09 - Smoking, Steaming Goodness

I've heard stupidity is contagious.

And I think it's true.

I make so many mistakes in Japanese, the native speakers around me get worse at the language.

Yesterday, Rei was complaining that I mix up Japanese words so often, that she forgets which one is correct.

In particular, she was talking about the words 湯気 (yuge), "steam" and 煙 (kemuri), "smoke."

Since I always forget that the word 湯気 (yuge), "steam" even exists, I always end up just saying 煙 (kemuri), "smoke."

Over time, making this mistake planted seeds of stupidity in Rei's brain, too, and now she continually mixes up the two words.

Just yesterday, we were walking past a 焼き鳥 (yakitori / "grilled chicken skewers") shop in the 商店街 (shoutengai / "shop street") near our place, and there was steam coming off of the chicken skewers, and Rei said something like:

湯気見える?
yuge mieru?
Can you see the steam?

Then half a second later she said:

煙?湯気?ニコのせいで忘れちゃう。
kemuri? yuge? niko no sei de wasurechau.
Smoke? Steam? I forget because of you.

By the way, saying "Name + の (no) + せい (sei)" is how you say that something is someone's fault.

So next time you spill hot coffee all over yourself, look your friend in the eye and say:

お前のせいだ!
omae no sei da!
It's your fault!

Well, maybe don't say that, because it's really rude.

Long story short, let's remember that 湯気 (yuge) is "steam" and 煙 (kemuri) is "smoke:"

On a side note, I have no idea what verb to use with 湯気 (yuge).

Normally, I'd just ask Rei, but she's sleeping right now (that's what I get for writing these at like 6 in the morning.

My dictionary seems to think that it goes with one of these:

立つ
tatsu
to stand; to get up

湯気が立つ
yuge ga tatsu
give off steam

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立てる
tateru
to (make) stand; to get up

鉄瓶が湯気を立てている.
tetsubin ga yuge wo tateteiru.
The kettle is steaming

(Note: I'd never seen this word for "kettle" before, 鉄瓶, tetsubin.)

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出る
deru
to exit; to come off

湯気が出ている
yuge ga deteiru
steaming

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上がる
agaru
to go up

焼きたてのギョウザから湯気が上がっている.
yakitate no gyouza kara yuge ga agatteiru.
The pot-stickers are giving off steam.

(Note: 焼きたて, yakitate, means "freshly cooked," as in, "just finished grilling/cooking/etc.")

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Maybe they're all okay? I don't know.

Next time I'm with Japanese people, I'll just say all of them, like this:

見て、湯気が…立ってる?立ててる?出てる?上がってる?
mite, yuge ga... tatteru? tateteru? deteru? agatteru?
Look, steam is... standing? being stood up? coming off? going up?

Then they'll say which verb is accurate, and I'll log it in my brain (i.e. immediately forget).


Bonus Phrases:

焼き鳥買う。
やきとり かう。
I'm gonna get yakitori.
Literally: yakitori + buy

商店街寄らない?
しょうてんがい よらない?
Wanna stop by the shopping street?
Literally: shopping street/district + won't stop by?
Note: There's no good English for 商店街, so I just put "shopping street."

Discussion

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