anibee's Guide to Nifty Japanese Words 101! (Vol. 10)

Catch phrases!

Languages aren't always entirely about prim-and-proper, by-the-textbook tenses and grammar! Often, plenty of idiosyncratic, whimsical, and often times downright nonsensical words pop up here and there in everyday speech or media. Although sometimes not too appropriate when used in formal situations, adding in a phrase or two does help add character to one's self!

Here are a few we know of, as well as an example character that actually uses them!

Self-referring words

ワイ (wai)


Can be heard from: Cerberus aka 'Kero-chan' (Card Captor Sakura)

A warped, shortened form of (watashi), this adopted word is often used in anime for comical effect on characters who speak Kansai-ben. As a bonus, it's also a word used to express joy and/or happiness. Score!

俺様 (ore-sama)


Can be heard from: Prussia (Hetalia)

An extremely arrogant, self-indulgent, and otherwise narcissistic way for a (usually) male to address himself as. It's often seen as rather rude, so use it with caution (or only amongst friends)!!

Sentence suffixes

―です (-desu)


Can be heard from: Suiseiseki (Rozen Maiden)

Saying です at the end of your sentence in Japanese is extremely common and normal. Saying it at the end of EVERY sentence? Not so much. Still, doing such a thing was a fad for a good while, although we wouldn't really recommend it - unless if you're cosplaying as the party guilty of starting this trend for authenticity.



Can be heard from: Choi Bounge (King of Fighters series)

Another suffix often used in media for a comical effect, the usual stereotype for a character that says this word is the 'lackey'-type. Yes, we totally mean the kind of lackey that gets kicked and bullied around by his boss. Feel free to liberally sprinkle this in every sentence you say (but only at the end!).

Anytime usage phrases

だってばよ (date bayo)


Can be heard from: Naruto (Naruto series)

There are but a few phrases that quite defy any kind of translation like this one does. Almost entirely unique to Naruto himself to the extent that the usage of it in everyday conversation instantly identifies the user as a Naruto fan. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing - but it's no way to make a door-to-door sale we'd reckon!

ていうか (te iu ka)


Can be heard from: Angel Mois (Keroro Gunso series)

Another phrase that's as difficult to translate as it is to figure out an actual use for. From the way Angel Mois uses it though, it is safe to infer that it generally adds a somewhat 'valley-girl'-esque flavour of innocence to one's speech. Or that it simply confuses poor fan subbers around the world.

- Q

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