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Words which are special in that they have no direct translation in other languages. “Word” is a stretchable term here, this might also be a set phrases here and not just a single word. Some pieces are from here.

  • あげおとり: When you look after a haircut worse then before.
  • ありがた迷惑: When someone does you a favour you had not asked for, and the result is causing you inconvenience - but you need to be grateful nontheless.
  • バックシャン: A woman that looks far better from behind than from the front
  • ぼけっと: Staring blankly out into space, without any thoughts
  • 八方美人: Being ungenuinely nice to everyone out of fear of being disliked
  • 過労死: death from to much work
  • 賢者タイム: Timespan after the sexual act when a man is free of desire and can think clearly
  • 金継ぎ: the art of repairing pottery with gold, the piece gains a history by doing that
  • 恋の予感: The feeling, upon first meeting someone, that you will eventually fall in love.
  • 口寂しい: The feeling of having to put something in ones mouth, i.e. to eat or to smoke tabaco. Lit: 'the mouth is lonely'.
  • 教育まま: A mother who is eagerly pushing the child to study
  • 森林浴: 'forest bathing', recovery by walking in the woods
  • 辻斬(つじぎり): Act of trying out a new sword on a random stranger
  • 積ん読(つんどく): Buying books without reading them
  • 侘寂(わびさび): world view to accept the imperfect nature of life
  • よこめし: the experience of having conversation in a foreign language
  • 七転び八起き(ななころびやおき): Falling down 7 times, getting up 8 times

Decided, opposite meaning

These are phrases, which can just normally be translated to a certain meaning but are 'defined' to have a special meaning.

  • 大きな世話になります: literally “you are caring much about me/doing much for me”, but real meaning is “you are overdoing, stop right now here”. There are other surrounding phrases which have no 'hidden meaning': 大変お世話になります (“you are doing so much for me”), お世話になります (“you are doing much for me”).
  • ぶぶ漬けでもどうどす: Kyoto dialect, literally “Should we prepare some chazuke(rice with green tea)?”. The real meaning is, aimed at guests at ones house “it's about time for you to go home now”.
languages/japanese/special-words.txt · Last modified: 2022/11/13 13:06 by