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Podcast 12: Describing people’s personalities in Japanese

Learn Japanese Pod

Talking about Personality in Japanese

In this podcast, Ami Sensei and I teach you how to describe people’s personalities in natural Japanese. Listen to the full podcast and the dialog only audio underneath.

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Just the Japanese dialogs

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So we thought we would have look at how to discuss people’s personalities in this week’s podcast. However, instead of only teaching a list of phrases, we wanted to give some conversational examples of how you might talk about people’s characters.

Talking about people’s personalities in Japanese

In this podcast, Ami sensei and I talk about how to describe people’s personalities in Japanese and how to talk about your favorite “type” of person for dating and romance.

The first two dialogs show you how you can talk about people’s ideal boyfriend of girlfriend in terms of their personality.

Podcast Dialog 1.1

A: ねえ、どんな人がタイプなの? Ne, donna hito ga taipu na no? Hey, what kind of person are you into?
B: そうだね。やっぱり優しくて、気が利いて、陽気な人かな。 Sō da ne. Yappari yasashikute, ki ga kiite, yōki na hito kana. Let me see. Of course kind, thoughtful and outgoing.
A: 本当?それだけ? Hontō? Sore dake? Really? That’s it?
B: ?どういう意味それ? E? Dō iu imi sore? Eh? What do you mean by that?
A: 今までの彼氏みんなイケメンだったし、本当は面食いなんでしょう? Ima made no kareshi ikemen datta shi, hontō wa menkui nan deshō? All your boyfriends until now have been really good looking. You’re just into looks aren’t you?
B: うるさいなぁ、もう! Urusai na mō! Oh shut up!

 

Podcast Dialog 1.2

A: ねえ、どんな人がタイプなの? Ne, donna hito ga taipu na no? Hey, what kind of person are you into?
B: そうだね。やっぱり優しくて、気が利いて、陽気な人かな。 Sō da ne. Yappari yasashikute, ki ga kiite, yōki na hito kana. Let me see. Of course kind, thoughtful and outgoing.
A: 本当?それだけ? Hontō? Sore dake? Really? That’s it?
B: ?どういう意味それ? E? Dō iu imi sore? Eh? What do you mean by that?
A: 今までの彼女みんな美形だったじゃん、本当は見た目重視なんでしょう。 Ima made no kanojō minna bikkei datta shi, hontō wa menkui nan deshō? All your girlfriends until now have been really good looking. You’re just into looks aren’t you?
B: うるさいなぁ、もう! Urusai na mō! Oh shut up!

In the next set of dialogs we look at how to compare people’s personalities in Japanese. These dialogs also contain a nice technique for expanding your vocabulary which is learning a adjective and it’s exact opposite. So if you learn the word 優しい Yasashii which means kind, you could then learn a word such as 気が短い Ki ga mijikai which means short tempered or bad tempered. This is a really nice way to group relevant vocabulary together which will double the amount of words you know and improve your fluency if you drill them.

Here are some examples:

Podcast Dialog 2.1

A: 彼氏はどんな人なの? Kareshi wa donna hito na no? What’s your boyfriend like?
B: そうだね。優しい人だよ。 Sō da ne. Yasashi hito da yo. Let me see. He’s a kind person.
A: いいなあ。私の彼女は気が短いんだよね。 Ii naa. Watashi no kanajo ga ki ga mijikain da yo ne. I envy you. My girlfriend is short tempered.

 

Podcast Dialog 2.2

A: 彼女はどんな人なの? Kanojo wa donna hito na no? What’s your girlfriend like?
B: そうだね。優しい人だよ。 Sō da ne. Omoshiroi hito da yo. Let me see. She’s an interesting person.
A: いいなあ。私の彼氏はつまらないんだよね。 Ii naa. Watashi no kareshi wa tsumaranain da yo ne. I envy you. My boyfriend is short tempered.

