176 - Surprise!

Hey there fellow netizens!

So as orderly as you’ll find Japan to be, there’s plenty of things that will stop you on your tracks and make you go “whaa??”
But you nerdy little critters probably know that already.

From the weird festivals...

... to the uncommon vending machines, and why not, even the random gothic Lolita or ゴスロリ(ごすろり)casually crossing paths with you (not kidding, I'm talking from personal experience here).

So how do you react to the unexpected? I mean, a textbook lesson will teach you what to say in a certain setting, like when ordering food, when buying something, when greeting your friends bla bla bla...

Let’s take a look at some common expressions that Japanese say when they are surprised, may it be in a good or a bad situation.


Feeling happy about some good news? Something exciting going on? Like...

おごる から いっしょに のみ に いかない?
Wanna go drinking together? My treat.
Literally: 'treat + so + together + に + drinking + に + not go?'

わあい!いく いく。
Yaay! I'm coming, I'm coming.
Literally: 'Yaay! Go + go.'


Did you just witness / hear something that blew your socks off? すごい is the word you're looking for!

あの しま から およいで きた。
I swam across from that island (over there).
Literally: 'that + island + from + swim + came'


You could also use the more slangy version and say:


いま の なに?
What was that? (just now)?
Literally: 'Now + の + what?

Are you perplexed as to what just happened? Say our beloved superhero from One Punch Man just flashed by you only to quickly fall in line at the nearby supermarket sale...

よし! まにあった!
Yes! I made it!
Literally: 'All right! + Made it (in time)!

You might have felt Saitama fly by, but you never saw him. So you'd say...

え? いま の なに?
Wha? What was that just now?
Literally: 'Wha? + Now + の + what?

Note: This can also be used in not so pleasant situations, for example when someone says something rude.

That took me by surprise/scared me!
Literally: 'Surprise + made!'

Did someone just play a prank on you, jumping from behind? Did you go all crazy and 'aaah'?
This is what you say after the initial shock.

You can also say:

That took me by surprise/scared me!
Literally: 'Got surprised'

Note: 驚いた! sounds a bit less casual than びっくりした!Saying びっくりした!is more common.

Now If you were truly scared sh*tless by something, you could also say

もう しぬ かと おもった!
I thought I was going to die!
Literally: 'soon + die + かと + thought!'

Of course, you would also use it in situations in which you were in actual danger, from which you barely escaped, like when you are jaywalking and almost get run over by a car.

I can't believe this!
Literally: 'cannot believe!'

Note: This is a casual version of the more 'grammarly' correct 信じられない(しんじられない/ cannot believe

Are you mildly or even seriously outraged by something? Did someone just cut you in line? Did someone just spill coffee on your shirt and not even apologize?

さっき の ひと ぶつかって きた のに なにも いわれなかった。
That person just now just bumped into me and didn't say anything.
Literally: 'Just now + の + person + bumped + came + even though + nothing + was said'

I can't believe that!
Literally: 'cannot believe!'

やだ なに これ!
Oh no what is this?
Literally: 'Don't want to + what + this!'
Note: ヤダ sounds a bit feminine. Also, a guy would be more likely to say なんだこれ!

Did you just step on something really gross? Did you accidentally pop a pimple and you stand there bleeding unknowingly from your forehead while your friend watches in disgust?

There's nothing else left to say...

You #1:
やだ なに これ!
Ew what is this?
Literally: 'Don't want to + what + this!'

You #2:
うんこ ふんじゃった!
I accidentally stepped in poop!
Literally: 'poop + stepped on (damn it!) '

So there you have it, dear netizens, now you know what to say when the unexpected knocks at your door. Have fun with your studies and see you guys next time!

This lesson was written by Adriana, a guest contributor.

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