Sunday, March 22, 2020

tameiki ため息

In Japanese, tameiki ため息 means a "sigh," like a sigh of relief or a weary sigh. In manga and anime, these are generally rendered as a little cloud of smoke coming out of the character's mouth.

It's also spelled tameiki タメ息, tameiki 溜め息, or tameiki 溜息 without okurigana.

The "red blood cell," sekkekkyuu 赤血球, AE3803, sighing.
Character: AE3803
Anime: Hataraku Saibou はたらく細胞 (Episode 2)

"To Sigh" in Japanese

The word tameiki ため息 is a noun. It means a "sigh," not "to sigh," which would be a verb. To say "to sigh" in Japanese, you would say:
  • tameiki wo tsuku
    ため息をつく
    To blow a sigh.
    To sigh.
    • tsuku
      吐く
      To blow. To breathe out.
    • uso wo tsuku
      をつく
      To blow lies.
      To lie.
  • tameiki wo tsuku to shiawase ga nigeru
    ため息をつく幸せが逃げる
    If [you] sigh, happiness escapes.
    • A Japanese saying meaning that if you sigh you'll become unhappy, used when telling someone to stop sighing.

Examples

For reference, some examples of characters sighing in anime.

Aioi Yuuko 相生祐子, sighing.
Character: Aioi Yuuko 相生祐子
Anime: Nichijou 日常 (Episode 1)

Kawai Sumiko 河合住子, sighing.
Character: Kawai Sumiko 河合住子
Anime: Bokura wa Minna Kawai-sou 僕らはみんな河合荘 (Episode 1)

Beware that sometimes the character isn't sighing. Instead, the smoke is their soul is coming out of their mouths.

Dino ディーノ, soul coming out of his mouth.
Character: Dino ディーノ
Anime: Blend S, ブレンド・S (Episode 5)

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