Friday, August 01, 2014

Self introduction

When you meet someone for the first time, how do you introduce yourself?

With beginner students, I usually practice how to say

-your name
-the location you live
-your occupation

鈴木明子です。 (suzuki akiko desu)
東京に住んでいます。 (tokyo ni sundeimasu)
大学生です。 (daigakusei desu)
よろしくお願いします。 (yoroshiku onegaishimasu)

I'm Akiko Suzuki.
I live in Tokyo.
I'm a university student.
Nice to meet you.

*If you are a teacher, you would use 先生(sensei) or 教師(kyoushi) as your occupation.
先生 is usually used when you describe someone else and 教師 is for yourself or used for official documents like resume, business card etc.
I usually say 日本語教師 (nihongo kyoushi) Japanese teacher about myself.
But if the situation is casual, describing yourself as 先生 (sensei) would be fine, too I think.

Self introduction is one of the most important conversation, not just a speech. As the next step, we practice questions and answers following the above expressions.

What kind of questions do you want to ask after some simple self introduction?

東京のどこですか。(tokyo no doko desuka)
Where in Tokyo (do you live)?

専攻は何ですか。(senkou wa nandesuka)
What is your major?

趣味は何ですか。(shumi wa nandesuka)
What are your hobbies?

兄弟がいますか。(kyoudai ga imasuka)
Do you have brothers or sisters?

外国に行ったことがありますか。(gaikoku ni ittakotoga arimasuka)
Have you been abroad?

You might need some difficult vocabulary for this conversation (the answer about your major for example), but those must be important words for you at the same time.

For studying a language, the feeling "I want to talk with this person in this language" is the best textbook ever.
And self introduction is the beginning of your conversation.
Let's enjoy introducing yourself!

By the way, I found many people wrote their profile in Japanese for Twitter. Their interests, Japanese level, message etc. Very interesting!

I'll put some example expressions here.
Use them for your profile if you like.

日本語勉強中 (nihongo benkyouchuu)
I'm studying Japanese.

フランスで日本語を勉強しています (Furansu de nihongo o benkyou shiteimasu)
I study Japanese in France.

日本人の友達募集中 (nihonjin no tomodachi boshuuchuu)
I'm seeking Japanese friends.

いつか日本に住みたいです (itsuka nihon ni sumitai desu)
I want to live in Japan sometime.

ときどき日本語でつぶやきます (tokidoki nihongo de tsubuyakimasu)
I sometimes tweet in Japanese.

日本のアニメ/音楽/映画が大好きです (nihon no anime/ongaku/eiga ga daisuki desu)
I love Japanese anime/music/movies.

英語の先生 (eigo no sensei) or 英語教師 (eigo kyoushi)
English teacher
(英語教師 is more formal. If you say 英語の先生, you need to put の between 英語 and 先生.)

I'm looking forward to seeing your profile in Japanese!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Internet slang in Japanese

Many slang words are used on the internet.
Especially on Twitter, people often use them because of the limitation of number of characters.
(You can write much more in Japanese than English though!)

Here are some slang words I often see on the internet.

オタ (ota) / ヲタ (ota)

うp (upu)
to upload

ようつべ (youtsube)

オフ会 (ofukai)
off-line meeting

ググる (guguru)
to search something with Google

コピペ (kopipe)
copy and paste

ネタバレ (netabare)
*ネタがバレる (neta ga bareru) "the contents are exposed"

リア充 (riajuu)
A person who enjoys his/her "real life" (i.e. not only on the internet)
*リアルが充実 (riaru ga juujitsu) "the reality is fulfilling"

ヤフオク (yafuoku)
Yahoo auction

ディスる (disuru)
to disrespect

ポチる (pochiru)
to buy something on the internet
*ポチ is the sound of click

Have you seen any of them before?

Well, I'll try to make a sentence using some of those words.


