Japanese Lessons

What does ‘iimawashi’ (言い回し) mean, and how is it different from ‘tōmawashi’ (遠回し)

The two words, ‘iimawashi’ (言い回し) and ‘tōmawashi’ (遠回し) Hello again, everybody! Do you know the two expressions ‘iimawashi’ and ‘tōmawashi’? You might just know ‘tōmawashi’, but not ‘iimawashi’, which you may have heard for the first time. Let’s look at ‘tōmawashi’ first. The meaning of ‘tōmawashi’ ‘Tōmawashi’ is used both as a noun ‘tōmawashi’ and an adjectival verb ‘tōmawashi da/na/ni’. Its meaning is ‘not saying directly but in a roundabout way, or beating about/around the bush’. Another expression, ‘motte mawatta’ (literally: going round while having something), has a similar, but stronger, meaning and means, ‘not saying directly but in an excessively roundabout way’. Examples of ‘tōmawashi’ ‘tōmawashi ni chūi suru’ (to advice/caution in a roundabout way) ‘tōmawashi ni tashinameru’ (to reprove/reprimand indirectly) The meaning of ‘īmawashi’ The word ‘iimawashi’, on the other hand, means ‘a mode/manner of expression’. Examples of ‘iimawashi’ ‘shareta iimawashi da’ (It is a witty/smart expression.) ‘tōmawashi na iimawashi wo suru’ (to speak in a roundabout manner of expression) (N.B. Both ‘tōmawash’ and ‘iimawashi’ can be used thus together!) ‘motte mawatta iimawashi wo suru na!’ (Don’t talkin such a roundabout manner of expression) (N.B. Like ② both ‘motte mawatta’ and ‘iimawashi’ can also be used thus together!) ‘ki […]

The difference between ‘daijina’ (大事な) and ‘taisetsuna’ (大切な)

The meanings of ‘daijina’ (大事な) and ‘taisetsuna’ (大切な) ‘daijina’ (大事な):  ‘Daijina’ is an adjectival verb and there is also a noun ‘daiji’. Here, however, we are only concerned about the adjectival verb form. Meaning ① recognizing the value of something and cherishing it        e.g. ‘daijina takaramono’ (valuable treasure)       ‘O-karada wo o-daiji ni.`       (Take good care of yourself. [literally: Treat your body as a treasure.]) Meaning ② being important        e.g. ‘daijina yakume wo hatasu’ (to fulfil one’s important duty)        ‘daijina tokoro wo yoku benkyō suru’ (to study important sections very carefully) ‘taisetsuna’ (大切な) ‘Taisetsuna’ is an adjectival verb but, unlike ‘daijina’, there is no noun form. Meaning ① being very important        e.g. ‘taisetsuna shigen’ (very important resources)  Meaning ② handling/dealing with something very carefully because it is important        e.g. ‘Bijutsuhin wo taisetsu ni atsukau.’ (To handle works of art very carefully)        ‘O-karada wo taisetsu ni nasatte kudasai.’ (Take good care of yourself. [literally: Do handle your body very carefully.]) Two words, ‘daijina’ (大事な) and ‘taisetsuna’ (大切な), are almost synonymous! You can see from the above examples that the two words are almost synonymous and very often interchangeable. It often happens that […]

Who are ‘Minnasan’ (みんなさん)?

  The meaning of ‘minna’ (みんな) ‘Minnna’ is written 皆 in a Chinese character, which is also pronounced ‘mina’. Then is there any difference in meaning between the two? In fact, both mean the same! They mean ‘everybody’ or ‘everything’. However, there is NO expression like ‘minnasan’ in Japanese; you have to say ‘minasan’ [mina ‘everybody’ + -san (a polite suffix)]. ‘Mina’ is the traditionally correct pronunciation, and ‘minna’ is a more recent expression and more informal word used in conversation. If you watch historical Japanese dramas called ‘jidaigeki’ (時代劇), you will hear characters in authority always speak of ‘mina’ or ‘mina no mono’ (みなの者 [a rather condescending expression, which means ‘everybody’.]), but not ‘minna’. Compared to ‘mina’, ‘minna’ is a more informal everyday expression and a little more emphatic than ‘mina’. [See ‘minna’ in Meikyo Japanese Dictinary. 2002] How and when are ‘minna’ and ‘mina’ used? Children, for example, use ‘minna’, but hardly ever ‘mina’. That is because their teachers almost always use ‘minna’, and children imitate that expression. (You have to remember, though, that even teachers say ‘minasan’ with ‘-san’, never ‘minnasan’!) Besides teachers, ordinary adults also address children as ‘minna’ (and ‘minasan’). However, because adults also use […]

~~だらけand~~まみれare different?①

The theme It’s hard to tell the difference between「だらけ」and「まみれ」. So I want to explain the difference this time. At first, we should know about the meaning of 「だらけ」and「まみれ」 The meaning of「だらけ」and「まみれ」 「だらけ」 ①We put 「だらけ」 after a noun, to express that something was polluted, and the polluted area is expanding on the surface of the object. 。~にまみれている。 ②Using「だらけ」 to a noun to express that there is lot of it. 「まみれ」 Putted after a noun , to express the contamination of a whole thing. And it also refers to an embarrassing situation. It also can be used for abstract meaning like 「俗塵(ぞくじん)にまみれる」 to be used for a bad image. Etymologically,「まみれ」is a derivative word form the verb「塗(まみ)れる」。Let’s check the meaning of「塗れる」。 「まみれる」 Something is polluted as a whole. After we learn and understand about the meaning of 「だらけ」, we can tell that there is some situation that「だらけ」and「まみれ」have the same meaning. Examples of「だらけ」and「まみれ」 Let’s read and analyze these examples. 「だらけ」① 銃撃戦の後、辺りは血だらけだった。 After a gunfight, there were a lot of bloodstains all around. 土足で家に入ったので、床が泥だらけだ。After he get into the house wearing shoes, the floor was covered with a lot of mud. 血だらけになっても、立ち上がる。 He’s standing, though he’s covered in blood. 泥だらけの作業着 A work uniform witch is […]