And kanji with manga
Saturday, October 29, 2016

chigau 違う (Meaning in Japanese, Grammar, Derived Words: chigai, machigatteiru)

In Japanese, chigau 違う means literally "to differ," but it's typically used to say someone got something "wrong," to say it "is different" from what they said, to deny what someone said, i.e. to say "no" in Japanese.

いや・・・・・・・・・・・・ ちがうって・・・・・・・・・ 人間・・・・・・・・・ 人間・・・・・・・・・・・・ 僕は・・・・・・・・・・・・
Manga: Ajin 亜人 (Chapter 1, 発覚とその後の行動について)

Grammar

The word chigau 違う is a stative verb, which means that it's normally used in nonpast form, rather than ~te-iru ~ている form.

  • sore wa chigau
    それ違う
    That differs. (literally.)
    That's not the same thing.
    That's wrong, that's different.

Literally, chigau means "to differ," but we don't normally say the verb "to differ" in English, instead we say the adjective "to be different."

Both phrases have a stative lexical aspect: if you say something "differs" in present tense, then it "is different" in present tense. It just happens that in Japanese the verb chigau is used instead of an adjective.

Conjugation

For reference, how to conjugate chigau:

違う Conjugation Table
Polite form.
Nonpast form. chigau
違う
chigaimasu
違います
Past form. chigatta
違った
chigaimashita
違いました
Negative form. chigawanai
違わない
chigaimasen
違いません
Past negative form. chigawanakatta
違わなかった
chigaimasen deshita
違いませんでした
~te-iru form chigatte-iru
違っている
chigatte-imasen
違っていません

~と~は違う

The word chigau can be used with the to と particle to say one thing is different to another.

  • kore to sore wa chigau
    これそれは違う
    This and that differ.
    This and that are different things.
  • ore wa aitsu to wa chigau
    俺はあいつは違う
    I differ with him.
    I'm different from him.
    I'm not the same as him.
    • issho ni suru na!
      一緒にするな!
      Don't make [us] the same! (literally.)
      Don't put us in the same group!
      Don't treat me as being like him!
      (causative eventivizer.)
人間はやり直せる。 いまからでも遅くない・・・・・・ 先生・・・・・・ 先生と俺、あんまり年違わないけど・・・・・・・・・・・・ 先生・・・・・・親父みたいだ。
Manga: MONSTER, モンスター (Chapter 7, モンスター)
  • Context: a doctor talks to a patient in wheelchair, who is also a criminal.
  • ningen wa yari-naoseru.
    人間はやり直せる。
    Humans can do-over.
    Humans can [start again].
  • ima kara demo osokunai......
    いまからでも遅くない・・・・・・
    Even from now isn't late......
    • You can still start over, it isn't too late to begin now.
  • sensei......
    先生・・・・・・
    Doctor......
  • sensei to ore,
    anmari toshi
    chigawanai kedo............

    先生と俺、あんまり年違わないけど・・・・・・・・・・・・
    [You] and me, [our] ages don't differ much, but.........
    We're about the same age, but.........
  • sensei...... oyaji mitai da.
    先生・・・・・・親父みたいだ。
    [You]...... are like [my] father.

With Adverb

Like any verb, chigau can be modified by adverbs.

  • sore wa sukoshi chigau
    それは少し違う
    That differs a little.
    That's a little different.
    You got it a bit wrong.
  • sore wa zenzen chigau
    それは全然違う
    That differs completely.
    That's completely different.
    You got it completely wrong.
  • {bimyou ni} chigau
    微妙違う
    [It] {strangely} differs.
    It's somehow off.
    It's not quite the same thing.
  • {mattaku chigau} mono desu
    全く違うものです
    [It] is a thing [that] {differs completely}.
    [It] is a {completely different} thing.

"Wrong" in Japanese

More often than not, chigau is used to say something is "wrong," "not right," that someone has gotten the wrong idea about something, that reality "is different," and then the speaker is probably going to try to clear up any misunderstanding.

