Sunday, October 27, 2013


A followup to the last entry ("おめ"), ハピバー is another abbreviated version of Happy Birthday. . .Also taught to me by a Facebook friend.


I just saw this on Facebook.  It's one of my friend's birthday, and one of her other Facebook friends posted 「おめ!」 which is short for おめでとうございます!, or Congratulations.  The way our younger generation here can cut syllables, and still be comprehensible. . .I'm starting to feel like there's a bit of genius in it.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


I'm told that じゃん is part of the Kanto way of speaking, generally used at the end of sentences to emphasize what's been said.  The most common usage I heard is in the phrase 「いい、じゃん!」, which I believe means "It's fine," "It's all good!" or something of that nature.

Three videos on YouTube:

やる, やるな, and やるなぁ~

Of course, やる is the same as する, which means to do.
やるな means "don't do that," as placing a な after a verb in its plain form is a strong way to tell someone not to do whatever action the verb denotes.

やるなぁ~ means something along the lines of "good job," "well done," etc.
I just learned the third of these, sort of by accident.  I was watching a TV show called Hammer Session, and I heard one of the characters say it but didn't quite understand it.  The subtitles translated it as "Aren't you good?"  I couldn't understand why やる was used in that situation.  Something like 「やった!」 (I did it!) I could see, but やる?

Two days later, I was at my desk in the teachers' room at school, and I overheard one of my Japanese colleagues say 「やるなぁ~」.  My head perked up.  I asked her what exactly she meant just now, and she explained the differences between the three usages of this word.  I went back to the video that night to listen to it again.  It turns out I misheard the actress.  She doesn't say  「やるなぁ~」; she says 「やるじゃん!」。
I think it means the same thing, though.

There's no embedding code on the video, but if you want to see it the url is:
 As the link tells you, it's Episode 4, part 3, of Hammer Session.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

skin oh so soft and silky smooth, skin to die for

Sube sube (スベスベ) hada (肌) is soft, smooth, silky skin.

sube sube (スベスベ) = soft and silky smooth
hada (肌) = skin

Of course, sube sube can be used to denote other nouns, not just skin.  I associate it with skin because when I first heard the word, somebody used it while describing skin.

Following are three videos.

The first shows women giving their skin the treatment they deem necessary for akachan hada (赤ちゃん肌, which you can see whenever the babies appear in the video).  Akachan (赤ちゃん), or baby, is used in much the way that English speakers might use the phrase "smooth as a baby's bottom."  (See definition on Cambridge dictionary site.)

The second video is of a young woman who topically uses yogurt to achieve sube sube-ness.

 And finally the Photoshop solution

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

うま味 (umami)

Umami is the Japanese term (and loan word) for what is considered here to be one of five basic tastes (along with sweet, sour, salty, and bitter).  Some of its translations are:  a "pleasant savory taste," "rounded, rich and savory.," and a "moreish savoury taste."'s contribution, "a strong meaty taste imparted by glutamate and certain other amino acids: often considered to be one of the basic taste sensations along with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty," is the longest definition that I've come across.

A couple of videos on this topic:


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Congestion or a Runny Nose

Recently got over a cold.  I had to get some congestion medicine and found that these words were useful. 

congestion / stuffy nose = 鼻づまり (hanazumari) 
sniffles / runny nose =  鼻水 (hanamizu)

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