By Eric Larsen
In English, your voice is clutch! You can show sarcasm with tone; you can reverse the meaning of a sentence with different emphasis; you can add sexual meaning to nearly any words by speaking much slower with hard stress on each word, etc. At times this works in Japanese, but more often than not Japanese language has a particular word for each situation rather than changing one word’s meaning by how it’s spoken. Unfortunately, these specific words share nearly the same meaning with countless other words, but only one fits best in a given situation. Today, let’s learn about “of course!”
Eric: “○○ teacher, are you free?”
Eric: “Sasuga ○○ teacher! You’re always willing to help me.”
Teacher: “Yappari! I knew you’d say that…”
Each of these Japanese words means, generally speaking, “of course.” So let’s learn how to use each word properly. Note: lucky for you there is much overlap between these words, so it is rare that one word is WRONG in a situation, but usually there is one word that is BEST.
もちろん mochiron：Of course; naturally.
Eric: “Do you have a moment to answer a question?”
Teacher: “Mochiron, Eric!”
さすが sasuga：Of course; as one would expect. “Typical ○○!”
Teacher: “He’s working late today? Typical Eric!”
*Usually used for praise. Can be used cynically for habitual negative habits like always being late, or always not doing homework.*
やっぱり yappari：Of course; I thought so!
“yappari, it’s Monday so our favorite bar is closed!”
So, mochiron, go out and impress your friends, coworkers, and strangers with the latest addition to your Japanese skills. With a little practice and courage, soon teachers will be saying “sasuga (your name)” every time you use awesome Japanese!
If you have some Japanese words or phrases you want to share, we’d love to hear about it- mochiron! Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org