(このまえ オフかい いったら ヲタっぽい おとこのこが かわいい Tシャツ きてたから、かえってから ググったら ヤフオクに でてて さっそく ポチっちゃった)

I went to an off-line meeting the other day and one otaku-looking guy were wearing a cute T-shirt there, so I Googled it at home, found it on Yahoo auction and I bought it immediately.

Slang is not used in a formal situation and some people don't really like using them. (I think the situation is same as slang in other languages.)
Actually I don't really use them by myself even with my friends either.
But I see so many slang words on the internet and I enjoy reading posts using slang.

For advanced Japanese learners, I highly recommend reading Japanese posts (Twitter,  FB, forums... whatever) written by ordinary people in addition to articles, novels etc.
The biggest point which is different from reading serious articles is that if you find a slang word you can't understand, you can just skip it.
That word/post shouldn't be so important.
You can choose some favorite/interesting posts, read them and ignore other posts.
On the internet, you can find short posts very easily and you don't need to "prepare" to read them unlike news articles or long novels.

If you are a Twitter user, Kazu deserves to follow.
His tweets are about politics, news, anime, TV, food, animals... anything and his writing style is not too formal but not too casual.
He doesn't use slang but I see many slang words in his RTs.
(His RTs are interesting, informative or just so funny, too.)
I know him only on Twitter but I enjoy his amusing tweets everyday!

Also for all levels learners, I recommend you post something on SNS in Japanese.
Even if it's a very short sentence, like おなかすいた。"I'm hungry", it must be different from just thinking by yourself.
Maybe you'll get response in Japanese and have a conversation in Japanese.
Maybe you made a small mistake there and will notice it.
Maybe you need to use a dictionary for posting it in Japanese.

For me, I don't really have a chance to use English... I mean I hardly ever have a conversation in English since basically I don't use English in my lesson and most of my non-Japanese friends speak Japanese.
So, having a conversation in English via FB/Twitter is important for me.
At first, I was nervous to post anything in English and shocked to know how low my English skills are.
There are some super bilingual people in my SNS world.
Also some people are very offensive and disrespect (ディスる!) my English/knowledge.
But it's often happened on the internet life anyway, right.
You shouldn't care too much about them if those were the reasons you hesitate to use Japanese there.

Having communication with different people... that must be one of the biggest goal of studying a language I think.
Make maximal use of internet life for communicating with people in Japanese!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Apps for studying Japanese

I've been interested in what kind of Apps are used among Japanese learners and asked a question on Twitter. 

"I'm making a list of Apps for learning Japanese. Does anyone have any recommended Apps for studying Japanese?" 

AND! I had so many response to my tweet. (Thank you very much, my Twitter friends!)
I checked all of those 27 Apps/websites on the internet. 
Some of them are only for iOS or Android. Some of them are not App but you can use them online. 

I was going to choose some popular ones, but I decided to put all of them here on my blog instead. 
Each person has each way of studying Japanese and I don't think there is any "best way" or "wrong way".
Every App/website looks very interesting and I imagined how people use/study each of them.

OK, here is a long list of "Apps for Japanese learners" and let me write how I think about studying using App. 

First, those three Apps look very famous, user-friendly and popular among my Twitter followers. 

(The descriptions are copied from each website, NOT my comments.) 

Imiwa? (iOS)
This application is a multilingual Japanese dictionary for iPhone and iPod touch devices. It offers dictionary/kanji and example sentences full offline use. The dictionary contains 170000+ japanese entries and corresponding english translations, almost 15000 are translated in french, 94000+ in german and 7000+ in russian. 

iKnow!/id417713473?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4 (iOS) (Android)
Study at any time, on a PC or mobile device. Bite-sized learning chunks personalized for you. Official courses are offered for studying Japanese, Chinese, and SAT English. The Japanese Core 6000 covers the 6,000 most commonly used words in Japanese, and the Chinese Core 2000 covers the 2,000 most commonly used words in Chinese. All words have sample sentences and audio. 

