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Thread: Rainy expressions

  1. #1
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Smile Rainy expressions

    As we were talking about rain in expressions with Nangi and Elisabeth, let's compare all existing expressions in English and Japanese.

    Expressions related to heavy rain :

    It's pouring (with rain)
    It's pelting (with rain)

    "it's raining cats and dogs" (idiom) = hidoku ame ga futte iru
    "it's coming down in buckets" (idiom)

    nouns by progressive intensity

    a shower
    a downpour
    a torrent (or more commonly torrential rain )
    a deluge


    Expressions related to light rain :

    (to) drizzle = kirisame J ,mekaame fJ
    (to) sleet = misore

    How can I translate all these in Japanese ? They are all fairly common in English. I was told that "mekaame" is never used in Japanese. I'd like to know if there are common translations in Japanese, other than "ame ga tsuyoku/hidoku/hageshiku futte imasu", which would only translate "it's raining hard/heavily/very heavily" ...

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  2. #2
    Junior Member Oliver Twist's Avatar
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    According to my dictionary :
    y~ł idoshaburi de aruj

    It is a french dictionary, so it's quite difficult to translate directly in english, but I think it's an idiom like "it's raining cats and dogs".

    in french : "il pleut des cordes"
    in french : doshaburi = "une pluie diluvienne" = torrential rain

  3. #3
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    Konnichiwa Maciamo-san! Oliver Twist-san!

    Learning language is very fun, specially how to express. Learning other language's expression is the same as learning other country's thought.;)

    Yes, "it's raining cats and dogs" is "Doshaburi" in Japanese, and both of words means heavy rain. But do you know what "Doshaburi" means in literal translation?
    "Do" means "soil" or "clod of earth".
    "Sha" means "sand".
    "Buri" is "furi" originally and means "falling".
    "Doshaburi" means "falling earth and sand" in literal translation.

    But what is "falling (clods of)earth and sands"? Clods of earth and sands fall in rainy weather in Japan? Of course it is a figurative expression. "falling earth and sands" means "such a heavy rain as falling earth and sands". But why is it a earth and sands? Why isn't it the other things? Because there is a good reason.

    Japan is an island and mountainous country. And there is not a large river. Japanese river is a short, narrow and fast flowing. If it is a bad weather, heavy rain caused a flood easily. Because Japanese river is a narrow and fast flowing. Japanese river carry a large quantity of earth and sands from mountain when the heavy rain. And flood with large quantity of earth and sands made an attack on villages, fields of rice and other crops.
    Of course landslide is one of disaster by heavy rain. Specially Japan is a mountainous country. There is a landslide frequently even now when the heavy rain in Japan. And "landslide" is "Dosha Kuzure" in Japanese. "Dosha Kuzure" means "collapse of earth and sand" in literal translation.
    In Japan, heavy rain is related to "earth and sand" by Japanese geographical features.

    I knew the expression "it's raining cats and dogs" just now. At first, I thought "Are cats and dogs fallen from sky?".
    But I know etymology of "raining cats and dogs" now.
    Dose "il pleut des cordes" means "it's raining as cords" in literal translation? "it's raining as cords" remind one of heavy rain easily.;)

    (to) drizzle = kirisame J ,mekaame fJ
    From "Kirisame"
    "Kiri" is a "fog" or "mist".
    "Same" is "Ame" originally and means "rain".
    "Kirisame" means "misty rain" or "thin rain as mist".

    From "Nukaame"
    "mekaame" is a misspelling, "Nukaame" is correct.
    "Nuka" is a "rice bran" and is a minute particles.
    "Nukaame" means "thin rain as bran powder".
    Japan was an agricultural country, and the staple food of the Japanese is a rice. Rice bran have a close relation to the Japanese.

    a shower
    a downpour
    a torrent (or more commonly torrential rain )
    a deluge
    "shower" is a "Niwakaame" in Japanese. "Niwaka" means "suddenly" or "sudden".
    There is not the same word as "downpour" in Japan and usually "downpour" is translated "Doshaburi" in Japanese.
    "deluge" is a "Gou" or "Gouu" in Japanese. "Gou" means "strong", "violent" and "hard" in Japanese. "U" is "rain" in Japanese.

    There is a lot of fun expression in the world. Do you have a fun expression in your mother language?

    NANGI

  4. #4
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    As for the origin of "cats and dogs", in the middle ages, when people still had thatched roof in England, it was common for domestic animals to climb on the roof. Sometimes they'd fall in front of people's eyes, and therefore came the expression "it's raining cats and dogs".

  5. #5
    Junior Member Oliver Twist's Avatar
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    Konnichiwa Nangi san, Maciamo san,
    and thank you for the explanations of both "it's raining cats and dogs" and "doshaburi de aru".
    It was very interesting. I also was wondering why "it's raining cats and dogs" ??

