Saturday, March 23, 2019

kawaisou 可哀想

WIP: this article is incomplete and might change in the unforeseeable future.
In Japanese, kawaisou 可哀想 means "oh, that poor thing!" It's a phrase used when you feel pity for something.

More literally, kawaisou 可哀想 is an ateji for kawaisou 可愛そう, which means "it seems pitiable." And that kawaisou comes from the i-adjective kawaii 可愛い, which means "cute," but can also mean "pitiable," combined with the suffix -sou ~そう, which means "it seems."

The way it's used, though, is really to express pity or sympathy for someone or something, specially right before going help them. For example:

  • kawaisou da
    可哀想だ
    [It] seems pitiable.
  • kare ga kawaisou da
    彼が可哀想だ
    He seems pitiable.
    He seems [miserable.]
    [I feel sorry for him.]
  • kawaisou dakara tasukeyou
    可哀想だから助けよう
    Let's help [him] because [he seems miserable].
  • hitori bocchi de kawaisou
    一人ぼっちで可哀想
    [He] seems [miserable] by being alone.
    [I feel bad for him, because he's all by himself.].

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