Whether it’s “Harry Potter” or “Kiki’s Delivery Service,” the wizarding world has been obsessed with using brooms as a means of transportation since the Middle Ages. I mean, we can see the appeal. It’s cheap, eco-friendly and always comes with a sky view.
However, according to this professor, maintaining your balance, speed and direction would apparently be just like riding a roller coaster the entire way with no hands. Hmm, no thanks.
How do you break the news to your child that broomstick transport is not real?
Parenting isn’t easy when it comes to teaching your little ones the harsh realities of the non-fictional world. Those stories you’ve told them… yeah, they were actually lies. Santa? Oh, he’s the mascot of Coca Cola’s marketing department. Monster in the cupboard? Nah, that’s just a metaphor for hiding your true personality from the world. The tooth fairy? Nothing more than a salesperson encouraging you to save for expensive lifelong dental care.
The answer is: Don’t.
After trying hard for 20 minutes, whispering to himself “witch, fly, witch, fly”, Twitter user @naka’s adorable toddler looked like his dreams had been completely crushed.
— 仲 高宏 (@naka3ws) July 7, 2019
= “Here’s my son after he learned he can’t fly in the sky with a broom. To cheer him up, I told that we’ll buy a better broom for him to try again.”
This father’s instinctive reaction was to do his best to encourage his son. But later reflecting on his blog, Naka conceded that this could have been a lesson on letting go after doing your best. “Life is hard”, he wrote, and “wishful thinking doesn’t make things magically happen”.
However, he concluded that he felt that time spent with his son and keeping the fantasy alive a little longer was more precious than teaching him a moral lesson.
And who knows? With technology and a little imagination, anything is possible!
In fact: Naka’s son isn’t alone!
Japanese parents can probably blame the Ghibli movie “Kiki’s Delivery Service“ for countless similar scenes of childhood disappointment.
— ツナ (@4lan221) July 19, 2018
ホウキで飛べないことを怒り泣いている3歳娘 = My 3-year-old daughter crying with rage after realizing she can’t fly on a broom
How to make a request using the imperative form in Japanese
On paper, Japanese grammar does have an imperative form to give orders, commands or to make a strong request. But since Japanese people value politeness and respect above all, actually using the imperative—in the right context—can be tricky.
If you’re an anime or manga aficionado, you will probably have read or heard this form being used by characters to boss others around. But in real life, Japanese people tend to prefer more delicate ways to give orders! The best way is to use the expression ください, which is polite and softer in tone.
The imperative is built with the verbs dictionary form:
- Ru-verbs: る becomes ろ
- U-verbs: the “う” vowel to its “え” variation. E.g.: 飛ぶ becomes 飛べ
- する becomes しろ
- くる becomes こい
- くれる is an exception here and changes to くれ
Living in Japan, you will more likely encounter imperative orders on road signs, slogans or notice than in ordinary conversations. At least you know they’re being nice about it!
|で||de||with, by means of|
|飛べる||toberu||be able to fly|
|うなだれる||unadareru||hang one’s head|
|今度||kondo||next time, soon|
|もう一度||mou ichido||once more|
|挑戦する||chousen suru||to challenge|
|励ます||hagemasu||encourage, cheer up|
|歳娘||sai musume||year-old daughter|
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