Speakin' Japanese: Coming of age on Jan. 9

Speakin' Japanese: Coming of age on Jan. 9

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

Jan. 9 is “Seijin no Hi (coming of age day)” in Japan. Let’s try these phrases and congratulate our new adults!


“Go-seijin Omedetou gozaimasu”

=  Congratulations for coming of age.

(“go” = a prefix to express something in a polite way, “seijin” = adult/coming of age, “omedetou gozaimasu” = congratulations)


“Otona no Nakama-iri desune”

= Now you are an adult member of society.

(“otona” = adult/grown-up, Nakama-iri = join)


“Tomoni Shakaijin Toshite Ganbari-masho”

= Let’s work hard together as adult members of society.

(“tomoni” = together, “shakaijin” = adult member of society, “toshite” = as, “ganbari-masho” = let’s work hard)


“Atarashii Koto ni Dondon Charenji shite itte Kudasai”

= Please keep trying something new.

(“atarashii” = new, “koto” = thing/stuff, “ni” = a particle to indicate an object, “dondon” = a phrase to indicate a momentum, “charenji” = challenge, “shite/suru” = do, “itte” = go, “kudasai” = please)


“Minna Ouen Shite-imasu”

= Everybody is rooting for you.

(“minna” = everybody, “ouen” = rooting, “shite-imasu” = be doing)


“Shakaijin toshite seicho shite itte Kudasai”

= Keep being a better adult member of society.

(“shakaijin” = adult member of society, “toshite” = as, “seicho shite/suru” = grow up/step up, “itte” = go, “kudasai” = please)


“Ookiku Habataite Kudasai”

= Fly high and be successful.

(“ookiku” = widely, “habataku” = flutter one’s wings, “kudasai” = please)


“Korekarano jinsei ni Takusan no Deai to Shiawase ga Aruyouni Inotte Imasu”

= I wish you meet many wonderful people and find a lot of happiness.

(“korekarano” = in the future, “jinsei” = life, “ni” = in/at, “takusan/takusan-no” = many/a lot of, “deai” = encounter/meeting, “shiawase” = happiness, “ga” = a particle to indicate a subject, “auyouni” = so that there is~, “innotte imasu” = be praying/wishing)


Pronunciation key: “A” is short (like “ah”); “E” is short (like “get”); “I” is short (like “it”); “O” is long (like “old”); “U” is long (like “tube”); and “AI” is a long “I” (like “hike”). Most words are pronounced with equal emphasis on each syllable, but “OU” is a long “O” with emphasis on that syllable.


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