From Disney princesses selling a “healthy” yogurt brand to sexy hostesses promoting blue light-blocking glasses to salarymen, gender stereotypes in Japanese advertising are as common as every WTF reaction to Tommy Lee Jones’ long-running stint as an alien maid on behalf of SoftBank.
Fun Fact: Women also like beer
@toriham_1212 shocked the Japanese Twittersphere when she shared a picture of this promotional flyer she received in her mailbox from a local construction company.
— 鶏はむ (@toriham_1212) September 20, 2018
なぜパパにはビールでママには洗剤なのか。私にもビールをよこせ = Why are beers for dads and detergent for mums? Offer me beer as well!
The flyer lists prizes that will be offered to families that visit the company’s showroom, with cans of Premium Malt beer being limited to fathers while mothers can enjoy receiving… a bottle of detergent.
Convinced that consumers would be rushing to them in droves, the company went a step further offering a pack of diapers to the first 10 lucky mothers that stop by.
— 鶏はむ (@toriham_1212) November 20, 2018
Goodness, they’ve really tapped into female desire with this campaign.
Ways to ask “Why?” in Japanese
Aside from the big ol’ dose of thank you, next that @toriham_1212’s tweet displays, her caption also contains an opportunity to learn different ways of asking why in Japanese.
The most casual expression is なんで, which should be pretty familiar to you if you’ve been in Japan or studied Japanese for a while. You’ll use なんで with close friends or family.
If you want to sound more polite, you can use どうして instead, which is a neutral way to ask why.
なぜ, used in the tweet above, is quite formal and you’ll rarely hear this expression in your everyday conversation. Keep なぜ for writing or formal speech.
To form your question, don’t forget to add the question marker か at the end of the sentence and to rise your intonation.
|のか||no ka||(sentence ending particle) endorsing and questioning the preceding statement|
|よこす||yokosu||to send, give|
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