Midori (iOS) 
Midori is a Japanese-English, English-Japanese dictionary for iPhone and iPad. It's a comprehensive tool for studying Japanese, with 146,000 entries, 150,000 example sentences, and many advanced features for serious learners of Japanese. 
Review by Tofugu 

The following two Apps are online Japanese dictionaries.  I use the first one EOW a lot, too. 

EOW (英辞郎 on the web) (iOS) 
E-J J-E online dictionary 

大辞林 (iOS) 
Japanese dictionary. 「大辞林」は、App Store での販売が27万本を超えるiPhone用国語辞典のベストセラーです。 

This one is an App (quiz game) for advanced kanji learners. 

漢字力5000 (iOS) 
読みにくい漢字や、間違いやすい漢字の読み方を入力し、楽しみながら”漢字力”を身に付けることができる漢字クイズゲーム。 問題数は5000問、問題の種類は一般、植物、魚介類、動物、四字熟語、外国や日本の地名、超難問があります。 

And even more specific usage... App for searching Japanese years (!) 

元号 (iOS) 

and App for writing Japanese letter beautifully. 

Japan Penmanship (iOS) 
Japan Penmanship improve your Japanese writing. Japanese is interesting language that has meaning on a letter. Don't you want to write Japanese letter beautifully? 

Here are more Apps for studying Japanese.

JA Sensei (Android) 
Complete suite to Learn Japanese designed for phones AND tablets ! JA Sensei provides clear Japanese lessons and numerous interactive exercises to learn Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji, Japanese vocabulary, Japanese phrases for your trips, numbers, verbs, etc. Take audio, multichoice, self-validated or drawing quizzes (draw kanji to answer questions!) to memorize what you learn. Simply curious about Japanese, studying Japanese, or willing to take the JLPT, JA Sensei will become a priceless assistant. 

Japanese (iOS) 
More than a dictionary Look up words. Discover the language. Create vocabulary lists. Study using flashcards. 
Review by Tofugu 

Learning Japanese (Tae Kim’s app) (iOS) (Android) 
Here you will find a wealth of information that will help you learn Japanese, all for free. This site has two guides to aid you on your way to full Japanese fluency with no compromises.

iKanji touch - Japanese Kanji Study Tool (iOS) 
iKanji touch is a powerful kanji study and training tool covering over 2,000 JLPT and school grade jouyou kanji. 

KanjiSenpai (Android) 
Kanji Senpai will help you learn Japanese vocabulary and kanji. By using a spaced repetition system (SRS) you can memorize the different aspects of each vocabulary: meaning, pronunciation, reading, listening, writing, etc. Included it's the N5 level of the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) vocabulary list and you can download (for free!) all the levels (though N1). Ah! This app assumes you've already mastered hiragana and katakana. 

obenkyo (Android) 
Learn japanese hiragana, katakana and kanji, and test yourself by drawing, or multiple choice.

Anki (iOS) (Android) 
Anki is a program which makes remembering things easy. Because it's a lot more efficient than traditional study methods, you can either greatly decrease your time spent studying, or greatly increase the amount you learn. 

Memrise (iOS) (Android)
There are thousands of courses on Memrise - all free and all created by other members of the community. Courses are available in many languages, for many languages and other subjects. If we don't have what you want, join in and make your own! 

JED (Android) 
JED is an offline Japanese Dictionary. 

Ankidroid (Android) 
Memorize anything with AnkiDroid! AnkiDroid lets you learn flashcards very efficiently by showing them just before you will forget. 

kanji box 
http://kanjibox (iOS) 
KanjiBox is your one-stop iOS app to mastering Japanese. It provides a complete set of simple, yet powerful, drill-based exercises to help you improve and evaluate your skills in nearly all aspects of Japanese studies: kanji, vocabulary, reading, kana, grammar etc. 

Simple Kanji Flashcards (iOS) 
Learning kanji starting with 来, 週, 行 and 今? If so, this is the app for you. There are dozens of kanji apps, but most teach you in the order favoured by the Japanese education system - which is quite different to the one often used when teaching English speakers. Simple Kanji Flashcards groups the kanji in the order you'll recognise, starting with 来 and 週. 