 

Podcast Dialog 2.3

A: 彼氏はどんな人なの? Kareshi wa donna hito na no? What’s your boyfriend like?
B: そうだね。社交的な人だよ。 Sō da ne. Shakōteki na hito da yo. Let me see. He’s a social person.
A: いいなあ。私の彼女はおとなしいんだよね。 Ii naa. Watashi no kanajo wa otonashiin da yo ne. I envy you. My girlfriend is shy.

 

Podcast Dialog 2.4

A: 彼女はどんな人なの? Kanojo wa donna hito na no? What’s your girlfriend like?
B: そうだね。勤勉な人だよ。 Sō da ne. Kinben na hito da yo. Let me see. She’s a hard working person.
A: いいなあ。私の彼氏は怠け者なんだよね。 Ii naa. Watashi no kareshi wa namakemono nan da yo ne. I envy you. My boyfriend is lazy.

 

Podcast Dialog 2.5

A: 彼氏はどんな人なの? Kareshi wa donna hito na no? What’s your boyfriend like?
B: そうだね。頭がいい人だよ。 Sō da ne. Shakōteki na hito da yo. Let me see. He’s a social person.
A: いいなあ。私の彼女はちょっと天然入ってるんだよね Ii naa. Watashi no kanajo wa chotto tennen ga haitterun da yo ne. I envy you. My girlfriend is a bit of a space cadet.

In the next set of dialogs we talk about personality as it relates to blood type. In Japan, it is widely believed that a person’s blood type is linked to or influences your personality. Although this is utter nonsense that has absolutely no scientific basis at all what so ever, it’s worth knowing about this cultural phenomenon. And it’s a great way to get a conversation going in Japanese and increase your vocabulary.

 

There are a couple of ways you can ask about bloody type and personality including the following:

 

A型の人ってどんな人が多い? A gata no hito te donna hito ga ooi?

What is a common personality for people with A type blood?

Or

典型的なA型の人ってどうなの?Tenkeiteki na A gata no hito te dō na no?

What is the typical personality of someone with A type blood?

Here are some example dialogs as featured in the podcast:

 

Podcast Dialog 3.1

A: A型の人ってどんな人が多い? A gata no hito te donna hito ga ooi? What’s the most common personality trait of people with A blood type?
B: A型は真面目で几帳面な人。 A gata wa majime de kichōmen na hito. People with A blood type are serious and methodical.

 

Podcast Dialog 3.2

A: O型の人ってどんな人が多い? O gata no hito te donna hito ga ooi? What’s the most common personality trait of people with O blood type?
B: O型はおおらかで元気な人。 O gata wa ooraka de genki na hito. People with O blood type are relaxed and outgoing.

 

Podcast Dialog 3.3

A: B型の人ってどんな人が多い? B gata no hito te donna hito ga ooi? What’s the most common personality trait of people with B blood type?
B: B型はよくもわるくもマイペースな人。 B gata wa yokumo warukumo mai peesu na hito. For better or for worse, people with B blood type taking everything at their own pace.

 

Podcast Dialog 3.4

A: AB型の人ってどんな人が多い? AB gata no hito te donna hito ga ooi? What’s the most common personality trait of people with AB blood type?
B: AB型はどこかクールで知的な印象を感じさせる人。 AB gata wa dokoka kuuru de chiteki na inshō o kanjisaseru hito. People with AB blood type give the impression of being aloof and intelectual.

 

Random Japanese Phrase of the Week

In this episode’s random phrase of the week we looked at the word 茶番劇 Chabangeki which literally means a dramatic farce. It’s used to describe situations and things that are over the top or crazy.

Here are the examples:

 

あのカップルの喧嘩はいつも茶番劇だよね。

Ano kappuru no kenka wa itsumo chabangeki da yo ne

That couple are always having epic fights.

 

とんだ茶番劇をやらかしたもんだ!

Tonda chabangeki o yarakashita mon da!

That situation totally got out of hand / That was one crazy thing that happened.

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