Today’s 日本語

Person in monkey costume hanging from tree

猿も木から落ちる (さる も き から おちる)

You can have done something a thousand times. Easily mastering it with your eyes closed, hands behind back, spinning plates.

Go to impress someone with it and mess it up so royally you have to move town, change your name, burn your finger prints off with battery acid.

Don’t Worry, as the old saying goes “even monkeys fall from trees”

Today’s 日本語

めんどくさい – mendokusai

It’s Tuesday morning. The sound of your alarm pierces through the dull patter of rain at the window. The grey sky as dark and ominous as your mood. dragging yourself from the warmth of your bed you fumble for phone. AHHHH mendokusai.

It’s Friday afternoon with every passing second you can feel the weekend ahead of you, just when it seems you have a handle on the week, the finish line is in view an email comes in ‘This needs to be done by the end of the day’. AHHHH mendokusai

Sunday evening, lounging slumberous on the sofa barely taking in the meaningless TV you’ve been watching for the last four hours you glance over to see you haven’t actually done the washing up yet. AHHHHHHHHH MENDOKUSAI!

Mendokusai is an untranslatable word in Japanese. it sums up both the tiresome mundanity of a situation and the enormity of a simple task when you are in no good God-damned mood. It is probably  one of the first words any gaijin in Japan learns (beside NAMA KUDASAI!)

Type mendokusai into google translate an you will be told it means troublesome. but when you just can’t be bothered with anything, ‘tiresome’ doesn’t have the same cathartic effect as a nice long drawn-out MENDOKUSAI!

Happy Japanesing!

Today’s 日本語

ABC! easy as 123! NOPE!

Japanese has a very specific way of counting and everything from paper to people to trees have their own way of being counted.

Here are a few,

People take the suffix ~ nin (人)

一人 hitori  二人 futari  三人 san nin  四人 yo-nin  五人 go-nin

animals and insects are ~hiki (匹)

一匹 ippiki  二匹 nihiki 三匹 sanbiki  四匹 yonhiki  五匹 gohiki

Birds and rabbits* use ~wa (一羽)

一羽 ichiwa 二羽 niwa 三羽 sanwa  四羽 yonwa 五羽 go wa

bound objects like books, magazines and gimps take ~ satsu (冊)

一冊 issastu 二冊 nisatsu 三冊 sansatsu 四冊 yonsatsu 五冊 gosatsu

flat objects such as paper, tickets, bills and empty plates use ~mai (枚)

一枚 ichimai 二枚  nimai  三枚 sanmai 四枚 yonmai 五枚 gomai

Plates of food take ~sara (皿)

一皿 hitosara  二皿 futasara 三皿 sansara 四皿 yonsara 五皿 gosara

electronic devices like phones, rice cookers and vehicles take ~dai (台)

一台  ichidai  二台  nidai 三台  sandai 四台  yondai 五台  godai

long things are hon (本) (the kanji means origin………….rude)

一本 ippon  二本  nihon 三本 sanbon  四本 yohon 五本 gohon

 

* the reason that rabbits take the bird counter instead of the animal one is that back back in time religious laws banned eating meat from land animals, but fish and birds were OK. Rabbits, with their long ears could be “mistaken for birds”