Just a Little Bit (of time!)

By Eric Larsen

I have no neat story for the words being taught today.  Sorry.  I learned nochi hodo from a cool-guy teacher at my school – in reference to us meeting in a class 5 minutes after we had just discussed the teaching plan for said class.  These words make it easier to talk about relative time, so that never hurts.  And, as a bonus — given the guy saying it, and the responses I get from teachers when I use either, they seem to be slightly cool or flashy words to use.  (Also, you can hear them used often on the phone.)

先ほど saki hodo : a short while ago (minutes or hours)

後ほど nochi hodo : a short while later  (minutes or hours)

         Eric:  “Teacher, are you free? I want to talk about tonight’s drinking party.”

         Teacher:   “Ah! I’m sorry, I’m busy now!”

         Eric:  “wakarimashita. De ha, nochi hodo onegaishimasu.” (I see.  Well, let’s talk in a short while then!)

Bonus: note: NOT the same “hodo” as used above

なるほど naru-hodo : I see… (often used as “uh-huh” or a general acknowledgement in a conversation)

Teacher: “OK. I’m free now! By the way, the party venue changed. We are now drinking at my house, not a bar.”

Eric: “Naru-hodo… Thanks for telling me!” (I see…)

So go out and impress your friends, teachers, and strangers with your ability to talk about relative times more easily! And during any conversation, feel free to say “naru hodo” to show that you’re listening and/or that you understand etc.!


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