Speakin' Japanese: Earthquake repartee

Speakin' Japanese: Earthquake repartee

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

“Jishin kana?” = Is that an earthquake?
(“jishin” = earthquake, “.. kana?” = is it..?)

“Yoshin ga arukamo shiremasen.” = There could be aftershocks.
(“yoshin” = aftershock, “aru” = there, “kamo shiremasen” = could be)

“Mado kara hanarete” = Keep away from the windows.
(“mado” = window, “.. kara hanarete” = keep away from)

“Tasukete!” = Help me!

“Tsunami no shimpai wa arimasen.” = There’s no tsunami danger.
(“shimpai” = concern, “.. wa arimasen” = there is no ..)

“Anatano keitai wa tsukaemasuka?” = Does your mobile phone have service?
(“anatano” = your, “keitai”= mobile phone, “.. wa tsukaemasuka?” = is available?)

“Doko e nigetara iidsuka?” = Where should I evacuate to?
(“nigetara ii” = should escape/evacuate)

“Jishin Kitto wo sonaete masuka?” = Do you have an “Earthquake Kit”?
(“jishin kitto” = Earthquake Kit, “.. wo sonaete” = have .. /.. is furnished)


Pronunciation key: “A” is short (like “ah”); “E” is short (like “get”); “I” is short (like “it”); “O” is long (like “old”); “U” is long (like “tube”); and “AI” is a long “I” (like “hike”). Most words are pronounced with equal emphasis on each syllable, but “OU” is a long “O” with emphasis on that syllable.

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