Basic Japanese has Inflitrated my Vocabulary

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.

If my grandmother was a ninja I'd want her to be Chiyo

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

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This one actually made me do some research and I learned that it is from the noun urami (うらみ) 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.

unfortunately, he is the only Yakuza I know... -_-

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
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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.

[japan]

17 thoughts on “Basic Japanese has Inflitrated my Vocabulary

  1. Oh, yeah, for sure this happens to me. I mainly end up tacking “ね” onto the end of sentences all the time :)

  2. I usually find myself saying “ねー” Also I’ve started saying “でしょう” a lot which means like “right?”. EG ジャマイパニーズはほんとおもしろいでしょう! Translation: Isn’t Jamaipanese interesting!

  3. I mostly use arigato, baka, ganbatte, nani!?! (instead of nan desu ka), sumimasen, onegaishimasu and hai. ppl get confused as hell when i say iie so i dont use it too much lol :P

  4. 毎日ちょっとだけ勉強して、だんだん上手になると思う。がんばって!

  5. A cool slang version of “moshimoshi” I heard in a drama the other day was “shimoshimo.” But a phrase I use pretty much on daily basis is “nanja, kore?” It just feels so right to say it in a random WTF situation.

  6. I knew all these words, too, but I’d never mix them with English, let alone in Slovenian, my native language. Maybe only as a joke :) But I do use a lot of “lo” and “lah” when I chat with my Taiwanese girlfriend. Those Chinese endings express emotions very well, they are useful :)

  7. I definitely have that problem! :D I often find myself using ~ね, すんまへん, and 本当 a lot. My favorite expression is 何をするの? (What are you doing?) Because I often feel the need to ask that around my crazy family. XD It can be a problem though, because sometimes I’ll say something in Japanese and when I try to explain what I said its a struggle to find a good English equivalent. T^T

  8. Hahaha..
    I know “baka”, “neko”, “aishiteru”, “gome” LOL :p
    euhmm wat elseee let me thinkk…
    “chibi”…”Teme”…

    “BANKAI”? :P LOL!

  9. Interesting. I suppose it’s good that Japanese has become a daily use thing for you. As a cautionary, though, just be careful about mixing the two languages too often. I’m guilty of this a lot with my girlfriend, but I find it can often muddle things. I think it may be best for learning purposes to have “Japanese mode” and “English mode.” I could be completely wrong, though – everyone learns differently. I’ve noticed that my English has gotten worse living here, partially because my experiences with using Japanese every day and hearing so much broken English/ Japanes-English gobbledy-gook have affected how I speak sometimes.

    I don’t really use Japanese when I’m speaking in English, except every now and then I will tack a ね or よ to the end of a sentence, and うん and ううん have become second nature. I’m trying to break that habit because whenever I go back home and kind of grunt うん’s at people I think it comes across as a bit odd.

  10. haha yes know exactly what you mean for a while now especially when I was studying much more I often used Japanese words in everday use. Most often using hai, baka, sumimasen, ohaiyou, nan des ka and one of my favourite sentences “mou ichido itte kudasai” = please say it once again ^^ to name but a few.

    Damn listening to your storys and other fellow j learners I’m really frustrated with myself that I stopped learning for so long as Japanese has always been a love of mine and always will be. Really need to get my ass into gear and get back to studying as hardcore as I used to :D

    p.s. keep up the good work ganbatte

    P.P.S. I would have wrote all the japanese in kanji/kana but I’m using a work machine without such language support ^^

  11. The most common Japanese words that I often use are わかりました, ただいま, おかえり and other greetings. I guess the most challenging part of learning Nihongo for me is memorizing and writing the Kanji ^^;

  12. In other words, ‘masaka’ is the Japanese term for the Jamaican ‘rhaatid’, ‘blern dawg’ and ‘b****c****’. XD

    Good to know! [jamaica]

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