Entry: The Language Wednesday, May 18, 2005



Yes/No Hai/Iie
Please Onegai shimass
The honourable function of making tea chakumi
Do you speak English ? Eigo o hanasemass-ka ?
O-sho-jin-gu honourable uncooked food
O-rio-gu honourable boiled food
Excuse me/sorry Sumimasen (*1)
My name is X Watashi no namae wa X desu (*2)
I've reserved a room´┐Ż Yoyaku shitemasu
Kuidaore The civilised practice of bankrupting oneself through sheer gluttony
Hello Konnichiwa
Mental state of people living on an island (e.g. UK) Shima-guni konjo
Don't give up Gambatte kudassai
Master/Beginner Sempai/Kohai
Death through overwork Karooshi
Thank you (Domo) Arigato (gozaimass) (*3)
Good bye Sayonara
Enough Jubun desu
Beru-ai the "typically Japanese" blue colour in okyo-e - actually "Preussisch Blau/Prussian Blue" (Beruin for Berlin, ai for Blue)
Facade Tatemae - the public display (vs Honne - what you really feel/desire)
How do you do ? Hajimemashite
My name is X Watashi no namae wa X desu
You choose Omakase (to chef)
Mahlzeit Itadakimasu
Where is X X wa doko desuka ?
Toilet Otearai/Keshoshitsu
Taxi Takushi
Train Densha
Left/Right/Straight on Migi/Hidari/Massugu
Arnold Schwarzenegger

Arnodu Schwa


*1 note that the "u" is sometimes pronounced
*2 and sometimes it isn't

*3 three of dozens of levels of politeness. In an otherwise wonderfully simple language (no genders, no declinations, not even plurals !) they have added enourmous complexity by distinguishing linguistically whether a man or a woman is speaking, whether the person spoken to is a man or a woman, a superiour to an inferiour, an old person to a young one etc.. That and the amazing writing (3 alphabets in parallel !) make sure any simplicity is entirely removed.

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