Tips for Japanese Learners #7

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Apr 12, 2018 11:21 ForJapaneseLearners
Hello everyone. How are things going for you?

When you refer to something that you can’t say it’s really good, at the same time you can’t say it’s bad, how do you describe your feeling? I’m not sure how this English phrase sounds to you, but I can say it’s “not bad.” I can translate this into “悪くない”, but it sounds rude very often. Meanwhile, we have this kind of situation very often. That’s why we have some convenient adverbs, and often add them to make your description contain an indirect nuance that Japanese prefer. I’ll introduce some of them this time. They are “なかなか” and “結構.” They are related to comparison, in other words, we often underestimate something like self-deprecation, and we add an nuance like “better than I thought” when we mention about it. That’s why, it’s good to use these expressions when you mention about something relating to you. Of course you can also use them to others depending on the situation, but it’s a little tricky. I think you can do when the other person is your close friend or a younger person. Now, I’ll show you examples as usual.

(What do you think of your today’s pitching?)
(I was able to keep going at my own pace. I think it was better than I thought.)

(Today, I tried this outfit that reminds of spring, how do I look?)
(Wow! I can’t underestimate such a wonderful outfit!)

(I always fail to bake cakes appropriately, but I’ve done well this time.)

(How was the exam yesterday?)
(I think it was not bad.)

As a reminder, these expressions can be used for different connotations. (“なかなか” and “結構” can be also used for negative descriptions like “it’s not as easy as I thought.” Or, ”結構です” means “It’s fine with me, or no thank you”, but it could sound rude depending on the situation.) Anyway, I think these are sophisticated expressions that Japanese prefer as sort of self-deprecation. Please try them out if you have a chance.

Thank you for reading my entry.