    Concerning the french expression : "il pleut des cordes" = "it's raining ropes" or "ropes are falling down".
    I don't really know if there is a specific meaning. Maybe it's just that the rain is heavy enough to be considered as ropes ? I don't really know.

    There is also another expression which is quite familiar, and I don't recommand to use it :
    "il pleut comme vache qui pisse" = "it's pouring down / it's pissing down". But literaly : "it's raining as when a cow is pissing".

  6. #6
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Oliver Twist
    Konnichiwa Nangi san, Maciamo san,
    and thank you for the explanations of both "it's raining cats and dogs" and "doshaburi de aru".
    It was very interesting. I also was wondering why "it's raining cats and dogs" ??

    Concerning the french expression : "il pleut des cordes" = "it's raining ropes" or "ropes are falling down".
    I don't really know if there is a specific meaning. Maybe it's just that the rain is heavy enough to be considered as ropes ? I don't really know.
    Ropes are falling would be "il tombe des cordes" wouldn't it? I just assumed the analogy with rope/cords was coming from the impenetrable, string-like appearance rain takes on during a torrential storm.

  7. #7
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Originally posted by NANGI

    From "Kirisame"
    "Kiri" is a "fog" or "mist".
    "Same" is "Ame" originally and means "rain".
    "Kirisame" means "misty rain" or "thin rain as mist".

    From "Nukaame"
    "mekaame" is a misspelling, "Nukaame" is correct.
    "Nuka" is a "rice bran" and is a minute particles.
    "Nukaame" means "thin rain as bran powder".
    Japan was an agricultural country, and the staple food of the Japanese is a rice. Rice bran have a close relation to the Japanese.



    "shower" is a "Niwakaame" in Japanese. "Niwaka" means "suddenly" or "sudden".
    There is not the same word as "downpour" in Japan and usually "downpour" is translated "Doshaburi" in Japanese.
    "deluge" is a "Gou" or "Gouu" in Japanese. "Gou" means "strong", "violent" and "hard" in Japanese. "U" is "rain" in Japanese.

    There is a lot of fun expression in the world. Do you have a fun expression in your mother language?
    NANGI
    Konnichwa minnasan!

    Sorry if it's not fun enough but anyway some more from my dictionary:

    Hitoame = shower/rainfall

    Ooame/taiu = heavy rainfall/downpour (like doshaburi or gouu?)

    Kosame = light rain/drizzle

    Fuuu = wind and rain/rainstorm

    Boufuuuu = (violent) rainstorm

    Harusame, shunu = spring rain/bean-jelly sticks ??

    Shigure = an on-off again late autumn/early winter rain (shi = toki; is "gure" archaic or an alternate reading for rain?)

    Saiu = Fine/misty rain, drizzle (sai = minute)

    Raiu = Thunderstorm (rai = thunder)

    Amamoyou/Amemoyou = signs of rain

    Well, there are several more but these are the most poetic examples. Any or all still in common use?


  8. #8
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    In French I also know "il pleut a seaux" (it's raining by buckets) et "il pleut a verse" (exact translation of "it's pouring", as "verser" means "to pour" ; what's more "une averse" is "a shower" in English). In Belgium, people also use the verb dracher" in French, which also means to pour, pelt, etc. (normal they shoud have additional vocabulary with the rotten Belgian weather )

  9. #9
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    Konnichiwa Minasan!

    There is also another expression which is quite familiar, and I don't recommand to use it :
    "il pleut comme vache qui pisse" = "it's pouring down / it's pissing down". But literaly : "it's raining as when a cow is pissing".
    Konnichiwa Oliver Twist-san!

    Oh, cow pissing! I don't want to get wet with rain.
    There is not the same expression in Japan, but it is a fun expression.

    Well, there are several more but these are the most poetic examples. Any or all still in common use?
    Konnichiwa Elizabeth-san!

    I usually use "Hitoame", "Ooame" and "Kosame". And the other words are used in weather forecast.

    In French I also know "il pleut a seaux" (it's raining by buckets) et "il pleut a verse" (exact translation of "it's pouring", as "verser" means "to pour" ; what's more "une averse" is "a shower" in English). In Belgium, people also use the verb dracher" in French, which also means to pour, pelt, etc. (normal they shoud have additional vocabulary with the rotten Belgian weather)
    Konnichiwa Maciamo-san!

    il pleut a seaux! There is the same expression "Baketsu wo Hikkurikaeshita youna Ame" in Japan. It means "Rain as turn bucket over" in literal translation.

    NANGI

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    Thank you, is there any more references to environmental word origins in early Japanese?

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