Sunday, April 05, 2009

Bookworm: textbook stuff

I've been reviewing my 一級に出る単語集教科書 and I have to say, there are a lot of convenient expressions out there. Unfortunately, I can never seem to remember them at the opportune times.

For me, it's more of a "if I see it, I'll know it, but I can't reproduce it" kinda thing.

But for this week, I've devised a plan to print out copies of the first unit, stick them in places I frequent (i.e., the inside the bathroom door, on my desk at the office), and force myself to use them.

Below are the first week's 慣用表現, or idiomatic expressions. See if you can figure them out just from the kanji.



道草を食う: To linger, loiter on the way to X
例: 帰り道で道草を食うな。
Don't fool around on the way home.

立て板に水: Fluently, smoothly, nonstop
例: 彼は立て板に水を流すようにしゃべった。
He rattled on and on.

寝耳に水: Out of the blue
例: そのニュースは全く寝耳に水だ。
The news hit me out of the blue.

焼け石に水: Not helpful, a drop in the bucket
例: ローン地獄で、ボーナスもらっても焼け石に水だよ。
With my loans, even getting a bonus is only a drop in the bucket.

紙一重(かみひとえ): A fine line, razor thin
例: 夢と現実は紙一重です。
There is a fine line between dreams and reality.

すずめの涙: A trifle, no big deal
例: 雀の涙ほどの給料では何の役にも立たない。
My monthly salary is so small it's totally shit.

猫に小判: Pearls before swine, a waste of resources
例: 彼はいいワインを飲んでも、猫に小判だ。
Even if you give him some good wine, it's like casting pearls before swine.

馬の耳に念仏: In one ear and out the other
例: あの人に何回も言ったくせに、全く「馬の耳に念仏」だね。
Although I told that guy many times, it just goes in one ear and out the other.


五十歩百歩: Scant difference
例: 君たち二人がどちらが背が高いか争っても、A君と比べれば五十歩百歩さ。
Even if you two compare your height, there's only a bit of difference between A.

一杯食わせる: To be duped
例: 俺は新車だと思ったからうっかり買っちゃったけどカーデイラーに一杯食わされた。その車は結局ぼろぼろだ。
I thought I had bought a new car, but it turned out I was duped. In the end, it was a lemon.

油を売る: To fool around
例: こんな時間まで言ったどこで油を売っていたんだ?
Where the hell were you fooling around this late?

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