Japanese Verbs Free (iOS)
 Learning Japanese? This app provides a simple way to learn the conjugation of essential verbs via on-screen flashcards. 

Quizlet (iOS) (Android) 
Study anything, anywhere. Flashcards familiarize you with new vocabulary (with fullscreen images and audio). Learn mode tests what you know and don't know. Match makes studying into a fun and competitive game. Take all of your study sets and your classes on the go with offline support (even for audio). 

Kanji LS (iOS) (Android)
practice all Kanji with system or handwriting font - strokeorder guidelines for all 5012 Kanji in the program’s database - 10.000 sample words (all have reading, english, german & french translation) 

jlpt study (iOS) 
This application will help you study the vocabulary for the Japanese Language Proficiency Tests (JLPT), level N5, N4, N3, N2 and N1 (N5 being the easiest and N1 the hardest). 

Next, these are not App but you can use them online. 

Lang-8 (website) 
Let our community of native speakers support your language learning. A new language learning platform where native speakers correct what you write. 

Real kana (website) 
Hiragana and Katakana Practice 

rikaichan (Firefox Add-ons) 
Japanese to English/German/French/Russian dictionary. Just hover the mouse on top of a word, and a popup appears. Automatically de-inflects verbs and adjectives. 

Denshi Jisho (website) 
Online Japanese dictionary 

Youtube review about iOS Apps by a British man Top iOS Apps for Learning Japanese.

Have you used any of those Apps/websites?
Or is there anything you want to try?

Some people believe writing (on a paper) practice is the most important for Japanese learners.
Very important for learning grammar, vocabulary in addition to remembering kana and kanji.
I still think writing is an important practice but I think using those Apps is very helpful and effective, too now.
I encourage my students to use their smartphones in my lessons, too.
The worst enemy of studying foreign language is "feeling stress" I think.
(Yes, I feel the same about my studying English!)
Let's look for a helpful Apps/websites, use them and I hope you will be less stressed.
Have fun studying Japanese!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

What do you think about "keigo"?

Business Japanese

Make the following e-mail message to formal/business style.


↓ ↓ ↓


あしたの うちあわせの じかんですが 14じに へんこうさせていただけませんでしょうか。
ちょくぜんの へんこうで ごめいわくを おかけして もうしわけございません。


お世話になっております : You usually write this sentence first for the business e-mail to someone NOT from your company.
For an e-mail among co-workers, お疲れ様です should be used instead.

~させていただけませんでしょうか : causative verb + いただけませんでしょうか → Would you mind if I…?
~させてもらえない? is for a casual conversation.

Yes, keigo is very difficult and the rules are quite complicated.
Honorific, humble, polite, special verbs… whatever.
I personally think the important point is how you show your respect for the person.
Super complicated keigo is not always necessary.
We, Japanese people don’t really say よい週末をお過ごしください (Have a great weekend) in a business e-mail, but I would feel good if someone write to me something like that.
Emphasize what you want to write to the person so that your e-mail will never be rude. :-)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Special gift wrapping for you

Have you asked a shop clerk to gift-wrap in Japanese when you buy a gift for someone?

For gift-wrapping, you would ask
(purezento youni onegaishimasu)
Please make it gift-wrapped.

When it's for yourself, i.e. you don't need gift-wrapping,
(jitaku you desu)
It's for my own.

If you ask them to gift-wrap, they usually wrap it with beautiful paper/bag and a ribbon or sticker.

Do you know there is another option for gift-wrapping in Japan?

It's のし (noshi).

Noshi is a gift wrapping paper printed the type of gift and your name.

Noshi is usually used for a formal gift as a traditional style like wedding gift, baby gift etc.
There are some very strict rules for using the design like how many strings there should be for wedding gifts. The number of strings for wedding gift is different from the one for baby gifts. The way of tying the strings, the color...

