Saturday, May 18, 2019

を Particle

In Japanese, the wo を particle has one function: it marks the direct object of the sentence. Which should make it the simplest particle in all Japanese. However, just because it's the simplest one, that doesn't mean it's going to be simple.

To begin with, the wo を particle is also romanized o を. This happens because the wo を particle is pronounced like o お in Japanese.

In this article, as well as in the rest of this blog, it's romanized wo. In other blogs, resources, it may be romanized o. There's no difference: it's the same Japanese, different romaji.
Friday, May 17, 2019

が Particle

In Japanese, the ga が particle has several functions.
Wednesday, May 15, 2019

に Particle

In Japanese, the ni に particle has way, way too many functions, I mean, seriously, look at this:
Tuesday, May 14, 2019

な Particle

In Japanese, the na な particle has several functions.
Monday, May 13, 2019

の Subject Marker

In Japanese, the no の particle can sometimes replace the ga が particle as subject marker in a relative clause. Since this is something that's a bit confusing, I thought I'd better make a separate article to talk about it.
Sunday, May 12, 2019

の Particle

In Japanese, the no の particle has several functions.
Friday, May 3, 2019


In Japanese, __ to ii __ to ii ~といい~といい is a pattern used when citing two things about a situation before concluding something the situation.
  • nedan to ii, shitsu to ii, manzoku desu
    (Citing) the price, the quality, (conclusion) [I'm] satisfied.
    • Given the price and the quality, I'm satisfied with this.

They're also spelled to ii と言い, from to iu と言う, "to say." Not to be confused with the other to ii といい, which's from "good," ii 良い.

The pattern can repeat for more than two things, but it's usually just two things.

otoko 男, 漢

In Japanese, otoko 男 means a "man," and otoko 漢 means a "MAN." A man among men. Whose pride, bravery, and dignity is unrivaled.

This, of course, isn't an actual word. It's a meme. It shows up in manga and anime from time to time.

Normally, "man" in Japanese is spelled otoko 男, as seen in words like:
  • {otoko no} ko

    A child [who] {is a man}.
    A {male} child.
    A boy.

The manga slang otoko 漢 is an ateji, that is, we're spelling with a certain kanji a word that doesn't have kanji or is normally spelled with different kanji.

In this case, 漢 is the kanji for "man" in Chinese. Normally, it can only be read as kan 漢 in Japanese, like in chikan 痴漢, "foolish man," "molester."

Another manga ateji is otokonoko 男の娘, "trap."
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

koto aru ことある

In Japanese, koto aru ことある means something "exists" or "happens," or can happen, might happen, or that it has "happened," or that someone "has done" something before, as opposed to have never done it. Variants include koto ga aru ことがある and koto wa aru ことはある.

Literally, it's the combination of the light noun koto こと plus the verb aru ある, "to exist." Grammatically, koto is qualified by an adjective, such as relative clause, so it can abstractly refer to "a kind of something," and then the aru says that kind of something exists or happens.

The opposite is koto nai ことない: "doesn't exist," "doesn't happen," "never done it."

Depending on the adjective qualifying koto, the meaning changes.

koto nai ことない

In Japanese, koto nai ことない means someone has "never done something," or that something has "never happened," or that something "doesn't exist," or "doesn't happen." Variants include koto ga nai ことがない and koto wa nai ことはない.

Literally, it's the combination of the light noun koto こと plus the i い adjective nai ない, "non-existent." Grammatically, koto is qualified by an adjective, such as relative clause, so it can abstractly refer to "a kind of something," and then the nai says that kind of something doesn't exist or happen.

The opposite is koto aru ことある, "exists," "happens," "I've done it."

Depending on the adjective qualifying koto, the meaning changes.

yaru やる

In Japanese, yaru やる means a bunch of things. It can mean "to do" in a dozen ways. It can mean "to give [something]," or be used as an auxiliary verb to say "to do [something] for [someone]," just like ageru 上げる. It can mean "to work [a profession]." It can mean "to murder [someone]". And it can mean "to have sex with [someone]."

Depending on its meaning, it's sometimes written with different kanji.

Example of yaru やる in Japanese.
Manga: One Punch Man (Chapter 48)

guruguru-me ぐるぐる目

In Japanese, guruguru-me ぐるぐる目 means "spiraling eyes," "spinning eyes," or "swirling eyes." In anime, it's those spiral-shaped eyes characters make when they're dizzy, puzzled, dazed, flustered, and so on.

The term comes from guruguru ぐるぐる, a mimetic word meaning "swirling," and me 目, "eyes."

Kukuri ククリ, example of spinning eyes.
Character: Kukuri ククリ
Anime: Mahoujin Guruguru 魔法陣グルグル (2017) (Episode 2)

Sarazanmai さらざんまい

The anime Sarazanmai さらざんまい airing this season has so many puns and cultural Japanese references that I thought it'd be a good idea to list them here for further reference. This way you'll finally be able to unders... to understan...


Okay you won't be able to understand the anime, but you'll be able to understand the Japanese part of the anime, and that's one step, at least, so let's content ourselves with that. Anyway.

THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS SPOILERS!!! The first part of the article assumes you have already watched at least the first episode. After that, there's a second spoiler warning, and sections spoiling each and every episode. So scroll with caution!

egao 笑顔

In Japanese, egao 笑顔 means "smiling face," or "smiling expression." That is, the face someone makes while they're smiling.

Example of egao 笑顔.
Anime: SSSS.GRIDMAN (Episode 12)

Literally, it's warau 笑う, "to laugh," or "to smile," plus kao 顔, "face," which becomes gao because of rendaku.

Note, however, that the way the word is used in Japanese is closer to just "smile." For example:
  • sono egao wo mamoritai
    [I] want to protect that "smiling face."
    [I] want to protect that smile.
  • kanojo no egao
    Her smile.

negao 寝顔

In Japanese, negao 寝顔 means "sleeping face," or "sleeping expression." That is, the face someone makes while they're sleeping.

Example of negao 寝顔.
Anime: Tanaka-kun wa Itsumo Kedaruge 田中くんはいつもけだるげ (Episode 1)

Literally, it's neru 寝る, "to sleep," and kao 顔, "face," which becomes gao because of rendaku.