They’re adorable, charming, cute, and every moment spent with them is precious. Or so parents are told before stepping into the battlefield that is daily life with toddlers. Let’s face it, tiny people seem to excel at making monumental messes wherever they go, turning a perfectly ordered room into what looks like the aftermath of several mine explosions and a stampede by angry bison.
Don’t forget to lock the cabinet doors
This mother of three toddlers @Ju_nA_0313 learned a valuable lesson last month: Never EVER forget to use the childproof locks on her kitchen cabinet.
— じゅんな (@Ju_nA_0313) March 29, 2019
The day after I bought rice, the rice container got poured everywhere, plus the milk cartons are all open; on top of this, there are now a lot of toothpicks and rubber bands everywhere… I learned that forgetting to put back the childproof drawer lock is a fatal mistake.
Although her kitchen looks kind of awful at the time of the picture, @Ju_nA_0313 stayed calm and took things in her stride. She even took the time to reply back to the judgmental comments questioning her parenting abilities, and whether she’s disciplined her kids properly or not.
— じゅんな (@Ju_nA_0313) March 31, 2019
Did you say that I didn’t scold them at all? I imagine that you’re saying this based on your expert knowledge of the best way to scold a 2-year-old who can only speak a few baby words and a babbling 10-month-old baby. I’m hoping that my children won’t grow to become narrow-minded adults who look down on others.
Ultimately, she says, this is a parenting lesson, not something you can scold very young toddlers for.
In fact, this never happened again and I myself never forgot the childproof lock, so I only think it’s fair to say that this became a learning experience for all of us.
If you’re wondering about giving parenthood a try or are already expecting, prepare yourself psychologically for what is about to come by searching for the hashtag #育児衝撃画像 (shocking images of parenting) on Twitter.
How to use the passive voice in Japanese
The Japanese language relies a lot on the passive voice called 受身形. It’ll probably take you a while to wrap your head around understanding the construction, especially if your native tongue doesn’t use passive so much.
Typically when the action (“what was done”) or its consequences for the speaker (“what was done to me”) are more important than the subject (“who did it”), the passive voice is preferred. Let’s look at some examples.
- 上司は私を褒めました。= My boss praised me.
- 私は上司に褒められました。= I was praised by my boss.
- 上司は彼を叱りました。= The boss scolded him.
- 彼は上司に叱られました。= He was scolded by the boss.
The second sentence sounds more natural for Japanese, as what matters is less the subject who did the action (the boss) but what was done—giving praise or scolding. The subject is marked with the particle に. Although we did indicate the topic of the sentence with 私は and 彼は, Japanese will more naturally omit it.
Sometimes the subject will be omitted as well, like in the tweet above:
- 子供に満タンの米びつをひっくり返されて、プラスでミルク缶も開けられていた。= The rice container got poured everywhere and the milk cartons opened (by the kids).
The passive voice is also convenient when you don’t know the subject.
- この五輪塔は200年前に建てられました。= This five-story pagoda was built 200 years ago.
Here’s a quick reminder of the construction of the passive voice:
- U ending verbs: 買う → 買われる
- Ru ending verbs: 建てる → 建てられる
- する → される
- くる → こられる
|次の日||tsugi no hi||next day|
|ひっくり返す||hikkuri kaesu||to overturn|
|ミルク缶||miruku kan||milk carton|
|ついで||tsuide||incidentally, by the way|
||iwanbakarini||as much as to say|
|引き出しストッパー||hikidashi sutoppaa||drawer stopper/lock|
|締め忘れ||shimewasure||forget to close|
|X 歳児||saiji||X-year-old infant|
|出る||deru||to come out|
|の上で||no ue de||based on, after|
|決め付け||kimetsuke||scold, take to task|
|他人を蔑むような人間||tanin o sagesumu ningen||person (adult) who looks down on others|
|になる||ni naru||to become|
|親子||oyako||parent and child|
|良い経験||yoikeiken or iikeiken||good experience|
|育児||ikuji||child care, child rearing|
|五輪塔||gorintou||five storey pagoda|
|X年前||nenmae||X years ago|
For more on learning Japanese
- Learn Japanese with our original study materials on GaijinPot Study
- Questions about studying Japanese in Japan? Take a look at the Japan 101 section on Higher Education and Studying Japanese
- Join our GaijinPot Study Facebook group to connect with fellow learners
- Learn more about the GaijinPot Study Placement Program