Friday, January 11, 2019

-gatai ~がたい, ~難い

In Japanese, -gatai ~がたい, also written -gatai ~難い, is an auxiliary adjective that means something "hard to do" because you aren't willing to do it, or it's "hard to happen" because you don't believe it normally happen.

(not to be confused with gattai 合体, which means "to combine.")

Example of -gatai ~がたい used in Japanese, from manga Made in Abyss, メイドインアビス
Manga: Made in Abyss, Meido in Abisu メイドインアビス
Thursday, January 10, 2019

-dzurai ~づらい, ~辛い

In Japanese, -dzurai ~づらい, also written -dzurai ~辛い, pronounced the same way as zurai ずらい, and inputted in an IME as durai, is an auxiliary adjective that means a verb is "hard for you to do" because doing it causes you trouble or distress.

Example of ~づらい usage, as seen in the manga Komi-san wa, Comyushou desu. 古見さんは、コミュ症です。
Manga: Komi-san wa, Comyushou desu. 古見さんは、コミュ症です。
Wednesday, January 9, 2019

-nikui ~にくい, ~難い

In Japanese, -nikui ~にくい, also written -nikui ~難い, -nikui ~悪い, is an auxiliary adjective that means something is "hard to do." In essence, -nikui ~にくい is the antonym of the auxiliary adjective -yasui ~やすい, which means "easy to do."

く…なんだか今とてつもなく恥ずかしいことをしている気分だ…息が…息がしにくい… quote from manga Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san からかい上手の高木さん
Manga: Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san からかい上手の高木さん

-yasui ~やすい, 安い, 易い

In Japanese, -yasui ~やすい is an auxiliary adjective that means something is "easy" to do or to happen. It's also a normal i-adjective that means "easy," yasui 易い. When the word is written with a different kanji, yasui 安い, it means something is "cheap" or "calm."
Friday, January 4, 2019

-rashii ~らしい

In Japanese, -rashii ~らしい is an auxiliary adjective that has a couple of tricky meanings. Usually, rashii means "I heard that," or "it seems that," or "it's like that," or "-esque," depending on how it's used.

胸が小さい女子って、そのコトを気にしてる場合が多いらしいぜ。 quote from manga Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san からかい上手の高木さん
Manga: Karakai Jouzu no Takagi-san からかい上手の高木さん
Monday, December 31, 2018

Relative Clauses in Japanese

Relative clauses, or adjective clauses, are, literally, clauses that work as adjectives to modify nouns. Now, that might sound a bit complicated and grammatical if the only clause you know is Santa, but it basically means that you can use verbs to describe things. For example:
  • neko ga shaberu 猫が喋る
    The cat talks.
    • shaberu 喋る
      To talk. (a verb.)
  • shaberu neko 喋る
    The cat [that] talks
    • ...that talks:
      A relative clause.

In the example above, we aren't talking about any one cat. We're talking about the cat that talks, the talking cat, specifically.

In Japanese, relative clauses are called rentai-shuushoku-setsu 連体修飾節, "prenominal modifying clause," since they're clauses that come before nouns to modify them.
Sunday, December 16, 2018

-naide ~ないで

In Japanese, naide ないで is a phrase created from the auxiliary adjective nai ない plus the particle de で. It has a number of different functions, the most common one being to ask people not do something.

Tabenaide!! 食べないで!! - Kaban-chan from anime Kemono Friends けものフレンズ
Anime: "Kemono Friends," Kemono Furenzu けものフレンズ
  • tabenai-de kudasai! 食べないでください!
    Please don't eat me!
  • Kaban-Chan.
Friday, November 30, 2018

No-Adjectives in Japanese

The term no-adjective refers to Japanese adjectives created by adding the no の particle after a noun. Generally speaking, "noun-no-noun" uses the first noun to describe the second noun somehow. This is also called the "genitive case."

The Legendary Yamada Tae.
Anime: Zombieland Saga
  • Densetsu no Yamada Tae
    The Legendary Yamada Tae.
    • densetsu 伝説

The term "no-adjective" is mostly used when teaching Japanese to non-native speakers, because a noun marked by the genitive case-marking particle no の acts like an adjective.

