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12: Manga Mania >>
Welcome, ladies and gentlemen, to the first-ever quasiannual J3J Perversities of the Japanese Language Awards! Let's cut the poop and get on with the show.
かける (alt. 掛ける、書ける、欠ける、架ける、掻ける、賭ける、
描ける、翔る and a dozen more)
1. to turn on; to dial; to start doing but not finish
2. to hang
3. to wear; to put on; to multiply; to sit down; to play (a record); to pour (water)
4. to run; to gallop; to canter; to advance
5. to be lacking
6. to construct; to offer; to put one's life on the line
7. to wager; to bet; to risk; to stake; to gamble
8. to soar; to fly
9. to be able to write
Handy example sentence:
「かけた。」 "I/you/somebody/something did kakeru/was kakeru'd."
1. the rotting of lumber stored with poor air circulation
2. government service
3. leisurely post; do-nothing job; sinecure
Kanji 1: "many women"
Kanji 2: "to go to"
Kanji 1: "to wave; to shake; to swing; to cast an actor"
Kanji 2: "to be crowded"
Meaning: electronic bank transfer
"when you have regrettably misread something"
Oooo doo-oo o ooo!
"Let's sometimes run after the Hokkaido Central Expressway!"
(Note that the venerable and honorable expressway would of course be お翁道央/o-oo-doo-oo.)
H する ("H suru", to do H)
Yes, "H", pronounced 「エッチ」(etchi), as in English "aitch". But what does it mean? Well, "H" is short for 変態 (hentai), which used to mean "transformation" or "abnormality" but has itself become shorthand for 変態性欲 (hentai seiyoku), "abnormal sexuality". But doing H does not involve rubber chickens and duct tape; in fact, these days "H suru" is the most common non-prissy but also non-vulgar way to refer to having sex. I have to get one of those handy 「Hやってだめ！」(err... "No Fucking"?) signs from Donki before I leave.
...sasete itadaite mo sashitsukae nai deshou ka?
"Would it be no hindrance for you to allow me to do...?"
Handy colloquial abbreviation: 「〜いい？」 "...ii?"
Most Impenetrable Katakana Phrase: デマキヤン ユー アンテンス (demakiyan yuu antensu)
The above is copied from a Chanel ad, which also includedb this handy gloss in case the previous phrase wasn't completely clear:
アイメークアップ リムーバー (aimeekuappu rimuubaa)
i.e. French "demaquillant yeux intense", translated to English as "eye makeup remover". Note highly un-Japanese use of spaces, instead of one long katakana string! (And a veritable steal at Y3000 per 100ml.)
褒める ("homeru", to praise, to admire, to speak well)
嵌める ("hameru", to insert, to have sexual intercourse with)
進歩 ("shinpo", progress) vs. チンポ ("chinpo", penis (vulg.))
少女 ("shoujo", girl) vs. 処女 ("shojo", virgin)
Handy "say this three times fast" practice sentence:
"The girl praised his remarkable progress."
PiG: 私が世界を変わる！ ("I will change the world!")
Get Up Get Happy Be Strong!
Roll Me Call Me Hot Energy RUSH!!
Make Up Your Mind On The Street
MAGIC MOMENT Keep On Moving
(Courtesy of PiG 2/2000. Yes, that's it: no Japanese text omitted.)
教育制度も社会の変化に合わせて変えなければならないが、 変えた方がよいところとそうでないところについて、 さらに検討する＿＿。
Kyouikuseidou mo shakai no henka ni awasete kaenakereba ga, kaetakata ga yoi tokoro to sou de nai tokoro ni tsuite, sara ni kentou suru ___.
1999 Lvl 2 Grammar Part V Q. 1
A）わけで B）べきだ C）ものだ D）ほどだ
A salaryman comes home after a long day's work, looking
extremely tired. Fortunately, his ever-thoughtful
wife has prepared a hot bath for him. Sarariman-san
lowers himself into the hot tub, pulls out a dish
of Korean pickled cabbage, and rapturously exclaims:
Hint: おふくろ means both "mother" and "honorable testicles".
(This is probably funnier than the joke itself.)
I'm actually not quite sure when I first felt it.
I think I was flipping through one of the many manga
(comics) I've picked up for free, looking for
cute girls in their underwear detailed
economic analysis of Japan's continued deflationary spiral.
So I read through one short two-page strip and giggled at
the gag... and then it hit me.
I just read through a two-page strip.
I just *READ* through a two-page strip.
Without a dictionary.
I READ IT! I CAN READ!!!
So then I tackled a longer story. No, I didn't know all the kanji, but even for most of the ones where I didn't know the pronounciation, I knew or could guess at the meaning, and following the story line was no problem. And so it started. The next day I picked up a fluff rag (メトロガイド秋物語) published by the subway company and read -- read! -- with interest through the showcases on the 4 new stations on the Namboku line and then conquered an entire interview of some random looks-like-a-gaijin-but-is-a-nihonjin guy called "Sein Kamyu" after katakana-mangling. And now I devour manga at such an alarming rate that I may actually have to resort to buying new ones...
Still, it's a wild, almost undescribable feeling. During J2J, after about 3 months in Japan, I felt something similar when I realized that, while I wasn't fluent, I was finally "up to speed" in that I could follow and participate in most conversations where the vocabulary was familiar. There was also a point around 300-500 kanji where I felt that I started to know enough to be able to get around, but it wasn't enough for even the simplest of "real" texts. It's taken 5 years of study and intense frustration, but now I've finally cracked the code for the written Japanese language, probably the most difficult one on the planet... and while of course I'm not fluent, I suspect that I may now be able to pass the level 2 test, and that before I leave I may succeed in the task that I set for myself all these years ago: reading one of Mishima Yukio's novels in the (notoriously difficult!) original.
So, in conclusion, the Grand Prize of the Perversity Awards goes to myself, for continuing to bang my head against the wall for all this time and finally reaching enlightenment. And to all you students out there, don't give up -- or Squid-san will use his tentacles to open a can of whup-ass when you get here.