Saturday, January 28, 2012

Japanniversary week: Words I never thought I'd know (and use)

We're a day away from our 1st Japanniversay. If you haven't submitted your guesses for the contest, it's not too late. Click here for details. Also, you can still possibly win a prize if your comment on any post in the past 6 days is chosen at random, so get to commenting!


Learning language has been one of the biggest challenges about living in Japan. This is a challenge we anticipated of course. And over the past year, I can confidently say we've made great progress in our abilities to listen, speak, read and write.

Through out the year, we've learned many words through daily conversation, eaves-dropping, tv and fliers. Sometimes I learn a word that I think is soooo random, yet I find my self using it frequently.

I've made a list of some of our favorite random words in Japanese. I hope you get a kick out of them, like we have. If you're feeling adventurous, try them out for yourself.

かんそう kanso:
Dry air, as in "every problem you are experiencing from your runny nose to you dry skin is caused by kanso."

ふうふ fu-fu:
married couple. When we arrived I was curious about this word since people referred to us as Borba-fufu.

あみもの amimono:
knitting/crocheting. Not to be confused with aMAImono (あまいもの) which means sweets.

Sample sentence-
"Watashi wa amimono o shinagara, amaimono o tabemasu."
While I knit, I eat sweets."

にんしん ninshin:
Pregnancy. I actually had to search this one out, but since learning it I've used it on a daily basis!

Sample sentence-
"Ninshin shite imasu."
I'm pregnant (I am doing pregnancy).

Be careful not to say,
妊娠です。(ninshin desu) which means "I am pregnancy", or you'll get a lot of confused faces when you announce your big news. (Yes, I know this first hand.)

あぶない abunai:
Dangerous. I'm not sure why we love this word. probably because it can be used on it's own as a warning. It has become a daily expression in our home. We enjoy pointing our the dangerous things all around us like snow, ice, scissors on the couch, blowdryer near the sink.... you get the idea. :)

Sample sentences-
"Abunai desu yo ne!"
It's dangerous, huh?!

ストーブ sto-bu:
heater. I was surprised to learn sto-bu didn't mean stove, it means heater. I thought for sure ヒータ(hee-ta) would mean heater, but no. So don't tell people you cooked your dinner on the sto-bu. Okay?

イビベド beibeee-bedo:
crib. While teaching an English lesson, I learned this word. my students we're confused about the meaning of "crib" so I drew a picture.
"Oh.... "beibeee bedo"!"

I figured it would be a katakana English word (an english word pronounced like Japanese) but I assumed it would be クリブ (ku-ri-bu). But, I guess beibee-bedo works too, right?

Do you have a favorite word or phrase in Japanese?

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