いや・・・・・・・・・・・・ ちがうって・・・・・・・・・ 人間・・・・・・・・・ 人間・・・・・・・・・・・・ 僕は・・・・・・・・・・・・
Manga: Ajin 亜人 (Chapter 1, 発覚とその後の行動について)
  • Context: Nagai Kei 永井圭 survives what should be a fatal traffic accident involving a truck, just after news that there's a monetary reward for finding immortal people, and tries to save himself from a greedy mob gathering around his regenerated self.
  • iya............
    いや・・・・・・・・・・・・
    No............
  • chigau tte.........
    ちがうって・・・・・・・・・
    [I'm] telling [you] it's not what you think............
  • ningen.........
    人間・・・・・・・・・
    Human.........
  • ningen............
    人間・・・・・・・・・・・・
    Human............
  • boku wa............
    僕は・・・・・・・・・・・・
    I'm............
    • Note: Japanese often makes use of right-dislocated sentences that look like Yoda speak:
    • ningen da, boku wa
      人間だ、僕は
      "Am human, I."
      (dislocation.)
    • boku wa ningen da
      僕は人間だ
      I'm human.
      (not dislocation.)
Character: Isshiki Makoto 一色誠
Anime: Chuunibyou demo Koi ga Shitai! 中二病でも恋がしたい! (Episode 1)
  • Context: Isshiki Makoto 一色誠 asks Togashi Yuuta 富樫勇太 about his relationship with a (troublesome) girl. Yuuta firmly denies having any relationship with her at all, prompting Makoto to question his sexuality.
  • nanda, omae moshikashite...
    なんだ、お前もしかして・・・
    What is [it], could it be that you [are]...
  • *gestures*
  • ...kore ka?
    ・・・これか?
    ...this?
  • chigau!
    違う!
    [No]!
あぶないっ!! ひっ!! 普通の人はそんなリアクションしない!! 違うっ! 私、まんがなんて読みません!!
Anime: Katte ni Kaizou かってに改蔵 (Chapter 7 of Volume 23, 今世紀最大の痕跡)
  • Context: how to tell someone is a weeb an otaku オタク.
  • abunai'!!
    あぶない!!
    [Watch out]!!
    [It] is dangerous!! (literally.)
  • hi'!!
    ひっ!!
    *shriek*
  • *she does a rumic sign.*
  • futsuu no hito wa sonna riakushon shinai!!
    普通の人はそんなリアクションしない!!
    A normal person doesn't make that sort of reaction!!
  • chigau'!
    違うっ!
    [It's a misunderstanding]!
  • watashi, manga nante yomimasen!!
    私、まんがなんて読みません!!
    I don't read manga!!
我々のボスがあなたの体に興味を持ったようです 俺オトコに興味ねーぞ・・・ いや違います先生
Manga: One Punch Man, Wanpanman ワンパンマン (Chapter 9)
  • Context: a caped baldy with extreme strength is targeted by an evil organization. He interrogates one the bad guys concerning why they're after him.
  • {wareware no bosu ga
    anata no karada ni
    kyoumi wo motta}
    you desu

