Wednesday, September 30, 2009


"I am tired!"

Who doesn't say this word?

Polite form is 疲れました(つかれました). I think this literally means "I got tired," but that is how we say in Japanese. ~ is to prolong the last vowel. So it is like "Tsu ka re taaaaaaa." Sounds really tired, right?


Tuesday, September 29, 2009


"You could come in!"

 I was driving on highway today. I saw a car was coming from a ramp. So I slow down a little to let the car in. But instead, the car stopped! There was an enough space in front of me. That is why I said this phrase.

のに sounds like it did not happen although you could. I told you Japanese is a very sophysticated language which can express speakers "feelings" more than English!


Monday, September 28, 2009


"Is somebody there?"

I went to my friend's house today. I wanted to go to the bathroom, but the door was closed. I gave up once, but I thought maybe I should make sure if someone is there. So I aske my friend's mother. She said "I don't think so. Just knock the door." Well nobody was there.

I translated "there" to なかに which literally means "inside." I think this is more natural in Japanese. If you are talking to your close friend, you can use plain form, 中に、誰かいる?(なかに、だれかいる?). Do not add か, when you are using a polite form for a question. It sounds rude or accusing. Look my book "Speak Like Native Speakers Japanese Verb Conjugation I" (46).


Sunday, September 27, 2009


"I will use my slow cooker more often"

Japanese people do not use a slow cooker so often. I think it is very limited to buy a slow cooker in Japan. At least I have never seen it there. Several years ago, I think it was before Christmas, my husband bought a slow cooker. But we did not use it for a long time. But one day, I thought it is good for cooking frozen meat. Sometimes I buy big chunks of meat on sale and froze them. But it is hard to cut frozen meat. So I thought I can just slow cook them and make stew or curry. So I started using my slow cooker. Recently, I saw a commercial of McCormic's "Slow Cooker" seasoning. It looked good! So that's why I said today's phrase.

使おう(つかおう) is the intention form of 使う(つかう)or "to use." I wrote about this form in my book "Speak Like Native Speakers Japanese Verb Conjugation I." My book says, "This expression tells the speaker's intention to take an action, for example, 'I will go home.' When used in plain form, it is often considered that the speaker is talking to him or herself" (117). Yeah, I was right! I was talking to myself with this phrase too.

Click the right side "Speak Like Native Speakers Japanese Verb Conjugation I" to see my book on!


Friday, September 25, 2009


"Can you wake me up in 1 hour?"

I was tired. I just wanted to take a nap when my husband I were watching TV.
"Why do I need to wake you up in 1 hour?"
"Because I am wearing contacts."
Then he took my blanket off and said,
"You are welcome!"
Thank you, I did not have to wear my contacts and regret next morning. But surely I am tired now.

I am going to bed.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009


"I am a good wife!"

This is totally the world of 自己満足(じこまんぞく)or self-satisfaction. I saw the commercial that the chairman of Iron Chef America, Mark Dacascos will be on "Dancing with Stars." I wanted to watch it but I had to go to somewhere when the show would be on. I tried to tibo as usual but the TV screen said that Heros (MY HUSBAND's Show) was scheduled at the same time. Okay, I got two options:
A: tibo my show "Dancing with Stars,"
B: tibo MY HUSBAND's show "Heros."
Technically I could choose A since he was not around, but I know he loves the show so much, so I chose B. So that is why I said today's phrase to myself.

But in Japanese, you don't say this kind of language so often. You have to have the circumstance that people understand this is a joke. First of all, you don't call yourself 奥さん(おくさん). 奥さん is somebody's wife, not yourself, even if you are a wife. If you want to call yourself or your wife "a wife," use 妻(つま). So "my wife" is 私の妻. Don't say 私の奥さん unless you are talking to your close friends.

Japanese people don't praise themselves. If you say 私って、いい奥さんだわ very seriously, people think you are not a good wife. I know this is my word, I said this. But I was talking to myself, it is just a joke.


Monday, September 21, 2009


"I started a new blog"

As I told you yesterday, I have another blog "What My American Husband Said." I wanted my readers to know about this new blog. So I linked this blog to the other one. Because I can write something beside the address, I wrote this phrase 新しいブログ、始めました. But I thought it is too long, so I deleted it and write the Japanese title of this blog 日本人妻の一言(にほんじんづまのひとこと). So this is the Japanese title.

If you want to be more polite, say:

を is added after ブログ. I think without を, it sounds more rhythemical, so good for advertisement.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009


"I think he thought it's a shame"

Thank you for reading my blog! I have another blog "What My American Husband said(アメリカ人夫の一言)" which is pretty popular amoung my Japanese friends and other people who got to know my blog from Japanese "Blog Ranking Systems." In the blog, I introduce what my American husband actually said in our daily life, so Japanese people can study native English speaker's English. I think the concept is interesting. My readers say that they enjoy reading my experience more than the English phrase itself. So I got this idea. I can do the reverse so American people (or English speakers) can study Japanese. That is why I started this blog. Basically, this blog is a Japanese textbook + my diary.

I am a translator. That is what I do for living. And I'm telling you, I don't like to translate literally. Japanese is very different from English, so it is usually strange if you translate literally. For example, today's phrase. If you literally translate the English phrase "I think he thought it's a shame," the Japanese would be 私は、彼がそのことを恥だと思ったと思います. But this is very wordy. Wordy is not good. Japanese people call "the literal translation" 直訳(ちょくやく)which has kind a negative image. So my translation is not literal but more natural in Japanese. Oh, I have to explain this. I am living in the United States. I speak English to most people, to my co-workers, to my husband, to my dog Bojo, and even to myself. So the original phrase I said would be English most the time. Well, I think it depends. In my brain, English and Japanese co-exist and very mixed up. I do not even recognize which language I am using. Anyway, what I want to say is that the Japanese phrase I write would be translation from English.

Ok, here is the Goalden rule. You don't see Japanese textbooks which teach you very frank Japanese so often. You know why? I do. That is because they are afraid you will use the Japanese frank expressions inappropriately. Trust me, it is NOT cool to use Japanese slangs to everybody. Japanese is a very sophisticated language which can express the details of speakers feelings. Oh, yeah, I can easilly translate an English sentence to 10 different Japanese expressions depending on the lister, who the speaker is, what kind of situation, or so on. So you must be careful to use slangs and plain forms. Once again, it is not cool to use Japanese slang or a plain form to people you don't know very well. It is not only rude, but also people think you are not smart. I think it is COOL if you can perfectly distinguish the appropriate phrases depending on the situation.

But I do know that you want to know the natural Japanese which Japanese people actually speak, not just the polite forms. So first I write the Japanese phrase (with Kanji) I would use in the situation I was speaking, then English translation, and hiragana translation to show the pronunciation. Then I write Polite form and other expressions. I hope you understand what I am trying to say.

Okay, that's what I had to explain before I talk about today's phrase. I said this to my co-workers when we were having lunch together. I was talking about my dog Bojo. When we were walking together, he found a cat under a car. Because I could not notice there was a cat under the car, I let him rush to the cat. But after I heard a noise (I am not sure if it was Bojo's or the cat's), Bojo walked away from the car as if nothing happened. He did not evern turn around. I looked back the car and found a big fat cat coming under the car. I think the cat punched my dog Bojo! That's why I said today's phrase.

I was talking to my co-workers who I consider friends. So consider 恥じだと、思ったらしい is for friend's conversation. If you are talking to people you are not so close, use polite form:


One thing I should explain is that I translated "I think" to 「らしい」 which literally means "it seems like." That is my magic of translation.

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