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Lesson Transcript

さくら: さくらです。
Peter: Peter here.
さくら: 四字熟語
Peter: Lesson 19. Using Japanese to Find the Right Job For You. Sakura san,
さくら: はい
Peter: What do we do in these lessons?
さくら: We introduce Yojijukugo.
Peter: Japanese idiomatic phrases
さくら: はい
Peter: And we did this because
さくら: To find some cultural aspects in Japanese language.
Peter: Yes.
さくら: Is that correct?
Peter: Perfect.
さくら: そうそう・・・・・ So it tells us more about culture than ordinary words だね
Peter: Because there is a story behind each expression.
さくら: Yes.

Lesson focus

Peter: So let’s give you our first example today.
さくら: はい
Peter: Sakura san お願いします
さくら: 適材適所
Peter: Placing the right people in the right jobs. 良いですね I like this one.
さくら: そうでしょうね。てきざいてきしょ 適材適所
Peter: Now let’s take a look at the individual characters that make up this phrase. First we have,
さくら: 適
Peter: Suitable.
さくら: 材
Peter: Talent
さくら: 適
Peter: Suitable.
さくら: 所
Peter: Place. Suitable talent, suitable place.
さくら: Umm.
Peter: This is pretty straightforward.
さくら: straightforwardですね
Peter: Let’s just look at the two character compounds anyway. First we have,
さくら: 適材
Peter: Means a person competent for a certain job. Second two character compound,
さくら: 適所
Peter: Which means the right task or job for the person. So we put it altogether
さくら: 適材適所
Peter: Placing the right people in the right jobs. So this phrase conveys an abstract concept. So it’s often used as a statement or an opinion kind of like saying
さくら: 適材適所が大切だ
Peter: Which means placing the right people in the right jobs is important. Okay let’s take a look at some sample sentences. Sakura san, first we have
さくら: 彼があの仕事をするのは適材適所だ。
Peter: He is right person for that job. Next we have
さくら: 彼女が社長秘書に指名された。適材適所だね。
Peter: She was appointed as a secretary for president. She is the right person for the job. Next we have,
さくら: 人材の適材適所は難しい
Peter: Placing the right people in the right jobs is tough. Okay on to our second expression.
さくら: はい
Peter: Now this expression has a very interesting story behind it.
さくら: はい
Peter: First let’s hear the expression.
さくら: 馬耳東風
Peter: To turn a deaf ear to something.
さくら: ばじとうふう 馬耳東風
Peter: The first character
さくら: 馬
Peter: Horse.
さくら: 耳
Peter: Ear.
さくら: 東
Peter: East.
さくら: 風
Peter: Wind
Peter: Horses ear east wind.
さくら: Umm…
Peter: Let’s take a look at the two two character compounds that make up the four character compound. Sakura san, what do we have first?
さくら: 馬耳
Peter: Literally this means horse’s ear. Second we have
さくら: 東風
Peter: Now this indicates the wind is blowing from east in the spring. Now Sakura san, horse’s ear wind blowing from the east in the spring. Help us out here.
さくら: Originally it means that when wind blows from east in the spring, people can feel it comfortable but it doesn’t seem horses feel anything with the spring wind. So indifferent なのね
Peter: So
さくら: From the original meaning, it comes to be used as a metaphor meaning to pay no attention to somebody’s opinion or criticism.
Peter: Not bad on the second part.
さくら: Hmmm…
Peter: Tough skin indifferent to criticism.
さくら: Umm…
Peter: Hah now where does this come from?
さくら: It comes from a poem written by リ・ポー
Peter: A Chinese poet from the 漢 dynasty.
さくら: はい
Peter: Very, very interesting. So what about the usage?
さくら: It’s used as a noun.
Peter: And it expresses the way a person turns a deaf ear to other people’s opinions. For example,
さくら: 彼は馬耳東風だった
Peter: He turned a deaf ear to something.
さくら: Or you can say 馬耳東風だ
Peter: And this implies there is no use to give advice to somebody because they are not going to listen anyway. What’s interesting here before we take a look at the sample sentences is that it seems you can use it both positive and negative because I think ignoring criticism is something very good but ignoring people’s opinions ummm…
さくら: そうですね。
Peter: Okay let’s take a look at some sample sentences.
さくら: はい
Peter: First we have
さくら: 母が父にタバコを止めるように言っても、父は馬耳東風だった
Peter: My mother told my father to quit smoking but he is deaf to her advice.
さくら: Umm…
Peter: Not good. Next we have
さくら: 彼は何度注意しても馬耳東風だ
Peter: Even if I warned him many times, he turns a deaf ear to all of them.
さくら: そうですね。
Peter: Not good.
さくら: あの人に何を言っても馬耳東風だ
Peter: Whatever you say to that guy, it would be lost on him.
さくら: negative がmostly negative ですね
Peter: そうですねVery interesting.
さくら: はい
Peter: So again, if you have the chance, stop by japanesepod101.com, try out these phrases. We will get back to you. Also, pick up the PDF. Again inside the PDF, you can see the kanji and one of the keys to understanding these phrases and the way Japanese people think is to understand kanji.
さくら: そうですね
Peter: And this is a great opportunity to get back into kanji, to get started with kanji, this is the perfect opportunity.
さくら: I think so.


Peter: All right, that’s going to do it for today.
さくら: またね


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