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Friday, July 14, 2017

Catchy Japanese Words for Summer

夏 擬態語



The full heat of summer (natsu 夏) has just come to Japan, and, being the weather, it's often the first thing Japanese people mention when they meet.

"Atsui desu ne!" (if it's your neighbor) or "Atsui da na!" (if you're talking to a good friend, a child or an underling) is the standard "It's hot, isn't it!"

However, more nuanced talk about hot weather often involves those ever useful gitaigo or Japanese onomatopoeia.

My commute starts with a train ride which, in spite of the in-car air-conditioning, still manages to get fun-fun ふんふん (pronounced "whoon-whoon," i.e., with the "f" sounding as much like an "h" as an "f")  i.e., close and steamy once enough people have gotten on.
Takusan no hitobito ga norikonde, shanai ga funfun shite iru.
たくさんの人が乗り込んで、車内がふんふんしている。
The carriage got all hot and steamy with so many people getting on.

I then walk the 10 minutes from the station to the office.
Even the morning sun is gira-gira ぎらぎら, i.e., shining fiercely, and the walk suddenly seems twice as long as usual as I teku-teku to てくてくと (i.e., plod) go to work.
Taiyo ga gira-gira to teritsukete, teku-teku to shigotoba made arukimashita. 
太陽がぎりぎらと照り付けて、てくてくと仕事まで歩きました。
With the sun blazing in the sky, I plodded my way to work.

I'm pota-pota ぽたぽた sweating (i.e., it's pouring off me) and my shirt is bettari べったり stuck to my back.
Potapota to ase ga ochite, shatsu ga senaka ni bettari kuttsuku.
ぽたぽたと汗が落ちて、シャツが背中にべったりくっつく。

Hot enough for you? Stay tuned - more to come!

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