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Tweet of the Week #155: Movie Japanese, Untranslatable Words and More

Here are four of our favorite tweets from Japanese Twitter!

By 2 min read

It’s been a bust month for us in Japan. With the state of emergency finally coming to an end (knock on wood), everyone is slowly trying to get back to normalcy. We enjoyed not just one, but four funny Japanese tweets this week.

First, Marimelon1 shows us just how difficult speaking to Amazon’s Alexa in Japanese can be. Next, Paddy_Joy shares his hobby of finding untranslatable words. Then, Yokoumeda, further proves why cursive writing is dead. And, finally, parents tmogi_nichibun need to have a real talk with their kid before Japan’s next disaster.

Fruit Oysters



“I asked Alexa, ‘How do you say persimmon in English?’ But she said ‘oyster’ no matter how many times I asked her, so I asked her to say ‘persimmon as a fruit’ and she replied like this.

Don’t say random things!”

Untranslatable words


“I found Words of the Untranslatable World interesting. It shows that there are concepts in foreign languages that we know exist but have never thought to put into words. For example, ‘a gift to ask for forgiveness from your wife’ and ‘a mark on a garment that constricts the skin.’ I’m sure our Japanese “buying books and not reading them” will convince foreign readers.”

Nice work, Blade Runner 2049

Twitter user Doy1969 enjoys making fun of movies with bad Japanese. Unfortunately, Blade Runner 2049 did its research, so he’s a little miffed.


“There are still a lot of misspellings and omissions for Japanese in movies made overseas, but the neon signs in Blade Runner 2049 are almost accurate, and that’s not so fun for me (the selfishness).”

Who even uses cursive anymore?



“So, we shouldn’t teach cursive script to Japanese elementary school students ↓”

In the picture, the cursive “A” on the left is considered a mistake in Japanese schools, while the “A” on the right is considered correct.

It does start up, tho

This test question is asking what is the first thing prefectural office staff “start” in case of a disaster and the correct answer is “災害対策本部,” meaning create/start a disaster countermeasures office or temporary structure in case of emergency. The child answered パソコン or “personal computer.”



“We laughed hard as parents, but for children, the thing that they ‘start up’ in their daily life and in emergencies is not an organization but a computer.

(By the way, they don’t have the image of ‘starting up’ a smartphone.)”


Japanese Romaji English
適当てきとうなこと tekitouna koto Random things,
存在そんざい sonzai Existence, presence
概念がいねん gainen Concept
nattoku suru Approve, agree with
gojidatsuji Errors and omissions, typographical errors
筆記ひっきたい hikkitai Cursive script
ゲラゲラ geragera Roaring (with laughter), laughing heartily
組織そしき soshiki Organization, system
げる tachiageru Start (something), boot (a computer), launch (a business)

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