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Erin Dockal 講師的專欄

”木枯らし”は英語で何でしょうかね?

2018年12月5日

In class sometimes students ask me ”what's ~~ in English”? Most of the time I can tell you what the Japanese translation is. But sometimes there is no precise English for certain Japanese words and/or phrases. Such as:

1. いただきます- The closest English meaning is “I will have this.” There is no English phrase used before eating food to express appreciation and respect for life, nature, the person who prepared the food, the person who served the food, and everything else that is related to eating. On Thanksgiving, however, it is common for Americans to say grace and talk about what they are grateful for. This only happens once a year.

2.お疲れ様でした 
-  The closest English meaning is “you’re tired". There is no English phrase to let someone know that you recognize his/her hard work and that you are thankful for it.

3. 
木枯らし- The closest English meaning is "withering". There is no English phrase to let someone know the cold wind signalling the beginning of winter has arrived.


4. 
物の哀れ- The closest English meaning is "the pathos of things." There is no English phrase to describe the awareness of the impermanence of all things and the gentle sadness and wistfulness at their passing.

5. 
仕方ない / しょうがない -

The closest English meaning is “it cannot be helped.” There is no English phrase that isn't discouraging or despairing but also meant to accept that something is out of your control while also encouraging people to realize that it wasn’t their fault and to move on with no regret.

 

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