43 - Ridiculous Japanese Video, Part #2

Today, we're breaking down this ridiculous video, which we introduced yesterday:

This is wayyyyy too much to get through. So let's get to work!

(Apology: This is probably the longest daily lesson I've ever written... so sorry for those of you that want only short bits of content _(._.)_ <--emoji for a guy bowing. If it makes you feel any better, there's no way I can write this much every time.)

★★★ Line 01 ★★★

tokoro de ima futo omotta n dakedo,
anime toka de sa,
onnanoko ga henshin suru toki ni
isshun hadaka ni nattari suru no aru kedo

By the way, this just occurred to me, but
like in anime and stuff
when girls transform
sometimes they become naked for a moment. So...


(Literally, Line 1.1: "by the way + now + I thought + んだ + but")
(Literally, Line 1.2: "anime + and stuff + で + さ")
(Literally, Line 1.3: "girls + が + transform + time + に")
(Literally, Line 1.4: "a moment + naked + に + become [and stuff] + の + is + but")
(Note: The nuance is that she's worried she's gonna become naked suddenly.)

First, sorry to have the longest sentence right at the beginning!

Breakdown City

#1 - ところで

ところで (tokoro de) means "by the way." Literally, that's ところ, "place," and で. You can just put it in front of whatever sentence you want to say after "By the way..."

Here's an example, which my dictionary tells me was pulled from a 2002 issue of Hiragana Times:

tokoro de, anata no eigo wa subarashii
By the way, I think your English is great!
(Literally: "By the way + your + English + は + excellent.")

#2 - ふと

In the video, she continues by saying:

ima futo omotta n dakedo
...this just occurred to me, but...
(Literally: "now + suddenly/incidentally + thought + んだけど")
(Note: Sorry if these "literal translations" differ slightly... there's no such thing as a perfect literal translation in Japanese, I suppose.)

If you're interested in this 思ったんだけど (omotta nda kedo), then check out this article (which I seem to reference quite frequently): "How to Say 'So I was thinking' in Japanese."

What I want to look at, rather, is this ふと, which we translated as "suddenly/incidentally."

Watching this video, I realized that I never use this word! But I probably should.

If 思ったんだけど (omotta nda kedo) means "So I was thinking..."

Then, ふと思ったんだけど (futo omotta nda kedo) means, "It just occurred to me that..."

In other words, the thing I'm about to say is not something I was thinking about 5, 10, 30 minutes ago. Rather, it is a sudden thought. I think "suddenly" is a dangerous translation, though, because ふと appears to only be used for things that are out of the control of the person performing the action of the verb.

That is, with ふと the verb just occurs naturally.
It does NOT occur intentionally.

So you would NOT say something like:

✘ 電車がふと止まった。
✘ densha ga futo tomatta.
✘ The train *suddenly* stopped.

For this, you would use an adverb like 急に (kyuu ni, "suddenly; unexpectedly"):

〇 電車が急に止まった。
〇 densha ga kyuu ni tomatta.
〇 The train stopped suddenly.

(Note: 〇 [maru] is the symbol for "correct" and ✘ [batsu] is the symbol for "incorrect; wrong.")

#3 - ~とかで(さ)

Grammar books will tell you that とか~とか (to ka ~ to ka) means "and such," then give you nice, pretty sentences like this:

washoku no naka de wa watashi wa osushi toka osashimi toka namazakana wo tsukau tabemono ga daisuki desu.
Out of all the types of Japanese food, my favorites are the ones that use raw fish, such as sushi and sashimi.
(Literally: Too many words 😢.)

While that is accurate, it confuses my poor brain.

Rather, let's start with the casual use:
"NOUN + とか" means "NOUN and stuff."

So instead of that painfully stiff sentence we just saw, I could just say:

osushi to ka daisuki
I love sushi and stuff.
(Literally: "sushi + とか + loving/liking a lot")

A lot simpler, right? No wonder I'm so much better at casual Japanese.

By adding a で onto とか, like in the video, we get:

NOUN とかで
= in/at NOUN and stuff


anime toka de
in anime and stuff

tekisuto toka de
in textbooks and stuff

eki toka de
at train stations and stuff

gakkou toka de
at school and stuff

Every one of those exact phrases shows up tens (and sometimes hundreds) of thousands of times in google searches... so that should give you a bit of an idea as to how useful this construction is.

In the video, she adds ~さ (~sa) to the end of this. This basically just means "like" in Japanese (the way, like, teenagers like use it and stuff).

It can sound very natural in conversational Japanese, but if you're not careful, it will make you sound a bit uncouth... much like the English "like."

