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Advanced Japanese Lesson:動詞 (Verbs)





“To run,” “to eat” are classified as words that indicate movement, and are called “verbs.”  Today, I’ll introduce some verbs that are not found in textbooks.

Jikoru or “to accident,” guchiru or “to complaint,” hinikuru or “to sarcasm” are them.

Centered around the younger generation, there has been widespread use of making nouns into verbs by adding ru.  “To be in an accident,” “to be sarcastic” are the proper expressions, but colloquially they can be used as “yesterday I accidented,” “the prime minister’s speech was sarcasted.”

Another interesting thing is that there’s a habit to add ru to borrowed words to make them verbs as well.  Such verbs as kopiru “to make copies,  to copy,” memoru “to take notes,” sutanbaru “to be on standby,” hamoru “to harmonize,” toraburu “to cause trouble, to be in trouble,” misuru “to make a mistake,” panikuru “to panic” have merged into everyday life and are being used.  Saboru, a verb made by shortening the French word “sabotage” and adding ru was born in the Taisho/Showa period, and like a regular verb it is in the dictionary and is used like any other verb.

You can say that one of the characteristics of Japanese is that new verbs such as kokuru meaning “to confess,” kyodoru meaning “to act suspiciously” can be created one after another as though it’s a play around with words.