Sunday, March 28, 2010


"'It's me! It's me!' scam arrives in the United States!"

oreore sagi, amerika jyouriku!

Yesterday, I was watching the morning news "Today" and saw "Grandparents Scam." It is a scam targeted on senior citizens to transfer money to for example "Western Union." It is like this. A young man calls an old lady:

"Hi, grandma!"
"Who's this?"
"Your favorite grandson."

Of course, he is not "David," but he just says "Yes!" And he asks to transfer money to his Western Union account because he got a trouble in Canada. He says, "don't call my parents because I don't want them to worry." The old lady wants to help her favorite grandson "David," so sends her money. This is happening in the United States. You know what, I think this is originally from Japan! This is called オレオレ詐欺 "'It's me! It's me' Scam" or 振り込め詐欺 (furikome sagi) "Transfer money scam" in Japan.

I remember that the Japanese class instructer in my American college talked about this in her class. (At that time, I was observing and helping her Japanese class. Of course I did not enroll a Japanese class!) She sounded like mocking the Japanese people because they actually sent money. She said "Japanese are so naive!" I really hated what she said. This is targeted on old people who cannot tell the difference on the phone. I knew this scam because I was in Japan when it was a hot news there. And you know what, this is not only Japanese people. American people do it too. And I believe they actually thought it was their grandson. You cannot make a fun of such victims. The next victim chould be your grandmother who wants to rescue you!

Anyway, I will explain the words.

オレ is "me" used by men. It is a lot more casual than 私 (watashi). 詐欺 (sagi) is a scam. 上陸 is "to land."


Wednesday, March 24, 2010


"The Japanese words which did not exist when I was in Japan"

わたしが にほんに いたときは そんざいしなかった にほんご
watashiga nihonni itatokiwa sonzaishinakatta nihongo

Wow, it is long. I can devide this into 3.

1. 私が日本にいた時は 
You know "は" is the topi marker. Just in this phrase, the subject is 時 (toki) or "the time." What time is it? It's 私が日本にいた時 or "the time I was in Japan." 私が日本にいた(I was in Japan) modifys the time 時. So it is a phrase "when I was in Japan."

2. 存在しなかった
This part is the verb of "私が日本にいた時は". 存在する means "to exist" and 存在しなかった is the past negative of 存在する. So 私が日本にいた時は、存在しなかった is "When I was in Japan, (it) did not exist" which modifys the part 3, "日本語".

3. 日本語
Japanes langusge or word. This part is the conclusion of all here. I wanted to explain the "日本語". What kind of 日本語? It "did not exist." When did it not exist? "When I was in Japan." Got it?

Anyway, what I wanted to tell you are 2 things. "アラフォー" and "婚活". These words did not exist when I was in Japan, or at least I had never heard in Japan. アラフォー is "around 40." Can you believe this? But this is true. アラフォー is people like 37 ~ 43. And 婚活 is "結婚活動" or "the activity to find a Mr. Right (or Miss Right)." 結婚 is "marriage." 活動 is "activity." 婚活 is for example online dating or something like that. These words did not exist when I was in Japan.


Tuesday, March 16, 2010


"From today, your name is Hachi"

きょう から、あなた の なまえ は ハチ
kyou kara anata no namae wa hachi

Do you know the movie "Hachi"? Oh, you have to watch it. It is based on a true Japanese story! I do not think it was played in American theaters, but it is an American movie, stared by Richard Gere. Hachi is a dog who went to a train station every morning and evening to see his owner (in this movie, it is Richard Gere.) When Richard Gere goes to work, Hachi goes to the station with him. And in the evening, when Richard Gere gets to his hometown station, Hachi is waiting for him. But the amazing thing in this story is that Hachi was waiting for him even after Richard Gere's character's death. I think in this movie, Hachi continued more than 10 years until his own death. This movie is about the loyalty of a dog. Please watch the traler below. It is English.

And here is the Japanese official site.

Anyway, today's phrase is what I said to my dog Bojo.


Saturday, March 13, 2010


"Your aunt cannot understand it!"

obasan niwa wakarimasen!

My niece became my Facebook friend recently. She is my husband's sister's daughter and 15 or 14 (I think.) Now I can see how 15 years old kids write their facebook. Their language is a code! "LETS C" is "Let's see." "b4u" is "before you." "bcus" is "because." "u" is "you." "ur" is "your." "JK" is "joke"? Did you know these? Your Japanese aunt feels like a million years old.


Thursday, March 11, 2010


"I'm happy!"


If you are a man, I do not recommend to use it. It sounds too cute. But it does not mean you should not know it. It is my philosophy. When I just came to the United States (it is a long time ago), somebody American woman said, "oh, you don't have to know it," when I asked her to tell me the definition of "bitch"! For the record, I did not know what it means at all. Anyway, the woman thought I do not have to know what "bitch" means. WRONG!! Is there any day you could never ever hear the word? ZERO! How can you tell an adult woman that she does not have to know a word you hear hundreds of times a day? Do you think I am not intelligent enough to understand it? I think it is an insult! Especially beginning of my American life, I saw tons of people (American people) who do not know that foreigners who do not speak English very well can be very smart. "She does not even speak English!" is a very common expression in America (Sorry, I still have some feelings toward this!) But it does not mean the person does not have a brain! Anyway, that is why I never say "Oh, you should not know it!" What I am saying is that you need to know everything even if you don't use the word. Trust me, this is so true. SO, Men should know what "ルンルン" means although I do not recommend to use it!

Why did I say this word? Because I made "mashed potatoes" today. I was so proud of myself. Mashed potatoes sounds so homey to me. So that is why I was ルンルン!

Do you know the best way to study a foreign language? Watch a movie or TV show millions of times until the whole entire script is tatooed in your brain! You have to say it with actors. Try to say it as similar as you can. You do not have to know the meaning of what you are saying but pronounce it! That's how I learned speaking English.


Thursday, March 4, 2010


"Today is the exciting 'Hinamatsuri'"

きょうは たのしい、ひなまつり
kyouwa tanoshii hinamatsuri

Do you know "Hinamatsuri"? It is "the Girl's Day." We celebrate young girls by decorating dolls. See the website below.

I just remembered this today, because Hinamatsuri is March 3. Today's phrase is from the "Hinamatsuri Song." everybody knows this song. I found the song on YouTube.


Monday, March 1, 2010


"Your personality is from your dad"

あなた の せいかく は、ちちおや ゆずり
anata no seikaku wa chichioya yuzuri

If you read my blog "What My American Husband Said" (アメリカ人夫の一言), you already know this. My husband went to his dad's house. I called him when I was done with my cooking. I made his favorite "Ebimayo" (shrimp with mayonaise, by the way, it is REALLY GOOD!) He yelled "I am on my way!" and got home even before I finished the dishes. BUT! He forgot to bring our dog Bojo from his dad's house! So he returned there after the dinner. When he got home again, he said, "look! There is something on Bojo." I looked at Bojo and found a note under his color. Here is what it said.

Hey Mom,

Dad left me with a stranger. I'm frightened. HELP!!!


Isn't that funny? So I learned my husband's personality is actually from his dad.