818 - どころか (actually... [the exact opposite])

[NDL #818] - JLPT N2: どころか (actually... [the exact opposite])

When you play peekaboo with a baby, the expectation is that the baby will laugh or smile. In other words, you expect that peekaboo will make the baby happy.

But what if the actual outcome to playing peekaboo with a certain baby was that the baby got scared, instead?

Expectation: It will make the baby happy.
Actual outcome: It made the baby scared.

We can use どころか when expressing this type of situation in Japanese. The pattern in this example would be:

it will make the baby happy どころか  it made the baby scared
Instead of making the baby happy, it made the baby scared.
It didn't make the baby happy. On the contrary, it made the baby scared.


Let's see that in a Japanese sentence:

赤ちゃんにいないいないばあをしたら、喜ばせるどころか逆に恐がらせてしまった。
あかちゃん に いないいないばあ を したら、 よろこばせる どころか ぎゃくに こわがらせてしまった。
When I played peekaboo with the baby, instead of making him [her] happy, I accidentally scared him [her].
Literally: “baby + に + peekaboo + を + when (I) did, + make (him/her) happy + どころか + on the contrary + (unintentionally / unfortunately) made (him/her) scared.”


I think it's entertaining, by the way, that いないいないばあ is the name for "peekaboo" in Japanese. Repeating いない (="aren't there") refers to when you're hiding (or "peeking," I suppose), then ばあ (or perhaps ばあっ!) is when you come out of hiding ("boo!").

 

How about another example?

Expectation: Drinking alone is fun.
Actual outcome: Drinking alone is just lonely/depressing.

一人でお酒を飲んでも、楽しいどころか寂しいだけだ。
ひとり で おさけ を のんでも、 たのしい どころか さみしい だけ だ。
Drinking alone isn’t fun. It’s just depressing.
Literally: “alone / by oneself (=one person + で) + alcohol + を + even if (you) drink, + fun + どころか + lonely + only + だ.”

 

👷 Construction 👷

I'm tempted to skip this part for どころか, since you pretty much just need to put a plain-form word (including nouns just as they are) before どころか.

Careful with na-adjectives, though, as you should also insert after them, like in the following dialogue...


 Ayana: 
百花は、彼氏に下着をプレゼントされたら嫌?
ももか は、 かれし に したぎ を プレゼント されたら いや?
Would you dislike it if your boyfriend bought you underwear?
Literally: “Momoka + は, + boyfriend + に + underwear + を + present + if was done + unpleasant / disagreeable?”

 Momoka: 
どころか、大歓迎だよ。
いやな どころか、 だいかんげい だ よ。
Not at all. I’d love it if my boyfriend did that.
Literally: “unpleasant / disagreeable + どころか, + greatly welcome + だ + よ.”

 

Yet another example:

警察どころか9歳の男の子があの指名手配犯を見つけたのだそうだ。
けいさつ どころか きゅうさい の おとこのこ が あの しめいてはい はん を みつけた のだ そうだ。
Apparently it wasn’t the police that caught the suspect [fugitive]. It was a nine-year-old boy.
Literally: “police + どころか + nine years old + の + boy + が + that + person wanted (for questioning) by the police / fugitive + を + found + のだ + そうだ (=[hearsay marker]).”

 

Last, I should mention that you may come across どころではなく instead of どころ.

For example, we already saw this sentence:

赤ちゃんにいないいないばあをしたら、喜ばせるどころ逆に恐がらせてしまった。
あかちゃん に いないいないばあ を したら、 よろこばせる どころか ぎゃくに こわがらせてしまった。
When I played peekaboo with the baby, instead of making him [her] happy, I accidentally scared him [her].
Literally: “baby + に + peekaboo + を + when (I) did, + make (him/her) happy + どころか + on the contrary + (unintentionally / unfortunately) made (him/her) scared.”


We could rephrase that as:

赤ちゃんにいないいないばあをしたら、喜ばせるどころではなく逆に恐がらせてしまった。
あかちゃん に いないいないばあ を したら、 よろこばせる どころではなく ぎゃくに こわがらせてしまった。
When I played peekaboo with the baby, instead of making him [her] laugh, I accidentally scared him [her].
Literally: “baby + に + peekaboo + を + when (I) did, + make (him/her) happy + どころではなく + on the contrary + (unintentionally / unfortunately) made (him/her) scared.”

 

Finished!