    我々のボスがあなたの体に興味を持ったようです
    It seems {our boss had interest in your body}.
  • ore, otoko ni kyoumi nee zo...
    オトコに興味ねー・・・
    I don't have interest in men...
  • iya, chigaimasu, sensei
    いや違います先生
    No, you got it wrong, master.
    • They aren't "interested" as in "attracted," they are "interested" in why he's so physically powerful.
からあげにはマヨネーズだろJK(じょうこう) もぐもぐ JK(じょうこう)ってなんだ・・・? JK(じょうこう)・・・ ピ・・・ 女子高生? なんでジョシコーセー? あ、違った「常識的に考えて・・・」か いやからあげにマヨネーズは違うだろ
Manga: Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken 旦那が何を言っているかわからない件 (Chapter 1, 合わない趣味とハマったソリ)
  • Context: a wife doesn't know what JK means.
  • karaage niwa mayoneezu daro
    からあげにはマヨネーズだろ
    To karaage, mayonnaise, right.
    • i.e. karaage goes well with mayonnaise.
    • karaage - usually chicken deep-fried in oil.
  • JK (joukou)
    JK(じょうこう)
    (it's common sense.)
  • mogumogu
    もぐもぐ
    *munch munch*
    (onomatopoeia.)
  • JK (joukou) tte nanda...?
    JK(じょうこう)ってなんだ・・・?
    What's joukou...?
  • JK (joukou)...
    JK(じょうこう)・・・
    Joukou...
  • pi...
    ピ・・・
    *phone beep*
  • joshi kousei?
    女子高生?
    Highs school girl?
  • nande joshi koosee?
    なんでジョシコーセー?
    Why high school girl?
  • a, chigatta "joushiki-teki ni kangete..." ka
    あ、違った「常識的に考えて・・・」か
    Ah, I got that wrong, "thinking with common sense..." huh.
  • iya karaage ni mayoneezu wa chigau daro
    いやからあげにマヨネーズは違うだろ
    [Wait,] no, [putting] mayonnaise on karaage isn't right, [what are you talking about].

chigai 違い

The word chigai 違い means a "difference," it's the noun form of the verb chigau 違う.

  • chigai wa arimasu
    違いはあります
    A difference exists.
    There is a difference.
  • chigai wa arimasen
    違いはありません
    A difference doesn't exist.
    There's no difference.
    It's the same thing.
    There's no mistake.

Since chigai is a noun, when it's qualified by another noun or {noun phrase}, the qualifier becomes a no-adjective through the no の particle. For example:

  • iken no chigai
    意見の違い
    A difference of opinion.
  • {kudamono to yasai} no chigai
    果物と野菜の違い
    The difference of {fruits and vegetables}.
    The difference between {fruits and vegetables}.
  • {are to} no chigai
    あれとの違い
    The difference of {[something] with that}.
    The difference {with that}.
  • sono chigai
    の違い
    The difference of that.
    That difference.

Note that there's no difference between the indefinite and definite articles "a" and "the" in Japanese.

This is particularly used to ask the difference between two different ways to spell a same word.

Related words:

  • tsukai-kata
    使い方
    How to use. (a word.)
  • tsukai-wake
    使い分け
    Division of usage. (of two words.)
    When to use one thing and when to use another.

Some examples of chigai as the direct object, marked by the wo を particle:

  • sono chigai wo oshiete-kudasai
    その違いを教えてください
    Please teach [me] the difference of that.
    • The difference between those things.
降りて来いよ ド三流 格の違いってやつを見せてやる
Manga: Fullmetal Alchemist, Hagane no Renkinjutsushi 鋼の錬金術師 (Chapter 1, 二人の錬金術師)
  • Context: Edward Elric エドワード・エルリック wants to show who's boss.
  • orite-koi yo, do-sanryuu
    降りて来い 
    Come down, third rate.
  • {kaku no chigai tte} yatsu wo misete-yaru!!
    格の違いってやつを見せてやる
    [I] will show [you] what {is called difference of ranks}. (literally.)
    • In the sense of the difference between a third rate alchemist and a first rate one.

An example with the null particle:

  • koruna to ai-eru-wai sain no chigai φ shitte-imasu ka?
    コルナとILYアイ・エル・ワイサインの違い知っていますか
    Do [you] know the difference between the corna and the ILY sign?

"Difference" in Japanese

There are various ways to say "difference" in Japanese, besides chigai.

