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  • Favourite Japanese word?

    Japanese is a fascinating language, and like any language it is closely tied to the culture of its home country. There are words in Japanese that don't exist in English, and completely different ways to express yourself and your feelings. I wanted to start a thread of people's favorite words and expressions in Japanese, to celebrate the language and (hopefully!) teach each other something!
    One of the things I like is the expression of "giving someone an action". Instead of saying "She picked up some groceries for me", in Japanese what you say is closer to "She gave me the picking up of the groceries". I like it because, to me, it's clearer that someone else did you a favor and you seem grateful for it, especially because the "giving to me" part is at the end of sentence, which I feel emphasizes it.
    I'm going to make another thread for kanji, too, so please read that one as well!

  • #2

    I agree with you that Japanese is indeed a fascinating language. I find it easy to remember Japanese words when I read or hear as I try to correlate the Japanese words with other known languages (as I am from India, I know few local Indian languages).

    For example: Okachimachi (a station in Tokyo), in this oka is used in Telugu (a local Indian language), which means one, chima (similar to word called chimta, which means holder in Marathi (another local language)), chi (in telugu it means bad), which completes the word okachimachi So, its weird but OKACHIMACHI is kind of my favorite Japanese word!

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    I always lean Japanese in funny way. So, language learning is always fun and favorite for me.


    • #3
      That's a great way to learn new Japanese words! Relating any new idea to something that you already know is a trick used by the best learners. You can do it with Japanese characters as well. For example the hiragana for "mu" is む, which is pronounced the same as "moo" in English. It reminds me of cows, so I always think of the character for "mu" as part of a cow's face, with one big nostril on the left!
      If you're learning with someone else, you can share these "learning stories" and help each other to really cement your knowledge. I hope you continue to have fun!


      • #4
        My Favorite Japanese Phrase is "Nai Wa!" or "No Way!" this is from a light novel Kumo Desu ga, Nani Ka? which translates to "I am a spider, So What?". I just love how the protagonist always say the phrase "Nai wa~" everytime she encounters some difficulty. I like how she and her other counterparts praise her with "Are you a Genius?!", its so funny and interesting so it became a habit of mine. Aside from that my mom and I also use the words Mottainai (もったいない) which means "What a waste" (it could be food, money, etc.). Learning Japanese is fun and it helps you in understanding more things about their use of language and the likes!


        • #5
          I think my favorite Japanese word is "Komorebi", I've learned that this one doesn't have any direct translation but it roughly meant "sunlight shining through the leaves of trees" which is beautiful and poetic. My favorite phrase (of which I keep using) though is " Are? Are? Okashii na." which i got from Shiro of one of my favorite anime No game no life. She just said it once but it's so adorable.


          • #6
            It`s quite interesting to know about everyone`s favourite Japanese words.
            @Sakurahime,which you are talking about is ~してくれる(~****ekureru)?

            As a Japnese, it`s bit difficult to think about my favourite Japanese,
            but, maybe "Otsukaresama" Actually,there isn`t 100%appropriate translation in
            It`s one of the greeting word, when we meet co-workers, we often said this words as hello, how are you meaning.
            but, if you are working hard and tired, went back home, your family might say to you "Otsukaresama" means Thank you for your working, you must be tired, take a rest etc contais lots of warm feelings,
            That`s why I like this words.

            Also, another one is"TANABOTA" basically, it means something good luck happens without you expect.
            Originally Sentence is "Tanakara botamotachi"(Sweets from the chest) which means when you open your mouth, unexpectidely, Japanese sweets falled off from the chest, then you received sweets luckily.

            Tanabota sounds make me happy feeling.


            • #7
              me? it's hayako! sugoi! ichii something


              • #8
                There are some great words/phrases being shared on here - I love it! Lots of people have found them from anime - good on you! I learned some of my first phrases from anime, too.

                I also like mottainai, Louie, it's such a handy, quick way to express yourself.

                Yes, J Girl, I was talking about ~してくれる! I'm not sure how well I explained it, but I'm glad you understood I can't even really describe why it's one of my favorite phrases... I love "otsukaresama" as well - you can use it in so many situations! That also reminds me of "yoroshiku" (or dozo yoroshiku onegaishimasu if you need to be really polite!), when you ask someone to do something. It's sort of like using "please" in English, but it's not quite the same. I feel that it comes with a sense of entrusting something to someone, rather than hoping that they might do it.


                • #9
                  I don't know much Japanese, but I'm trying to learn. I'll definitely keep an eye on this thread and see if I can pick up some more tips. Thanks for starting it, Sakurahime!
                  From the words that I do know, I obviously have to choose the food-related ones as my favourites. They're also very culturally linked, so that's interesting and worth adding to this. The words/phrases I think are cool are "itadakimasu" and "gochisousama de****a". I've seen them a lot on anime, and you say the first one before a meal and the second one after a meal. It's like saying grace, kinda, and then saying thank you afterwards. They say it everywhere - at home, at school, at work.
                  Another place I've seen the phrases is in this cool advert I've linked. It's got a bunch of greetings, all mixed up with animals. I haven't found it subtitled yet, so I don't understand all of it, but it's really catchy. Apparently it's really happy-sounding because it was made to cheer people up after the Tohoku earthquake in 2011.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tara4Eva View Post
                    me? it's hayako! sugoi! ichii something
                    I see what you did there!

                    But seriously, my nephews like to say arigato, zanpakuto, BANKAI! so much