Wednesday, December 24, 2008

She lives near the red road.

I’ve heard that seeing old women with purple hair in Japan is surprising for foreigners.

Some old people like changing their hair to bright color and it’s not so unusual to see those people in Japan.

I think it’s because Japanese (Asian) hair is very black and it’s difficult to change the color when we are young.

So, when we get old and have white hair, it’s a good chance to enjoy changing hair color.

By the way, knowing the idea of color is quite different depends on the language.

Do you know what the following expressions describe?

① 肌が黒い (hada ga kuroi) “the skin is black”

② 目が黒い (me ga kuroi) “the eyes are black”

(kinpatsu) “gold hair”

④ 赤道 (sekidoo) “red road”

① 肌が黒い (hada ga kuroi) means “sunburned, tan”.

In Japan most of women try NOT to get suntan.

This expression doesn’t have bad nuance, but be careful with using it!

② 目が黒い (me ga kuroi) means “alive”.

Because, when people die, their eyes are not black anymore…??

③ 金髪 (kinpatsu) means “blond hair”.

To be accurate, Japanese 金髪 (kinpatsu) is a little different from blond.

When Japanese people try to change the hair color to blond, eventually it becomes gold.

But we call Westerners’ blond 金髪 (kinpatsu), too.

④ 赤道 (sekidoo) means “equator”.

I guess it’s because red color is used in a map, maybe??

Again, about hair color, recently, some dogs have strange “hair color” in Japan.

The hair salon where I usually go has a “hair color course for pets”, too.

What poor dogs! (>_<)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Girls having wrinkles are cute☆

When you describe someone’s face, what kind of expressions do you use?
“She has big eyes.”

“She has freckled cheeks.”

“He has heavy bread.”

In Japan, we often talk about the eyelids, too.
If there is a wrinkle on the eyelid, it’s called 二重 (futae), “double edged eyelid”. If there isn’t a wrinkle, it’s 一重 (hitoe), “single-edged eyelid”.
If there might be a wrinkle, but you cannot see is, it’s 奥二重 (okubutae) … Hmm… I can’t describe this word in English…

Usually, people want 二重 (futae).

There are a lot of cosmetics which you use to make your eyelids seem double-edged.

Also plastic surgery for making a wrinkle on the eyelid is popular here in Japan.

Especially, when you talk about someone cute, you comment about their eyelids.

(kanojo wa futae de kawaii ne)


(futae to iuyori okubutae janai? demo tonikaku kawaii ne!)

“She has double edged eyelids and is cue.”
“She has more of 奥二重 (okubutae) than double egded eyelids, doesn’t she? She is cute anyway!”

Also, when we describe people’s faces, we use 濃い (koi) and 薄い (usui).

(koi) means thick, strong, deep, dark.

(usui) means thin, flat, sheer.

I’ve been thinking how I can explain those two words in English for long time, but I still have no idea.

Actually, even in Japanese, it’s quite hard to explain…
But most of Japanese people understand and use those expressions.
If you know the words and have a good idea for translating to English, let me know please!