Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I'll Make You An Offer You Can't Refuse

This is just stupid.
No, really, I mean it.
I am so sorry to take up your time with this stupidity but I can't help it, it did amuse me personally so I can't help thinking (hoping?) it might amuse someone else. My appologies to all the sane human beings out there, this one is probably not for you :)

Japanese: 其処此処
Reading: sokokoko
Meaning: here and there; in places
Literally: there(soko) here(koko)

Yes, nothing special about the meaning, but the sound of it is just funny...
I guess for me it has the same appeal that Mrs. kakukikeko had from a few posts back.
Sokokoko...sokokoko... it should have been the onomatopoeia for shooting a machine gun or something.
Oh, I see an opportunity to save this post (for the sane ones) by also mentioning the real word for that.

Japanese: ドンパチ
Reading: donpachi
Meaning: the firing of guns
Literally: actually a combination of "dondon" and "pachipachi" (look them up!)

I find this word easy to remember since it always brings to my mind an image of some tough Italian Mafia boss called "Don Pachi(no)", you know Al Pachino as the Don in those Italian Mafia movies... and getting from that image to gun fire is an offer you can't refuse :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Musical Drinking

This expression just made me visualize stuff that made me giggle :)
You know how when you drink straight from the bottle, you have to raise the bottle to horizontal position and when it gets empty you turn your head back more and more and the bottle's bottom upward more and more? Yeah...

Japanese: ラッパ飲み
Reading: rappanomi
Meaning: drinking straight from a bottle
Literally: trumpet-drinking
Now you see what I mean? The image of a dude playing a trumpet, and once in a while in a high point of the melody turns his head back and raises the trumpet upwards fully explains this expression.
I wonder if the first one to come up with this expression was indeed a trumpet player.

Anyway, amusing it is.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Female Ninja!

This word is quite interesting. It refers to a female ninja.

Japanese: くノ一
Reading: kunoichi
Meaning: female ninja

I am not sure but I heard that this is the only word in Japanese that uses all three writing systems in one word. The first letter is the hiragana 'ku' letter. The second one is the katakana 'no' letter and the last one is the Kanji symbol for 'one'.

Another interesting thing is that this word, although it doesn't seem so, does represent a woman! To find out you simply need to draw all three letters at the same location. If you draw く, ノ, and then 一 at the same location, you get... 女, which is the Kanji symbol for 'woman'. Isn't that cool?
Being a ninja, the woman disguises herself...

I also know this is how children in school learn how to draw the 女 symbol.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wisdom in a Tooth

This is the coolest word I've heard reacently and I finally got the "Oh, so there are still some treasure boxes out there!" feeling. I almost thought the chances of finding anything would be so slim to even bother.
So this is how they say "wisdom tooth" in Japanese.

Japanese: 親知らず
Reading: oyashirazu
Meaning: wisdom tooth
Literally: parents - not knowing 

Say what now? Ok, I'll explain the two theories behind the origin of this word.
The first theory is that when you're a baby and your teeth start to get out, the parents of course are very excited and you can say they pretty much "introduce" themselves to each and every tooth as it comes out.
"Look honey, another one came out today!"

But the wisdom teeth come out when it's not so exiting anymore, and many times they come out when the "kid" has already left home. So those teeth do not really know the parents, and those teeth erupt without the parents knowing about it, hence the "not knowing the parents" teeth, or teeth that came out "without the parents knowing". Cool right?

The second theory goes like this. The first set of teeth a baby gets are his milk teeth, then when he grows older, those teeth are replaced one by one with his grown up permanent (hopefully) teeth. So we can say that each tooth had a "parent" milk tooth that it replaced when it erupted. But the wisdom teeth don't replace anything, they just come out. Those poor teeth, they don't even know if they had parent teeth at all, or where they are now, orphan teeth if you will. Hence, "not knowing (their own) parents" teeth.

Both theories are good with me :)
They are both cool enough.

Me mega like!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Drunk Talking!

So you shouldn't drink and drive, right?
How about drink and talk, then? YES!