  • sa

    A distance. The size of a difference.
    • shinchou-sa
      身長差
      A difference in height.
      The distance between the heights of two people.
    • chikara no sa
      力の差
      A difference in power.
      The distance between the power of two people.
  • kubetsu
    区別
    Distinction.
    • kubetsu ga tsukanai
      区別がつかない
      For the distinction to not come [in one's mind].
      To not be able to tell the difference between two things.
  • sabetsu
    差別
    Discrimination.
    • sabetsu yougo
      差別用語
      Discriminatory term. Slur.
  • betsu no X
    別の〇〇
    A separate X. Not this one, a different one.
    • betsu no eiga ga mitai
      別の映画が見たい
      [I] want to see a different movie. Not this one.
  • i~
    異~
    Different. (prefix.)
  • kotonaru
    異なる
    To differ. (literary.)
    • iro ga kotonaru
      色が異なる
      The color differs.
      The color is different.
    • iro ga chigau
      色が違う
      (same meaning.)

How to Say "What's The Difference?" in Japanese

There are various ways to say "what's the difference" in Japanese.

  • X to Y no chigai wa nandesu ka?
    〇〇と〇〇の違いはなんですか?
    What's the difference between X and Y?
  • sore wa dou chigaimasu ka?
    それはどう違いますか?
    How is that different?
    How is that not right?
    How did I get that wrong?
  • doko ga chigau?
    どこ違う?
    Where is different?
    What part is wrong?

Derived Words

machigaeru 間違える

The verb machigaeru 間違える means "to mistake [something] for [something else]," or "to get an answer wrong."

  • kotae wo machigaeru
    答えを間違える
    To mistake the answer. (literally.)
    To get the wrong answer, rather than the correct answer.
  • michi wo machigaeru
    道を間違える
    To mistake the road. (literally.)
    To get in the wrong road, an get lost, rather than choosing the road that correctly leads you to your destination.
  • jinsei wo machigaeta
    人生を間違えた
    To have mistaken life. (literally.)
    To have done something wrong in life, leading yourself astray, rather than choosing to do the right thing and live a proper life.
  • {{machigaenai} you ni} ki wo tsukete kudasai
    間違えないように気を付けてください
    Please pay attention {so [that] {[you] don't get [it] wrong}}.
  • {machigaetara} {taihen na koto ni} naru
    間違えたら大変なことになる
    {If [you] get [it] wrong} [it] will be {be a disaster}.

For reference, how machigaeru is conjugated:

間違える Conjugation Table
Polite form.
Nonpast form. machigaeru
間違える
machigaemasu
間違えます
Past form. machigaeta
間違えた
machigaemashtia
間違えました
Negative form. machigaenai
間違えない
machigaemasen
間違えません
Past negative form. machigaenakatta
間違えなかった
machigaemasen deshita
間違えませんでした
~te-iru form machigaete-iru
間違えている
machigaete-imasen
間違えていません

machigau 間違う

The verb machigau 間違う means "to be wrong," except that it's an eventive verb, so, unlike chigau, machigau is future-tensed in nonpast form, meaning something like "to become a mistake in the future," and that it's sometimes an unaccusative verb forming an intransitive-transitive ergative verb pair with the lexical causative verb machigaeru, other times being synonymous with machigaeru, making it a bit of a mess to understand.

Let's start with the easy part first.

Sometimes, machigau is used in exactly the same way as machigaeru, which means you can replace machigaeru with machigau and the meaning will be basically the same.(デジタル大辞泉)

  • machigaeta!
    間違えた!
    [I] got [it] wrong!
  • machigatta
    間違った
    (same meaning.)
  • kotae wo machigatta
    答えを間違った
    [I] got the answer wrong.
  • jinsei wo machigau
    人生を間違う
    To get [one's] life wrong.
  • {machigattara} shinu
    間違ったら死ぬ
    {If [you] get [it] wrong} [you] die.

There is, however, a difference between machigau and machigaeru that most people don't really know or care about.

