Valentine’s Day in Japan is all about chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. On this very special day, Japanese women everywhere from schools to retirement homes will offer chocolates to the men they cherish in their lives. And also to a bunch of other guys; family members, friends, colleagues, classmates — basically any dude she comes into contact with on the regular.
This idea that Japanese women are forced to give chocolate on Valentine’s Day is a genius marketing ploy that has meant sweet business for chocolatier brands over the years. But in the case of one Twitter user, it was a rare opportunity to show off his own baking skills.
We’re not sure of what the agreement was between @shaleed and his daughter, but it sounds like he took over her chocolate making duty and maybe did too good of a job.
いいか、娘の彼氏よ よく聞くんだ 恐らくは明日
無駄にこだわってしまって色んなフレイバーをしこんでいる 本当にすまない pic.twitter.com/ZIcooHyI2E
— シャリ (@shaleed) February 13, 2019
いいか、娘の彼氏よ よく聞くんだ 恐らくは明日
Hey you, the guy dating my daughter. Tomorrow, you’ll most probably be melting over the chocolates (she gave you), but here’s the thing — I made ‘em all! I apologize in advance for playing around a bit too much with the colors and flavors.
Well, we certainly wouldn’t mind receiving such a lovely Valentine’s gift. But we do wonder how the boyfriend felt when he realized that his girlfriend gave him chocolate baked by her father.
A week later:
— シャリ (@shaleed) February 20, 2019
My daughter’s boyfriend is now my follower. He’s special to me, that’s why.
It seems like someone was pretty impressed by his future father-in-law’s baking skills.
Japanese particles and word order
Although not that complex to understand, @shaleed’s tweet can be confusing at first glance.
Japanese is considered to be an SOV (subject, object, verb) language. By comparison, English is an SVO (subject, verb, object) language. The truth is, the order in a Japanese sentence actually doesn’t really matter, as long as it ends with a predicate (i.e. a verb). Indeed, particles —words that we attach to nouns, verbs, adjectives or sentences to assign them a grammatical function— are here to help us build a sentence, regardless of how groups of words are arranged.
The difficulty, for Japanese learners, is to understand the subtleties of all these particles, especially when they have no equivalent in their mother tongue.
In this tweet, the following (simplified) sentence is a very interesting example:
- 貴様が食べているチョコ + を作ったのは+この俺なんだ
- You eat chocolate + made by who + me
Phew! There are several particles we can review here.
- が: can be considered the subject marker or identifier marker, which brings new information to a sentence.
- は: also called the topic marker, introduces the subject of a sentence, that is, what you’re talking about, or it can also show contrast in a sentence. This is a simplification but one that is helpful here.
- を: indicates the direct object and isn’t too complicated to understand.
|いいか||iika||Listen! (used to call for someone’s attention)|
||choco||chocolate (short for チョコレート)|
|俺||ore||I (colloquial, for men)|
|無駄に||mudani||wastefully, for no reason|
|こだわる||kodawaru||to be very particular about the details of something, meticulous|
|フレイバー (or フレーバー)||flavaa||flavor|
|しこむ||shikomu||to prepare (usually, for cooking)|
||sumanai||feel sorry (for)|
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