#4 - ~するときに

She said:

onnanoko ga henshin suru toki ni
...when girls transform...

We can attaching any verb in plain form to ~ときに to mean "when VERBing."


ie (wo) deru toki (ni) denwa shite
Call me when you leave (your house).
(Literally: "house + を + leave + time + phone + do.")
(Note: As in this example, the に after とき will often be dropped in casual phrases.)

Plain verb deru "to leave; to exit" plus toki (ni):
出る + とき(に)
"when leaving..."

The plain verb can actually be in present or past tense, depending on if the verb before ときに occurs (A) before or (B) after/same time as the second verb.

Confusing, yeah?

These poor-quality photos of charts taken from this fairly awesome, mind-numbing grammar book might help:

Not really enough time here to explain it thoroughly. Maybe I'll write a lesson about it someday.

#5 - ~たりする
#6 - ~の(が)ある

I'm skipping these.

Don't hate me.

★★★ Line 02 ★★★

aa, sore nara shinpai shinaide kudasai
Oh, there's no need for you to worry about that.
(Literally: "Oh + about that + don't worry + please")

Complicated-ish Explanation: The negative te-form of verbs + ください (kudasai) means "Please don't [verb]."

Somewhat Less Complicated Explanation: Negative Verb + ~でください means "Please don't verb."


心配しない (shinpai shinai) means "to not worry," and...
心配しないでください (shinpai shinaide kudasai) means "please don't worry."

What's more of a problem for me is this use of それなら (sore nara).

When I learned this phrase, I was taught that it meant "in that case; if that is so," like in these examples:

sore nara ii kedo
In that case, OK.
(Literally: "if that is so + good + けど")

(Note: For example, if your wife asks you to do the laundry, then you're like "I can't right now!" Then she says "You don't have to do it right this second," then you could say this sentence.)

sore nara jibun de yaru yo
In that case, I'll just do it myself.
(Literally: "if that is so + by myself + do + よ")

(Note: For example, if your husband said he'll do the laundry for you... but not for another 3 hours, then you could respond with this sentence.)

sore nara ikanai
If that's the case, then I'm not gonna go.
(Literally: "if that is so + not go")

(Note: For example, if you get invited to a party... then you find out that it costs $100 to attend.)

I was a bit thrown off with this sentence, because "in that case, please don't worry" felt strange to me.

It makes sense if I think about it, but until watching this video, I didn't notice that you could use それなら with a ~しないでください formation. Hmm...

★★★ Line 03 ★★★

hadaka ni naru no wa anata no otousan desu kara
The one who will become naked is your father.
(Literally: "naked + に + become + のは + your + father + is + because")

This line is a good example of the art of grabbing a sentence's verb, then flipping it to say "the one that will VERB is..."

For example...

Let's say I saw Rei pulling out the vacuum. I might ask...

souji suru no?
You're gonna clean?
(Literally: "clean + の?")

souji suru no wa anta da yo.
No. You are.
(Literally: "clean + のは + you + is + よ")
(Semi-Literally: "The one who will clean is you.")

(Note: Yeah, this is kind of rude... you should especially avoid あんた for "you..." well, in most cases.)

★★★ Line 04 ★★★

doushite otousan ga?!
Why my father?!
(Literally: "why + father + が?!")

(Note: We use が, the 'pointer particle' because we're saying "Why him?" and putting a focus on this person.)

★★★ Line 05 ★★★

mahou tte no wa fushigi nan desu
Well, magic is mysterious.
(Literally: "magic + ってのは + mysterious + なん + is")

There is a lot of contraction going on here.

In class, you'll learn that ~というものは (~to iu mono wa) means... well... it kind of means nothing, but we use it to mark words that we are explaining the meanings of. For example, here's a fancy textbook version of that sentence:

mahou to iu mono wa fushigi nan desu
Well, magic is a mysterious phenomenon.
(Literally: "magic + というものは + mysterious + なん + is")

(Note #1: I added "well" because of this ~(な)ん of explanation... which we don't have much time to explain here.)
(Note #2: I suppose I don't really need the word "phenomenon," but I wanted to insert a noun to match up with this もの and saying "thing" didn't feel right.)

Shortening City:
A / ~というものは: 魔法というものは不思議なんです

B / ~っていうものは: 魔法っていうものは不思議なんです

C / ~ってのは: 魔法ってのは不思議なんです

A / ~というものは: mahou to iu mono wa fushigi nan desu
B / ~っていうものは: mahou tte iu mono wa fushigi nan desu
C / ~ってのは: mahou tte no wa fushigi nan desu

A / ~というものは: Well, magic is a mysterious phenomenon.
B / ~っていうものは: Well, magic is a mysterious thing.
C / ~ってのは: Well, magic is mysterious.

