Word of the Week is back! I toyed with the idea of taking a longer break, but a few of you have commented that you really enjoy these posts (thank you!) so I thought I should continue as soon as possible. In the last post we looked at a Japanese word or phrase beginning with ‘chi’ (ち), and focussed on the expression ちくしょう (chikusho), which means something like ‘damn it’. This week I’m looking for a word or phrase beginning with ‘tsu’ (つ). A big thank you to everyone who joined in with their suggestions:
locksleyu suggested ‘tsuppashiru’ (突っ走る), ‘to run swiftly’; chanteru suggested ‘tsurai’ (つらい), ‘painful’, ‘bitter’, ‘heart-breaking’; Japan Australia suggested ‘tsumaranai’ (つまらない), ‘boring’; ‘tsukareta’ (疲れた), ‘tired’; and ‘tsukiau’ (付き合う), ‘to date’; and Rockin’ suggested ‘tsutsumashii’ (慎ましい), ‘modest’, ‘reserved’, ‘humble’.
There were some interesting ideas and, in the end, I decided to write about…
The word ‘tsukiau’ means ‘to associate with’ or ‘to accompany’ (with no romantic connotations) but is also used to mean ‘to date’ or ‘to go steady’. I suspect things are rather less formal these days, but originally the idea of ‘tsukiau’ as ‘going steady’ would have been the stage of a relationship before engagement and marriage.
The phrase is still used today, but Japan is modernising along with the rest of the world and I think relationships and dating are becoming a bit more relaxed. That being said, Japan is a country where ‘omiai’ (おみあい), matchmaking with a view to an arranged marriage, still exists.
I’m not feeling romantic enough to write a whole post about vocabulary used in dating, but some of the common phrases you will come across are:
‘boifurendo’ (ボーイフレンド) / ‘ga-rufurendo’ (ガールフレンド) – boyfriend/girlfriend (NB. these terms are used a lot more casually in Japan, and might mean ‘close friends’ rather than ‘dating’)
‘kareshi’ (かれし) / ‘kanojyo’ (かのじょ) – boyfriend/girlfriend
‘koibito’ (こいびと) – lover/sweetheart
‘ai shiteru’ (愛してる) – I love you
And if you wanted to ask someone out in Japanese, you could say: ‘watashi to tsukiatte moraemasenka?’ (わたしとつきあってもらえませんか？) – ‘Will you go out with me?’ – or simply ‘tsukiatte kudasai’ (つきあってください) – ‘please go out with me’.
Dating in Japan is a massive topic, and something I would like to write more about in the future but don’t feel qualified to say much about at the moment. Of course, anything I did say would have to be from a bicultural standpoint. Bicultural relationships are full of challenges, but fascinating. Perhaps there will be more to come on this topic at some future date…
(Source: Google images)
Next week’s post will be about a word or phrase beginning with ‘te’ (て), so please leave your suggestions below. The word can be a verb, adjective or expression, but no nouns please! For example, ‘tetsudau’ (てつだう) meaning ‘to help’ would be acceptable, but ‘tegami’ (てがみ), ‘letter’, would not. I look forward to reading your ideas! (*^_^)v