Japanese for aggressive people

If you’re planning on acting like an a.s.b.o. baiting yob in Japan, and if you plan to use the train during rush hours this is probably a given, your teachers will not be much use to you. To learn this kind of language you’ll have to ask your colleagues over a few cigarettes. This is quite fun in itself as you repeat your newly learned swearwords to great hilarity in front of other colleagues who will feign shock and jokingly chastise the person who taught you for corrupting this pure and innocent foreigner. Alternatively you can just read this public service post.

Remember that when Japanese people shout and bark they are scary but when foreigners do so they are just weird foreigners. The very best way to impress your anger onto others is to cock your head back and to the side a little and mumble or be at least softly spoken. A wry or evil smile may even enhance the effect. As proof I offer the difference when I once had a futile shouting match with a jostling commuter as opposed to the time a guy was complaining my arm was in his face (it was the other way round from my point of view) and I just calmly told him “shouganai” (“too bad”). The former situation was embarrassing and unresolved, the latter resulted in the man rushing away from me to the next carriage as soon as he was able to.

When someone stands in your way, a common occurrence in the entry halls of shoes-off izakayas, you can tell them to move with
but that isn’t really hard enough. It means “you’re in the way!” and can be used jokingly, affectionately or semi-seriously, but when you really want someone the “get the feck out of my face” you can say
Or if someone is being loud and obnoxious you can tell them so with
which means “noisy!” and infers “shut up!” You can enhance the effect by speaking in the vulgate and slurring
which means the same and comes from the same word but sounds a whole lot ruder.

In Japan you will get stared at occasionally and it’s best to get used to or ignore it. Usually it’s fairly benign but if you want to make an issue out of it you can do so with
which basically translates as “what the feck you lookin’ at?” This may give rise to a retort which you can deflect with
which translates as “what the feck you sayin’?” or “you talkin’ to me?” It can also be used when someone says something untoward in which case you use it as “what are you talking about?” With a single letter difference there is also
which means “what the feck are you doing?” Applications for this exclamation are numerous; use your imagination. When you’re pushed, when someone does something stupid, when someone throws a punch and you’re pretending it didn’t even hurt, etc.

As everyone knows a good retort or verbal attack is strengthened with a “git” or “twat” thrown in for good measure. Japanese is a little lacking in this area. There are some good words, though, but not that many. For example you can call someone
which literally means “foolish” albeit in an extremely negative way. So referring to someone as “baka” means you saying he’s an idiot, or referring to something you think is idiotic. All in all it sounds quite mild to my British sensibilities but rest assured that in Japan this is considered rude. To call someone an arsehole use the word
which sounds vaguely similar, so it’s easy to remember, but it does only mean “fool”.

According to colleagues the worst you can call someone is
or
for short.

The thing to remember though is that aggravation in Japan lies in the attitude rather than the words. Your stance, your tone of voice, the level of politeness your Japanese takes on, these all go towards your aggressive attitude a lot more than telling someone to “get the feck away”. Practice looking down with disdain, a soft but ever so slightly sneery voice, a stance which just speaks volumes on your attitude towards your target; with those mastered you could politely ask for a cup of tea and be assured a fight.

Happy hunting!

5 comments:

  1. Hahaha! Excellent! :)

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  2. hahaha u r awesome. Happy New Years man!

    ReplyDelete