Category Archives: Japanese

Still buff from all that weeping

The Romantic ideal? 泣く子は育つ (Naku ko wa sodatsu; “The child who cries, grows”) Definition: A baby that cries loud and often is a healthy one that will grow well. A strong cry is evidence of good health. Presumably this is … Continue reading

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We’re gonna have to go right to…

Ludicrous speed! 迅速果断 jin.soku.ka.dan Literally: fast – fast – fruit – sever / decide Alternately: Quick and decisive action. Bold moves made without hesitation. Notes: For synonymous phrases the order of the elements may be reversed as 果断迅速, or 断 … Continue reading

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Not the same chamberpot, though

同じ釜の飯を食う (Onaji kama no meshi wo kuu; “To eat rice from the same pot”) Definition: Leading the same lifestyle together and working together; going through good times and bad together; being extremely close friends. An intimate, familial sense of closeness … Continue reading

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All sincerity

(No tricks) 志操堅固 shi.sou.ken.go Literally: intention – operate / fidelity – solid – harden Alternately: Strict adherence to one’s principles and beliefs, or even to one’s chosen style in an art. Unwavering, uncompromising loyalty to an ideal. Notes: Even though … Continue reading

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Yertle take note

雁が飛べば石亀も地団駄 (Gan ga tobeba ishigame mo jidanda; “When the goose flies, the turtle stamps”) Definition: To try to mimic someone else without any understanding of one’s own limitations. Like a turtle who sees a goose taking off in flight, tries … Continue reading

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This will be the year of the boar, though

Not that the last couple of years haven’t seen their shares of poorly-educated and tasteless behavior…. 一竜一猪 ichi.ryou.i-.ccho Literally: one – dragon – one – boar/pig Alternately: A saying that expresses the value of education. The difference between someone who … Continue reading

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If you eggplant, it will call

ナスなら鳴る 為せば成る (Naseba naru; “If you do it, it will happen.”) Definition: A person can do anything if they really put their mind to it. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. The only way to get a thing done … Continue reading

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