Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Today's kanji : 神

Today's kanji is .

The blue part describes "altar / shrine".
The red part describes "lightning".

That's, so to speak, lightning in the shrine.

Can you guess the meaning?

See the comments page for the answer!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ears on the wall.

There are a lot of idioms using a part of the body.
Today, I’m introducing you some idioms with “ears”.
Ear is " (mimi)" in Japanese.

① 耳が遠い (mimi ga tooi)
"The ears are far."
This means...
"cannot hear very well."

(watashi no chichi wa mimi ga tooi.)

"My father doesn't hear very well."

② 壁に耳 (kabe ni mimi)
"The ears on the wall."
This means...
"It's difficult to have a "secret meeting". There could be someone who is listening to what you are talking about behind the wall."

(kabe ni mimi dakara kokode sono hanashi wa yameyoo. kuruma no nakade hanasanai?)

"Someone might listen to our talking, maybe we shouldn't talk about it here. How about talking in my car?"

③ 耳が痛い (mimi ga itai)
"My ears are hurts."
This means...
"Someone's indication is very accurate and it's just what I have to improve."

(osake no nomisugi wa kenkoo ni warui yo.)
(mimi ga itai yo...)

"Drinking a lot is bad for your health."
"Yeah... I agree with your idea. That's exactly talking about me..."

Do you have similar idioms or expressions in your language, too?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Problem with sinuses

As you may know, there are some (actually lots of) words that is very difficult to translate to another language.
In my experience, the most difficult English word for translating is “sinus”.

One day, maybe three years ago, my British friend asked me to go to a drugstore with him.
He had a problem with his sinuses and wanted to buy a medicine for that.
It was my first time to hear the word “sinus”.
He explained a lot about “sinus” , but I had no idea.
Finally we looked for a dictionary.

In my dictionary (my dictionary is named “Genius” which is the most famous dictionary in Japan.) there are some translating.

(とう ・ tou)
(ろう ・ rou)
湾曲(わんきょく ・ wankyoku)
湾曲部(わんきょくぶ ・ wankyokubu)

… I still had no idea.

We gave up and went to the drugstore and showd the pharmacist the translation.
But! She had no idea either!!

The interesting point is that we don’t have the “idea” of sinus.
Of course we sometimes have a problem with our nose, throat and ears, but we don’t think the organ “sinus”.

Ask your Japanese friends if they know sinus and if you find a good Japanese translation, let me know please!