Tuesday, April 9, 2013
The bittersweet taste of Japanese words - The Japan Times
The bittersweet taste of Japanese words - The Japan Times: A little while ago a friend of mine who’s been living in Japan for few weeks texted me in a bit of a dither, saying, “This guy I barely know said I was sweet! Is he coming on to me?” It turns out the word he used was amai (甘い), which nominally means sweet as in sugar. In English if you call someone sweet it’s a compliment, but not in Japanese. I had to tell her that the guy wasn’t getting overly friendly with her but he wasn’t being too nice either, since amai means someone is being naive or shortsighted.