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.
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