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Tweet of the Week #54: Japanese Husband Needs a Kitchen 101 Course

Learn all about the posh Japanese phrase である with this week's viral tweet!

By 3 min read

Though they might look different from what you’re used to, Japanese kitchens aren’t too complicated to figure out. While most Japanese homes are equipped with a ガスコンロ (gas stove), small 1K apartments usually only supply one tiny 電気でんきヒーターコンロ (electric stove) which will drive your electricity bill through the roof if you’re cooking daily. Lately, IHクッキングヒーター or more simply put IHヒーター (induction cooking stoves) are slowly getting popular in Japan as a safer and cheaper alternative.

But whatever you cook Japanese meals with, you should know that you’ll need to buy compatible cookware. That’s when knowing the word 対応たいおう (“compatible” or “matching with”) comes in handy when shopping for kitchen appliances!

Know your 対応

  • ガズ火対応 = compatible with a gas stove and an electric stove
  • IHヒーター対応 = compatible with an IH stove

The trouble is cookware compatibility isn’t limited to a frying pan and a stove, as Twitter user @kotoRichan_P recently found out.

https://twitter.com/kotoRichan_P/status/1189730439633625090?s=20

こちらの作品さくひんをごらん下さい。

題名だいめいは“オーブンに入れられた、レンジ対応たいおう容器ようき末路まつろ。”です。

作者であるわたしおっとはこの作品について、「え?オーブンとレンジってちがうの?」とコメントされています。

= Please have a look at this work of art. The title is “Fate of a microwave-compatible container that was used in an oven.” The artist is my husband, who made the following statement about the piece: “What?! Ovens and microwaves are different?”

How to use the Japanese literary phrase: である

The nice thing about speaking and understanding casual Japanese is that a couple of months studying intensively will get you at a good enough level to be able to chat with friends. Moving on to polite Japanese can be challenging at times, but a few more months in school and you’ll wrap your head around most of the grammar you need to get by. 

However, things start to get really tricky when you enter the minefield that is Keigo (honorific and humble speech) and then the even worse “Japanese literary style.”

The good news is literary phrases are *mostly* found in formal writings such as university or business reports, essays, and novels, meaning you don’t need to learn how to speak them unless you want to sound totally pompous.

である is a typical かた表現ひょうげん aka, “super formal phrase” useful to know if you’re set on passing the JLPT N1 or if you’ll study at a Japanese university. 

である is used to replace the copula and です after a noun or adjective, and even the ます form of verbs, to state facts with an official-sounding tone. While です and ます are certainly polite, they will sound childish in your Ph.D. thesis! 

Truth be told, である is so formal that there’s little chance you stumble upon this phrase outside of an academic field. Even newspapers will prefer to write です or to convey information in a more reader-friendly way. 

Vocabulary

ガスコンロ gasu konro gas stove
電気でんきヒーターコンロ denki hiitaa konro electric stove
IHクッキングヒーター IH kukkingu hiitaa IH stove
対応 taiou compatible with
ガズ火対応 gasu hi taiou compatible with gas stove
IHヒーター対応 IH hiitaa taiou compatible with IH stove
こちら kochira this
作品さくひん sakuhin artwork, creation
らん下さい go ran kudasai please have a look (formal)
題名だいめい daimei title
オーブン oobun oven
入れられる irerareru be placed in, put in
レンジ対応たいおう容器ようき renji taiou youki container compatible with microwave
末路まつろ matsuro fate
作者さくしゃ sakusha author
である de aru be, is (act like copula です)
わたし watashi I, me
おっと otto husband
について ni tsuite about
ちが chigau vary, differ
コメントする komento suru comment

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