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?


  1. Akiko-san,

    1. (Be) all ears

    When you're talking to someone and he's going to tell you something. "I'm all ears." It indicates that you'll listen to what he's going to say with interest.

    2. play it by ear

    It means one deals with a situation as it develops rather than plans it in advance.

  2. >momomochi

    Especially, the first one "(Be) all ears" seems useful expression. (^ ^)
    I'm trying to find a similar expression in Japanese, but I can't find it so far.
    Do you have any idea?
    If I find it, I'll post a comment for here!

  3. Akiko-san,

    心に耳を傾けている is the phrase which carries the same meaning as "be all ears". Have you found any other idiom or phrase with the same meaning? Please let me know.

    It's interesting that different languages have their own idioms or phrases to describe the same situation.

    洗耳恭聴 is the Chinese idiom with the same meaning as "be all ears". However, it is in more formal and respectful way. Have you ever heard it?

    Talk to you again.

  4. Akiko-san,

    Sorry I don't have slightest idea. I agree with Jiyujin that languages are interesting and wonderful.

  5. akiko-san

    I've missed your posts! It's good to see you writing again!

    (This is my first time commenting)

  6. Thank you for the comment on my site Akiko-san,

    Your blog is interesting! I will come and check again.

    Talk to you later!

  7. >jiyuujin, momomochi

    "耳を傾ける" is good translation for "be all ears" I think. ^_^
    We often use that expression in Japanese.
    I don't speak Chinese at all though, if I see the kanji 洗耳恭聴, I can guess the meaning.
    This expression seems beautiful!

    I agree with jiyuujin and momomochi, too.
    Language is very interesting.
    Thanks to you, I really enjoy knowing something new about another language at this page. (^ ^)


    Thank you very much for your comments!
    I'm glad to know that some people who read my blog before are coming back to here.
    Looking forward to finding your comments again soon. (^o^)


    Thank you for your comments, too.
    Yes, please come and post comments again!

  8. To Everyone,

    This is Jin's blog.

    His blog is about Japanese language, too.
    Especially I like his comics on this page.
    Very interesting!

  9. Nice short but effective lesson shared by you. We usually use all these words in Japanese, your blogs are really helpful to Learn Japanese Online.