The word machigaeru means to mistake one thing FOR ANOTHER, so there must be two things, meanwhile, machigau can mean for something to not be how it's supposed to be, so there may be only one thing, with an ideal form that was "wronged" into an wrong form.(nhk.or.jp)

  • kotae wo machigaeta
    答えを間違えた
    To choose the wrong answer, rather than the correct one.
    • e.g. in a multiple choice question, choosing A instead of B, when B is right.
  • kotae wo machigatta
    答えを間違った
    To make the answer wrong, rather than right.
    • e.g. in a question about how much is 2 + 2, answering 22 instead of 4.

Reviewing the examples from before, there are cases where machigaeru doesn't make sense since there aren't two things to choose from, for example, while you can make wrong choices in life, you can't choose the wrong life over the right one because you only got one life.

Regardless, most people don't really think much of it and one verb ends up being used instead of the other all the time.

machigatte-iru 間違っている

The word machigatte-iru 間違っている means "to be wrong," it's the ~te-iru form stativization of the eventive verb machigau, giving it the same lexical aspect as chigau, and, as such, making it present-tensed.

To understand what this means, we need to understand the differences between machigau, machigaeru, and machigatte-iru.

As mentioned previously, SOMETIMES machigau is used as if it were machigaeru, and they become interchangeable. We won't be talking about this usage here. We're going to talk only about when you use machigau in a way that you can't replace it by machigaeru.

First, in grammar, there's a thing called ergativity that refers to the ability of a verb to be both intransitive (with only a subject) and transitive (with subject and object). Many English verbs are ergative. For example:

  • John broke a vase.
    • John - subject.
    • Vase - object.
    • Broke - transitive verb.
  • The vase broke.
    • Vase - subject.
    • Broke - intransitive verb.

In some cases, two different words form an ergative verb pair, in which they carry the same meaning but one is replaced by the other according to the transitivity of the sentence.

  • John raised his hand.
    • Raised - past form of raises.
  • John's hand rose.
    • Rose - past form of rises.

In Japanese, ergative verbs are rare, but ergative verb pairs are common.

  • Tarou ga kabin wo kowashita
    太郎が花瓶を壊した
    Tarou broke the vase.
    • kowashita - past form of kowasu.
  • kabin ga kowareta
    花瓶が壊れた
    The vase broke.
    • kowareta - past form of kowareru.

Above, both kowasu and kowareru mean "to break." The outcome of this "breaking" process is that something ends up in a "broken" state. The difference is that kowasu has the causer that caused this state change, while kowareru lacks it.

  • Tarou broke the vase.
  • Tarou caused the vase to become broken, by breaking it.
  • The vase broke.
  • The vase became broken, because... I don't know, maybe someone broke it, maybe it broke spontaneously, we have no idea because there's no causer in the sentence.

Generally, when conjugated to ~te-iru form, the causative verb becomes progressive, while the unaccusative becomes resultative:

  • Tarou ga kabin wo kowashite-iru
    太郎が花瓶を壊している
    Tarou is breaking the vase.
    Tarou is breaking vases.
  • kabin ga kowarete-iru
    花瓶が壊れている
    The vase is broken. (resultative.)
    The vase is breaking. (progressive, unlikely.)

The verbs machigau and machigaeru also form an ergative verb pair. Technically, they would mean something like this:

  • Tarou ga kotae wo machigaeru
    太郎が答えを間違える
    Tarou will mistake the answer.
    Tarou will cause the answer to become wrong, by getting it wrong.
  • kotae ga machigau
    答えが間違う
    The answer will become wrong.

There are two things to note.

First, that in this case, machigau has the ga が particle marking the subject. When machigau has the same meaning as machigaeru, it has the wo を particle marking the object instead.

  • Tarou ga kotae wo machigau
    太郎が答えを間違う
    (same meaning as machigaeru.)
  • kotae wo machigau
    答えを間違う
    (same meaning as machigaeru.)

Second, that both sentences are future-tensed. Tarou "will" mistake, and the answer "will" become, neither have happened yet, because both verbs are eventive.

This is where machigatte-iru enters.