I can't believe I still didn't talk about this cool word here. I got to know it a long time ago while talking to a Japanese friend in a coffee shop in Shinjuku.
You know how Japanese people usually open up slowly? and by slowly I mean.. never, right?
So it turns out there is only one time when they totally allow themselves to talk freely and open up, and that is after some drinking!
We westerners can talk to friends anytime about almost anything. Sure it's nice to grab a beer and talk about whatever is bothering you, but we can still do it without the beer.
The fact they HAVE to drink to start talking is amusing by itself, but the fact that they even have a word for this is just awesome :)

Japanese: 飲みニケーション
Reading: nominike-shon
Meaning: communicating while drinking (or rather, after some drinking).
Literally: a combination of 飲み (drinking) and コミュニケーション(communication)

Recently I wanted to refer someone to the post about this word and realized that there was no post about this word. Fixed it now!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mr. ABC & Mrs. DEF

This one is not exaclty a Japanese word or phrase, but it's in Japanese, and it was amusing, so it goes here!
I found this while reading the popular Doraemon manga. At some point the main character wants to proove to some girl that he has a super memory so he goes over a phone book's first few pages and then asks her to test him. She names names of people and he recalls their phone numbers!
Obviously the author needed to throw out some random not important to the story names for this test. I imagine in English "John Doe" or "Jane Doe" could be used, though, not sure since it's not quite the normal use for those terms.
So what were the names that amused me so much and why?
Here you go!

Japanese: 阿井上男さん
Reading: aiueo san
Meaning: Mr. aiueo

Japanese: 柿久家子さん
Reading: kakikukeko san
Meaning: Mr. kakikukeko

What is amusing about that?
Well, if you studies Japanese even a little bit, you know that when learning Hiragana or Katakana, the syllables are written in a table in that order so you kind of get used to the aiueo, kakikukeko sound/rhythm. It's not quite like Mr. ABCD, it's something a bit different.

Plus, it's written in Kanji! And valid one at that! When I first read this, I knew it was a name because it ended with the hiragana "san" but I had to turn to the furigana to help me read it, and when I finally realized it's just aiueo/kakikukeko, it was just funny! lol

Funny because it's a totally bogus name, but it hides so well in the Kanji that it really looks like a real name! Unlike Mr. ABCD which is obviously fake from the first glance.

Another amusing thing is that we can probably guess that aiueo san is a man and kakikukeko san is a woman. I'll let you figure out why yourself!.

Did I mention I started liking Kanji? yeah.

Me like.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Ice, Glass and Rivers

Sometimes learning Japanese is so much easier than learning English for instance.
I recently learned this word and it is so easy to remember because of the cool simple Kanji meaning.

Japanese: 氷河
Reading: hyouga
Meaning: glacier
Kanji: ice + river

Now if a Japanese has to learn the word 'glacier', how the hell is he going to remember it? It's almost random, the only thing he might hang on to is that it sounds somewhat like glass...but if he does that he might end up falsly remembering the word glacier is some kind of glass...
I admit, at first Kanji was an enemy, but I am getting to befriend it more and more as I study.

Good Kanji!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Car Types!

Just a nice Kanji meaning for the word Tank!

Japanese: 戦車
Reading: sensha
Meaning: tank (the military vehicle)
Kanji: war + car

Here is another amusing word using the car Kanji.

Japanese: 肩車
Reading: kataguruma
Meaning: riding piggyback; riding on someone's shoulders
Kanji: shoulder + car

And here is one that at first glance looks amusing, but turns out to be somewhat disappointing.

Japanese: 車椅子
Reading: kurumaisu
Meaning: wheelchair
Kanji: car + chair

The concept of chair that is a car is amusing, but another meaning of the Kanji 車 is simply wheel which makes this a "wheel + chair", exactly like it is in English, and therefore, not amusing at all.

Bad Kanji!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Round Things in the Air

Just a nice Kanji meaning for the word Balloon!

Japanese: 風船
Reading: fuusen
Meaning: balloon, the kind you can inflate with helium and tie a string to.
Kanji: wind/air + ship

Well, if you don't keep an eye on the kid, eventually they all loose the grip and let the balloon fly away...
just like an air ship, carried by the wind :)

Nice kanji, me like!

The real big hot air balloon vehicle type balloons are this word:

Japanese: 気球
Reading: kikyuu
Meaning: balloon, blimp - the kind you can ride in...
Kanji: air + sphere

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dangerous Pool

Just a nice Kanji meaning for the word Battery.

Japanese: 電池
Reading: denchi
Meaning: battery
Kanji: electricity + pool

Quite the dangerous pool, eh?

When I mentioned this to a Japanese friend, he introduced me to a common family name in Japan, which is kind of similar.

Japanese: 菊池
Reading: kikuchi
Meaning: just a family name
Kanji: chrysanthemum (some flower type) + pool

That's a nice family name... but I like the electricity pool image better :P