5 most-used idioms in Japanese

Daily Online Japanese Learning: Idioms

  1. 開いた口が塞がらない aita kuchi ga fusagara nai is used to express shock, disappointment or as a response to any sort of unpredictable context. In English, where the speaker would use an expression like “I’m shocked/ I’m speechless/huh?/eeeh”, in Japanese conversation that can be replaced with aita kuchi ga fusagaranai.

“Did you go to a party in the middle of this Corona??? I’m speechless.”

Kono korona no aida pa-ti- ni itteta?! Aita kuchi ga fusagara nai.

  1. 足並みをそろえる ashinami wo soroeru means to be at the same pace. To express harmony or synchronization, the use of this idiom can be seen in the classroom or learning platform.

“Let’s try doing this problem together with everyone.”

Kono mondai ha minna ni ashinami wo soroete yarimashou.

  1. 弱肉強食 jakuniku kyoushoku describes the law of jungle in the natural world. The literal meaning is “weak is the meat, the strong eats”.

“ This world goes by the law of jungle”

Kono sekai wa jakuniku kyoushoku no housoku ni shitagatte imasu.

  1. 一期一会 ichigo ichie is often used to describe to cherish every moment of life. Because one moment in life comes only once. The literal meaning stands for “one life, one encounter”, which is very close to what the idiom means.
  1. 悪因悪果 akuin akka is the exact translation of the English proverb ‘you reap what you sow’. This is a proverb perfect for giving a reference to karma. There will always be consequences of what you do, as akuin akka translates to “bad cause bad effect”

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