The phrase machigatte-iru turns machigau into a stative predicate, just like it did with kowarete-iru.

With kowarete-iru, we were talking about the broken state of the vase, resultant of it breaking for some reason, while with machigatte-iru we're talking about the wrong state of something, resultant of it turning out wrong for some reason.

  • kotae ga machigatte-iru
    答えが間違っている
    The answer is wrong.
    • Probably because someone got it wrong in the past, so it "is wrong" in the present.
  • Yahari Ore no Seishun Rabukome wa Machigatte-iru.
    やはり俺の青春ラブコメはまちがっている
    As I Thought, My Teenager Love Comedy is Wrong.
    • Probably because someone who was responsible for making it right got it wrong.
  • {Danjon ni Deai wo Motomeru} no wa Machigatte-iru Darou ka?
    ダンジョンに出会いを求めるのは間違っているだろうか
    Is [It] Wrong {to Hope for an Encounter in a Dungeon}?

Observe the difference between chigau and machigatte-iru:

  • kore wa chigau
    これは違う
    This is different.
    This isn't the same thing.
    • chigau - nonpast form.
  • kore wa machigatte-iru
    これは間違っている
    This is wrong.
    This isn't the correct thing.
    • machigatte-iru - ~te-iru form.
  • ore wa chigau
    俺は違う
    I'm different.
    I'm not like him.
    I'm not like other guys.
  • ore wa machigatte-iru
    俺は間違っている
    I'm wrong.
  • kono sekai wa chigau
    この世界は違う
    This world is different.
    • From the other world, the one I came from.
  • kono sekai wa machigatte-iru
    この世界は間違っている
    This world is wrong.

machigatteru 間違ってる

The word machigatteru 間違ってる means the same thing as machigatte-iru 間違っている which we've seen above. It's a contraction, specifically a sort of contraction called i-nuki-kotoba い抜き言葉.

machigatta 間違った

The word machigatta 間違った is the past form of machigau. Literally, it means "became wrong," but when used in a relative clause it means "that is wrong," the same resultative meaning as machigatte-iru in the matrix. Observe:

  • kono suuji ga machigatte-iru
    この数字が間違っている
    This number is wrong.
    • Implicature:
    • dare ka ga kono suuji wo machigaeta
      誰かがこの数字を間違えた
      Someone got this number wrong.
  • {machigatta} suuji
    間違った数字
    A number [that] {is wrong}.
    • Implicature:
    • {dare ka ga machigaeta} suuji
      誰かが間違えた数字
      A number [that] {someone got wrong}.

Some other examples:

  • watashi ga ji wo machigaeta
    私が字を間違えた
    I got the letter wrong.
  • {machigatta} ji
    間違った字
    A {wrong} letter. A misspelling.
    • goji
      誤字
      Misspelling.
  • {ichi-do mo machigatta} koto ga nai
    一度も間違ったことがない
    To have not {gotten [anything] wrong even once}.
    To have never made a mistake.
    • {ichido dake machigatta} koto ga aru
      一度だけ間違ったことがある
      To have {gotten [something] wrong only once}.
      To have made a mistake only once.

machigai 間違い

The word machigai 間違い means a "mistake." It's the noun form of machigau.

  • machigai wa arimasu
    間違いはあります
    A mistake exists.
    There is a mistaken.
  • machigai wa arimasen
    間違いはありません
    A mistake doesn't exist.
    There is no mistake.
    This is the correct answer, no doubt, I'm absolutely, 100% certain of it, for sure.
  • machigai arimasen
    間違いありません
    (same meaning, null particle.)

Since machigau includes the meanings of machigaeru, machigai can also refer to one's own actions:

  • watashi no machigai desu
    私の間違いです
    [It] is my mistake.
    • watashi ga machigatta
      私が間違った
      I got [something] wrong. (causative, machigaeru.)
      I turned wrong. (unaccusative, unlikely.)
  • machigai wo okashita
    間違いを犯した
    [i} committed a mistake. [I] have made an error.

machigainai 間違いない

The word machigainai 間違いない means "there's no mistake." It's actually a phrase, machigai nai, formed by machigai, a null particle, and the negative form of the irregular verb aru ある, which is nai ない.

