Friday, March 18, 2011

I just saw the saddest thing on the news

It goes without saying that a cry for help from the victim of a tragedy will tug on your heart in new and excruciating ways. When said victim writes a letter and sends it to a news station because they cannot use the phone, the Internet or any form of broadcast communications, you can sense a tear welling in the back of your eye even before said letter gets read aloud.

Of course, in such a situation, the network absolutely must choose the guy or gal with the saddest, meekest possible voice to read said letter from said victim.

The letter that choked me up in the passive aggressive sense said, in closing, 頑張りも限界です。

If you have been a student of Japanese for any amount of time, you know that 頑張ります! is to a Japanese person all of "keep going!" "you can do it!" "don't give up!" "fight!" and other encouraging phrases all rolled into one.

A Japanese person saying 頑張りも限界です。is like an English-speaking person basically giving up on life.

I have lived in and visited Japan for many years now, and I have never heard anyone say 頑張りも限界です。

These people are hurting in the worst possible way.

Sent from my iPhone 4

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