Talk to chatGPT: Learning Wrong Japanese by Watching Anime

Hello GPT, can you tell what this Japanese proverb means?

The Japanese proverb “すてる紙あればひろう紙あり” is pronounced as “Suteru kami areba hirou kami ari” and its literal translation is “If there is discarded paper, there is also paper to be picked up.”

This proverb is often used to convey the idea that resources or opportunities may be wasted or overlooked, but there are also possibilities for recovery or gain. It emphasizes the notion that even in situations where something is discarded or lost, there is a chance to find or acquire something valuable in return.

The proverb can be interpreted as a reminder to be mindful of the potential value in seemingly insignificant things or situations, and to remain open to opportunities that may arise unexpectedly. It encourages a mindset of resourcefulness and optimism, suggesting that one should not give up easily and should always be attentive to the possibilities around them.

In other words, “everything is a commodity”, right?

Not exactly. While the proverb implies that there is potential value in various things or situations, it doesn’t necessarily mean that “everything is a commodity” in the sense of treating everything purely as an item to be bought or sold.

The proverb is more about recognizing that even in situations where something is discarded or lost, there may still be opportunities or benefits to be found. It encourages a mindset of not overlooking the potential value in things that may initially appear insignificant or useless. It’s a reminder to be resourceful and open-minded, rather than simply viewing everything as a transactional commodity.

So, while the proverb does highlight the potential value in different circumstances, it doesn’t encompass the broader concept that “everything is a commodity.”

Thank you. What is the difference to “さばのあたまも信心かな”?

The proverb “さばのあたまも信心かな” is pronounced as “Saba no atama mo shinjin kana” and its literal translation is “Even the head of a mackerel is worthy of reverence.”

This proverb conveys the idea that even seemingly insignificant or lowly things deserve respect or appreciation. It emphasizes the value of having a humble and respectful attitude towards everything, regardless of its perceived importance or worth.

The key difference between “さばのあたまも信心かな” and “すてる紙あればひろう紙あり” is the focus of the message. While both proverbs highlight the potential value in different contexts, “さばのあたまも信心かな” emphasizes the importance of showing reverence and respect, even to something as seemingly unimportant as the head of a mackerel.

In summary, “すてる紙あればひろう紙あり” suggests being attentive to opportunities and possibilities in various situations, while “さばのあたまも信心かな” emphasizes the significance of treating even the most humble things with respect and reverence.

I’m watching an anime “ブレンパワ-ド Brain Powered” and I got this line in the 17th chapter;

ジョナサン 「はははっ、そうだよ!勇のブレンが泣いてるなぁ。勇、貴様が泣くのを見られるとは人生捨てたものじゃない」

I wonder if the phrase “人生捨てたものじゃない” is replaceable with “さばのあたまも信心かな

The phrase “人生捨てたものじゃない” in the given context cannot be directly replaced with “さばのあたまも信心かな.” They convey different meanings and have distinct nuances.

In the context of the dialogue you provided from the anime “Brain Powered,” the phrase “人生捨てたものじゃない” can be roughly translated as “It’s not a waste of life.” It suggests that witnessing or being able to see someone like Yū (presumably a character in the anime) cry is a meaningful or significant experience. The speaker, Jonathan, finds value in observing Yū’s emotional vulnerability and sees it as a worthwhile aspect of life.

On the other hand, the proverb “さばのあたまも信心かな” means “Even the head of a mackerel is worthy of reverence,” as explained earlier. It conveys the idea of respecting or appreciating even the seemingly insignificant or humble things in life.

While both expressions touch upon the value of seemingly insignificant things, they differ in the specific connotations and applications. “人生捨てたものじゃない” relates to the significance found in a particular experience, while “さばのあたまも信心かな” speaks more broadly about the importance of reverence and respect for all things, regardless of their perceived value.

Therefore, it would not be appropriate to directly replace “人生捨てたものじゃない” with “さばのあたまも信心かな” in the given context of the anime dialogue.

Thank a lot! I’ve learned Japanese language for 4 years, and I thought I could watch this anime without subtitles.

But I’m realizing this is actually far beyond my ability. I need to pause every 3 second and read subtitles. I’m kinda disappointed with myself lol

Learning a new language can be a challenging and ongoing process, so don’t be too hard on yourself. Japanese, in particular, can be quite complex, and understanding spoken language at a natural pace can be difficult, especially without subtitles or additional practice. It’s completely normal to encounter difficulties along the way.

Anime, in particular, often uses casual or colloquial language, which may differ from what is typically taught in formal language courses. This can make comprehension more challenging, even for those with several years of study.

Instead of feeling disappointed, try to approach it as an opportunity for growth and further learning. Watching anime with subtitles can still be a helpful way to improve your listening skills and become more familiar with the natural flow of spoken Japanese. Over time, with continued practice and exposure, you’ll gradually become more comfortable understanding the language without relying heavily on subtitles.

