In this video Alex oversleeps and is late for an appointment with Yoshiko. Yoshiko forgives him, almost and they decide to go to go get some coffee together. This is the 6th in the series of Street Japanese videos which teach you natural Japanese as it is really spoken in Japan. All the videos connect together in order to create a longer conversation so watch them all!
A: arekkusu osoi
B: gomen, nidone shichatta
A: shō ga nai naa
B: toriaezu sutaba ikō
A: Alex, you’re late!
B: Sorry. I overslept.
A: Oh well, it can’t be helped I guess
B: So for now, let’s go to Starbucks.
二度寝 – nidone – to oversleep / fall asleep again
Ni do ne literally means 2 times sleep. It refers to when you wake up but then fall asleep again. In this case, Alex woke up, fell asleep which is why he was late for the appointment. To say you overslept in Japanese you can say 寝坊する nebō suru
ちゃった – chatta – verb ending to show regret
…chatta means you did something with a slight feeling of regret. For example, 日本語のテキストを忘れちゃった nihongo no tekisuto wo wasurechatta – I completely forgot my Japanese textbook. In the case of this dialog 二度寝しちゃった nidone shichatta – I completely overslept
とりあえず – toriaezu – for the mean time let’s…
The great thing about Japanese are these one word phrases that have so much meaning embedded within them and toriaezu is one on them. It’s a non-committal suggestion to try and do something. Use tend to use toriaezu when deciding to order food and drinks like this:
とりあえずコーヒーで – toriaezu koohii de
For now I’ll have a coffee
とりあえず生 – toriaezu nama
For now, I’ll have a (draft) beer
Minimal use of words to convey meaning based on context
Another fantastic thing about Japanese is the minimal amount of words you can use to convey meaning. However this is based on the context of the conversation. And this is demonstrated nicely when Yoshiko says to Alex:
アレックス遅い – arekkusu osoi
This literally means “Alex, late”. On the face of it, that doesn’t make so much sense. However, if we take into account the context, Alex just rushed up to Yoshiko looking apologetic and she shouts at Alex, you can be pretty sure she is saying “Alex YOU ARE late”.
Yoshiko could have also said:
アレックス遅い, 怒ってるよ！ Arekkusu osoi. okotteru yo.
This literally means Alex late, really angry. So that’s quite minimal but you can be pretty sure it means “Alex YOU ARE late. I AM really angry.”
So there you have it, you can use less words to say more in Japanese. The only thing you have to be careful about is the confusing vagueness of the language. So make sure you understand the situation so you can understand the conversation.