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Lesson Transcript

なつこ: こんにちは、なつこです。
Peter: Peter here.
なつこ: 四字熟語
Peter: Lesson 11. Cutting to the Chase.
なつこ: 今日の四字熟語は二つとも好きですねI like these two words.
Peter: Really?
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: You know what Natsuko san?
なつこ: What?
Peter: I didn’t know them before today.
なつこ: Wow! So you are learning too.
Peter: Learning a lot with the series. Today as in each lesson, we are going to look at you. So Natsuko san personally approved these two.

Lesson focus

Peter: So let’s take a look at the first one.
なつこ: 大器晩成
Peter: A late bloomer, great talents mature late.
なつこ: Hmm 良い表現ですね
Peter: This is a really good expression. Let’s have it one more time nice and slow.
なつこ: たいきばんせい 大器晩成
Peter: Let’s take a look at the four characters that make up this phrase.
なつこ: 大
Peter: Big.
なつこ: 器
Peter: Container.
なつこ: 晩
Peter: Night.
なつこ: 成
Peter: Grow. So as usual, what we are going to do now is take a look at the two kanji compounds that make up the four character kanji compound if that makes sense. I think it will. Natsuko san,
なつこ: 大器
Peter: Which means a big container. The second two kanji character compound.
なつこ: 晩成
Peter: To take a long time to turn to something.
なつこ: So 大器晩成
Peter: So it literally means that to make a large container, it takes time. To make something very big, it takes time.
なつこ: Logical.
Peter: Right. And so people who are not remarkably talented when they are young, it takes time to improve themselves so they can finally be distinguished later in life and become a success.
なつこ: Uhoo…
Peter: All right. This is really good.
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: Now I see why you like it.
なつこ: See!
Peter: Now let’s find out how to use it.
なつこ: It’s usually used as a noun to say someone is 大器晩成だ
Peter: So someone is that type of person.
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: A late bloomer.
なつこ: It’s also used like 大器晩成型
Peter: And a type of a late bloomer.
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: Let’s take a look at a couple of sample sentences.
なつこ: はるきはまだ言葉を話さないねえ。彼は大器晩成なんだよ
Peter: Haruki hasn’t started speaking yet. Hah, he is a late bloomer.
なつこ: How old is Haruki I wonder.
Peter: That’s a great question but this could be a type of 社交辞令
なつこ: Oh of course.
Peter: You know, oh yeah he is a late bloomer.
なつこ: 使えますね
Peter: Okay what do we have next?
なつこ: 彼は大器晩成型だ。だって、25歳でプロ野球選手になったんだから。
Peter: He is a type of late bloomer because he became a professional baseball player when he was 25.
なつこ: Umm that surely is a late bloomer. 野口英世は普通の子供だった。偉い人は大器晩成型が多い
Peter: Hideyo Noguchi was an average child but many great men are late bloomers. さすがNatsuko san. As can be expected from Natsuko, this was a really good phrase.
なつこ: It’s also very useful.
Peter: I know. I can’t wait for #2. What do we have next?
なつこ: 単刀直入
Peter: To cut to the chase. To come right to the point.
なつこ: たんとうちょくにゅう 単刀直入
Peter: Let’s have a look at the first character.
なつこ: 単
Peter: Single.
なつこ: 刀
Peter: Sword.
なつこ: 直
Peter: Straightaway.
なつこ: 入
Peter: Enter. Single sword straightaway enter. That doesn’t sound like it’s going to be good.
なつこ: Right but it means good.
Peter: Okay. Now the original meaning is that a person with only one sword attacks the enemy in a straightforward way. So it’s come to mean, come right to the point without any introduction, remarks or greetings. Straight to the point, okay let’s have a look at the two kanji character compounds. The first one is
なつこ: 単刀
Peter: So one blade, one sword.
なつこ: 直入
Peter: Directly enter. Now how is this phrase used Natsuko san?
なつこ: It’s usually used with particle に
Peter: So it’s an adverbial phrase.
なつこ: Yes as in 単刀直入に言う
Peter: Get straight to the point. 今わかってきました
なつこ: 何が
Peter: なんでなつこさんがこの表現が好きです I understand why…
なつこ: Why…? At this point.
Peter: Well yes Natsuko san, you are a bit straight.
なつこ: I am sorry.
Peter: No it’s a good thing.
なつこ: Maybe too straight.
Peter: No it’s really good. Ah so this is how you say it. Okay and I think we have the perfect example sentence to clarify this point.
なつこ: Ah okay 単刀直入に言うよ。他に好きな人ができたんだ
Peter: I will get right to the point. I like somebody else.
なつこ: なんかToo straightforward, isn’t it?
Peter: ちょっとですね  It’s direct. Umm we have another really good example.
なつこ: 単刀直入に言って、それは出来ません
Peter: Well I will get straight to the point. I can’t do that.
なつこ: これもあまり使わないかも  Well you know, but I think this is a good example because you know, usually in Japanese, you don’t say it straightforward like this you know like それはできません. So it’s kind of like giving an excuse that I will be frank.
Peter: Yeah and it’s nice because it kind of like gives them a little time to prepare for the bombshell that’s coming.
なつこ: Right.
Peter: It’s kind of like a 話があります
なつこ: Oh
Peter: It’s the same expression in English. We have to talk. When you hear that you’d know something not good is coming.
なつこ: Right. Something not good usually follows this phrase.


Peter: Yeah. Okay Natsuko san, 有難うございます. These are really fun. I hope everyone is having as much fun as we are.
なつこ: Me too.
Peter: Because it’s really interesting to learn about the Japanese way of thinking and it’s a very important step for you to kind of change your way of thinking when you are trying to speak Japanese or communicate in Japanese and it’s something that once you can do will really help take your Japanese to the next level fast.
なつこ: Yes and I think it’s also very fun to find out how the kanjis are used. It’s like a puzzle.
Peter: Couldn’t agree more and inside the PDF, you can see them. Also you can see them if you click the center button of your iPod twice too. So that’s going to do for today.
なつこ: それじゃあまた


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