Ways that Japanese has blown your mind

I’m aware that there’s probably a Wanikani post with this topic in mind, but as this is the Bunpro forums, I thought that I’d share something I found while studying BP.

お帰りなさい and お休みなさい are two phrases I’ve known since I started studying Japanese years ago, but I’ve never seen them in kanji form.

お帰りなさい is typically used someone addresses somebody else returning to their house, but it makes so much sense that 帰る, which can mean to return, is part of this customary phrase!

Likewise, お休みなさい is generally compared to as the Japanese “good night,” but “please get rest well” makes so much more sense than “memorize this phrase because it means good night”



I think the main way Japanese blows my mind is in just how much is omitted. I always thought we left out the obvious in English. We really, really don’t. In Japanese just about everything you can infer from context is just omitted completely, to a degree you just don’t find in English - if you translate Japanese word for word omitting the same things you almost sound like a caveman.

On a more humorous note, いただきます is a conjugation of もらう meaning “to receive”. Of course that’s because you’re basically saying something along the lines of “I humbly accept this meal you’re giving me,” but you’re sort of saying “this is my food now,” just very politely.

Also こんにちは is basically just affirming that yes, today is also a thing - you’re just attaching は to a specific reading of 今日. Similar for こんばんは - just は attached to 今晩, not even with a different reading.


こんにちは comes from the phrase こんにちは (いい日ですね), or anything similar. It’s like English’s “good day”, but over time it got shortened