Friday, October 5, 2018

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.

Single Muda 無駄

In Japanese, muda 無駄 is a word that means "meaningless" or "futile." It's similar to the word dame 駄目. You often it in phrases like these:
  • muda na koto 無駄なこと
    Meaningless thing.
    Futile action.
  • muda da 無駄だ
    It's meaningless!
    It's futile!

Muda-Muda?

You may have noticed that some Japanese words gain different meaning when they are repeated in Japanese.

For example, if you repeat iro いろ, "color," you get iroiro いろいろ, which means "various," a totally different word.

This process is called reduplication, and since in JoJo the word muda is repeated a bunch of times likewise, you may be inclined to think muda muda muda muda is a form of reduplication, and that muda-muda might mean something special.

That isn't the case. The muda muda muda muda is merely repeated in JoJo: said over and over. It isn't a reduplication and doesn't have any special meaning whatsoever.

It basically means "it's futile! Futile! Futile! Futile! Futile! Futile! Futile! Futile! Futile! Futile! Futile!" And so on. As in, resistance is futile, fighting that guy is futile, you're too weak to beat him, etc.

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