Unusual Phrases in Japanese

Probably, there is no such language in the world in which there would be no borrowings from others. Moreover, along with the globalization of the world, the process of borrowing words is deepening and spreading more and more. The Japanese language is one of the leaders in the number of foreign words it has.

In this language, in addition to the words of Japanese (wago 和 語) and Chinese (kango 漢語) origin, there is a category of words borrowed from other languages ​​- gairaigo (外来 語).

Most of these words are written in katakana characters. However, one can often find a combination of katakana with hieroglyphs, for example, ソ 連 時代 (soren jidai – the era of the Soviet Union), ア メ リ カ 人 (amerikajin – American), オ ー プ ン す す (o:pensuru – open). Also, there are cases when borrowed words acquire a completely different meaning than in the language where they come from. For example, the word ク リ ア ー (kuria: – clear) in Japanese does not mean the adjective “clean,” but the adverb, which says that “something passed without incident.”

Due to Japanese transcription, English words are sometimes distorted so that it is not always possible to find out the source. For example, few people will guess the first time that ワ ー ク (wa: ku) is work.


Borrowed Phrases

You will be surprised, but there are Japanese phrases that also exist in English. Here are several popular expressions that are almost the same in Japanese and English!

携 帯 が 死 ん だ (Keitai ga shinda) – My phone is dead.

This happens to everyone. It doesn’t matter if your phone is damaged or not but this expression can help you when you need to make excuses why you are not answering a call. In this case, you can simply dump everything on a mobile phone and change the subject.

馬車 馬 の よ う に 働 く- To work like a horse.

Imagine that you do not earn enough money to buy what you want, so нщг work hard, bringing yourself closer to the purchase. And people around, not knowing your goal, are surprised at how you manage to earn so much.

恋 に 落 ち る (Koi ni ochiru) – Fall in love.

A very romantic expression! When you fall in love, you can use the phrase 僕 は 恋 に 落 ち て し ま っ た 」(boku wa koi ni ochite shimatta). You can use this phrase in a conversation with a friend when you tell him or her about your feelings for another person. But it should not be used in relation to the object of adoration, as this may seem too funny or even rude.

脱帽 / (Datsubou) (Hats off to you) Hats off.

Probably, everyone came across a person who is impossible to beat in something. When you see a person who is gifted in something or works hard, then you can say き み に は 脱帽 だ よ (Kimi niwa datsubou dayo) as a sign of respect and admiration (hat’s off to you). The interlocutor will be very pleased to hear this about oneself and maybe someone “will take off his hat to you.”

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