There doesn't seem to be a Japanese equivalent for this term. Some books don't use the term at all. Furthermore, no-adjectives can be used in a hundred different ways, so it'd be very difficult to explain what is a no-adjective exactly, and perhaps even a futile effort.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Na-Adjectives in Japanese, ~な, ナ形容詞

In Japanese, na-adjectives are words that are usually turned into attributive adjectives by adding a na な after them. Some na-adjectives are always classified as adjectives, but others can be classified as nouns or adverbs when they don't have the na.

The term for "na-adjective" in Japanese is na-keyoushi ナ形容詞, abbreviated na-kei ナ形. They're also confusingly called "adjectival nouns" in English and "adjectival verbs" in Japanese, keiyou-doushi 形容動詞, abbreviated keidou 形動.
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

ほしい vs. たい

A question people often have about hoshi 欲しい, or rather, hoshii ほしい, an auxiliary adjective that means "want" in Japanese, is: what's the difference between hoshii and tai たい, another auxiliary which also means "want" in Japanese?

-hoshii ~ほしい, 欲しい

The word hoshii 欲しい is a weird Japanese word. If you check a dictionary, you'll see in Japanese hoshii means "wanted." But that doesn't make much sense, does it? To want is a verb, hoshii is an i-adjective. So how does that work? What's the real meaning of hoshii?
Monday, October 29, 2018

Tai-form ~たい

In Japanese, the "tai-form" happens when you add the -tai ~たい auxiliary adjective to the ren'youkei 連用形 conjugation of a verb, causing it to change to the desiderative mood. In other words, -tai means "want to" in Japanese, and verb-tai means "want to verb."

(beware of homonyms: tai 体, morpheme for "body," and tai 対, "versus." Those are also tai but not what this article is about.)

はぁ…女体触りたいモテたい 直球だね transcript from manga Boku no Hero Academia 僕のヒーローアカデミア
Manga: Boku no Hero Academia 僕のヒーローアカデミア
Saturday, October 27, 2018

i-Adjectives in Japanese, ~い, イ形容詞

An i-adjective is a type of Japanese adjective with a base form ending in -i ~い, like hayai, "fast," kawaii 可愛, "cute," tanoshii 楽し, "fun," and so on.

In Japanese, such words are called keiyoushi 形容詞, "adjectives," or, more specifically, i-keiyoushi イ形容詞, abbreviated i-kei イ形.

The i-adjectives are different from other Japanese adjectives by the fact they're true adjectives: the word is an adjective as-is, it isn't a noun or adverb that needs a particle in order to be used as an adjective. (which is the case with na-adjectives and no-adjectives.)
Monday, October 22, 2018

Swearing with Kono この

In anime, sometimes you have a character swearing in Japanese saying something like kono...! something. Like kono yarou!, kono baka yarou!, kono baka!, kono aho! Well. Anyway, it starts with kono この, which means "this," but it often gets translated as "you." In this post I'll explain why.

仕方…なく… こ……の…… transcript from manga Zatch Bell! / Konjiki no Gasshu!! 金色のガッシュ!!
Manga: Zatch Bell! / Konjiki no Gasshu!! 金色のガッシュ!!
Sunday, October 21, 2018

Yarou 野郎

The word yarou 野郎 (or yarō, also spelled やろう, ヤロー, ヤロウ), is a rather weird word. By itself, it can be a casual or rather rude way to say "guy." Originally, it referred to an adult man. But the way you see it used most often in anime is in insults and swearing.

So, in this post, I'll explain the why of all this.

(beware of homonyms: yarou やろう may also be "let's do it," the volitional form of the verb yaru やる, "to do;" and yarou ヤロウ may refer to the plant, "Yarrow," achillea millefolium.)

野郎ッ、調子に乗るなよ!! transcript from manga Black Lagoon ブラック・ラグーン
Manga: Black Lagoon ブラック・ラグーン