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Thursday, December 24, 2009



The word tema in Japanese is written with the characters for "hand" and then "space." It is akin to the English phrase "time and effort."

The most common use of the word is the phrase "tema ga kakaru," (手間がかかる)or "it takes time and effort" or "it's a lot of trouble" or "it's complex/complicated." The negative form "tema ga kakaranai" means "fuss-free."
Thus, "Kani o taberu no ni sugoi tema ga kakaru kara iranai."
("Crab is way too much trouble to eat, so I don't want any.")

Changing the "ga kakaru" to "o kakeru" means now you're talking about a person rather than a thing. For example:
"Tanaka-sensei wa monogoto o setsumei suru no ni itsumo tema o kakeru kara totemo ii sensei da to omou."
("Mr/Ms Tanaka always goes to a lot of trouble to explain things, so I think he/she is a really good teacher.")

So, "tema ga kakaru" refers to something is time-consuming and troublesome, "tema o kakeru" refers to someone who takes the time and trouble to do something.

"Sono kubetsu o tsukete tadashiku tsukaeru made, sukoshi tema ga kakaru kana."
("It will probably take you a little time and effort to work out the difference between them and use them properly.")

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