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24 Bastcrisgeness Lesson 28* Abunai Mancasin As an adjective, abunai means “dangerous/hazardous,” but it’s also used like the English “Look out!/Watch out!” — to warn someone of im- pending danger, or as a reaction to a dangerous situation. Abunai is one of several adjectives that are used as exclamations in Japanese. Here are some of the others. Japanese Meaning as, Meaning as word an adjective an exclamation hail (720°) sore/painful Ouch! Atsui! (BRU) hot Ouch! (from burn) Urusaif (3 4 & 4») noisy/bothersome Shut up! Sugoi! (°) —_incredible/terrible Wow! ‘This use of adjectives as exclamations is facilitated by the fact that it is not necessary to specify a subject in Japanese—the adjective can stand alone ‘as a complete thought. Here are some cxamples of how the word abunai is used; first as an exclamation, then as an adjective “Look out!” (1) Mochi “tice cakes” are a traditional food at New Year's. There are mochi-making ‘machines now, but it's still not uncommon to have a neighborhood mochi-tsuki taikat (BF § C2), or *mochi-making party,” where everyone joins in to make machi the old- fashioned way — by pounding steamed glutinous rice with a heavy wooden mallet. Onc person swings the mallet while another turns the mochi, so timing is erucial to avoid a ‘Smashed hand. Here, a small boy takes a turn with the mallet, but brings it down suddenly ‘without regard for the timing, 7 “Haya!” (PL2) Sound FX: > Bunt (elect of mallet coming down suddenly) 1b, dR EVON A“ Abunait “Hey, look out!” (PL2) {© Nakashima Tore / Paro no Honig, Sopa | BasiceJapanese “Look out!” (2) this man pulls the child out ofthe path ofa speeding truck. This one pane! probably covers a brief span of time, and we can assume that the man started to say ‘Abunail as soon as he realized the child was in danger, rather than after the fact. Abunai? “Look out!” (PL2) 7e- Bu (ound ofthe truck zooming by) Driver: 22 Supit (ctfect of dozing; the bubble coming (ut the nose is also used wo indi ‘ate that someone has dozed off), @ Nakagava Tum? Kana no Para, Shopakakan “Look out!” (3) ‘Some friends have gathered at Narumi’s house for dinn cabinet to get a bowl, everything falls out. ‘When she opens the PPL Gararan (later of falling dishes) et Kyat “Yikes!” (PL2) Kakel: fe 0N bunt? “Look out!” (PL2) y Adi ject form The dog is curious about the sputtering fuse on a Roman candle. This character, Beranmei Tachan, speaks in the Tokyo shitamachi (F 8 “low city”) dialect in which ai sounds frequently come out as ei r both RF HRAU Al Kora Pochi —abunei! hy dog's ame dang, “Ant Hey! Pochi, look out!” (PL2) Sound FX: Y2~ 7 Shit (sound of burning fuse) Kamo: Wat “abhnhhe* + ora'is a verbal reprimand, used w get he tention of someone who is doing something [© Tachibanaye Kikaar®/ Beranmel Tichon Take Shab’ dangerous or inappropriate Manaasin 35 Close to the edge ‘Their favorite sumo wrestler is about t be pushed out ofthe ing. This use of ubunai refers to being in a tighv/difficut sitation—about to lose the match—rather than beit physical danger. wit, SS! Kidisan ikkini yoru mane) none shot ph “Kldosan presses forward in ‘asingle burst!” (PL2) Spectators: b——o1! ear “Anbh” fete—v ‘Abuna-i? Look out!” (PL2) ‘Announcer: > ekiaru/ Olan, Shogakkan In danger As an adjective, abunai can mean “in dangerfat risk,” as well as “dangerous.” The particle sa (48) rather than wa (12) is more likely to be used in this kind of situation, but you rarely have 10 ‘worry about misunderstandings, since context will make the distinction clear. Here a media group is wondering how they can expose and topple a corrupt politician and company official without putting their colleague's job in danger. RaTRSPED peewee) Lanes Shae nose & Hirane’Raswo Nv, Shopakukan Man: ($itVer BSE RA. Karuhastonina haisugen wa yose. asian sateen) aloe Sop Be RID mC EE pe feey Warenare ga heta ni ugoku to Hinosan no kubi ga abunal we cS) uny aoe. iehen (meh "neck Gb) in danger uit making ash uterances:If we move unskilfully, Hino's neck wil bein danger t make such rash statements, If we do something stupid, it could cost Hino his jo + bi literally means “neck,” but the expression kb ni nara means “be fited” so in the context of work oF job situations, Aubi is a reference to being fired 36 MaNaasin Basic+Japanese Dangerous This child is frustrated because his mother won't et him do anything for himself takes the knife away from him because itis dangerous. She has omitted the particle (subject topic marker) after hacha, but it would have been wa (13). badHUT ‘will peel it fo you, Knives are dangerous, h Kacshive . isa kitcher/eookng knife {+ Kaestate s from the verb Aaesw ("give backer") The crowd at this co through an unknown s Man: == it fetun sat z Koko wa abun = i fe te Mayu: v ! Crowd: plan/abrupe volitional ets...) form of rb tu ("0"). emphatic particle wsed in informalfabeupt mas Gaul speech + Kuere isthe abrupt command form ofthe verb Kaere (Cretun/go home") T eichida ST Orch Shogakukan Manaauin 37 BasicsJapanese Dangerous and in danger Obatarian rides her scooter down the middle of the road, without a helmet and carrying child on her back. In his case, she isin danger herself, as well a creating a hazard for other drivers Driver: it~ a oD TAH Abuné nt Michi no mannata 0 dangerous (collog) roadsieet"s. "midle (obj) hat sure is dangerous, riding a scooter) down the middle of the road.” (PL2) HbR E Poo poto (Putt-put” ofthe scooter) + ‘once again we see the form abun. ‘more masculine slang than dialect, Tn this case, tis Hotta Katsuhiko / Obatarian, Take Shoo A slang variation — yabai Almost identical in meaning to abunai, the word yabat is very much slang, and suitable for use only in informal situations. In this example, Kariage-kun is about to lose a game of chess. WP Choke “Cheek.” (PL2) Kariage-kun: 7 — 1 ah m Oma 88 kita ka mm like that came seit “Hmm, so you came like that, did you” “Hmm, so that's your move, huh?” (PL2) ae | Yaboi yo oma. indanacr (mph) "300 “You're in trouble,” (PL2) BYTE Dimy kohbed ok Kingu to kuin” torarechaw yo, King and queen willbe taken egret) (ep) “Your king and queen are going to be taken.” (La) + torarechau sa contraction of torarete shimau; torarete from the verb torarera ("be taken") and shimau, used with the-te form of other verbs to indicate that the result willbe undesiable/unforunae ‘+ ctally the king can’t be taken in chess, but this is still 2 good ilusration ofthe word abe (© Ueda Manat] Kariage far, Poabas 30 Mawaasin