Tag Archives: classical grammar

Just avoid immovable objects

…and you’ll be fine. Right? 断じて行えば鬼神も之を避く (Danjite okonaeba kishin mo kore wo saku; “If you do things decisively, even demon-gods will get out of the way”) Definition: If you take decisive action backed by strong determination, there is little that … Continue reading

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Don’t work for the man, man

Rarely truer than now すまじきものは宮仕え (Sumajiki mono wa miya-dzukae; “The thing one mustn’t do is serve at court”) Definition: If possible, it’s best not to let yourself be used by other people. It’s best to be your own boss instead … Continue reading

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I wouldn’t wish it on a dog

夫婦喧嘩は犬も食わぬ (Fuufu genka wa inu mo kuwanu; “Even a dog doesn’t eat a husband-wife fight”) Definition: Fights between marital partners are based on small issues that seem ridiculous to outsiders but can become emotionally charged. Then they quickly blow over and the … Continue reading

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I learn by going where I have to go

習うより慣れよ (Narau yori nareyo; “Experience over learning”) Definition: It’s easier to acquire knowledge or learn a skill by practicing it firsthand than through simply being taught. Hands-on study beats abstract learning methods like lectures or book-reading. Breakdown: We have two … Continue reading

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Go west, young man!

The apple is flung far from the stem? 可愛い子には旅をさせよ (Kawaii ko ni wa tabi wo saseyo; “Send the beloved child on a journey”) Definition: If you love your children, your impulse may be to protect them from harm and hardship … Continue reading

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Be the change you want to see in the world, even if it’s only pocket change

Intro: I may have gone a little overboard with the explanation on this one. I hope somebody some time finds it useful, at least! 義を見てせざるは勇無きなり (Gi wo mite sezaru wa yuu naki nari; “To see what is right and not … Continue reading

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For example, some day I might be good at this Japanese stuff

好きこそ物の上手なれ (Suki koso mono no jouzu nare; “People are good at what they like.”) Definition: The things that you enjoy, you’re going to more cheerfully spend more time and effort on, so your skill in those areas will improve more … Continue reading

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