HomeJapanBasic Japanese has Inflitrated my Vocabulary
Basic Japanese has Inflitrated my Vocabulary
July 30, 2010
I have been studying Japanese on and off far too long to not be good at it and while I have sought to blame my delinquency on the lack of opportunities to practice, my inability to remain motivated, a ‘busy’ lifestyle and procrastination there are a few simple words and phrases that have made their way into my vocabulary. My coworkers, family members and close friends have now learned a few of these words as I use them almost naturally, now if only I would study Japanese more consistently. A Few of these words I have listed below along with an example situation or situations I would use a few of my favourite ones and where I picked them up or heard them.
masaka – unbelievable!
Crazy and surprising things happen in life, my life is so different and on an almost daily basis there are a few unexpected occurrences that cause say “masaka” in different tones depending on the situation. A recent “masaka moment” was when I witnessed a speeding car get out of control and barely miss a head-on collision with a bus going in the opposite direction. I was taught this word by a lovely Sand Village ninja named Chiyo.
urameshiya – it is your fault
This one actually made me do some research and I learned that it is from the noun urami (ã†ã‚‰ã¿) which means “grudge” or “ill will”. Occasionally I when my insomnia chips in I feel the need to shuffle around my house late at night in the dark and scare my unsuspecting sister and mom. Luckily I found a tutorial by thatjapanesegirl on Youtube entitled “How to be a Japanese Ghost” and that’s where I picked up the the curse word, well, not curse word as in an expletive but a word used for cursing, get it?
nan desu ka – what is it?
Here we have my favourite super basic Japanese word (well technically it’s a phrase). I love using it mainly because of it’s versitility, depending on my mood when somecone calls my name I might spit out and of it’s variants as a response ranging from impersonating a Japanese schoolgirl to a yakuza, it’s fun, you should try it – na ni, nan da, nani ka, nan da to.
Learning Japanese can be challenging or as easy as pie depending on your situation and reason for studying but I am sure I am not the only one that Japanese has worked it’s infiltrating ninja magic on. I have listed a few more words off the top of my head that I usually use without thinking daily.
daijoubuka? – are you ok
arigatou – thank you
urusai – shut up!
moshi moshi – hello
Do any Japanese language learners find this happening to them and if so which words usually hijack your tongue? Also for those who are reading this that are a 100 times better at Japanese than me feel free to leave a sentence or two below in Japanese (kana and basic kanji please) so that I’ll be forced to translate it and actually learn something while am doing so.
Kirk is a proud Jamaican who started Jamaipanese.com in February 2006 and now lives in rural Japan. He enjoys sharing his experiences learning about Japan, personal milestones in life as well as interests such as photography, gaming and travelling.