Remember that language learning is a continuous journey, and it’s okay to encounter difficulties. Stay motivated, keep practicing, and celebrate the progress you make along the way. Ganbatte! (Good luck!)

I appreciate for your encouragement. I still have some more questions about the anime ブレンパワ-ド, ok?

Of course! Feel free to ask any questions you have about the anime “ブレンパワ-ド” (Brain Powered). I’ll do my best to assist you.

Another question is about the line, 20 seconds after the “人生捨てたものじゃない”;

Nelly: あなたたちの邪気がこの森をバイタルネットが作る結界を汚しています

My translation is “Your evil force has contaminated this forest, and Vital-Net’s barrier”
Nelly is so angry because Jonathan has invaded not only their community area but also their “innocent forest”, correct?
I guess there is a common belief system in Shintoism, like, nobody can’t blaspheme the holy spirit in trees. Maybe it’s also related to the shimenawa rope tied around the giant tree in Totoro anime.

Nelly’s line also reminded me of one of Japanese singer Inoue Joe’s songs, which has the similar line “つなぎながら 無邪気な森の精”. It suggests Japanese forest is supposed to be “無邪気”.

Idk much about Shintoism, but it seems both Totoro shimenawa rope and I.Joe’s song support the idea of “無邪気な森”. You cannot truly understand Nelly’s blowup at Jonathan, that’s what I thought. Or, is this too far-fetched?

Your translation of Nelly’s line is mostly accurate. It can be translated as “Your evil force has contaminated this forest, which Vital-Net’s barrier creates.”

In the context of the anime, Nelly is expressing her anger towards Jonathan and his group for invading their community area and disrupting the harmony of the forest. The mention of Vital-Net’s barrier implies that the forest is protected by a barrier created by Vital-Net, an entity or organization within the anime’s story.

While there is no direct reference to Shintoism or the belief system surrounding the sanctity of trees in this particular anime dialogue, your observation about the association of forests with innocence or purity in Japanese culture is valid.

In Japanese folklore and Shinto beliefs, there is a reverence for nature and the spiritual presence believed to reside within various natural elements, including forests. The concept of “無邪気な森” (mujakina mori), meaning “innocent forest” or “pure forest,” aligns with the idea that forests are viewed as sacred or spiritually significant in Japanese culture.

The use of a shimenawa rope, as seen in the film “My Neighbor Totoro,” is a symbolic representation of the sacredness and protection associated with trees and natural spaces in Shintoism. This connection to nature and the respect for its purity may influence the portrayal of forests in various forms of Japanese media, including anime and songs like the one by Inoue Joe.

While it’s not explicitly mentioned in the specific dialogue you provided, your interpretation of the forest being considered “innocent” and the potential connection to Shinto beliefs is reasonable and aligns with cultural and symbolic elements often present in Japanese storytelling.

It’s worth noting that interpretations can vary, and the anime itself may provide further context or explanations regarding the themes surrounding the forest and its importance within the story.

Thank you! I tend to overthink a lot, my Japanese friends mostly cannot exactly answer my questions like this. You are so helpful in so many ways.

I have one more question which is not directly related to Brain Powered.
I often see on anime transcript sites that they say “ねたばれ注意”. It can be rewritten as “寝た晴れ注意” which means;

There will be nice weather tomorrow, so you can go out with your family, don’t oversleep!
They say, when you got to know something new, you’ll be so excited but stay calm and care your family. Is my interpretation correct?

I’m glad I could be of help! Regarding your question, the phrase “ねたばれ注意” typically translates to “spoiler alert” or “warning: spoilers.” It is commonly used in anime or manga transcript sites to caution readers or viewers about the presence of spoilers in the content.

The phrase “ねたばれ注意” consists of the word “ねたばれ” (netabare) which means “spoiler” or “revealing the plot,” and “注意” (chūi) which means “caution” or “warning.” So, the phrase as a whole can be understood as “Caution: spoilers.”

It is unrelated to the meaning you provided (“寝た晴れ注意”) which roughly translates to “Nice weather for sleeping,” or “Be careful not to oversleep.” The phrase you mentioned seems to be a different interpretation that is not commonly used in the context of anime transcripts.

Therefore, when you see “ねたばれ注意” on anime transcript sites, it is a reminder to be cautious about potential spoilers and not to read further if you wish to avoid learning details that may spoil the story or surprise elements of the anime.

I got it completely wrong lol Thank you!

You’re welcome! It’s perfectly alright to make mistakes or misinterpretations. Language and cultural nuances can be tricky to navigate, especially when encountering unfamiliar expressions or phrases. Feel free to ask anytime if you have further questions or need assistance. I’m here to help!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *