Japanese dry winter air is the worst.
As soon as the humid typhoon season reaches a welcome end, the weather turns to dry air mode, sucking every drop of moisture from the atmosphere.
Cold air creeping into homes causes the indoor humidity to fall below 30 percent for most of the winter. In a matter of days, you begin to experience seasonal symptoms like dry skin, chapped lips, and a sore throat.
To combat the parched air, almost everyone in Japan uses humidifiers, called 加湿器. Running a humidifier along with your can heater help add moisture to the air for a more comfortable humidity level, usually between 30 and 50%.
However, humidifiers aren’t an ideal solution.
When water makes fire
On the flipside, humidifiers have a well-worn reputation as germ and bacteria incubators. Thanks to this week’s tweet pick, we can add being a fire hazard to the list of cons, too.
This Gunma-based Twitter user had quite a scare when his fire alarm woke him up in the middle of the night.
= When I was sleeping, the fire alarm went off as the humidifier was on fire and for the first time in my life I called 119. I put the fire out immediately with the fire extinguisher*, but it turned into a big fuss with the firefighters, police and gas company all coming.
*消化器 (digestive organs) should actually be 消火器. See, even Japanese people make kanji mistakes!
Luckily no one was hurt. But it proves that humidifiers might not be the harmless home accessories they’re made out to be!
Review your adverbs of time
In his misfortune, our humidifier owner can consider himself lucky. Because he lives in an apartment building, he quickly found a fire extinguisher in the corridor and could immediately smother the flames before things got worse.
Adverbs of time and frequency hold quite an important place in the Japanese language since there’s basically only a present and past tense. Here’s a quick list for you to review your basics.
- いつも = always
- よく = often
- 時々 = sometimes
- 全然 = never
- ずっと = all the time, always
- まだ = not yet, still
- しばらく= for a while
- 急に = suddenly
- 今 = now
- ただ今 = right now
- その時 = then
- 後で = later
- すでに = already
- 最近 = recently
- すぐに = soon, shortly
- 今すぐに = right now
|燃える||moeru||burn, on fire|
|ジャンジャン||jyanjyan||onomatopoeia: noise of a bell|
|人生で初めて||jinsei de hajimete||first time in one’s life|
|消す||kesu||extinguish, put out a fire|
|ガス屋||gasu ya||gas company, gas shop|
|ずっと||zutto||all the time, always|
|まだ||mada||not yet, still|
|しばらく||shibaraku||for a while|
|すぐに||sugu ni||soon, shortly|
|今すぐに||ima sugu ni||right now|
For more on learning Japanese
- Learn Japanese with our original study materials on GaijinPot Study
- Questions about studying Japanese in Japan? Take a look at the Japan 101 section on Higher Education and Studying Japanese
- Join our GaijinPot Study Facebook group to connect with fellow learners
- Learn more about the GaijinPot Study Placement Program