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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Exclamatory words in Japanese “Otto”

If you can use exclamatory words naturally in other languages, you seem to be good at speaking the language. When I was in Canada, I tried to use exclamatory words, but it was hard to say those words naturally without thinking.

Let’s look at useful exclamatory words in Japanese. Today is “Otto”. This is written as “おっと” in Hiragana and pronunced as "O-ttoh". “Otto” is used when you have fallen, dropped something, been surprised, made a small mistake. This is used just like “Oops” in English.

For example, “Oops, I dropped a pen” can be “おっと、ペンをおとした(O-ttoh, Pen wo Otoshita.”

*"O-ttoh, hold the unicycle tightly!"

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12 comments:

skipnkai said...

そうね~。私も最初はなかなか自然には出なかったですよ。ま~6年目ともなると、さすがに"ウップス””ヤイプス””アウチ””ヤック””イ~ウゥ”などなどそういう類の言葉は日本語よる先に出てしまいますけどね~。いいんだかどうだか、、。周りに日本人がいないせいか、日本語は犬としかここでは話さないですしね。脳が英語優先モードになってるらしい、、。不思議ですね。

kayanon said...

skipnkaiさん>

そういう現象うらやましい~!私は半年しかカナダにいなかったので、どうも中途半端なまま帰国してしまいました。最近では標準語はもとより秋田弁優先になってきています…。

scott said...

Hello Kayano,

I found your blog from your link on livejournal and I liked your post on exclamatory words. I've been studying Japanese for a little over a year and had never learned this! Thanks!

kayanon said...

Thank you for your comment, scott.
I am glad that you liked this post. When I started to learn English, I wanted to know these words but I couldn't find them on the text book. This post comes from my real experience probably.

Scott said...

Hi Kayano,
Knowing the "little things" about a language goes a long way. English uses a lot of colloquialisms - phrases we say that don't make logical sense but have an implied meaning. My Japanese friends sometimes have a hard time understanding American colloquialisms. But the Japanese "sound words"( like バクバク and ペラペラ ) really confuse Americans!

kayanon said...

Scotto>

When I lernt English in my collage, a native English teacher said "ブラブラ(I don't know the right spell)". That was quite impressive words and sounds for me. I don't know why but it sounds interesting.

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stephane said...

Hi,
your blog is important, at least for me. keep going. Japanese daily expressions are interesting.

arigato gozaimasu Kayanon san.

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C R Otto said...

Hello! Your blog came up when I searched for my friend named Otto in Japan :D My name is also Otto, and my Japanese friends think it's funny that Otto-san is the same for my name, and for "husband" ... Anyway, I will come to Japan in March with my wife to teach English. What do you recommend?
どぞ よろしく。