This text appears to be like at a easy interjection in Japanese, ara-ara. Whereas easy, it positively has some tips to concentrate on and pitfalls to keep away from, not to point out some straightforward confusions.
Don’t fear, we’re going to deal with all of it.
Let’s begin easy…
What’s the meaning of ara-ara in Japanese?
Ara-ara is a kind of interjection, primarily utilized by youngish females to specific some curious shock and/or amusement. You might translate it as, “Oh-ho,” “tsk-tsk,” or “Hmm?” One other phrase with the identical pronunciation means tough, impolite, or harsh.
The meanings of ara-ara in additional element
So, there’s three phrases that share the identical pronunciation of ara-ara in Japanese.
Additionally they share the truth that they are often damaged down into single utterances of “ara.” So, let’s check out each, what it means, and how to write it.
We’ll find yourself exploring six very totally different phrases which are all pronounced “ara” contained in the Japanese archipelago.
First, an attention-grabbing outlier!
The not-Japanese “ara” utilized in Japan!
Many individuals consider Japan as a completely homogeneous society—identical tradition, identical faith, identical race, identical language. However this assumption falls extensive of the mark!
There are a number of totally different languages (together with extremely divergent dialects of Japanese) native to the lands that at the moment make up the nation of Japan.
A kind of languages is Miyako, a linguistic offshoot of the Ryukyuan languages.
Ryukyuan languages are nonetheless spoken to some extent (over a million native audio system!), and largely in Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture in Japan.
Within the Miyako language, ara is written in hiragana as あら and refers to the husk of a fruit.
A singular fish!
The niphon spinosus, aka the Sawedged perch is a fish that swims the waters from Japan all the best way to the Philippines. In Japanese it’s often known as ara. This phrase may be written in both hiragana or katakana as あら or アラ, respectively.
It’s additionally written in kanji as 𩺊.
That kanji is handy for us, as a result of it’ll lead us into our subsequent phrase. Let’s break it down actual fast first. The left facet is only a squished 魚, the character for “fish.” The appropriate facet is 荒, a personality that may mean “tough,” “impolite,” or “wild.”
When you lookup an image of the sawedged perch, you may think about why it acquired saddled with a kanji that principally means “tough fish.”
One phrase, two kanji
So, for our subsequent “phrase,” we find yourself with just a few totally different definitions. Nevertheless, all of them fall underneath the pronunciation ara and may be written with 荒. They will also be written with the kanji 粗.
粗 is a “phono-semantic” kanji, meaning the part elements add up to provide you with meaning and pronunciation. The appropriate facet is 且 which gave the pronunciation in Previous Chinese language (it’s now not related). The left facet is 米 which implies “rice.”
粗 and 荒 mean just a few issues. It could actually mean “the bones from a filleted fish,” “a private defect,” or “rice chaff.” It will also be used as a prefix to mean “tough” or “pure/wild.”
Ara as interjection
Ara is utilized by ladies to specific shock. It interprets nicely as “oh!” or “ah!”
Ara as a surname
Ara will also be discovered as a surname in Japan, although how widespread it is I’m unsure. Sources counsel that when written as a name, the characters used are both 荒 or 新 (which implies “new”).
Doubling up! Ara-ara!
Right here’s what occurs when these get doubled.
粗粗 (alternatively written 粗々) is an adverb meaning “roughly.”
荒荒 (alternatively written 荒々) is all the time adopted by by a little bit grammatical add-on. 荒々しい is pronounced ara-ara-shii and is an adjective meaning “tough,” “impolite,” “harsh,” or “wild.”
When you write it 荒々しさ it’s pronounced ara-ara-shisa and is a noun meaning “roughness,” “rudeness,” “harshness,” or “wildness.”
The interjection may be doubled in two methods. First, we are able to merely double the ultimate syllable, giving us arara, meaning principally the identical factor as ara.
Second, we are able to double the entire thing to turn into ara-ara, which is a stronger sense of shock and curiosity. It could actually even have a little bit of a teasing impact.
This interjection will also be written and pronounced as are-are (あれあれ), arere (あれれ), or arya-arya (ありゃありゃ).
A phrase of warning
“Ara-ara” as a female interjection has some, uh, connotations that you just’ll need to keep away from in case you use it in well mannered firm, and particularly round otaku.
In sure types of “mature” Japanese media, ara-ara shall be mentioned by a considerably older feminine in a type of teasing method to a youthful male.
As a disclaimer, I do know that this phrase has turn into considerably “memefied” within the English talking world.
I do know that it primarily carries these “mature” implications in English, however I’m not 100% certain how it’s seen in Japan. It could carry little, or no, unusual connotations.
Both method, I’d use warning with this phrase till you are feeling wholly assured in your how you’ll deploy it.
Ara!? We’re all achieved already? This was a brief one, however now you’re completely outfitted to begin utilizing the phrase and recognizing it when it’s used. Good luck on the market!
“I’ve lived in Japan on-and-off for the final 5 years, travelling to (nearly) each nook of the Land of the Rising solar. I’ve deepened my love of the language with massive hauls from Sapporo guide shops, by chatting in Shinjuku espresso outlets, consuming in Osaka “snack bars,” exploring distant Okinawan islands, and hitching rides with monks in Aomori. Japanese is a large and deep language, and I’m all the time keen to dive in deeper.”