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Tweet of the Week #113: Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

How do you talk about snow in Japanese?

By 2 min read

After autumn, some Japanese regions turn into a winter wonderland. From the northern Hokkaido to the mountains in Nagano, folks brace themselves for the possibility of heavy snowfalls that attract skiers and snowboarders.

Snowy views of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka show up in manga and anime, but the reality is it rarely snows in Japan’s major cities. In the countryside, they’re used to tightly-packed piles of snow every morning. But mother nature can still be a jerk.

Cold never bothered me anyway

What’s it like to be living in a snowy region? Well, sometimes you’re rewarded with absolutely incredible landscapes.

雪国ゆきぐにそだちは大変たいへんですね。

なんか可愛かわいいくえてきたわら

“Growing up in a snowy country seems hard.

But somehow this looks cute. lol”

豪雪のファミリーマート。

FamilyMart in heavy snowfall.

Well now you know

But sometimes, snowy weather is just simply a test of willpower to go out at all.

これはど田舎いなかの雪国でバスをのがしたひと視点してんです

“Here’s the view of a person missing their bus in a snowy region countryside.”

かりますか雪国の住宅じゅうたく玄関げんかん

風除室ふうじょしつ』が何故なぜついてるか。

分かりますね。

“Do you know the reason why homes in snowy regions have windbreak rooms attached to their entrance?

Now, you know.”

There’s going to be a delay

JR只見線ただみせん

会津柳津駅あいずやないずえき

除雪車じょせつしゃ脱線だっせん

“JR’s Tadami line.

Aizu-Yanaizu Station.

The snowplow derailed.”

雪像せつぞうつくるかまようレベルのたかさでした

すごすぎてぎゃくに笑いまらなかった、

“The snow level was so high that we considered making a snow sculpture.

I couldn’t stop laughing because of how amazing (this looks).”

Japanese vocabulary to talk about snow

Let’s gently start 2021 and skip the grammar lesson for a keyword list to talk about snow in Japanese. The Japanese language has an extensive vocabulary when it comes to the weather, and there are dozens of words just to talk about snow, how it falls, how it looks, etc. For example:

  • 綿雪わたゆき  or “cotton snow” and refers to how snowflakes (雪片せっぺん) looks like a ball of cotton.
  • 灰雪はいゆき  or “ash snow” like when the snow seems to dance in the air like fire ashes.

You might also be curious to learn more about the 雪女ゆきおんな (deceptive snow beauty) in this spooky article about Japan’s scariest ghosts and ghouls.

Luckily for you, we focused on the essential words you need to know at first.

Japanese Romaji English
雪が yuki ga furu snow
降雪こうせつ kousetsu snowfall
雪がもる yuki ga tsumoru pile up (snow)
積雪せきせつ sekisetsu snow cover
粉雪こなゆき kona yuki powdered snow
みぞれ mizore sleet
豪雪地帯ごうせつちたい gousetsuchitai area with heavy snowfall
豪雪ごうせつ gousetsu heavy snowfall
雪景色ゆきげしき yukigeshiki snow landscape
雪玉ゆきだま tamayuki snowball
暴風雪ぼうふうせつ boufuusetsu Blizzard/ snow storm
初雪はつゆき hatsuyuki first snow of the winter
わすゆき wasureyuki last snow of the winter

 

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