Most of Japanese people can't explain the detailed rules and actually recently we don't really use noshi.

It's just a very traditional Japanese gift style.

BUT! On the other hand, I think if you give a gift to your friend using noshi, it must be super cool.
The type of gift and your name is printed on a Japanese traditional paper and it's usually free! Cool, isn't it.

Let's try to ask a shop clerk to gift-wrap with noshi and give the special present for your friend!

I'm asking noshi for my friend's birthday present today.

Let's go!!

Most of department stores offer noshi wrapping service. (Casual shops might not offer it.)
You can buy anything you want but sometimes they charge you for a gift box because they usually need a box when they wrap with noshi.
I recommend you go to a food department and choose a box of assorted sweets so that they won't ask you about a box.

1. Choose a gift.

(sumimasen kore onegaishimasu)
Excuse me, I'll have this one.

2. Ask のし wrapping service. (The most important part!)

(purezento youni onegaishimasu. noshi o tsukete moraemasuka. tanjoubi prezento desu.)
Please make it gift-wrapped. Could you put noshi on it please? It's a birthday present.
3. The clerk confirmed me if the title is OK with 誕生日御祝(tanjoubi oiwai) "birthday celebrating"

(hai, sorede onegaishimasu)
Yes, please make it so.

*You don't need to know the detailed rules for noshi I mentioned above. They will choose an appropriate one depending on your purpose.

4. The clerk asked me what name I want them to print there.
The shop I went had a special paper for ordering noshi and I just wrote my name there.
(There are three boxes here because sometimes you want to give a gift with some other people.)

Some shops don't have this kind of paper but they usually ask you to write (not "say") your name on a paper anyway.
Kanji, hiragana or katakana, anything would be fine.
(Usually you put your full name or family name there.) 
I asked to print あこ (Ako) this time.
I'm sure alphabet would be OK, too but I guess they will ask following questions like if it's OK to print it as vertical writing or something.

5. The clerk goes somewhere to print your noshi and finally you can get a special original gift!

In addition to a birthday present, these are some other choices for a casual gift you might want to know.

御出産祝 (goshussan iwai) baby gift
御結婚祝 (gokekkon iwai) wedding gift
母の日 (haha no hi) Mother's Day
父の日 (chichi no hi) Father's Day
The staff I talked today asked me if I was sure I wanted noshi instead of a birthday message card because using noshi for a birthday gift is not so common.
But actually there are so many choices for using noshi and it's up to you unless the situation you give the gift is very formal.

This is free "noshi printing" service
See 3.上書きを選ぶ and you'll see so many types of noshi there including 御誕生日祝い birthday wishes.

If you try to ask noshi wrapping, let me know how it goes please.
Also if there is a special wrapping system in your country, let me know about it, too!

1,000yen cookies look pretty gorgeous now, don't they!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Discount, discount, discount!

割(wari) means "discount".

学割(gakuwari) "student discount" is common but it seems offering an original discount ○○割 is quite popular recently.

I went out to look for posters of a number of different discount and took pictures!

学割(gakuwari) student discount is a standard discount for mobile companies now.

 乗り換え割(norikae wari) "transfer discount" is another popular discount.
"If you will switch to our company from another company, we will give you a discount."


平日割(heijitsu wari) "weekdays discount" if for people who use their service on weekdays not weekends.

パック割(pakku wari) "package discount" is for people who buy more than two of their items.

まとめ割(matome wari) "putting together discount" is same as パック割(pakku wari).

学生家族いっしょ割(gakusei kazoku issho wari) "student and family together discount" by Docomo and 家族の学割(kazoku no gakuwari) "family's student discount" by Softbank is that not only students, but also the students' family will get a discount.

Finally, this is みんな割(minna wari) "everyone discount" (!)
If you buy an item with someone else like your family, friends, boyfriend or girlfriend, you will get a discount.

What kind of discount have you gotten?
I think there are more different types of discount. If you find any, let me know please!

