Sunday, February 26, 2006
You can clearly hear the guy saying "ありがとうございました" and "紹介します！" if you want some listening practice at normal speed.
Plus the link is just good fun. I think I'm going to watch it one more time...
Saturday, February 25, 2006
I learned this word during my first year of studying Japanese at University because I had a tendancy (like all poor college kids) to gorge myself at events with free food. A Japanese exchange student whom I had befriended was kind enough to laugh at my drooping face and exclaim "満腹！" very loudly which caused a number of people to look over in our general direction though they had no idea what he was saying.
It's also polite to say this word because it conveys a sense of "damn that food was good so I ate too much" with it. I recommend using this whenever you're sat down at a homestay and the dad or mom makes you a large meal. They will chuckle because this is kind of a slang term (yet not dirty in any way). Just one more way to make those in-roads towards lost of Japanese friends and cross-cultural communications!
Friday, February 24, 2006
ぼけ means "moron." I know this because my girlfriend said it to me this afternoon in jest (I think). I suppose other useful terms would be along the lines of "idiot," or "stupid," or "airhead" (well maybe not airhead - that's a relic from my middle school years).
As always, in English or in Japanese, using a word with the proper intonation is important in order to convey the correct meaning. You could, quite literally, scream this word in someone's face and find yourself in a very unpleasant situation as a result of all their friends taking exception to such name-calling, or you could say it to a friend and mean it only in a teasing way.
Sarcasm rules no matter where you hail from.
So why are you still reading ぼけ～！
Thursday, February 23, 2006
I found this passage on the internet recently:
A university student while visiting Gasan asked him: "Have you ever read the Christian Bible?"
"No, read it to me," said Gasan.
The student opened the Bible and read from St. Matthew: "And why take ye thought for rainment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these... Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself."
Gasan said: "Whoever uttered those words I consider an enlightened man."
The student continued reading: "Ask and it shall be given you, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asketh receiveth, and he that seeketh findeth, and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened."
Gasan remarked: "That is excellent. Whoever said that is not far from Buddhahood."
This passage is particularly relevant for anyone from the West who seeks to visit the East. I make no religious endorsement whatsoever about the passage; I wish only to explain that the man Gasan is from a different culture than that which produced the Christian Bible - yet he appreciates what he hears. A wise man is able to see value in things that are beyond his own sphere of influence or sphere of thought. It is very important to keep in mind when you are visiting another country that there is value in opinions which are not your own. Perhaps you may experience a heightened sense of value precisely because they are not your own.I have experienced the clashing of cultures during my time here in Japan. I have not met each clash with dignity and openness I am ashamed to admit. I like to think, however, that as my time here winds on, I open more and more to ideas that are not my own.
Just a bit of advice about life in another country.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
I like this word and am blogging it today because it gets used with a very exasperated intonation at times. I was listening to my girlfriend tell me a story about her workday, all in English, and she gets near the end of the story, doesn't know the word she wants to use in English, and sighs in a very "I'm so fed up at this point" kind of way - 結局 (haha I can italicize it).
Anyway - that's how it came out.
I think the best way to think of this word is to imagine a very unhappy girlfriend or a rather irritated boyfriend using it as a one-word exclamation - Finally! - with hands thrown up in the air where appropriate in your personal situation.
Grammatically you can use it to introduce a new sentence as in:
ハンバーグかパスタで迷って、結局、パスタを食べた（ハンバーグかパスタでまよって、けっきょく、パスタをたべた) - I was stuck between pasta and hamburger (for dinner), but finally (at last), I had pasta.
And that's the word of the day!
Monday, February 20, 2006
ぼっこしお腹が痛い(ぼっこしおなかがいたい、bokkoshi onaka ga itai) - My stomach really hurts (and I think I'm going to die).
ぼっこしウケタ！！(ぼっこしウケタ、bokkoshi uketa) - OMFGLMAO (for the chat addicts) -or- HOLY @#^@ THAT WAS FUNNY!! (for the rest of us).
I really wish that Japanese had some kind of upper case system so that I could go ぼっこしウケタ！！ in a chat room or something and everyone would be like "pipe down" and "quit shouting."
That would be nice...
If you know the only kanji present in the expression in the title line, then you've got some idea what the word might mean.
For those that don't know, 知 (し、shi) is the kanji for "know" or "understand" as in you know when Columbus landed on the Eastern shores of the US. A fact or some piece of information considered knowledge (not how to make 300 different kinds of shots - that is another skill set entirely).
知るか literally means "how in the @#%^ should I know?!" and should be said/yelled as such in moments of extreme stress. My partner was taking the piss this morning, but she nailed me with one of my own words from the past. She doesn't really like "colorful" language. It seems like no matter where you go - you can't find girls that allow you to curse like a sailor - even in their native tongue.
Bust this one out to your Japanese friends. Brilliant reactions await.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
That really makes me upset.
This word is something that you'll encounter at least once if you work in Japan for a period of 12 months or longer. It literally translates as Health Check, and it's something every working man or woman in Japan has to go through. My company finds the lowest bidder health service, brings them in, lets them listen to our heartbeat and has us cough a couple times, then sends us on our way. They have about as much chance of finding something wrong with us as dogs have of seeing the world in color.
The short version: 健 means "health," 康 means "health," so you have "health health" or some word that very likely has something to do with health. Imagine that.
診 means "investigate, analyze" and 断 means "end, finish, terminate," so you can assume that they are trying to infer the doctor analyzes your fully and completely.
And this pair might seem a bit more difficult than "health health," but the first kanji holds power over the whole word (true in many cases - that's why it comes first, to set the tone as it were). So "analyze or investigate" from the second line coupled with "end, stop, finish" can be interpreted as "checking thorougly" or "leaving no stone left unturned." So without being able to read these kanji (and I admit the first time I saw them I had absolutely no idea beyond "ken" how to pronounce them) you can understand what it means in context.
Especially when there are a ton of nurses and doctors standing around and people waiting in line with small cups...