jump to navigation

Charming people with witty Japanese language phrases June 23, 2008

Posted by Raul in random thoughts.

For reasons that I will not discuss here, I learned (and then proceeded to refuse) to speak Japanese. The funny thing is, I rarely use it anymore. Today, while reading one of Nadia’s tweets about how she was translating a site, I came to realize that I am very fortunate to speak the languages I do. Being able to speak a language breaks down barriers in ways one cannot always fathom. For me, being 100% fluent in English has helped me establish solid friendships (and yes, in some cases, romantic relationships). Communication is key in any relationship, and you really need to be able to convey the words in the best way or you’re otherwise bound to be misunderstood and create problematic situations.

The phrase that immediately come to my mind when I read Nadia’s tweet was “Anata wa totemo kawaii desu yo” which translates loosely as “did you know you’re very cute?“. I remember how giggly and happy I was every time I heard that phrase… *sigh* Oh, the memories 🙂



1. Jeremy Lim - June 23, 2008

Raul, you speak Japanese? (Anata wa nihongo desu ka?) Sugoi desu!

I had no idea! I used to be all about the Nippon. Sadly, I never had anyone to practice with.

Still, little phrases pop up here and there.

Baka! Kawaii … Kowai. All that.

2. Newmark - June 23, 2008

I’m looking foward to just 1-week sans Japanese.


In related news, you should be going to see Helen Hardacre at UBC. I think she’s there for a conference this week.

3. Raul - June 24, 2008

@ Jeremy – 🙂

@ Newmark – I don’t do Japanese history 🙂 do you *really* want me to go and see Helen Hardacre 😉

4. Newmark - June 24, 2008

I thought you had some connection to her. Maybe I’m thinking of someone else then. Anyway, she is an engaging speaker on Japanese religion at least.

5. Jodi - June 24, 2008

I tried to learn Japanese with my friend Evildeb. We did not do so well, also we tended to yell everything we said in Japanese. However, my favorite two phrases were (most likely misspelled)

Atama ga fuwa fuwa! which I learned to mean, my head is crazy or my head is confused. Happens to me all the time.

Abunai! Which means Danger! Watch out! This one is extremely fun to yell and my coworkers visiting from Japan found it very entertaining when I did so.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: