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Thread: Japanese words with numerous English translations

  1. #1
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Post Japanese words with numerous English translations

    Lot's of Japanese words are difficult to translate in English because there are so many ways of expressing it in English, with certain nuances. In bilingual books/mangas or films/animes in Japanese with English subtitles, the English translation is often not just literal, but add slang and idioms, or at least try to be creative. The results is that the English version often sounds better than the original. My impressions is that Japanese vocabulary is rather limited and repetitive.


    "Irasshaimase"

    This expression is difficult to translate into English, because it has 3 different meanings. It's the polite form of "iku" (to go), "kuru" (to come) and "iru" (to stay/be). It is used to welcome customers into shops or restaurants.
    The "-mase" ending is a kind of polite imperative. The closest translation would thus be "please come !" or just "welcome !". Sometimes, people will say "irasshatte kudasai", which means the same.

    There is another word for welcome in Japanese : "youkoso", but it's used more in the sense of really welcoming someone as a guest or visitor, normally not as a customer.


    tanoshimu@Šy‚µ‚Þ

    Could be translated easily by "enjoy oneself", but in many cases, that sounds strange in English. We could also translate it by "having fun", "having a good time", "appreciate"...

    The adjective "tanoshii" means therefore : fun, enjoyable, amusing, entertaining, relaxing, pleasant, likeable and so on.

    Here are a few related words also difficult to translate in just one word :

    1) yorokobu@Šì‚Ô (v) : rejoice, be delighted, be glad/happy/pleased...
    2) ureshii@Šð‚µ‚¢ (adj) : happpy, glad ; pleasant...
    3) omoshiroi@–Ê”’‚¢ (adj) : fun, funny, comical, entertaining, amusing, interesting...

    Lots of dictionaries give very approximate translations. For example, "omoshiroi" is often translated as "interesting", which is I think a very misleading translation. I often hear Japanese people saying that they went to Disneyland or sing karaoke and that it was "interesting" when they really mean funny, amusing or entertaining. "omoshiroi" cannot be used for the most common meaning of "interesting", e.g. saying that a book is interesting, even if it's a book on the holocaust which is not funny at all.

    There are usually more words in English, which is why Japanese people often have trouble finding an adequate translation (and think Japanese in more convenient), while English-speakers (and speakers of other European languages) usually look for nuances that don't exist in Japanese.

    Here are more examples :


    okoru “{‚é

    Always translated in dictionaries as "get angry" or "get mad" (though that is US English). There is a wide range of distinct emotions in English or European languages that is comprised in this term. There are few Japanese words to express all the nuances of : offended, displeased, vexed, incensed, exasperated, piqued, outraged, insulted, ruffled, disgruntled, irritated, upset, affronted, hurt, wounded...

    We could say that only half of those are really common in English, but I can only think of 3 common in Japanese : "okoru", "iraira suru" and "mukatsuku". The 2nd refers to irritation, nervousness or basically being flustered, agitated, confused...
    "Mukatsuku" also coneys the meaning of being sick (vomit), but is otherwise used to say that someone is irritated or offended. IMO, it's usually not strong and is a common response to little teasing. It then means "stop bothering me" or what an English-speaker would feel more inclined to reply : "f*ck you" (although it stays quite polite in Japanese).

    There is another related expression that just means "to hurt someone's feeling" : kanjou wo gai suru Š´î‚ðŠQ‚·‚é. There is no adjective for "hurt, wounded,

    In my dictionary "displeased" was rendered as "fukai dearu" •s‰õ‚Å‚ ‚é. "fukai" means "unpleasant", so "to be displeased" is just "something is unpleasant" in Japanese.

    "midasu" —‚· can be used to say that sb or sth disturb, bother, annoy or irritate you.

    Among the less common, "bujoku" •ŽJ means "insult, affront, contempt, slight..."

    Everytime, there are so much more English words that it is very difficult to render nuances in Japanese, and vice-versa, when one Japanese word is used, it's difficult to choose the most appropriate translation that has the right connotation.
    Last edited by Maciamo; Jun 17, 2003 at 16:00.

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  2. #2
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    baka

    The only real insult to intelligence in Japanese. This is one of the best examples of how Japanese content themselves of a single words, while Westerners long for extreme diversity. That's a very interesting cultural difference. Moreover, Japanese being so polite and respectful, they couldn't have very offensive words.

    In English, "baka" (non or adj.) can mean : stupid, foolish, unintelligent, dumb, dense, brainless, retarded, dull(-witted), slow(-witted), half-witted, simple(-minded), thick, dim, dopey, moro*ic, imbecilic, cretinous, thick, idiotic, silly, absurd, ridiculous, co*k-eyed, daft...
    or in nouns : fool, idiot, nitwit, dunce, dullard, dunderhead, dolt, dim-wit, dope, thickhead, nincompoop, etc, etc.

  3. #3
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    urusai

    Usually translated as "noisy". It means much more than that. Most of the time it really means "shut up !" or "be quiet !". English has several more or less polite way of saying this, but that doesn't come any where near French in diversity and intensity.

    One variant is "damare", which is less polite and really means : shut up, keep silent, stay mum, shut your trap, pipe down, etc.

    Urusai means all this, but remains quite polite.

  4. #4
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Another example may be Shinjirarenai M‚¶‚ç‚ê‚È‚¢ which can mean
    variously unbelievable, or too amazing to be believed (M‚¶‚ç‚ê‚È‚¢‚悤‚È, but similar to ‚Ñ‚Á‚­‚è‚·‚é‚悤‚È),incredible, unthinkable with perhaps a tinge of genuine untrustworthiness or skepticism as well. And even these usages often don't really map very well onto common English applications, which it seems tend to be more flexible (such as in response to both positive and negative events) than in Japanese.

    For instance, ‚¤‚ꂵ‚¢‚±‚±‚ª‚ ‚Á‚½‚Æ‚«‚â”ß‚µ‚¢‚±‚Æ‚©‹N‚«‚½Žž‚Ɂu M‚¶‚ç‚ê‚È‚¢v‚Æ‚¢‚¤“ú–{l‚ª‚¢‚Ü‚·‚ª‚±‚̏ꍇ[unbelievable] ‚É‹ß‚¢‚Å‚µ‚傤B
    ˆê•û‚ł͉pŒê‚Å[unbelievable]‚Í‘å’ïÕŒ‚“I‚Å—Ç‚­‚È‚¢o—ˆŽ–‚ɑ΂µ‚ÄŽg‚í‚ê‚Ü‚·B

    Or, íŽ¯‚ł͍l‚¦‚ç‚ê‚È‚¢‚悤‚È‚±‚Æ‚ð‚·‚él‚ðŒ©‚½Žž‚Ɂu M‚¶‚ç‚ê‚È‚¢v‚Æ‚¢‚¤“ú–{l‚ª‚¢‚Ü‚·‚ª‚±‚̏ꍇ[unthinkable]‚É‹ß‚¢Š´‚¶‚Å‚µ‚傤B‰pŒê‚Å‚Í[unthinkable]‚͔ߌ€“I‚ȏo—ˆŽ–‚ɑ΂µ‚ÄŽg‚í‚ê‚Ü‚·‚ªA•K‚¸‚µ‚àÕŒ‚ “I‚Å‚ ‚Á‚½‚è‹Á‚­‚悤‚È‚±‚Æ‚Å‚ ‚é•K—v‚Í‚È‚¢‚Å‚·B

    Finally,@‹N‚±‚è‚»‚¤‚Å‚È‚¢‚悤‚È‚±‚Æ‚ª‹N‚«‚½Žž‚àu M‚¶‚ç‚ê‚È‚¢v‚Æ‚¢‚¤‚Æ‚«‚ª‚ ‚è‚Ü‚·‚ªA‚±‚̏ꍇ‚Í[incredible]‚É‹ß‚¢‚Å‚µ‚傤B‰pŒê‚Å[incredible]‚Í‹Á‚«i—Ç‚¢‚±‚Æ‚àˆ«‚¢‚±‚Æ‚àj‚ð•\‚µ‚Ü‚·‚ªAÕŒ‚“I ‚Å‚ ‚é•K—v‚Í‚È‚¢‚Å‚·B

  5. #5
    Taicho mdchachi's Avatar
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    For example, "omoshiroi" is often translated as "interesting", which is I think a very misleading translation. I often hear Japanese people saying that they went to Disneyland or sing karaoke and that it was "interesting" when they really mean funny, amusing or entertaining.
    I think "pleasant" may be the most apt or common meaning for "omoshiroi." The word you might use after reading a book about a serious subject is "kyoumibukai."

    okoru “{‚é

    I can only think of 3 common in Japanese : "okoru", "iraira suru" and "mukatsuku".
    You forgot "atama ni kuru" which is a pretty common way to express anger.

  6. #6
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mdchachi
    I think "pleasant" may be the most apt or common meaning for "omoshiroi." The word you might use after reading a book about a serious subject is "kyoumibukai."



    You forgot "atama ni kuru" which is a pretty common way to express anger.
    Also "hara ga tatsu/wo tateru" for being angry oneself or the victim of it. Although I've just seen it used in newspapers and on various web sites, so not sure about conversationally.

    And I have the same frustration trying to say something is at the same time both "interesting" and "humourous" in Japanese. Sometimes even resorting to "okashii," even knowing it has sort of a weird implication that something is funny in more of a strange or off-beat way than I was intending.

  7. #7
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mdchachi
    You forgot "atama ni kuru" which is a pretty common way to express anger.
    I know it's similar, but I would rather translate "atama ni kuru" by idomatic expressions like "get on one's nerves", "drive someone up the wall/round the bend", "get somebody's back up", "ruffle someone's feather".


    I think "pleasant" may be the most apt or common meaning for "omoshiroi." The word you might use after reading a book about a serious subject is "kyoumibukai."
    IMO, the most common meaning of "omoshiroi" is "funny", then "agreable/pleasant". The latter can also be translated by "kimochi ga ii" (feels good) or "kaiteki" (confortable).
    As Elizabeth says, there isn't a word that means "funny" without another connotation ("interesting or pleasant" for "omoshiroi" and "strange" for "okashii"). That's why "funny" is also used in katankana (ƒtƒ@ƒj[), but as it's pronounced "fanny", I can't help feeling uneasy about using it (not sure also Americans use "fanny" to talk about a vagina though, in which case you wouldn't understand...).
    Last edited by Maciamo; Jun 22, 2003 at 15:11.

  8. #8
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    abunai

    A dictionnary will tell you : "risky" or "dangerous", but it really means "watch out", "be careful/cautious" or even "let me through", "watch behind/in front of you"... In signs, it means "caution !".
    I've also found these tranlations : "critical; grave; uncertain; unreliable; limping; narrow; close".

    I often hear parents saying "abunai" to their children in the street when a car or a bicycle is coming. I've also heard elderly women using it in the meaning "let me through" or "watch out I am coming, don't move brusquely!". That's exaggerated if we think it means "risky, risky !", as it often isn't at all. Otherwise, Japanese would feel so much scaredy-cat, as I hear "abunai" all the time.

  9. #9
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Maciamo
    IMO, the most common meaning of "omoshiroi" is "funny", then "agreable/pleasant". The latter can also be translated by "kimochi ga ii" (feels good) or "kaiteki" (confortable).
    As Elizabeth says, there isn't a word that means "funny" without another connotation ("interesting or pleasant" for "omoshiroi" and "strange" for "okashii"). That's why "funny" is also used in katankana (ƒtƒ@ƒj[), but as it's pronounced "fanny", I can't help feeling uneasy about using it (not sure also Americans use "fanny" to talk about a vagina though, in which case you wouldn't understand...).
    You can also use the expression –Ê”’‚­‚āAŒ‹\Î‚¦‚é–{‚Å‚· for a book or anything else to get across the idea of "omoshiroii" as "interesting" but which also rises to a certain level of humor -- enough to make the speaker laugh, anyway. . And "warau hon" would probably preserve the distinction in English between something at which you will laugh and something that can make you laugh.
    Such as this game. There's nothing about it at which you can laugh per se, but I can imagine players will based on their own experience with these sorts of adverse experiences and hardships, etc.

    http://www.asahi.com/national/update/0624/033.html
    Last edited by Elizabeth; Jun 25, 2003 at 00:22.

  10. #10
    Regular Member Enfour's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Maciamo
    [B]abunai

    A dictionnary will tell you : "risky" or "dangerous", but it really means "watch out", "be careful/cautious" or even "let me through", "watch behind/in front of you"... In signs, it means "caution !".
    I've also found these tranlations : "critical; grave; uncertain; unreliable; limping; narrow; close".
    Doesn't the slang version of abunai also mean something similar to echi or eroi? ie when somebody is being or saying something a bit cheeky/naughty in a sexual way..
    "Have you had your daily Tango today?"

  11. #11
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    okyaku-san

    One of the most common Japanese words, heard everyday and everywhere.
    It basically means "customer" or "client", but it is used for any kind of service and there are dozens of nuances for each of them in English : patron, buyer, shopper, purchaser, clientele (e.g. of restaurants), regular (e.g. of a pub), passenger (plane, train, bus, taxi...), etc.

    It also means "guest" (at home, for instance) or "visitor" (in a company), so it does not necessarily involve money.

  12. #12
    Danshaku Elizabeth's Avatar
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    I received this email a while back laying out in rough terms the distinction between ‹q (kyaku) and ŒÚ‹q (kokayku). The latter is still a mite bit confusing, though, since it is rendered as "clientele" in most dictionaries but apparently encompasses client relationships more generally, ie the hiring company as the client/clientele from the perspective of the ¿•‰l or contractor.


    ‹q‚͈Ӗ¡‚ªL‚­A‚½‚Æ‚¦‚΂ ‚È‚½‚Ì—F’B‚ª‚ ‚È‚½‚Ì‰Æ‚É —V‚Ñ‚É—ˆ‚Ä‚¢‚½‚Æ‚«‚É‚Í
    @‚»‚Ì—F’B‚Í‹q‚Å‚·B‚Ü‚½A’ƒ“¹‚̐搶‚𐶓k‚ªŽ©‘î‚É µ‚¢‚Ä‚¨’ƒ‰ï‚ðŠJ‚¢‚½ê‡
    @‚»‚̐搶‚É‚¨‹à‚𕥂Á‚Ä—ˆ‚Ä‚à‚ç‚Á‚½‚Æ‚µ‚Ä‚àA‚»‚Ì æ¶‚Í‹q‚Å‚·B
    @ƒRƒ“ƒrƒjƒGƒ“ƒgƒXƒgƒA‚É”ƒ‚¢•¨‚É—ˆ‚Ä‚¢‚él‚à‹q‚Å‚· ‚µƒoƒX‚ɏæ‚Á‚Ä‚¢‚éæ‹q‚à‹q‚Å‚·B
    @‘¢‘D‰ïŽÐ‚Í“S”‚ðì‚Á‚Ä‚¢‚é‰ïŽÐ‚É‚Æ‚Á‚Čڋq‚É‚È‚è ‚Ü‚·B
    @ŒÚ‹qi‚±‚«‚á‚­j‚Æ‚¢‚Á‚½ê‡‚Í‚ ‚È‚½‚̉ƂɗV‚Ñ‚É —ˆ‚Ä‚¢‚é—F’B‚Í“ü‚è‚Ü‚¹‚ñ‚µ
    @‚¨’ƒ‚̐搶‚àŒÚ‹q‚Å‚Í‚ ‚è‚Ü‚¹‚ñB‹t‚É‚¨’ƒ‚̐搶‚© ‚猩‚é‚ƁA¶“k‚͌ڋq‚Æ‚È‚è‚Ü‚·B
    @Ž„‚ÌŒ©‰ð‚©‚ç‚¢‚¤‚ƁA‹q‚Æ‚Í‚¨‹à‚𕥂Á‚Ä‚à‚炤A‚à ‚ç‚í‚È‚¢‚É‚©‚©‚í‚炸A’P‚ÉŠO‚©‚ç—ˆ‚½l
    @‚Å‚ ‚èAŒÚ‹q‚Æ‚Í‚¨‹à‚𕥂Á‚ăT[ƒrƒX‚╨•i‚ðŽó‚¯Žæ‚él‚Ü‚½‚Í–@l‚ÆŽv‚¢‚Ü‚·B
    @‚½‚¾‚µA•a‰@‚ÌŠ³ŽÒ‚ɑ΂µ‚Ä•a‰@‚ªŒÚ‹q‚ƍl‚¦‚Ä‚¢‚é ‚©‚Ç‚¤‚©‚Í‹^–â‚Å‚·‚ªB
    @‚Ü‚½Å–±‚Í”[ÅŽÒ‚ðŒÚ‹q‚Ƃ͍l‚¦‚Ä‚È‚¢‚Å‚µ‚傤B
    Last edited by Elizabeth; Jul 13, 2003 at 21:44.

  13. #13
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    oshare ŒäŸ­—Ž

    or alternatively "shareta"

    About clothes :
    smart, smartly dressed, fashionable, fashion-conscious, tasteful, stylish, dressy, well-dressed, neat, snazzy, voguish, modish, chic, elegant, trendy, with-it, ritzy, up-to-date, up-to-the-minute, spruce, trim, natty, snappy, out of a bandbox, dandy, fob, coxwomb, beau, be a sharp dresser...

    Japanese has adopted several of the above English words to fill the gaps of nuances. Those that are used are : chic, elegant, smart, fashion, vogue and style. There is the Japanese word —¬s (ryuukou) that also means "in vogue" or "fashionable" and proably a few others, but to talk about a person dressing well or caring about their look "oshare" is the most common.

  14. #14
    __________ budd's Avatar
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    okyakusan means something else also -- i heard
    liking this topic, thanks
    ttp://www.tcvb.or.jp/

  15. #15
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    shouganai / shikataganai

    it can't be helped; it's no use (doing) ; there is no point (doing) ; there is no other choice ; there is nothing that can be done ; it's out of one's hand ; it's like that, it's life, it's destinty ; it's inevitable, unavoidable, unpreventable, inoxerable, inescapable, settled, predestined, destined, fated, ordained...

    What's gone is gone ; no need to cry over spilt milk ; it's (just) bad luck...

    can't stand it; being impatient; be dying to do sth ; being annoyed

  16. #16
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    tsumaranai ‹l‚Ü‚ç‚È‚¢

    insignificant, small, worthless, trifling, unimportant, shallow, superficial, trivial, petty, foolish, empty, frivolous...

    In the expression "tsumranai mono desu ga,..." : This is a little something/small gift for you, it's not much, but...

    In the meaning of "taikutsu" ‘Þ‹ü

    Boring, dull, annoying, tiring, tiresome, disappointing, tedious, monotonous, uninteresting, unexciting, flat, unvaried, repetitious, humdrum, weary, wearisome, dry-as-dust, samey...

    There are a few synonyms though :
    -tanchou (na) = monotonous, unvaried
    - akiaki suru = to be sick, fed up, bored to death...

    kudaranai ‰º‚ç‚È‚¢

    This word is similar to "tsumaranai" above, but more with the idea of "worthlessness" than "boredom", like in the phrase "kudaranai koto wo iwanaide" (don't talk rubbish, stop with your nonsense, don't say stupid things...)

    trivial, unimportant, worthless, pointless, contemptible, despicable, depraved,@good-for-nothing, stupid, foolish, nonsense, bullshit, trash(y), etc.


    ira ira suru/saseru ‰Õ‰Õ‚·‚é/‚³‚¹‚é

    To be nervous, impatient, edgy, bothered, to lose one's temper, try one's patience, irritate, get on one's nerves, annoy, bother, ruffle, disturb, exasperate, pester, peeve, nettle, irk...
    Idioms : to drive up the wall, get one's back up, get up one's nose, rub up the wrong way, drive one bananas...

    See also "okoru" above.

  17. #17
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    I am sometimes surprised at the lack of diversity and nuances in expressings feelings and emotions in Japanese. Japanese always use the same words again and again. Even if a dictionary gives you other terms, they are scarecely used. Japanese express themselves with the more basic emotions only : ureshii, kanashii, tanoshii, tsumaranai, okoru, yorokobu, etc. I've already listed several of them. The common mistake of English-speakers learning Japanese is to try to find the same nuances of emotions as in English. But Japanese are happy using always the same words and change its intensity with an adverb like "very, extremely, a little,..." (totemo, sugoi, chotto...).

    ureshii Šð‚µ‚¢

    - To be glad, happy, delighted, joyful, overjoyed, cheerful, pleased, contented, grateful, elated, jubilant, exultant, ecstatic, euphoric, enraptured thrilled (to bits), over the moon, in 7th heaven, on cloud nine, floating on air, on top of the world, tickled pink...
    - It feels good, it's a great pleasure, it's heart-warming...
    - It's nice, fantastic, wonderful, marvelous, sensational, brill(iant), first-class, top-notch, ace, magic...

    Some translation can be adapted with "yorokobu" or "kigen"+adj. (kigen ga ii...). Here are the only near synonyms I've found, with the principal meaning underlined :

    - yukai –ù‰õ : pleasant, delightful, cheerful, fun, interesting...
    - koufuku K•Ÿ : happiness, blessedness, well-being, well-fare, good luck, fortune...
    - manzoku shita –ž‘«‚µ‚½ : be satisfied, content, happy, complacent, pleased...
    - ki ni hairu ‹C‚É“ü‚é : to like, be glad, be pleased...


    kanashii ”ß‚µ‚¢

    - Sad, sorrowful, depressed, blue, unhappy, miserable, gloomy, melancholic, mournful, downcast, dejected, despondant, disconsolate, woeful, doleful, forlorn, woebegone, wretched, in low spirits, low, downhearted, broken-hearted, sick at heart, grieving, down in the dumps/mouth/pits,
    - depressing, unfortunate, sorry, unsetting, distresing, dispiriting, heart-rending, pitiful, pitiable, grievous, tragic, disastrous, calamitous, pessimistic, hopeless...
    - deplorable, regrettable, pathetic, shameful, disgraceful...

    There are a few other words than kanashii in Japanese :

    - aware(na)@ˆ£‚ê‚È : miserable, sad, compassionate...
    - kawaisou(na)@‰Âˆ¤‚»‚¤‚È : poor, pitiful, sad, sorrowful, miserable...
    - urei D‚¢ : sorrowful, sad, unhappy, gloomy...
    - mijime(na) ŽS‚ß‚È : miserable, wretched,...
    - nagekawashii ’Q‚©‚킵‚¢ : deplorable, regrettable, disappointing...
    - inki(na) ‰A‹C‚È : gloomy, melancholic, dismal, tenebrous, sombre, dreary...
    - rakutan shita —Ž’_‚µ‚½ : discouraged, disappointed, dejected, dispondent, down (in the dumps)...

    Sometimes thereare variant like "kanashige(na)" ”ß‚µ‚°‚È or "kanashisou(na)" ”ß‚µ‚»‚¤‚È instead of "kanashii", but the difference is of the kind of "pitiful" and "pitiable"; they are almost identical.

    The other nuances can only be rendered wih adjectives, adverbs, verbs, etc. For example, "mournful" will be "kanashimi ni shizunda" ”ß‚µ‚Ý‚É’¾‚ñ‚¾, which literally translates as : "sunk in sadness".
    "Woeful" or "grievous" will be "kanashimi ni michita" ”ß‚µ‚Ý‚É–ž‚¿‚½, "filled with sadness". But it's always the word "kanashii" that is used.

    Lots of nuances are just impossible to render. The literary term "forlorn" means pitifully sad and lonely (at the same time).

    Sometimes it's possible to create kanji compound with the few words above. "Hisan(na)" ”ߎS‚È is a mix of "sad" and "miserable" and still means "miserable".
    Last edited by Maciamo; Jul 24, 2003 at 13:44.

  18. #18
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    tondemonai

    1) what a thing to say!, no way!, not at all, on the contrary, nothing, my foot !, it's out of the question !, not in hell, ...
    2) unexpected, offensive, outrageous, terrible, horrendous, unforgivable, unearthly...
    3) to be anything but... , to be far from (being)...
    4) let alone (doing)...

  19. #19
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    etchi

    sexy, erotic, sexually exciting/arousing/stimulating, indecent, lewd, perverted, obscene, lecherous, lustful, licentious, pornographic, porno, porn, raunchy, slacious, prurient, dirty, filthy smutty, titillating, erogenous, aphrodisiac, libidinous, sensual, seductive, carnal, amatory, suggestive, steamy, provocative, attractive, shapely,...

    All these English terms have very different conotations. Some are positive (attractive, seductive, aphrodisiac...), some are neutral (erotic, suggestive...), some slightly negative (porn, raunchy...) and others frankly negative (obscene, perverted, lewd...). Although there are other words with negative connotation in Japanese ("hentai" for "pervert" and "midara, inwai, waisetsu and yahi" for "obscenity"), "etchi" is the most common word and is used for all kinds of situations. Japanese seem to always see "etchi" in the same light and it isn't negative, surely because of the lack of Judeo-Christian sense of sin attached to it. Does this have an influence on Japanese sexual behaviour too ?

    uwaki

    adultery, infidelity, cheating, playing-around, hanky-panky, affair, liaison, amour, intrigue, unfaithful(ness), fickle, faithless, untrue, inconstant, two-timing...

    promiscuous, flighty, loose, wanton, flirtatous, fast, immoral, unvirtuous, impure, lustful, libertine, debauched, dissipated, dissolute, degenerate... (=> see "etchi" and "nampa" too for these nuances).

    The meaning is very negative and much closer to "adultery" than "liaison" or "amour".

    It's incredible how many times I hear this word on Japanese TV. They have programmes almost everyday talking about that. It's completely disproportionate with what other TV's in countries I've lived in.
    Last edited by Maciamo; Aug 20, 2003 at 15:41.

  20. #20
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    mushi ’Ž

    insect or bug, but also crustaceans, mollusks, arachnids (spiders), reptiles, amphibians, etc. so basically any animal that is not a mammal, bird or fish. Often refers to some particular animals like moths, beetles or whatever insect they don't know the name of.

    The kanji "mushi" is common among shellfish, crabs, etc. But the kanji ‹› "sakana" (fish) also has a wider meaning than just fish, as it is extended to whales too.

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