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Tweet of the Week

Learn Japanese with what's going viral in the Twitterverse.

By 3 min read

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.

Fatherly love

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、 むすめ彼氏 かれしよ よくくんだ おそらくは明日 あした
貴様 きさまがおいしいおいしいべているチョコを つくったのは この おれなんだ
無駄 むだにこだわってしまって いろんなフレイバーをしこんでいる本当 ほんとうにすまない

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:

そんな むすめ彼氏 かれし いまでは おれのフォロワー
なぜなら かれもまた特別 とくべつ存在 そんざいだからです。

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 きさまべているチョコ + を つくったのは+この おれなんだ
  • You eat chocolate + made by who + me

Phew! There are several particles we can review here.

  • : can be considered the subject marker or identifier marker, which brings new information to a sentence.
  • : 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.
  • : indicates the direct object and isn’t too complicated to understand.

For more on Japanese word order and は VS が, make sure to check here and here!

Vocabulary

Japanese Romaji English
いいか iika Listen! (used to call for someone’s attention)
むすめ musume daughter
彼氏 かれし kareshi boyfriend
kiku to listen
おそらく osoraku probably, likely
明日 あした ashita tomorrow
貴様 きさま kisama you
おいしい oishi delicious
べる taberu to eat
チョコ
choco chocolate (short for チョコレート)
つく tsukuru to make
おれ ore I (colloquial, for men)
無駄 むだ mudani wastefully, for no reason
こだわる kodawaru to be very particular about the details of something, meticulous
いろんな ironna various
フレイバー (or フレーバー) flavaa flavor
しこむ shikomu to prepare (usually, for cooking)
本当ほんとう hontou ni really
すまない
sumanai feel sorry (for)
いまでは ima dewa now
フォロワー forowaa follower
なぜなら nazenara because
また mata again, too
特別 とくべつ tokubetsu special
存在 そんざい sonzai presence, existence

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