  • aitsu wa uragirimono da! machigai nai!
    あいつは裏切り者だ!間違いない
    That guy is the traitor! There is no mistake!
  • machigai nee! ano yarou da!
    間違いねぇ!あの野郎だ!
    There's no mistake! It's that bastard!

To understand how this works, observe:

  • kono Joruno Jobaana niwa yume ga aru
    このジョルノ・ジョバーナにはある
    To this Giorno Giovanna, a dream exists.
    This Giorno Giovanna has a dream.
    (double subject construction with dative large subject.)
  • sore wa kankei ga aru?
    それ関係ある?
    Does that have a relationship? (literally.)
    Is it related to that?
    (double subject construction with nominative large subject.)
  • sore φ kankei φ aru?
    それ関係ある?
    (same meaning, with null particles.)
  • sore φ kankei φ nai
    それ関係無い
    That doesn't have a relationship.
    That isn't related.
    It has nothing to do with that.
    (double subject construction.)
  • sore φ machigai φ nai
    それ間違い無い
    That doesn't have a mistake.
    There's no mistake in that.
    That can't be wrong. That's absolutely correct.
    (double subject construction.)
  • sore wa machigai ga nai
    それ間違い無い
    (same meaning.)

machigattemo 間違っても

The phrase machigattemo 間違っても means literally "even if [you] get [it] wrong." It's used to say something you should NEVER do, in the sense that you shouldn't do it even by mistake.

Of course, if you make a mistake, you may end up doing the thing, so the phrase doesn't make a lot of sense if you think about as it's literally impossible to avoid doing something by mistake. Regardless, the idea is to emphasize you should really do everything you can to not do the thing.

For example:

  • machigattemo tagen shite wa ikenai
    間違っても他言してはいけない
    Even if you get it wrong, [you] shouldn't tell others. (literally.)
    • In the sense that you should keep it a secret, and never tell others, no matter what.

Observe the function of the mo も particle after the te-form here:

  • {machigatte} koohii ni shio wo ireta
    間違ってコーヒーに塩
    {Doing a mistake}, [he] put salt in the coffee.
    • Rather than putting sugar in the coffee, which would be the correct thing to do.
  • {machigattemo} koohii ni shio wo irete wa ikenai
    間違ってコーヒーに塩を入れてはいけない
    {Even doing a mistake}, [you] shouldn't put salt in the coffee.

mi-machigai 見間違い

The word mi-machigai 見間違い means "seeing [something] and mistaking [it] for [something else]," in the sense of getting the impression you saw something you actually didn't

  • nani are?! kyodai robotto?!
    なにあれ?!巨大ロボット?!
    What is that?! A giant robot?!
  • mimachigai desu
    見間違いです
    [You] saw [it] wrong.
    • It's not a giant robot.
    • You got the wrong impression.

kiki-machigai 聞き間違い

The word kiki-machigai 聞き間違い means "hearing [something] and mistaking [it] for [something else]," in the sense of getting the impression you heard something you actually didn't.

It works exactly like mi-machigai, except mi-machigai comes from miru 見る, "to see," while kiki-chigai comes from kiku 聞く, "to hear."

kanchigai 勘違い

The word kanchigai 勘違い means one's intuition (kan) is different from reality, that is, it's used when one feels like something is true, but upon further inspection it's just their imagination.

  • ore no kanchigai ka
    俺の勘違いか
    I imagined [it] wrong, huh.
    It was just my imagination, huh.

kanchigai shinai de 勘違いしないで

The phrase kanchigai shinaide 勘違いしないで means "don't get the wrong idea." It's typically used by a tsundere ツンデレ character who does something nice for a guy she likes, but then tries to hide her feelings by telling him not to get the impression she's doing it because she likes him.

