Friday, October 6, 2017

ユルい, yurui = loose (and other meanings)

One of the best things about teaching in schools as a part-timer is having long vacations.  I spent a month and a day this summer back home in Hawai'i.  Being back home always reprograms my mind, my body--a sort of resetting, I guess you could say.  The beach, the air and sun, the time to eat with friends and family, the chance to go to the cinema any time I want...There are a number of things that factor in.  Most of all, the chance to get all the rest and sleep that I want.  A few days into my vacation, I looked at the mirror and thought, My God, the bags under my eyes have disappeared.  Thank you!

After the month of summer break, I'm fine with coming back to Japan, and I'm fine with going back to work, since I quite like my schools.  But the stamina isn't there, at first.  I get exhausted after teaching one or two classes.  

Thankfully, my team-teachers (i.e. Japanese teachers who conduct the class with me) also lose stamina over the vacation, so neither of us feels a burning desire to hit the ground running.  This year, my first class back was Expressions, our name for  our translation/grammar course.   It requires little preparation, relying mostly on our diligence and attention to the moment, as we examine students' writings, making corrections of clear errors, offering alternative expressions that may help their sentences flow, and trying to derive from specific examples what general rules of grammar and syntax should be broken down for analysis within that class period.  I don't know if this sounds exactly fun, but it can be if teachers and students interact well.  

The first day back to school, my team-teacher for this E class, in a moment of thinking aloud, breathed a sigh of relief halfway into it, "Ah, this is a good class to get back into it  ユルい、ね."  When I looked it up in Google Translator, loose was the singular result.  The TT said that it is the literal meaning, but in this situation it translated better to "laid back," or a way to ease into something.

For this video, the usage of ユルい might be something like light or easy (exercises), something a light workout.

I like this one,ユルいバトル (yurui battle).  I would describe it as playful fighting, but I suppose that isn't much of a direct translation.  But anyway... 


I'm still trying to figure out why this is a yurui bangumi...

Finally, if you search ユルいラップ, the results will bring you some slow and, yes, loose rap and hip hop.  I guess the word chill applies.  This one is a sizeable mix.

It seems to me that all the meanings have in common a relaxing lack of intensity, so maybe I'd go with that as a definition.

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