Japanese Language and Culture

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Words from Class, Page 61

Here are the words for this week.

遅かれ早かれ (osokarehayakare)

This is a pretty clear map to "sooner or later" in English, with the implied meaning that something will inevitably happen.

失業すると遅かれ早かれお金は尽きる。
shitsugyō suru to osokarehayakare okane wa tsukiru.
If you become unemployed, sooner or later the money will run out.

有害 (yūgai)

有害 is a na-adjective meaning "harmful" or "hazardous" (e.g., to health). While the dictionary also calls it a noun, it does not seem to be used much, if at all, as a subject or object of clauses, but does combine in compound words.

It seems to be mostly used in reference to something which is harmful to living or animate things either physically or psychologically, such as hazardous chemical substances (有害な化学物質 yūgai na kagaku busshitsu), hazardous waste (有害廃棄物 yūgai haikibutsu), a harmful social environment (有害な社会環境 yūgai na shakai kankyō), harmful behavior (有害な行為 yūgai na kōi), etc.

最近の研究によると飽和脂肪の食事摂取は心臓発作リスクを増進しないということなので、それほど有害ではないかも知れない。
saikin no kenkyū ni yoru to hōwa shibō no shokuji sesshu wa shinzō hossa risuku wo zōshin shinai to iu koto na no de, sorehodo yūgai de wa nai ka mo shirenai.
According to recent research, dietary intake of saturated fat does not increase the risk of heart attacks, so maybe it's not all that harmful.

有害 doesn't seem limited to this in principal: the definition in Sanseido is simply: 害のある・こと(さま). An example might be:

汚染は環境に有害だ。
osen wa kankyō ni yūgai da
Pollution is harmful to the environment.

But even in such examples, somewhere the harm to living things seems to be at least in the background. Perhaps there are some counterexamples I simply haven't found yet.

日課 (nikka)

日課 is a daily routine or work, study, lessons, or other activities that one does on a daily basis. If you take a walk every day after dinner, that is your 日課.

おもちゃを片付けるのを娘の日課にしました。
omocha wo katazukeru no wo musume no nikka ni shimashita.
We made cleaning up toys part of our daughter's daily routine.

In this case, it could be translated as "daily chore," as it is something that has been decided externally, but it also works for a routine that the subject takes on willingly.

毎朝起きたらすぐにコーヒーを飲むのは私の日課です。
maiasa okitara sugu ni kōhī wo nomu no wa watashi no nikka desu.
Every morning as soon as I wake up it is my daily habit to drink a cup of coffee.

茶化す (chakasu)

茶化す means "to poke fun at" or "to make fun of."

テレビの深夜番組ではいつも政治家の言うことを茶化す。
terebi no shin'ya bangumi de wa itsumo seijika no iu koto wo chakasu.
On late night TV programs they always make fun of what politicians say.

見込み (mikomi)

見込み is an expectation or hope that some thing or things will happen in the fairly short term. Quite often, it is has a nuance of, and is used similarly to the English word "hope." In this sense the expected thing referred to is something that is desired, i.e. something to one's benefit, but it could also be something more neutral. If the expectation itself is bad, 見込み is generally used in a negative expression, which would be similar to how we say "There is no hope of ~" (~の見込みがない ~ no mikomi ga nai). So you can say:

今年卒業する見込みがぜんぜんない。
kotoshi sotsugyō suru mikomi ga zenzen nai.
I have absolutely no expectation (hope) of graduating this year.

But you generally cannot say something like:

* 今年卒業できない見込みがある。
* kotoshi sotsugyō dekinai mikomi ga aru.
I expect not to be able to graduate this year.

You can describe something as having good prospects with 見込みのある (mikomi no aru) or having dim prospects with 見込みのない (mikomi no nai). When an expectation is not met, you can say 見込みが外れた (mikomi ga hazureta).

While 見込み doesn't cover a negative personal expectation, there are cases when it simply indicates a possibility or a prediction in an impersonal case. In these cases the event referred to by 見込み can be inherently negative. For instance, on a flight they may announce (after some excuse) 出発が遅れる見込みです (shuppatsu ga okureru mikomi desu) "we expect a delay in departure." Similarly, in business forcasting, a 見込み is not always a positive outcome, as in:

株価が200円以上は下がる見込みです。
kabuka ga 200 en ijō wa sagaru mikomi desu.
There is an expectation the stock price will decline by more than 200 yen.

It can also be used positively in these cases, if the plane were expected to land early, or the stock price was expected to rise.

My sentence was:

不景気で今年は昇給の見込みはありませんから、雇われつづける見込みにしがみつくしかありません。
fukēki de kotoshi wa shōkyū no mikomi wa arimasen kara, yatowaretsuzukeru mikomi ni shigamitsuku shika arimasen.
Since with the recession there is no hope of a raise this year, all I can do is cling to the expectation of remaining employed.

Tags: FWJS Class  Vocabulary  

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