Monday, December 24, 2012

Random Nihongo Lesson

Now it's time for a Japanese lesson, with some fun words you might be able to make use of someday. There's a class of single-word phrases which, for some reason, have many possible translation paths in English, making them challenging (but fun) to use. First there's やはり yahari (it also shows up as やっぱり yappari quite commonly), which you use to express your own expectations about something, roughly equivalent to "I knew it" or "just as I thought." When someone tells you something you didn't know, you can use なるほど naruhodo (nah-roo-ho-doh), which means "I see" or "that's news to me." If you watch an hour of anime in Japanese, you'll likely hear the phrase まさか masaka (mah-sah-kah) at least once, usually said by a shocked character -- it just means "it can't be!" or "you've got to be joking!" Finally there's a great word to pull out when you want to praise someone: さすが sasuga (sah-soo-gah), which roughly means "I always knew you were incredible" or "You never let us down." So if you have a friend or coworker named Yamada-san who does something good, hit him with "Sasuga, Yamada-san!" and know that you've made his day.

Have fun using these random Japanese phrases.