Friday, October 15, 2010

Language: A Boring Thing

Another quick post!

Humility is a big deal in Japanese culture, and one of the ways this humility shows is in gift giving. When handing a present to someone, it's good manners to say "Tsumaranai mono desu ga", as you give it. (tsoo mah rah nigh moh noh des gah)

This means "(This is) a boring thing, but... (please accept it)". It doesn't matter if it's the most fun, expensive, fabulous present in the world that you think is a perfect match for the recipient: it still becomes "a boring thing" when you give it and translates more like "Here's a little something I picked up for you..."

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