駄洒落 (だじゃれ) - Japanese Puns

Posted on November 28, 2016 | genkijacs

In general, dajare could be described as Japanese Puns. However, while English puns are usually created by exchanging a word in sentence with a similar one, dajare benefit from similar sounds within a sentence or different possible interpretations of a sentence.

Here are some examples:

→ イルカがいるか? ("iruka wa iruka?): Is there a dolphin?

→ アルミ缶(かん)の上(うえ)にあるミカン ("arumi kan no ue ni aru mikan"): a mikan on top of an aluminum can
This one could also interpreted as:
あるミカンの上にあるミカン ("aru mikan no ue ni aru mikan"): a mikan on top of another mikan

→ パン作った(つくった)ことある?("pan tsukutta koto aru?"): Have you ever made bread?
can be changed into:
パンツ食(く)ったことある? ("pantsu kutta koto aru?"): Have you ever eaten underwear?

Japanese puns can be hilarious. However, be careful using them as Japanese people might not always agree :)
By the way, the standard response to being told a really bad pun is 寒~い!("samuuui", that's cold).

流行語2016 – More Possible Words

Posted on November 21, 2016 | genkijacs

Here are some more possible 流行語(りゅうこうご) that are likely to be among the 2016 nominees:

→ 野球賭博(とばくやきゅう) (Baseball Betting)
In Japan, betting on a sports team is illegal. Still, it is becoming more and more popular throughout the country. The number of people charged with betting on baseball teams has reached record highs this year.

→ SMAP 解散(かいさん) (SMAP break-up)
In January this year, the famous boy band SMAP announced their break-up. As they did not only have fans within the country but abroad as well, this soon became one of the most discussed issues on television.

→ トランプ旋風(つむじかぜ) (Trump whirlwind)
This term describes the harsh expressions and radical performance of the American presidential candidate Donald Trump and the fierce “election war” he is leading against Hilary Clinton. As the outcome of this election will have great influence on the whole world, even Japanese people are impatiently awaiting November 8th.

→ パーフェクト・ヒューマン (Perfect Human)
During one of his jokes on Oriental Radio (オリエンタルラジオ), the comedian Atsuhiko Nakada used the phrase “I’m a perfect human”. This phrase soon became famous via YouTube.

流行語2016 –Changing World, Changing Word

Posted on November 15, 2016 | genkijacs

While the release of this year’s nominees for the top 流行語(りゅうこうご) is coming closer, let us give you some insight about the “history of 流行語” itself.

In 1984, the publishing house 自由国民社(みんしゃじゆうこく) announced the 新語(しんご)・流行語大賞(たいしょうりゅうこうご) (“New word and Buzzword winners”). Since then a ceremony is held annually awarding the year’s top 流行語.

At that time, the 流行語 were mostly originated in recent news or television and radio programs such as the word “オシンドローム” from the TV series and novel “おしん”. Throughout time, the variety of public media has changed.

Today, ads like Line or other online services like YouTube are an equally common source. For example, the popular smartphone game “ポケモンGO” is one of the possible nominees for 2016.

流行語2016 – What can we expect?

Posted on November 08, 2016 | genkijacs

November is coming and the nominees for the top 流行語(ryukougo) 2016 will soon be announced. 流行語are famous words or phrases made famous by TV, ads etc. We are excited to hear this year’s nominees.

Here are a few words that we think might appear on the list:

→ センテンススプリング (sentence spring)
This word was first used during a Line exchange between Enon Kawatani, a famous vocalist, guitarist and songwriter (Gesu No Itami Otome and Indigo la End) and the celebrity Becky. The word refers to the magazine Bunshun (文春) that had discovered an affair between the two. (文= sentence; 春=spring)

→ パナマ文書(ぶんしょ)(panama documents)
This term refers to a series of secret documents that often appear on the media in relation to tax avoidance.

→ グラブる
This catchphrase derives from a popular smartphone game called グランブルーファンタジー.

A totally different sort of test

Posted on November 01, 2016 | genkijacs

When studying a foreign language, one of the most interesting parts is the one that can’t be taught in lessons: words and expressions that sound hilariously strange if translated directly.

How well do you know the Japanese language? Find out by trying to make sense of these terrible translations. Take out a piece of paper, write down whatever comes to your mind and then check your answers (given below).

1.) She is a Christmas cake. (hint: you cannot eat this poor girl.)
2.) Yesterday, I bought some horizontal rice.
3.) My mouth is lonely.
4.) Did you see that barcode man?
5.) This boy is a real parasite single.
6.) My hand is leaving my throat!
7.) That was great. My cheeks are falling off.

1.) クリスマスケーキ: This term describes a woman at the age of 25 that is not yet married.
2.) 横飯 (よこめし, yokomeshi): This is not some weird genetically modified rice. It is normal, western style food.
3.) 口寂しい(くちさびしい, kuchi sabishii): Hearing that one might actually get the impression that your body parts have developed emotions. Just imagine your nose or eyes talking to you talking about how depressing their day might have been. Of course, this is not what this means. Japanese people use the term “lonely mouth” when referring to eating without actually being hungry.
4.) バーコード人 (バーコドひと, "ba-ko-do hito"): This term is used for a balding man whose hair is combed over in a way that makes it look like a barcode. Were you already having nightmares about all the barcodes on your purchases taking over your apartment?
5.) パラサイトシンゲル: An adult living alone staying at their parents’ house. This term is self-explanatory … once you know what it means.
6.) 喉から手が出る (のどからてがでる, "nodo kara te ha deru"):However scary this might sound, it is actually just the expression for wanting something terribly bad.
7.) ほっぺたが落ちる(ほっぺたがおちる "hoppeta ga ochiru"): Don’t worry. Your conversation partner has not developed some kind of weird disease. He has only just eaten something extraordinary delicious.

The Japanese language is full of funny and interesting expressions. If you enjoyed our small test, just go ahead and do some research on your own. It is great fun.