Language and Humor

Quiz: Blended Japanese Expressions

Save time by blending Japanese expressions with other words. Match an expression (A–F) below with a word (U–Z) and make a blended expression to replace the long sentences in parentheses ( ).

The answers are at the bottom of the page.

The answers are some suggested expressions that relate to the everyday situations of foreigners in Japan.

EXAMPLE: (Please help me; I’m a foreigner.) I don’t understand how to do things here.

ANSWER: [D+V] Onegaijin shimasu. I don’t understand how to do things here.

  1. (Thank you for helping me get up from this sitting position.). I thought I’d be stuck like this forever.
  2. (Congratulations on at least finding the right neighborhood of the house you were looking for.) Being nearby is the best we can hope for, what with twisting, dead end streets with no names.
  3. (Excuse me for dropping food from my chopsticks.) I’m not used to eating large pieces of cutlet this way.
  4. (You got to try harder than that if you want to pick up women.) Maybe you should hang around for my rejects.
  5. (This is the first time in a while I’ve worn shoes inside someone’s home.) I can always tell when I’m in a fellow foreigner’s home and can freely come and go.

Expressions

A. arigatou gozaimasu
ありがとうございます: thank you
B. chuutohanpa
中途半端: half-done, unsatisfactory
C. omedetou gozaimasu
おめでとうございます: congratulations
D. onegai shimasu
お願いします: please help me/please do something for me
E. shibaraku
しばらく: it’s been a while
F. shitsurei shimashita
失礼しました: excuse me (for what I did)

Words

U. choume
丁目: numbered city block for addresses within a city ward
V. gaijin
外人: foreigner
W. hashi
: chopsticks
X. kutsu
: shoes
Y. nanpa
ナンパ: (slang) men picking up/chatting up women (the reverse is gyaku-nan 逆ナン)
Z. seiza
正座: traditional Japanese sitting (kneeling) position with your weight on your knees, shins, and tops of toes

Answers below

Scoring

  • 5: You can go to Japan and blend in.
  • 3-4: Not bad.
  • 0-2: Did you have mixed feelings about this?

Answers

  1. [A+Z] Seizarigatou gozaimasu. I thought I’d be stuck like this forever.
  2. [C+U] Choumedetou gozaimasu. Being nearby is the best we can hope for, what with twisting, dead end streets with no names.
  3. [F+W] Hashitsurei shimashita. I’m not used to eating large pieces of cutlet this way.
  4. [B+Y] Chuutonanpa. Maybe you should hang around for my rejects.
  5. [E+X] Shibarakutsu. I can always tell when I’m in a fellow foreigner’s home and can freely come and go.