぶ – to choose – being used in the potential form as 選べる – can choose. It’s highlighting that you can or cannot do something – in this case, can! You can choose from…
きかんちゅう「E-P3」を ごよやくのうえ ごこうにゅう、 ごおうぼいただいた かたに、 もれなく プレゼント！
Everyone who pre-orders the E-P3 within the set period and buys camera will receive a present!
Okay, here’e where things get trickier. We’ve got a mixture of keigo, beefy kanji words and the odd unusual term thrown in. Not to mention that no subject is mentioned at all! Let’s start by breaking down the vocab, shall we?
期間中 – Throughout the period. 期間 simply means a period of time and 中 means ‘inside’. Easy, no?
予約 – reservation
購入 – buy. This is the harder, written form of 買う. If you’re ever searching online, use 購入 to search for products to buy.
応募 – apply for. Used for sending in applications to campaigns like this or even job applications!
方 – people/person. It can also mean way or direction, but you can tell from the context which it is here.
Okay, so you probably have a better idea of the sentence now. Let’s fit it all together:
期間中「E-P3」をご予約の上ご購入、ご応募いただいた方に、もれなくプレゼント！ So: inside the period, E-P3, reserve, buy, support, people – present!
You’ve got it, right? And with no understanding of the grammar at all. That’s how important it is to widen your vocabulary and learn your kanji!
So let’s look at those missing grammar points. First, の上. This is a more advanced expression used often with keigo and other forms of polite or proper speech and writing. In this sentence, 上 or 上に is used to mean それに – on top of. In other words, ‘on top doing x, also do y’. So, ‘on top of 予約, also do 購入’ – reserve *and* buy.
That's not all! Log in to see the rest of this lesson.
Or if you aren't a member yet, please consider signing up.