Building BridgesThis blog and this author seek to build cultural bridges with Japan and the people in it across geographic and linguistic barriers alike. By creating bonds, we can build a brighter future for everyone.
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Category Archives: Japanese
I’ve read the phrase “ni no mai wa gomen da” before (二の舞はごめんだ). This hails from the Japanese expression, “ni no mai o enjiru” (二の舞を演じる), which basically reads “dancing the same dance twice” and means “making the same mistake twice”. So, … Continue reading
凄く速い Most casual viewers of anime and learners of Japanese are familiar with the word sugoi (すごい), roughly equivalent to “tremendous”. However, as a matter of grammar, it’s not good to write “sugoi hayai”. That’s hayai (速い) for the adjective “fast”. The … Continue reading
何時も（いつも） While “itsudemo” was about something happening “anytime”, “itsumo” is all about something being always true, being the norm, and so forth. Again, I’ll use a brief example from a video game just to help absorb the usage.
何処でも（どこでも） Dokodemo (anywhere) is a kindred spirit of itsudemo, a companion that frequently appears in similar contexts. The “doko” represents “What place?” and the “demo” represents “regardless,” so it means regardless of location. That is, anywhere.
何時か（いつか） Just like I mentioned with nanika, the “ka” in “itsuka” demonstrates uncertainty. That’s because it’s part of a word, not a particle at the end of a sentence. In a way, “ka” always projects uncertainty; we just usually interpret it … Continue reading
何か（なにか） This follows up my post on itsudemo, where I explained why this should be read as “anytime” (as in, “at any time”) from a few points of view. You’ll see why below. It was inspired by a little slice … Continue reading
Itsu demo (いつでも） The Japanese word “itsu demo” (いつでも) has two very distinct parts. Itsu (何時、いつ) is represented by kanji that literally read, “what time”. Dictionaries say “demo” means but or however, but that is not how it is applied here. … Continue reading
Nagaimo The nagaimo (長芋、ながいも), or Dioscorea opposita, is also known as the Chinese yam or Korean yam. The first kanji is “long”; the second is best read as “yam”. Yams long predated potatoes in Japanese cuisine.
Two schoolgirls talking about Sean Penn. Schoolgirl #1: “Sean Penn is so cool!” Schoolgirl #2: “He sure is!” Two Japanese schoolgirls talking about Sean Penn. Schoolgirl #1: “Sean Penn wa kakkou ii yo ne!” Schoolgirl #2: “Deshou!” What Just Happened … Continue reading