Olympus PEN E-P3 Campaign

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!)


よやく キャンペーン

Pre-order Campaign

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.

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9 Responses to Gakuu. Studying with Real Japanese

  1. Sabrina September 29, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    This is pretty cool! Right now I’m studying on Textfugu which is great! I belive Gakuu can be really helpul too. What I like most is that its for pre-intermediate to advanced level students. So you can’t say its the same thing over and over again… students can actually improve their knowledge here. Thank you very much for creating this site. Have a nice day :)

    • Gakuranman September 30, 2010 at 1:09 am #

      Hi Sabrina! Thank you for your comment :).

      That’s definitely our aim. I love Textfugu for beginners and really getting students a solid grounding in the language, but afterwards (and even while) studying the basics, it can really help to encounter raw Japanese material. You don’t have to understand everything at first, but feeling challenged and picking up little bits here and there that are extra to your learning the basics helps expand your mind. Let me know if you have any more questions! More demonstration material will be up soon! We are currently having a special launch sale price for early adopters, so check out the pricing page if interested :).

      • Sabrina September 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

        Thanks for your reply. :) Unfortunately I’m even still miles away from the intermediate level. But I’ll definetly return to Gakuu when I get to this point. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the extra demonstration material. :) Keep up the good work.

        • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 12:21 am #

          Sure thing :). Let me know if you have any other questions or suggestions for things you’d like to see on Gakuu!

  2. missingno15 October 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    When I looked at this, I first thought to myself, “aw hell no, gakuranman is doing the same thing as koichi…even the website layout is similar”. But then I realized “it’s aimed at pre-intermediate to advanced level students” which is perfect for my situation right now because I now really want to excel way past beginner. So basically, Gakuu really complements Textfugu. Can’t wait for more lessons to see how this is gonna be like so I can decide if its worth getting.

    • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

      Hey there! Thanks for dropping by :). No way – Koichi and I are buds. I’ve always loved teaching the more advanced stuff so it worked out perfectly. I’ll be adding more stuff in the coming days, so please stay tuned!

      • Lee Aloy October 23, 2016 at 5:20 am #


        I am sorry to ask this silly question. Are you Japanese?
        am hoping to find a Japanese friends here please shot me an email:

  3. DumbOtaku (percent20) October 3, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    This is really cool. I am glad to see more online content going beyond just teaching hirigana and katakana. That is what I try to do on my blog, but with to little consistency. Glad to see an expert do it, btw already a signed-up paid member now. :)

    • Gakuranman October 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

      Glad to have you man! Look forward to hearing any suggestions you have for the site and future lessons :)

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