ＨＥＬＬＯ！ Ｉ ＡＭ ＱＵＩＺＢＯ™！And, I am not only here to wish you Happy Holidays from SpeRaToBo HQ and all of us at Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Online, but I am also here to present you with a very special Japanese Word of the Week! Even though it is that special time of the year when many around the world celebrate the holiday season, I, as well as Kiki and Koko, would like to fulfil the gift of consistently providing learning opportunities for you.
This is the very first occurrence of Japanese Word of the Week Wednesday aligning with Christmas Day, so it was decided that we should provide you a properly themed segment. As a Heisei era computer robot, I must admit that after Y2K, this was an interesting and joyous surprise. Though, my database also allows me to recognise that there are many other holidays being celebrated at this time, and I would dislike causing anyone to feel separated during this season of togetherness. However, according to the segment in which Kiki and Koko will explain a few quick and useful holiday Helpful Hints similar to a Quick Culture Corner, Christmas in Japan is considered a non-denominational holiday meant for everyone. So, when Christmas is mentioned, no one means to exclude anyone. I invite you to leave a comment in order to communicate any other holidays that you enjoy celebrating during this time of year, and perhaps, I, or one of my twin teaching friends, will be able to help you with a proper translation of a holiday greeting. But, thoughout this, you may be wondering: what exactly is Word of the Week Wednesday?
Well, long ago, in the middle of the summer months, it was realised that there was a gap betwixt Monday and Friday that left the middle of the week devoid of learning. There existed a day in the middle of the week that was seemingly perfect to take on the job as the home to quick and useful vocabulary lessons. And thus, Japanese Word of the Week Wednesday was born. No matter if you are a beginner or you have been learning Japanese language for some time, now, I think that this corner will be useful to you.
During Word of the Week Wednesday, we present the gift of a new Japanese vocabulary word or phrase as well as a rare bonus Word of the Week. I will personally read each word for you aloud, and you are encouraged to repeat after me in order to properly absorb the information. I also provide sentences with the help of Kiki and Koko which helps you build context as well as proper usage.
You can feel free to create sentences of your own in order to better connect with the vocabulary. It is ensured that you will be able to engage as many senses as possible during this segment which will assist you in learning the new word or phrase. However, simply one instance of looking, listening, and repeating may not serve to encode it into your long term memory. Do not be discouraged if this happens with any of our lessons, as it takes more than one exposure to begin to learn and then use the materials you are taught.
This also serves as a unique opportunity at the middle of the week in which you can review / revise previous lessons. Perhaps, for those celebrating a classic Western holiday, you can share the lessons with your family and extended family members. Perhaps this could be the beginning of a resolution to learn Japanese together. Or, perhaps, you can finally start to communicate in Japanese with a Japanese speaking family member or friend. Statistically speaking, they will probably be flattered or impressed that you are doing your best at any stage. And, perhaps you can show your writing skills or keep the younger children entertained by using our lesson guidelines to assist them in writing hiragana. Spread the fun and useful knowledge this holiday season to enrich anyone’s live—friend, family, or stranger.
Speaking of friends, we are once again joined by Kiki and Koko, who apparently never take a holiday, even on a holiday. They will present us with useful usage hints as well as a sort of a Quick Culture Corner.
Without further ado, let us NihonGO!!
Word(s) of the Week:
1. Merry Christmas (Happy Christmas)
1. Happy Chanukkah
1. Happy Holidays
※Often, Merry Christmas will be used as a catchall in Japan rather than Happy Holidays due to differing cultural context. However, if you are looking to translate a greeting with which you are most comfortable, then this can still prove useful.
Bonus Word(s) of the Week:
1. Merry Christmas (abbrev.)
※Holiday Helpful Hints (Quick Culture Corner) with Kiki+Koko
Hello, there! メリ♡クリ！
We’re Kiki and Koko from Kiki+Koko: Let’s NihonGO!! Happy Holidays to you all from us all! We hope that you are having, have had, or will have a lovely time with your family and friends or if you’re in Japan, there may be an entirely different set of expectations for your holiday season. We’re here to give you a brief blast of culture contrast from the Japan to the West.
So, firstly, we want to point out that Christmas is a bit of a nondenominational holiday in Japan, as it is sometimes considered to have become to many in the West. Though a prominently western holiday, it is still quite the staple in December in Japan. It’s simply a time for red and green festivities and giving gifts, but there are some bigger differences that may be interesting to you!
While in places like the US and UK, New Years is usually the time for going out with a special someone, in Japan, Christmas is actually that sort of holiday. Sure, there are family and friend events, but New Years is the more hallowed holiday of reverence and family whilst Christmas serves as the spiritual cousin to western New Years.
Of course, we could explain Christmas in Japan at length, but we’re just here to give you a bit of food for thought. But, how about food for Christmas? In the UK, it’s turkey, or tofurky, and in the states, it’s ham, but what about chickies? In Japan, due to a deeply influential marketing campaign from 1974 by a certain bolo tie wearing colonel’s company, that ubiquitous bucketed fried chicken became the staple of a Japanese Christmas. This is always a fun fact to tell family or friends, as those unfamiliar with the tradition may find it fascinating.
But, that’s not all when it comes to food. Have you heard of a Christmas cake? Well, it’s a bit more than rude to call a woman a クリスマスケーキ, kurisumasukeeki, as it refers to a woman who is over the age of 25 years who is not yet married. Why? Well, Christmas Cakes are usually only useful for sale up until the 25th. This was definitely an old phrase from the 80s, as nowadays, it is very common not to marry young. As teachers, of course, we’re just here to tell you that you can live your life the way you like, and that it’s always a bit important to take a look at the past to appreciate social progress.
But, back to the positive! Christmas cake is something we have in the UK, but in the US, it’s usually not referred to this, or even the same type of cake, rather a fruit cake. We think in Canada, they may use the term Christmas cake, but when we mention this in the states, it is always of interest due to its differentiation. Christmas cake in Japan is usually sponge cake with whipped cream frosting and strawberries. It is usually eaten on Christmas Eve. Ironically, it was meant originally to mimic the West in extravagance, yet many of the large population of the US have never heard of a Christmas cake.
There is so much more that we could cover, but perhaps, in a future lesson, we will be able to cover the topic more indepth.
We hope that helps!! Until the next lesson!
Thank you, Kiki and Koko! Earth culture as a whole can be quite fascinating, as it changes both rapidly and slowly. All of this mention of Christmas cakes does draw me to want to download some cookies from the Internet. Anyway, as these are simply greetings, we will do something a bit different this week and leave you with a special message.
The first row is in Japanese with Kanji. The Next row is in hiragana, then romanised using rōmaji with the final row translated into English.
merii kurisumasu! happii hanukaa! happii horidee!
Happy Christmas! Happy Chanukkah! Happy Holidays!
みんなさまに たくさんの しあわせが おとずれますように！
minnasama ni takusan no shiawase ga otozuremasu you ni!
May much happiness come to everyone!
That is all for today! But, perhaps, at holiday’s end, you will want to describe it. And, for that, you will need a couple of useful vocabulary words that are found in our recent Word of the Week: 🔊Japanese Word(s) of the Week w/ QUIZBO™ | 【楽しい】+ BONUS:【つまらない】(+Helpful Hints with Kiki+Koko). We think you will benefit from this topic. Also, Kiki and Koko give a bit of helpful hints so you can go out and begin using these vocabulary words and practise your adjectives as soon as you feel comfortable. We hope to see you there!
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Thank you so much for learning with us!