That's how I understand it, at least.

A semi-literal translation would be close to, "This thing called magic is mysterious."

Don't worry too much about mastering this just yet. It'll come with time.

★★★ Line 06 ★★★

fushigi sugiru daro!
That's too mysterious!
(Literally: "mysterious + too much + right [?]")

Add ~過ぎる (~sugiru) to a na-adjective (or a bunch of other things we don't have space to explore) to mean "too [adjective]."

kirei sugiru!
She's too pretty!
(Literally: "pretty + すぎる")
(Note: It doesn't have to be "she." If we're talking about a beautiful sunset, for example, we'd probably translate this to "It's too pretty/beautiful.")

shizuka sugiru.
It's too quiet in here.
(Literally: "quiet + すぎる")
(Note: As in, the level of silence is making me uncomfortable.)

We saw ~だろう a few lessons ago. By shortening it to ~だろ, it becomes more of an assertion.

The nuance is that the Ramen Fairy must realize that this is just too strange.

★★★ Line 07 ★★★

maa, ii ka, tonikaku henshin shite miyou
Ah, whatever, anyways, guess I'll try to transform.
(Literally: "Well + whatever + anyways + transform + let's try")

I'll probably try to look at stuff like いいか (whatever; well, OK) and ~してみよう (I'll try ~ing) in a future lesson.

★★★ Line 08 ★★★

maa ii no? demo, maa, ii ka, kore de gakkou de jiman dekiru zo
Just like that?! But... yeah, OK, this way I can brag about it at school.
(Literally: "well whatever?! + but + well + whatever + with this + at school + can brag + ぞ")

After looking at this again, I just decided to skip breaking down this line.

This girl's little brother is a weirdo. That's why the Ramen Fairy says...

★★★ Line 09 ★★★

nanda kono kyoudai?
What's with these two?
(Literally: "what is + these + siblings?")

So in very casual Japanese, you can say:

なんだ NOUN ?
= "What (the hell) is (with) NOUN?"

Common phrases:

nanda kore (wa)?
What the hell is this? // What is this thing?
(Note: This could be a statement of interest, "What is this thing?" Or it could be a statement of disgust, "What the hell is this?" Like your parents might say when you're in high school and they crash your giant party when you thought they'd be out of town all weekend!)

nanda sore?
What is that?
(Note: This will probably be "statement of disgust.")

nanda aitsu?
Who the hell is that guy? // What's his problem?

★★★ Line 10 ★★★

iku yo
Here goes nothin'.
(Literally: "go + よ")

Just memorize this phrase... then say it right before you do something (cool or difficult).

★★★ Line 11 ★★★

dosanko raamen pawaa meiku appu!!
Dosanko Ramen Power Make Up!

Like I said in the last lesson, this line is pretty much devoid of meaning.

★★★ Line 12 ★★★

jaa, kore wo fakkusu shite kure
So, could you fax this?
(Literally: "So + this + を + fax + please [casual/masculine]")

I seem to only hear males saying ~してくれ (~shite kure).

It's not very polite (though not necessarily rude, depending on who you're talking to).

So this guy probably isn't being rude, but he probably is talking to a subordinate.

★★★ Line 13 ★★★

ore ga... ore ga nani wo shita tte iu n da
Why me? ...Why is this happening to me?
(Literally: "I + が... + I + が + what + を + did + っていうんだ")

One more time, here's the audio for just the second half of Line 13.

Confession: I did not know what this meant when I first heard it.

So it's a chance to learn!

First, this is pretty much a set phrase.

However, we can also explain it.

Notice that the English has a question mark. That's because the speaker is asking a question... because ending a phrase with ~んだ(よ) can be a (rather impolite) question.

So a strange, literal translation of ~っていうんだ might be "tell me..."

Before that we have 俺がした (ore ga shita), "I did."

So "I did" + "tell me" --> "tell me what I did (to deserve this)."

But I just translated it as "Why is this happening to me?" Maybe "What did I do to deserve this?" is better...

Wrapping Up

If you read all of that, you are one serious student.


I promise tomorrow will be (much) shorter.

Bonus Phrases

アニメ とか で よく ある よ ね。
It's in anime a lot, huh?

テキスト とか で べんきょう してる?
Do you study with a textbook or something?

えき とか で まちあわせ しよう。
Let's meet at the station or something.

がっこう とか で ならった ほう が いい よ。
You should learn it at school or something.