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
    伝説山田たえ
    The Legendary Yamada Tae.
    • densetsu 伝説
      Legend.

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.

Anyways:
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 欲しい - Meaning in Japanese

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
Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Ore-Sama 俺様

In Japanese, ore-sama 俺様 is the over-the-top combination of the first person pronoun, ore, and the polite honorific suffix sama. Basically, ore-sama means the same thing as ore, "I," "me," in English, except it's ridiculously pompous and people would only use it in real life as a joke.

Which means it's mostly a trope used in manga and anime. (just like kisama 貴様.)

Harima Kenji saying 俺様に 服従せよ。 and Sawachika Eri saying え… in the manga School Rumble.
Manga: School Rumble
  • ore-sama ni
    fukujuu se yo.

    俺様に 服従せよ。
    • Submit to me.
    • I command thee to submit to THE GREAT ME.
  • e... え…
    Eh...

Characters use ore-sama to imply they're extremely important. It's used by the type of character that would say "I'm the strongest" or "the smartest" or "the bestest" or stuff like that.

Kono Ore Da! この俺だ!

In Japanese, the phrase kono ore da! この俺だ! translates literally to "it's this me!" But that sounds weird in English. So, in this post, I'll explain what kono ore means and how it works.

Panel from JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. 何か用でしょうか?話を今してんのはこのオレだッ!誰が質問していいと言ったッ!?このボケがッ!
Manga: JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken ジョジョの奇妙な冒険
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Kono Dio Da! このディオだッ!

Kono Dio da! このディオだ! is a phrase used by Dio in the manga and anime JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken ジョジョの奇妙な冒険, and I'm making a post about it because the translation of kono Dio da eludes many Japanese learners.

kono Dio da! このディオだッ! panel from manga JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken ジョジョの奇妙な冒険

(the small tsu and the prolonged sound mark ー are other symbols in the panel above.)
Friday, October 5, 2018

Zawa Zawa ざわざわ

The word zawa zawa ざわざわ is a sound effect found in the gambling manga Tobaku Mokujiroku Kaiji 賭博黙示録カイジ, and in parodies of it. It normally shows up in tense, cold-sweat-breaking, anxiety-filled situations, which are common in the gambling series.

The sound effect zawa zawa ざわざわ, as seen in the manga Tobaku Mokushiroku Kaiji 賭博黙示録カイジ

Awkwardly, zawa zawa is an onomatopoeia, and not a non-onomatopoeic mimetic word like gogogogo ゴゴゴゴ from the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. That is, in the anime adaptation, you get to hear the zawa zawa sound, and you assume the characters can hear it too.

Muda Muda Muda Muda 無駄無駄無駄無駄

In the manga and anime JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, a certain character screams muda muda muda muda 無駄無駄無駄無駄 as his stand goes around punching people in the face, very much like ora ora ora ora is used by Jotarō and his Star Platinum.

Muda muda muda muda muda muda muda muda muda muda muda muda 無駄無駄無駄無駄無駄無駄無駄無駄無駄無駄無駄無駄 yelled in the manga JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken ジョジョの奇妙な冒険.

Also similarly, this muda muda muda muda doesn't really mean anything besides the word muda repeated over and over. Although, indeed, a single muda 無駄 does mean something in Japanese.

Ora Ora Ora Ora オラオラオラオラ

If you watched JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, specially Stardust Crusaders, you've probably already heard Kujō Jotarō 空条 承太郎 and his stand, Star Platinum, screaming ORAORAORAORA オラオラオラオラ at everyone they punched. And you might have asked yourself: what does oraoraoraora mean in Japanese?

The answer is: not much.

Ora ora ora ora ora ora ora ora ora!!! オラオラオラオラオラオラオラオラオラ!!! yelled by Star Platinum from manga JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken ジョジョの奇妙な冒険

(note in the picture above that ora ora ora ora is actually said, spoken in speech balloons, and not an onomatopoeia like the dodododo ドドドド)

Dodododo ドドドド

In Japanese, dodododo ドドドド is an onomatopoeia that has a number of uses.

In the manga JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, dodododo ドドドド tends to show up when things are getting bizarre. When something sudden and unexpected happens, something of "real form unknown," shoutai-fumei 正体不明, etc.

dodododo ドドドド as seen in the manga JoJo no Kimyou na Bouken ジョジョの奇妙な冒険, accompanied by the text kore wa ittai...!? これはいったい・・・!? "What is this?!"

A number of comedy manga parody this usage from JoJo, so, most of the time, dododo means this even when the manga isn't JoJo. (they also often parody gogogogo ゴゴゴゴ, by the way, another sound effect JoJo uses.)