Tag Archives: nihongo

Shimatta しまった – I messed up

I was on the Shinkansen a few weeks ago coming back from Tokyo Haneda airport and in my boredom I was leafing through the free shopping magazine they have in the back of all the seats.  I was quite amused to find this picture of a man who has pee-d his pants.  It seems the advert is for some extra thick pants that will absorb any extra dribbles that you didn’t manage to shake off.  Or thinking about it more, perhaps it is aimed at older gentlemen who have lost the level of control they once enjoyed.


I particularly like the guys remark: “Ah! Shimatta”.  I guess it would be best translated as “oh dear” or “oh! crap!” rather than the more literal “I messed up”.  Basically you would say Shimatta to express that you made some kind of mistake or something regrettable happened.  It is often added to the end of  sentence after a verb in ‘te’ form like this:

Pantsu ni shiko shiteshimatta – Oh dear I did a pee in my pants.

Kagi wo nakushiteshimatta – I unfortunately lost my key.

Myself I have a  light grey suit and I have to say I encountered this problem once or twice, not so much by random dribbles but from splashbacks around the ankles.  Needless to say I avoid wearing that suit now and will never buy another light coloured suit!  Nappy-pants are not the answer.

Okurimono 贈り物 – a gift

Last night I had an encounter with the delivery guy.

He was dropping off something from Amazon and after I signed for it he asked me if I spoke Japanese and then proceeded to give me a bit of a lecture about my address. The adress on the parcel was very inaccurate and he had spent an hour of his sunday evening trying to find me, and was a bit p–ed off about it.  He was telling me to make sure I input my address again properly in Amazon.  This was a surpise to me because I order form Amazon all the time without any trouble, which I told him but he wouldn’t accept it.  In the end I just said ‘OK I’ll go and reinput my address’ to get rid of him.

A few minutes later I realised that the parcel was from my mum and that was why teh address was so woefully inaccruate.  Unfortunately it was too late to catch the deliver guy and tell him that it was just a gift.

贈り物 not to be confused with おみやげ。

Kentou 検討する – to consider it

fingerWhen I first started working at this company I didn’t get off to a good start with the Systems department for various reasons.  They were very cautious and would always give me the bare minimum of permissions, and be very guarded about their reasons for doing various things.  Unfortunately, while setting up the company website, I needed their help for various things including asking them to use their time to set up various things on the server (because they would not give me access to do it myself).  Often they would refuse to do it, or they would take months to do it, or they would do it completely wrong etc.

One of the senior guys in that department has spent too long staring at a UNIX command prompt, and he seems to think and act like a computer.  He has basically no social skills, although he is very knowledgeable about IT, server admin and so on.  When he writes emails, he doesnt address you with ‘Dear Mr X’ and he doesnt bother to sign off with ‘Best Regards, Mr Y’, he simply writes what he wants to say in the simplest way possible. Actually I think this is a good way to write email, I find it a pain in the a– to always type those salutations every time, however it IS social ettiquette and should be respected as such.

Translation Notes

Anyway, one time I asked them to do something and I got a very simple one line reply:


I hadnt come across 検討 before so I looked it up and it was translated as ‘to consider’ or ‘to deliberate’.  I took this as a good sign, thinking it just meant he would think about it and then do something.  However a week or so later there was no follow up.  I tried to follow it up a few times but my emails were ignored.  In the end I got my manager involved and he told me that 検討 has quite a negative nuance of ‘I cant be arsed to do that’.  Basically if someone says that to you they are politely saying ‘I’m not going to do that for you’. It seems to be one of those Japanese words that shouldn’t be translated literally