Japanese Phrase Picks


SHINGO/ZOUGO 新語・造語 ~ New Japanese ~ #2

By Nao H. Kauffman
Chief Editor

As people have traveled overseas, cross cultural communication gradually has generated influences on languages since early times. You would easily search for the etymology of English words and their origins in other different cultures. Japanese words were greatly influenced by many countries. Languages change with times. You can absolutely admit it when you learn Japanese or encounter unique words, which you may not find in your Japanese textbooks. These changes can easily happen in its culture as the communication tools and broadcasting technology develop year after year. The way of using new words and the trend quickly can be influenced and be sunken in through the media, culture, and various fields. I would like to introduce some unique Japanese, and a sample of dialogue/situation with a bit explanation from time to time.

AGE AGE ( あげあげ )

The phrase became popular in 2001 among young people in Japan . Literally it means “up, up.” In other words, the phrase describes the weekend club scene like a rocking party. Later on, these words were used by radio DJs and in some other situations not only relating to a club or the disco scene. Nowadays, the Japanese people tend to use the words to raise spirits up.

A: “Let's go to One Direction's Live this weekend!”

B: “Tension Age Age ♪ ” (I am so excited! /That's so exciting! Let's have fun!)

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