159 - Today's Word of Choice

Hey there fellow netizens!

So in our last lesson I said I'll teach you more about a very troublesome word/kanji: the great 様(さま). But we'll take it one at a time, starting with the easy stuff and slowly moving on to the more complicated stuff.

You guys probably know the first meaning, but we want to be thorough, so we'll start with the basics:

1. Name + 様(さま
Polite suffix, added after the name of something/someone you want to show the utmost respect to. It's the suffix a maid uses when talking to her master and even the suffix for God!

Allow me to explain...

First, talking about God:
かみさま は てんごく に います。
God is in heaven.
Literally: 'God さま + は + heaven + に + is.

Now, used by a maid:

Welcome home, master.
Literally: 'welcome home + master'

Of course, you use it with actual names as well:

たなかさま は しんせつなかた です。
Mr./Mrs Tanaka is kind.
Literally: 'Tanaka さま + は + kind + です'

2. 様々 / さまざま / Various

Note: Before I give you an example, are you by any chance wondering what this curious-looking thing is? The Japanese use it when a word is composed by two identical Kanji. So the initial form is '様様', but it's bothersome to repeat that many strokes, so in many cases they just add this 'repetition kanji': 々.Lazy people like me love it.

Now, example time:

さまざまな こと を けいけんした。
(I) experienced various (many) things.
Literally: 'Various + things + を + experienced.'

Looks like/ seems that
Note: This usage is often written using only hiragana.

You'll most often hear this word used like this:

その よう です ね。
So it seems.
Literally: 'So + seems (that) + right?'

And it can also be used like this:

かのじょ は おこっている よう です。
It seems that she is angry.
Literally: 'She + は + is angry + seems that + です'

様な + Noun
様な (ような) means 'like/similar to'
Note: This usage is often written using only hiragana.

Speaking of angry, let's go back to my upset chickens. Remember that sentence?

にわとり は おこっている ような め を している。
The chicken is making angry-looking eyes.
Literally: 'Chicken + は + is angry + as if + eyes + を + making.'

So now we can see how the expression is formed:
'The chicken is angry + ような (similar) + eyes (noun) + を + making'

But let's see some easy sentences as well:

For example, when you want to get lovey-dovey with your SO, you can tell them they have...

てんし の ような えがお。
The smile of an angel.
Literally: 'Angel + の + ような (similar) + smile'

Conversely, if you want to piss them off you could tell them they have:

さる の ような かお。
The face of a monkey.
Literally: 'Monkey + の + similar + face'.

Now, it seems that the lesson would get a little too long if we were to fully cover the last 2 expressions.

So I was thinking we could play a game...

I will give you a few examples with the expressions and, as they look very similar, I will have you find the difference:

Example 1:
こども の よう に わらう。
(To) laugh like a child.
Literally: 'Child + like + laugh'

Example 2:
さかな の よう に およぐ。
To swim like a fish.
Literally: 'fish + like + swim'

Example 3:
わすれない よう に めも を とる。
To take notes so that (you) don't forget.
Literally: 'Not forget + so that + notes + を + take'

Example 4:
ころばない よう に ちゅうい する。
To be careful so that (you) don't trip/fall.
Literally: 'Not trip + so that + to be careful'

Now, I'm not talking about the difference in meaning, which is apparent, but the difference in form. Take a good look at examples 1 & 2 and see what is different compared to 3 & 4. Don't worry, I will explain all about them in our next lesson.

Have fun finding the difference, and see you guys next time!

This lesson was written by Adriana, a guest contributor.

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