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Thursday, January 15, 2009

Parts of the Body in Japanese


Listen to the parts of the body in Japanese from Joji

We have already delved into the numbers in Japanese, colors and days of the week, another vocabulary category to master is parts of the body (taibui 体部位).

Head (atama 頭), face (kao 顔), hair (kami 髪), neck, (kubi 首) arm (ude 腕), elbow (hiji ひじ), ankle (ashikubi 足首), armpit (wakinoshita 腋の下), eye (me 目), ear (mimi 耳), nose (hana 鼻), mouth (kuchi 口), tongue (shita 舌), shoulder (kata 肩), hand (te 手), finger (yubi 指), chest (mune 胸), toe (tsumasaki つま先), leg (ashi 足), back (senaka 背中), knee (hiza 膝), heel (kakato かかと), lip (kuchibiru 唇).

Internally, we have heart (shinzo 心臓), tooth (ha 歯), liver (kanzo 肝臓), kidney (jinzo 腎臓), brain (no 脳), bladder (boukou 膀胱).

A useful expression is the part of the body plus "ga itai" - thus atama ga itai (頭が痛い)、naka ga itai (腹が痛い). My heads aches, my stomach aches etc.

Expressions using the parts of the body are legion. Be all eyes - me wo sara no yo ni suru (目を皿のようにする) - similar in meaning to the English "be all ears." I am really busy - te ga hanasenai "I can't let go of my hands" (手が離せない), kuchi wa wazawai no moto (口は禍のもと) - evil stems from the mouth.

Others are: to get angry - ha wo muku (歯をむく) - lit. bear the teeth or hara ga tatsu (腹が立つ) - lit. the belly stands up. The book Japanese Proverbs and Sayings by Daniel Crump Buchanan has a whole section of proverbs dedicated to parts of the body.

Last week's Japanese lesson

1 comment:

  1. Good post for beginners, I wish I had run across something like this while I was learning. Just a quick note, "my hands can't speak" (手が話さない) is actually te ga hanasenai "I can't let go of my hands" (手が離せない).


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