  • kanchigai suru
    勘違いする
    To kanchigai.(literally.)
    To imagine something is something else.
  • kanchigai shinaide
    勘違いしないで
    Don't kanchigai.
    Don't get the wrong idea.
    (~naide ~ないで imperative.)

Some examples:

勘違いしないでよね!! 別にあんたのためじゃないんだからね!!!
Manga: Nichijou 日常 (Chapter 44)
  • Context: the most template of the phrases.
  • kanchigai shinaide yo ne!!
    勘違いしないで!!
    Don't get the wrong idea!!
  • betsu ni anta no tame janai-n-dakara ne!!!
    別にあんたのためじゃないんだからね!!!
    It's not like [I] did [it] for you or anything!!!
カン違いしないでね? お願いじゃないの、命令。
Manga: Black Lagoon (Chapter 4, Rasta Blasta PT.3)
  • Context: Balalaika バラライカ makes sure someone understands the situation.
  • kanchigai shinaide ne?
    カン違いしないでね?
    Don't get the wrong idea, okay?
  • onegai janai no, meirei.
    お願いじゃないの、命令。
    [It] isn't a favor, [it's] an order.

hitochigai 人違い

The word hitochigai 人違い means the person (hito) is different from reality, that is, it's used when you think someone is a certain person, but it turns out you got the wrong person, you mistook them for someone else.

悪ィ・・・人違い!
Manga: Holy Land, ホーリーランド (Chapter 1)
  • Context: the speaker mistakes someone for someone else.
  • warii...
    悪ィ・・・
    [Sorry]...
  • hito-chigai!
    人違い
    Wrong person!

bachigai 場違い

The word bachigai 場違い means the place someone is at is different, in the sense that they're in the wrong place, that they shouldn't be there.

danchigai 段違い

The word danchigai 段違い means the rank of two things is different, typically used in anime when the power of one character is on a different level compared to someone else, i.e. they're much stronger.

By the way, this is the same dan 段 that's used to refer to one's "rank" in karate 空手, shōgi 将棋, etc.

ketachigai 桁違い

The word ketachigai 桁違い means the order of magnitude of two things is different, typically used in the sense of one thing being an order of magnitude better than the other, i.e. one thing being much better than the other, or someone being much stronger than someone else.

The word keta 桁 means "digit," as in the number 10 having 2 digits, and 100 having 3 digits. In the decimal number system, being one order higher means being around 10 times greater.

chau ちゃう

In Kansai dialect, chau ちゃう means the same thing as chigau 違う.(dictionary.goo.ne.jp)

自分で売った喧嘩やろ 自分で片つけんのが筋ちゃうんか! Do it yourself!!
Manga: Gokushufudou 極主夫道 (Chapter 8)
  • Context: Masa 雅 asks Tatsu たつ for help in a fight, who responds:
  • jibun de utta kenka yaro
    自分で売った喧嘩やろ
    That's a fight [you] picked yourself, [wasn't it]!
    • kenka wo uru
      喧嘩を売る
      To sell a fight. (literally.)
      To pick a fight with someone.
  • {jibun de kata-tsuke-n}-no ga suji chau-n-ka!
    自分で片つけんのが筋ちゃうんか!
    {To clear [your mess] yourself} [is only logical], [am I wrong]?
    • kata-tsuke-n-no - contraction of kata-tsukeru no 片つけるの.
    • suji - reason, logic, besides other meanings, can be used to refer to something that you're supposed or expected to do in response to something else because it's the reasonable thing.
    • chau-n-ka - contraction of chau no ka.
    • chigau no ka?
      違うのか?
      Does [it] differ?
      Is it not so?
      Am I not right?
      Am I wrong?
  • Do it yourself!!
    Do it yourself!!
    (I have no idea what this means.)

References

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