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Tweet of the Week #29

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

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For the sake of safe sex for everyone, buying condoms should always be easy. Japan actually doesn’t fare too badly when it comes to male condoms (sadly female condoms are not in the picture yet here) being sold at the pharmacy, drug stores, and the 50,000 plus konbini across the country. However, recent stats from the World Health Organization reveal that the number of couples using condoms has been slowly dropping since 2013 — a concerning trend given that condoms are by far the most popular method of contraception in Japan.

We want condoms and we want them now!

Most businesses care (or at least pretend they do) about their customers’ needs and will offer suggestion boxes or boards. And in Japan, there’s a strong culture of having the person in charge leave an individual reply to every piece of feedback.

大学だいがく生協せいきょう要望ようぼうわろた = A request for the university co-op

Pinned on the wall, a note (ひとこと, “one word”) we can read the request a male student made to their university’s campus store last January:

コンドーム生協でってしいです = I would like the co-op to sell condoms!

While selling condoms on campus does sound like a good idea, (no lovin’ without the glovin’ people!), alas, the answer was quite disappointing.

以前いぜんも要望がありしい入れましたが1つも売れませんでした。もうわけありませんが、今後こんごにゅうかする予定よていはありません。

= We’ve had such request before and bought stock, but we couldn’t even sell one. We apologize but we are not planning on renewing the stock.

How to use hoshi in Japanese

This tweet presents us with quite the perfect grammar point for today’s topic: how to express a wish for something.

In Japanese, depending on the situation, you have various ways to express your desire. In particular, when you desire to have someone do (or not do!) something for you, you can use the following grammar pattern:

  • Te form verb + hoshi

コンドームをけてしい = I’d like you to use a condom

  • Nai form verb + hoshi

もうけんかをしないで欲しい = I would like you to stop arguing

Vocabulary

Japanese Romaji English
大学だいがく daigaku university
生協せいきょう seikyou co-op store
要望ようぼう youbou request
コンドーム kondoomu (gomu = slang) (male) condom
uru sell
以前いぜん izen before
mo too
仕入しいれる shiireru to stock, procure
もうわけありません moushi wake arimasen I’m/we are very sorry, we apologize
今後こんご kongo hereafter
入荷にゅうかする nyuuka suru to stock
予定よてい yotei plan
ける tsukeru to put on
もう mou no more
けんかする kenka suru to fight, to argue

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