Sunday, February 8, 2009

Words of the Day: 手酌 etc.!

(seen in a shop in Osaka...eeg)

Found a few really good words this past week, but I've been adjusting to my new job so I haven't gotten around to posting them:

1. 手酌 【てじゃく】 (n) pouring one's own drink

Useful, in a metaphoric sense!

2. 頭打ちに成る 【あたまうち に なる】 (v) to plateau

This is one I've been looking for! I wanted to express how my Japanese improved quickly when I first got here, but it seems to have leveled off (and may even be getting worse!), so this seems to do the trick. I literally "bumped my head"...

3. 十把一絡げ; 十把一絡 【じっぱひとからげ; じゅっぱひとからげ】 (n,adj-no) lumping together all sorts of things; making sweeping generalizations; dealing with various things under one head

I love this one! Literally, "bundle ten sticks into one." I'm sick of saying "一般化" all the time b/c it lacks punch when I'm disagreeing with someone who has just made an insanely broad-brush statement. Unfortunately, the few people I've tried it out on didn't recognize it, so I imagine it's not in current usage. Still, it's another arrow 矢【や】 to add to my quiver 箙【えびら】.

On a side note, a friend of mine says that when he was a kid, he thought the expression was "十羽ひと空揚げ” or: "taking ten birds and making one fried chicken dish." Hah! Reminds me of how, when I was a kid and heard someone say "shut the window, or you'll catch a draft," that it was "catch a giraffe," which made no sense but was still plausible, at least to my 8-y/o mind.



4. 権限を付与する = to grant authority

権限 【けんげん】 (n) power; authority; jurisdiction
付与 【ふよ】 (n,vs) grant; allowance; endowment; bestowal; assignment; conferment

付与 sounds much better than "ataeru," I think.

5. 相関関係 【そうかんかんけい】 (n) correlation; interrelation

6. 迂回; 迂廻 【うかい】 (n) (1) detour; (vs) (2) to detour; to circumvent

(and saving the best for last...)

7. 鑑みる 【かんがみる】 (v1,vt) to heed; to take into account; to learn from; to take warning from

I saw this one in adverb form: Xに鑑みて in view of X; in the light of X; taking X into account. Much more precise than について、に関して、etc. for when you want to get across the idea that you're building on things that have been established.

A bonus is that the kanji is used to get across the idea of "to discern" or "to discriminate" so we see it in all sorts of interesting combinations:

a. 印鑑 【いんかん】 (n) stamp; seal
(the kanji finally makes sense to me now: the impression that one uses to distinguish oneself from others!)

b. 鑑賞 【かんしょう】 (n,vs) appreciation (e.g. of art); aesthetic sense

...so for "film festival" is 映画鑑賞会 【えいがかんしょうかい】

c. 鑑定 【かんてい】 (n,vs,adj-no) judgment

So then we get:

鑑定書 【かんていしょ】 (n) expert's written opinion or report
精神鑑定 【せいしんかんてい】 (n,vs) psychiatric examination
DNA鑑定 【ディーエヌエーかんてい】 (n) DNA test

d. 鑑別 【かんべつ】 (n,vs,adj-no) discrimination; judgment; distinction

from which we get: 雌雄鑑別 【しゆうかんべつ】 (n) sexing (of chickens, silkworms, etc.)
(literally: female/male distinguish)

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