Monday, April 07, 2014


I took TOEIC last month and got the result for it today.
My score this time was 910 (Listening 440 Reading 470) and this is the best score of mine. Yay!

I don't think TOEIC is a perfect test for checking one's English skills.
They don't have open questions, most of the topics are about business, new style reading section (answering questions reading two documents) is too complicated etc...
How about TOEFL or 英検(eiken) ?
They are not perfect tests either I think.

I sometimes hear the opinion that having a good score for TOEIC (or other tests) doesn't mean anything. Well, I agree that the score doesn't prove one's English level exactly.

For me, the most important point of taking a test is that I'm motivated to study English by taking it.

When I started teaching Japanese as a freelance teacher 12years ago (12years ago!!) my English level was much lower than now and I had a hard time communicating with my students.
I couldn't understand English e-mails from my students, it took forever to reply them.
I didn't have any native English speaker friends and there wasn't any convenient dictionary App at that time.
I still remember I was feeling it seemed I couldn't communicate with my clients at all forever and used to cry often in front of my computer. (!)

Since then I've studied English but I hardly ever feel my English skills have improved.
I always feel "I can understand some English but I'm not a bilingual at all"
I guess most of intermediate - advanced learners (except for super advanced learners maybe) feel the same.

Keeping motivated to study a language without feeling an improvement is very hard.

Now I take TOEIC about once a year and I feel very good when I know my score gets better.

What do you think about taking a language test?
How do you motivate yourself to keep studying a language?

Have you ever tried the JLPT Japanese language proficiency test? This test is not a perfect test either but still I think this is a good examination for checking your Japanese skills.

There are 5 levels for JLPT from N1 to N5 and each level has reading part and listening part.
All of them are multiple-choice questions.

The next JLPT will be held on July 6th and the application period for it will be until April 30th.
See their official website for details.

JLPT is held only twice a year. Don't miss this chance!

Friday, February 21, 2014


There are some (actually a lot of!) Japanese words which are difficult to translate to English.

I've written about the greeting お疲れ様(otsukaresama) before.

Today, let's talk about the expression しょうがない(shouganai).

"Shouganai" is very Japanese expression and one of the most difficult words to translate.

I would describe

"I can't do anything, so I give up"

"Shouganai" is used in those situations.

-She was going to coming to our party but her schedule has been changed and she canceled. It's "shouganai".

-The shoes I wanted to buy were sold out when I went to the shop. I should've been there earlier. It's "shouganai".

-I have wrinkles on my face and I don't like them. It's "shouganai".

If the topic is very serious like earthquake or someone's death, you don't say "shouganai".
"shouganai" sounds too light for those serious situation.

When I wrote this topic on Twitter, some people suggested their ideas of translation for it.

"whatcha gonna do?"

"it can't be helped."
"It's not worth complaining about."
"That's just the way it is."

Since I don't really understand the actual nuance of those English words, I can't tell which is the "best answer" but discussing this kind of topic is always very interesting.

Oh, by the way, there are polite ways to say "shouganai", too.



Extremely polite

Having different polite level for one expression is complicated?

It's... shouganai!

Special thanks to Japan This, Billy and Richard on Twitter conversation!

Here is the website about Japan "Japan This". 
Check his informative and cool blog!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day♡

There are three types of chocolate on Valentine's Day in Japan.

Dark, milk and white?


It's 本命チョコ(honmei choko), 義理チョコ(giri choko) and 友チョコ(tomo choko).

As you may know, in Japan, usually women give chocolate to men on Valentine's day.
(It's said that women are shy and we usually can't tell a man we like him, so Valentine's day is a good chance to tell him what we think of him. )

The main event of Valentine's day is giving a chocolate to whom you love.

It's called 本命チョコ(honmei choko).

本命(honmei) means "most important".

We give 本命チョコ to our boyfriends or someone whom we hope to be our boyfriends.

本命チョコ is often handmade or something gorgeous.

