Friday, July 17, 2009

Fun with ALC

I spend a fair amount of time digging through dictionaries and resource materials with work and other things, and one of my favorite tools online has got to be ALC. It's just your ordinary Japanese-English dictionary, but they have slang in there too and a great variety of alternative ways to say things... sometimes too much, actually. These variations can be dangerous for someone just starting out learning Japanese (the first entries for 格好いい, which would basically mean 'cool', are "cool beans", "off the hook", and "on point"- cool beans!! Flashback to 5th grade...), but if you're working with a good base of knowledge and backing up use of ALC with other sources, like Japanese-Japanese dictionaries and more traditional sources, then it's quick and awesome.

Anyway, a side effect of this variation is that I sometimes run across some rather bizarre example sentences, some of which I'll share now.

Searching for 凝視する I came up with the following entry:

同じ時期、車の通行の激しい道路でインコを地上高く投げ、落下して地面に叩きつけられたうえ、車に轢かれるインコを凝視するAkiの姿も目撃されている。
There was another incident around that time where she was seen throwing a parakeet high into the air at a busy road, and staring at the bird as it fell and was run over by cars.
I don't know who this Aki person is, but apparently she throws dead birds into oncoming traffic, sweet.

Or this one was particularly good, under the entry for 考えられがち:

「ホモ(ホモセクシュアリティ)」とイコールと考えられがちであるが、オカマはもっと広い意味で使用される。
People often tend to think of this word as having the same meaning as "homo (homosexuality)", but "okama" is used in a much wider sense.
This is actually quite true - "okama" has more range than just covering your garden variety gay guy, and is probably closer to meaning a cross-dresser. I really wasn't expecting that looking up a phrase that basically means "is often thought of as", but yeah thanks for the info.

Of course next, I just had to search for the term "okama" itself:

またこのオカマにくっついて遊んでいる女性を釜の底に付くことから「おこげ」と呼ぶ。
Women who go out together with "okama" are said to "stick to the bottom of the 'kama'" and so are referred to as "okoge", or the "scorched rice" found at the bottom of the pan.
Wow, and there you have it... learn something new every day! Lesson of the day: "okoge" means faghag in Japanese, nice!

2 comments:

* ENOLAMAI * said...

i've always wanted to know how to say faghag in japanese, thanks for making it happen doug!

Mike said...

That is easily the most important information you've ever offered here man. Thanks for that.