Struggling with hiragana and katakana? Well, if it’s any consolation, just know that many Japanese people have an equally intense love-hate relationship with English. Or should we say Engrish? For better or for worse, misspelled words in romaji are legion in Japan creating a landscape of hilariously awkward t-shirts, menus, signboards, and advertising slogans.
Take this week’s viral tweet as a prime example.
Genius marketing trick or unfortunate error?
As he was walking by a restaurant signboard @ymdandU couldn’t believe his eyes. Above the mouth-watering menu advertising beef cutlets (牛カツ), pork cutlets (とんかつ) and fried oysters (牡蠣フライ), a red and white sign indicated that the store also offers a free wife.
— のり（あんず） (@ymdandU) November 16, 2019
なんだなんだなんだ = What, what, what?!
Looking closer, a tiny typo before the verb あります completely changes the meaning from “there is Wi-Fi” to “there is (a) wife” [in this restaurant].
Under the unfortunate misspelled line, “充電 OK” implies that you can charge your electronics for free. But—and that’s the magic of the Japanese language—you could stretch the joke as far as suggesting that it’s “OK to charge (your wife).” Lulz.
Enthusiastic response quickly propelled @ymdandU’s tweet into the spotlight.
Lonely heart @hajimsta was well up for it.
— Hajime SATO (@hajmsta) November 16, 2019
ください(笑) = Please! (lol)
@tty1971 admitted international marriage is tough.
— TTY (@tty1971) November 16, 2019
うちにも、中国産WiFe有りますよく接続エラーが発生します。( ；∀；) = At home, I have a wife made in China. Connection errors happen a lot.
Lastly, it looks like this isn’t a one-time typo occurrence according to @bonne_and_bonne.
— 灼熱電車区 (@bonne_and_bonne) November 17, 2019
近いものを感じます……… = Here’s a similar one.
The word なんだ is actually an inflection of なん (の) with だ, the casual version of です which translates “to be” or a state of being. Truth be told, although なんだ adds a certain color to what you’re saying in Japanese, it can’t really be translated. It’s rather a style of speech that you’ll learn to recognize as you start speaking Japanese more and more.
However, you’ll find it useful to know that なんだ is used A LOT as an interjection to express you’re shocked or annoyed.
- なんだって! = What?!/Why?/Come again?
- なにがなんだか = What’s what?!
- だからなんだ = So what!/Who gives a damn?/So f*ckin’ what!
|牛カツ||gyuu katsu||beef cutlet|
|牡蠣フライ||kaki furai||fried oyster|
|うちにも||uchi ni mo||at (my) home too|
|中国産||chyuugokusan||made in China|
|有ります – あります||arimasu||to be (there is, are)|
|よく||yoku||a lot, often|
|発生する||hassei suru||occur, happen|
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