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Tweet of the Week #51: Apple Watch Users Told To Go For a Run During Typhoon Hagibis

Learn how to use the expression とんでもない with this week's viral tweet.

By 3 min read

We were warned: Typhoon Habigis was one monster of a typhoon; a hellish tropical storm of the likes Japan hadn’t seen for decades. Currently, the death toll stands at 74, with thousands of residents still without power or water.* 

Days before its landfall, the Japanese authorities had urged the country to prepare for the worst

From early Saturday morning, the Japanese Meteorology Agency (JMA) was in a frenzy issuing flooding and landslide alerts one after another, as deadly torrential rains poured over Japan’s central prefectures. 

Calls for evacuation and for people to take appropriate measures to protect their lives were blasted across all of the areas in immediate danger of a disaster. And for the first time since its creation, a Level 5 “Heavy Rain Alert”—the highest in the JMA’s 5-stage scale—was issued for Tokyo.  

Apple didn’t get the memo

Unless in an evacuation area, people were encouraged to stay indoors to avoid any life-threatening danger coming from the storm winds and rain. 

Unfortunately, it seems like a certain tech giant’s AI didn’t get the memo as Apple Watch users reported receiving notifications suggesting they go for a run right in the middle of the typhoon.  

AppleWatchからとんでもない通知つうちた = I received an unthinkable notification from my Apple Watch. 

On the watch screen we can see a short motivational reminder that being more active is down to you and you alone.

今日きょうはしれない」とめつけているのは自分じぶんだけ。そんな意見いけん必要ひつようはありません。今日も走ろう”

= “The only person deciding ‘I can’t run today’ is you. You don’t need to listen to that voice. Let’s run today!”

Twitter users had a great time replying to this one.

どんな天気てんきでも大丈夫だいじょうぶ#AppleWatch と一緒いっしょならね(ふるごえ

= Whatever the weather. #With AppleWatch *trembling voice*

Apple Watch だが、そとで走れとはってない。= But your Apple Watch doesn’t tell you to run outside

I mean, they have a point.

ウチの上司じょうしと一緒でくさ = Sounds like my boss.

We were ready to bet that nobody in their right mind would risk running in a category five typhoon. But it goes without saying: there’s always one. 

多摩川たまがわ氾濫はんらんしそうなのにランナーがいるっていうツイート発見はっけん
隅田川すみだがわにもいました。。。

= I found this tweet of a jogger even though the Tama River was flooding. There was also one near Sumida River…

No way!

The Japanese expression とんでもない is one of these phrases that is like a Swiss Army Knife with enough useful variations to get you out of any challenging situation. 

  • とんでもない (casual)
  • とんでもないです (more polite)
  • とんでもないことです (very polite)

With a noun or verb, とんでもない translates to “unthinkable,” “unexpected,” “outrageous,” or “offensive.” 

By itself, とんでもない translates clauses such as:

  • “Absolutely not”
  • “Impossible” 
  • “No way”

but also:

  • “Don’t mention it” 
  • “You’re welcome”

To give you some more context, you can use とんでもない when:

    • You face something unexpected (negative)
    • You’re outraged by something ridiculous or terrible (negative)
    • You strongly deny what is being said (negative)
    • You turn down or refuse an offer or something bluntly (negative)
    • You try to sound humble (positive—yes, that’s the odd one here!) 

Now and then you’ll likely read とんでもありません or とんでもございません, especially in a formal environment. These expressions are actually incorrect and come from the assumption that ない derives from the verb ある.

とんでもない is actually an i-adjective.

Vocabulary

からとんでもない通知つうち

Japanese Romaji English
から kara from
とんでもない tondemonai unthinkable, outrageous
通知つうち tsuuchi notification
kuru come
今日きょう kyou today
はしれる hashireru can run
めつける kimetsukeru arbitrarily/one-sidedly decide
自分じぶんだけ jibun dake only I, only me
そんな sonna such
意見いけん iken opinion
kiku listen
必要ひつよう hitsuyou need
ありません arimasen there isn’t
今日も kyou mo today too
どんな donna what
天気てんき tenki weather
大丈夫だいじょうぶ daijoubu fine, ok, alright
一緒いっしょ isshyo together
ふるごえ furue goe tremulous/quivering voice
そと soto outside
iu tell
氾濫はんらん hanran flood
ランナー rannaa runner
ツイート tsuiito tweet
発見はっけん hakken discover
多摩川たまがわ tamagawa Tama River
隅田川すみだがわ sumidagawa Sumida River

For more on learning Japanese

*Donations to the relief effort for Typhoon Hagibis can be made with Nippon Foundation, Japan Platform, and Peace Winds Japan.

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