Monday, February 27, 2012

Boom Shakalaka

OK, so we already covered in the past the "MY" stuff.
Take a look at this post right here.
My Car being a private car and My Home being a privately owned house.
Since then I found out there is also...

Japanese: マイ箸
Reading: maihashi
Meaning: washable chopsticks carried in a case (to be used in place of disposable chopsticks)
Literally: my chopsticks

and then there is this one...

Japanese: マイブーム
Reading: maibu-mu
Meaning: something that a person is currently obsessed with or fascinated by
Literally: my boom

Ah! so like... yeah, that kind of boom, so it's not a terrorist jargon :D
So yeah, kind of amusing, I don't think English speakers use that word a lot (boom, not my boom). The only common term with that word is "baby boom", which out of context can also be misinterpreted...
So what is your my-boom at the moment?
Mine is カレーパン and loving Tokyo.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cavemen English in Japanese!

Hi there!
We all know how cavemen used to talk right?
"Me food eat", "Me kill you" and so on.
I encountered a word in Japanese (which is not known to all Japanese people, it's kind of a gamers word I am guessing) and it amused me because of the cavemen speech style it sounds like if you think it's English.

The word is...

Japanese: 未プレイ
Reading: mi purei
Literally: not yet play
Meaning: refers to the trait of not yet playing something (a game...duh)

So it SOUNDS like "Me play" in Cavemen English but has the totally opposite meaning!

Gamer A: Did you see that awesome new game that came out!?
Gamer B: Yeah man! Me play! (未プレイ).
Gamer A: What? you played it already?!
Gamer B: No, man! Me not play. Me play!
Gamer A: ?!?!?

So have you played it? Me play.

Ok, I may have gone overboard.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Evolution in Japan

This word is VERY interesting (to me) and I am glad I bumped into it!
I tried to not reveal too much in the title so you could try your hand at guessing the meaning of this word without the explanation. Let's see if you have any idea what this word means:
(and you won't find it in the dictionary so don't even go there, mu ha ha ha!!!) 

Japanese: ガラケー
Reading: garake-

Well, doesn't ring any bells, right? Even if it's written in Katakana.
So let's try another version of this word that might give you some idea or direction.

Japanese: ガラ携
Reading: garakei

Did it help? No? Have no fear, another, even less abbreviated version exists!

Japanese: ガラ携帯
Reading: garakeitai

So it's something about a cellphone, right? Probably, but what the heck is "gara"?
Let's see the completely full version of the word/expression.

Japanese: ガラパゴス携帯
Reading: garapagosukeitai

So, you'd think that showing you the full version would make everything clear, right? But I bet there are a few people, if not more, that still don't know what the heck does that mean, including me when I first heard it. So here it is ladies and gentlemen, without further ado:

Japanese: ガラパゴス携帯
Reading: garapagosukeitai 
Literally: Galapagos Cellphone
Meaning: old Japanese cellphones, the ones before smart phones came around

And now for the explanation. You know how in the Galápagos Islands, being a remote and secluded land, away from the main continents, a special kind of wildlife evolved, all those lizards and turtles and stuff. The evolution of wildlife in the Galápagos Islands went a different route because well, it had different conditions and no influence from the mainland wildlife.
Japan, being an island itself, kind of had a separate social evolution as well, which explains the huge cultural difference between Japan and the west, but part of this also meant that they had different needs from their cell phones. One example is that they had to have higher resolution since they were dealing with Kanji that the west didn't care about. That's why Japanese companies made cellphones that work in Japan, for Japan but they didn't bother adjusting the phones to work anywhere else.
That is why when I came here, I couldn't use my phone (different network protocols and such) and had to get a local phone.

Now in the age of smart phones, everyone kinda start using the same stuff since smart phones do have a camera and a high resolution and all that so there is no more need to separately develop phones to work in Japan. Kind of like someone suddenly connected the Galápagos Islands to North America and watch all those lizards and slow turtles being devoured by the fast carnivores of the main land...
The same way, now the ガラ稽s are disappearing and being replaced by smart phones.

This was a long one today!
I hope you liked it.
I did!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Infant Driving License

This is a Japanese word, but it's actually English, but actually in English we don't use this word, so it only Japanese, but it's in English, OK?

Japanese: ベビーカー
Reading: bebi-ka
Meaning: stroller, buggy, pushchair
Literally: baby car

Well, it makes sense...a stroller is kind of a baby car, or rather actually more like a baby Taxi since the baby is not actually doing the driving.

Anyway, cute word, not easily forgettable.
Me like.

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Very Late Good Morning

I found out yesterday about a very sarcastic good morning greeting that I liked very much!
Since I came to Japan, my sleeping patterns changed quite a lot and there were times when I WOKE UP at 11PM and went down to the kitchen, saying good morning even thought it was already almost midnight.

The normal way to say good morning, as I am sure most of you know, is:

Japanese: お早うございます
Reading: ohayou gozaimasu
Meaning: good morning (greeting)
Literally: (you) are early

Now the sarcastic expression for good morning I found out about yesterday is:

Japanese: 遅ようございます
Reading: osoyou gozaimasu
Meaning: good "morning" (emphasizing it's not really that early or morning anymore)
Literally: (you) are late

I like how changing only ONE syllable in the expression makes such a difference in the meaning. I like how it still sounds polite but actually so sarcastic at the same time :P

Me like very much!