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Tweet of the Week

Learn Japanese with what's going viral in the Twitterverse.

By 3 min read

In Japan, enthusiasm for organized fun seems limitless. Take weddings for example. Rigid schedules, timed speeches and programmed emotion; Western-style wedding receptions here are meticulously planned down to the minute, leaving little room for eccentricity.

But who said that minutious organization can’t get wild? Brace yourself for this week’s NSFW Japanese learning opportunity, courtesy of Twitter.

Weddings gone wild

User @tsumami_gui_ made quite an impression on her followers with this glimpse of her university senpai’s marriage party. The tweet has since been deleted, though the image itself is still circulating on the web.

Aaaand you can probably see why.

Tweet of the Week 7

The original tweet said:

大学の先輩(新郎)の結婚式、最高に最低だった = “My university senior’s wedding reception was really the worst”

In the picture, the groom, down on one knee, offers his bride flowers and a rather straightforward symbol of his love — or should that be lust? While the taste of this salacious love declaration is up for debate, according to the comments from other attendees the performance apparently raised quite the ruckus in the reception hall.

Still many users worried about the effect such a scene could have on the bride’s family. But fear not! @tsumami_gui_ reassured her followers that this picture was taken during the after party (in Japanese: 二次会 にじかい)  that follows the reception dinner which is typically limited to friends and colleagues.

The highest of the lows

NSFW content aside, this tweet offers an excellent opportunity to review the pair:

最高 (さいこう) and 最低 (さいてい)

Much like in other languages, in Japanese you’ll find that words color themselves with nuances depending on how they’re used.

As a superlative, in a formal context, 最高 literally translates to “(the) highest” or “(the) maximum,” as in:

  • highest record = 最高記録 (さいこうきろく)
  • highest mark in an exam = 最高点 (さいこうてん)

In a colloquial conversation, 最高 means:

  • feeling great
  • fantastic, awesome
  • and can also be translated by “best.”

On the opposite range of this, you’ll find 最低.

Here again the formal translation is “(the) lowest”, “(the) minimum” as in:

  • lowest temperature = 最低気温 (さいていこうきおん).

But when not used as a superlative, 最低 translates to “low” or “base” as in:

  • the worst guy = 最低な男 (さいていな おとこ) a.k.a. “total jerk.”

You may now embarrass the bride

We won’t know for sure if the bride really enjoyed the groom’s brave gesture, but we bet this moment will be forever remembered by their guests. If you’re one day invited to a Japanese wedding, we’ve got you covered with 4 tips and a few dos and don’ts to help you navigate this unique experience. And if you’re really interested in Japanese weddings, why not get a part-time gig as a minister?

Vocabulary

Japanese Romaji English
大学 だいがく daigaku university
先輩 せんぱい senpai one’s senior (at university, in a club or company)
新郎 しんろう shinrou groom
結婚式 けっこんしき kekkonshiki wedding, marriage ceremony
二次会 にじかい nijikai after-party
最高 さいこう saikou highest, maximum, best
最低 さいてい saitei lowest, minimum, worst
新婦 しんぷ shinpu bride
婿 むこ muko son-in-law
よめ yome
daughter-in-law (also used by some men to say “my wife”)
義父 ぎふ gifu
father-in-law
義母 ぎぼ gibo
mother-in-law

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