At the same time, we have 義理チョコ(giri choko), too.

義理(giri) means "duty" "obligation".

We give 義理チョコ to our male co-workers, boss or classmates.
In the past, it was something like real "duty", but recently we just enjoy the custom, too.

義理チョコ is usually small and inexpensive chocolate.

The emotion "love" is in 本命チョコ(honmei choko) and "thanks" in 義理チョコ(giri choko).

In addition to 本命チョコ and 義理チョコ, for these years, we have new type of chocolate, 友チョコ(tomo choko), too.
友(tomo) means "friend" and yes, it's chocolate for our friends.

本命チョコ and 義理チョコ are given to men, but 友チョコ is given for both men and women.
It's sometimes handmade, sometimes small and cute one or sometimes funny stuff like wasabi in chocolate or something!

To be honest, when I heard about 友チョコ(tomo choko) for the first time, what I thought was "business strategy again" but actually I enjoy the custom a lot now.
I make chocolate with my sons and give our friends and family.

Have you found any interesting chocolate at a store in Japan?
Are you going to make any sweets for Valentine's Day this year?

Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, January 24, 2014

How do you call your wife?

Today, let's talk about the way of describing your family members.

As you may know, in Japanese,
describing about your family is different  from family of others.

For example...

私の兄 (watashi no ani) : my brother
私の友達のお兄さん (watashi no tomodachi no oniisan) : my friend's brother

In the past, it was said that wives should stay home and be quiet in Japan.
(In the past, I mean 30years ago... maybe 20years ago or it might be even now, unfortunately.)

The way of calling wives describes the situation a lot.

The common way of saying "wife" is 奥さん (okusan).
奥 of 奥さん means "the inner part" "behind", because wives were always inside the house.

家内 (kanai) is same. 家 means house and 内 means inside.

(奥さん is used for other person's wife and 家内 is used for your own wife)

More unbelievable example, there is a word 愚妻 (gusai).
愚 means "stupid" and 妻 means "wife".
Stupid wife!
When they talked about their wives in a modest way, they used this word.
My stupid wife!!!

I've heard my father used this word when he talked with his boss.
My mother didn't say anything at that time, but she complained later.
If it happened 40years ago, the wife couldn't even complain and the expression sounded natural.
Now, if my husband said 愚妻 (gusai) about me, hmm, it seems difficult to continue our marriage life...

By the way, recently, the way of describing your own wives is quite different depending on the person, especially in the casual situation.
(In the formal situation, you usually say 妻 (tsuma) or 家内 (kanai) )

Here are some examples.
① 嫁 (yome)
② カミさん (kamisan)
③ うちの (uchino)
④ 奥さん (okusan)
⑤ ワイフ (waifu)

① 嫁 (yome) originally meant "my son's wife". I don't know why this word is used so often as "my wife" now.

③ うちの (uchino) sounds "my home's", but it's used as one word (noun) like
うちのは買い物が好き (uchino wa kaimono ga suki)
"My wife likes shopping."

④ Though 奥さん (okusan) is usually used for other person's wife, recently they often use this for their wife in the casual situation.

Which one do you often hear?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Oyaji-gyagu for Valentine's day

Posters at a supermarket.

(chokotto happi-)
Be happy a little more with chocolate

ちょこっと means "a little" and チョコ means "chocolate", too.

(hijou ni otoku)
It's very reasonable.

非常(hijou) means not only "emergency" but also "very".
非常におトク means "it's very reasonable" but not "reasonable for emergency".

(okane ukiuki)
Saving money makes me cheerful.

お金が浮きます(okane ga ukimasu) means "to save money" and ウキウキ means "cheerful, buoyant".

Well, those all are like "オヤジギャグ(oyaji-gyagu)".
Do you know what オヤジギャグ is?
(Does your language have オヤジギャグ, too?)
I can't find out how I should explain オヤジギャグ in English...let me know if you know it please!

I found those posters at SEIYU, a famous chain supermarket.