英語のヒント vol. IV: 'Crazy'

  •  
  • 1089
  • 4
  • 3
  • Japanese 
Jul 19, 2013 08:01 英語のヒント hint ナチュラル英語 natural
Good morning, and hello to my new friends! If you're reading this and not on my friends list, please go ahead and send me a request to see future updates ^^

Today, I will talk about one of the most misunderstood words English words in Japan: 'crazy.' English speakers often use this word (or a variation of it) casually. In Japan, though, I have heard many, many Japanese people laugh when I say it because they don't understand its meaning.

'Crazy' is a very versatile word; it can be used in many situations. Here are some of the most common usages:

---------------------------------

1. 'Insane, mentally unwell, something is wrong the person's mind,' 頭が変

This is the definition that all Japanese people know. It does mean this and English speakers do use 'crazy' in this way sometimes. The little change I would tell you about here, though, is that English speakers LOVE to exaggerate. Someone who is a mental asylum can indeed be referred to as 'crazy' (though its quite rude), but we often use it to refer to "regular people" when they do something especially strange. For example

- "I heard that guy ate a spoonful of cinnamon.. he's crazy."
- "I heard that girl doesn't want her boyfriend to have female friends... she's crazy.'
- "I heard that you say 'no' to Harvard University. Are you crazy?"
- "I didn't want to kiss her even though she was beautiful. Am I crazy?"

So, you see, we even use this version (that Japanese people understand the definition of) very loosely. Be careful with calling people crazy over ANY strange behavior, though. It's very difficult to know when you are able to call someone crazy directly and it completely depends on your relationship with that person and the tone. It could come off as loving or incredibly insulting!

---------------------------------

2. 'Amazing,' 'unbelievable,' すごい!

This is probably the most common modern usage of the word 'crazy' in English. You can't use 'crazy' in every instance you would use すごい but it means something similar. We most often use this to refer to events, when we are very excited about something or when something happened which we can't comprehend. For example:

- "I heard 1,000 people are going to this party. It's going to be crazy"
- "Were you at karaoke last night? It was crazy!"
- "Man, my birthday party is going to be even crazier than last year"
- "Have you been to the Naked Man Festival in Okayama? It is crazy.."
- "Our first night out in Thailand got a little crazy"

British people especially like saying 'mental' instead. Another variation is 'insane.' 'Off the hook' is a very related English expression too. Though you can use these terms to refer someone favorably, it's much more rare to use it for people in this way.

---------------------------------

3. 'Very,' とても

Another common usage of 'crazy,' it is often used in the place of 'very,' especially when we cannot understand why something is very ~. For example:

- "That purse is $1,000 dollars. It's crazy expensive."
- "You can rent DVDs for a week for only 100 yen in Japan. It's crazy cheap."
- "Japan is crazy hot in the summer."
- "My Japanese apartment is crazy cold in the winter."

We reserve this use of 'crazy,' then, for とてもとても; its meaning is very strong.

---------------------------------

Though there are other ways you can use 'crazy,' these are some of the most common. So when you hear it next, it could be used very loosely or mean something different than most Japanese people think. I hope you can use your new understanding of this term soon!

「英語のヒント 」をもっと読みたい方はコメントをするか、下のLike (いいね)をクリックして下さい!