Speakin' Japanese: Spelunking sayings

Speakin' Japanese: Spelunking sayings

by Shoji Kudaka
Stripes Okinawa

There are many caves on Okinawa that you can explore. A jumpsuit and a helmet with a headlight will surely be necessary for spelunkers, but these phrases will also come in handy.   

“Ashimoto ni kiwotsukete kudasai.” 
(“Ashimoto” = step/foot, “ni” = a particle to indicate a target, “kiwotsukete/kiwotsukeru” = watch out/be careful, “kudasai” = please …)

“Suibun-hokyu wo wasure-naiyouni shitekudasai.” 
= Please don’t forget to stay hydrated.
(“suibun-hokyu” = hydration, “wo” = a particle to indicate an object, “wasure-naiyouni” = so as not to forget, “shitekudasai” = please do…)

“Ookina shounyuu-seki ga arimasu.” 
= There is a big stalactite.
(“ookina” = big/large, “shounyuu-seki” = stalactite, “ga” = a particle to indicate a subject, “arimasu” = there is …)

“Habu ga kakurete iru kamoshiremasen.” 
= Habu snakes may be lurking.
(“Habu” = habu snake, “ga” = a particle to indicate a subject, “kakurete/kakureru” = lurk/hide, “iru” = there is, “kamoshiremasen” = may be/possibly)

“Koumori ga tenjyou ni tomatte imasu.” 
= Bats are perched on the ceiling.
(“koumori” = bat, “ga” = a particle to indicate a subject, “tenjyou” = ceiling, “ni” = a particle to indicate a target, “tomatte/tomaru” = perched/stop, “imasu” = there is)

“Hashigo wo orimasu.”
= I will climb down a ladder.
(“hashigo” = ladder, “wo” = a particle to indicate an object, “orimasu/oriru” =  climb down/go down)

“Semai basho wo toorimasu.”
= I will go through a tight spot. 
(“semai” = tight/narrow, “basho” = place/spot, “wo” = a particle to indicate a target or an object, “toorimasu” = will go through)

Useful words
Roupu/Nawa = Rope 
Herumetto = Helmet
Kaichuu-dentou = Flashlight

Haikingu buutsu = Hiking boots
Sekkaigan = Limestone
Doukutsu = Cave
Doukutsu Tanken = Spelunking
Michi, Konseki = Trail (noun)

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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