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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Japanese Lesson: Expressions Using Body Parts

ことわざ(頭、目、鼻、耳)

Today we will look at a few expressions using different body parts, all above the neck: head, eye, nose, and ear.

First is 頭 (atama), which means "head." There are many expressions related to the head. Some are obvious:

頭がいい(atama ga ii)= "head is good," which means smart
頭が悪い(atama ga warui)= "head is bad," which of course means...not so smart, thick

Some are not as obvious.

頭が柔らかい(atama ga yawarakai)= "head is soft," which means flexible

Next let's look at 目(me), or eye.

目がいい(me ga ii)= to have a good eye for something

Moving on to the nose, 鼻(hana).

鼻が高い(hana ga takai)= "nose is high," which means arrogant or haughty

Last, let's look at the venerable ear, 耳(mimi).

耳が痛い(mimi ga itai)= "ear hurts," which translates as being ashamed to hear
耳が早い(mimi ga hayai)= "ear is fast" = having sharp ears

And, why not, one for the road:

口が堅い(kuchi ga katai)= "mouth is hard," which means you can keep a secret, hold your tongue


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