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さくら: さくらです。
Peter: Peter here.
さくら: 四字熟語
Peter: Lesson 16. Don’t Get Confident Until You Read This. Now Sakura san, what are we doing in this series?
さくら: We are taking a look at Yojijukugo which is
Peter: Japanese idiomatic phrases.
さくら: はい。
Peter: And we take a look at the four kanji characters that make up these phrases.
さくら: そうです。
Peter: To give you some insight into how Japanese people think. So today we have two great phrases as always. Always have the great phrases.
さくら: はい。

Lesson focus

Peter: The first phrase is
さくら: 油断大敵
Peter: Don’t get overconfident yet. Stay sharp.
さくら: ゆだんたいてき 油断大敵
Peter: Let’s take a look at the four kanji characters that make up this word.
さくら: 油
Peter: Oil.
さくら: 断
Peter: Severance.
さくら: 大
Peter: Big.
さくら: 敵
Peter: Enemy. Let’s take a look at the two two kanji character compounds that make up the four character kanji compound. The first two.
さくら: 油断
Peter: This literally means to run out of oil, for an oil lamp to run out of oil. And in turn it means.
さくら: To drop one’s guard or to be careless.
Peter: So if the oil runs out, it’s kind of your fault for not keeping the oil supply up.
さくら: そうですね
Peter: So to drop one’s guard. The second two kanji character compound is
さくら: 大敵
Peter: Arch enemy, great rival. So to be careless or let one’s guard down and an arch enemy, the forecast isn’t good.
さくら: そうですね
Peter: Let’s put them together.
さくら: 油断大敵
Peter: And it means your carelessness or dropping your guard would result in your failure in most cases or it is your enemy you should be most cautious about.
さくら: So 油断 is 大敵
Peter: Let’s take a look at the usage.
さくら: It’s often used as a warning phrase to caution against being careless or being overconfident such as in 油断大敵
Peter: Don’t be overconfident.
さくら: そうそうそう
Peter: Keep your guard up or in the context where you are talking about someone’s failure as a result of his or her carelessness, you can say
さくら: 油断大敵だ
Peter: You should have been more careful. Let’s take a look at some sample sentences. First we have.
さくら: 油断大敵!気を付けないとすぐに太るぞ
Peter: Don’t get overconfident yet, be careful or you will gain weight soon.
さくら: Huh.
Peter: So it seems like this person is just coming off a diet.
さくら: そうですね
Peter: And maybe look how good I look.
さくら: そうそうそうそう、油断大敵
Peter: Don’t get overconfident.
さくら: そう
Peter: Don’t buy that size 6 just yet or for guys 32. Okay what do we have next?
さくら: 油断大敵。勝敗は最後までわからない
Peter: Don’t get overconfident yet. You can’t tell the outcome of the game until it’s over.
さくら: Umm so if you are doing well and you think you have won, you can’t tell until the last minute.
Peter: Maybe we can kind of relate the phrase it ain’t over till it’s over.
さくら: In cases like this.
Peter: Where it’s a game.
さくら: Yes, yes そうですね
Peter: You know, oh it’s 10 nothing, we are going to win.
さくら: そうそうそう
Peter: Hey it ain’t over till it’s over.
さくら: Exactly.
Peter: 良いですね Okay and the last one we have
さくら: 痩せたのにまた太ってしまった。油断大敵だ
Peter: I succeeded in losing weight but I gained weight again soon. Idleness is the devil’s workshop. So here we have an equivalent metaphorical phrase in English. Idleness is the devil’s workshop.
さくら: そうですね
Peter: I should have been more careful and much like we took, it ain’t over till it’s over. This phrase can be adopted depending on the context and usage.
さくら: Yes.
Peter: Hmm seems like you can use it a lot and especially in spoken Japanese.
さくら: そうですね。油断大敵。油断大敵だよ
Peter: Don’t get overconfident, don’t get cocky. I like this one. This is like a pessimist’s. If you are a pessimist, you will probably use this phrase a lot.
さくら: そうか、そうですね
Peter: Right. Next we have,
さくら: 自画自賛
Peter: Self admiration, self applause. To talk of one’s own achievement or work.
さくら: じがじさん 自画自賛
Peter: Let’s take a look at the four characters that make up this phrase.
さくら: 自
Peter: One self.
さくら: 画
Peter: Picture.
さくら: 自
Peter: One self.
さくら: 賛
Peter: Praise. Let’s take a quick look at the two two kanji character compounds that make up the four character kanji compound and I think it’s going to be pretty self explanatory here.
さくら: そうですね。自画
Peter: One’s own picture.
さくら: 自賛
Peter: It means to write your own comments in the blank about your work and compliment on it. So to give yourself a self review.
さくら: そうですね。そうそうそう
Peter: Judge yourself. So we put it altogether and we get
さくら: 自画自賛
Peter: To praise oneself, to compliment oneself. This is similar expression.
さくら: 手前みそ
Peter: Which means to admire the taste of one’s own homemade meso. You are probably familiar with the meso soup and this kind of turned into.
さくら: To talk up one’s own work.
Peter: I think this is good but I have a feeling that the Japanese nuance is cocky.
さくら: そうですね。
Peter: Now let’s go over the usage. Sakura san,
さくら: It can be used as a suru compound verb 自画自賛する
Peter: And it means to compliment oneself on one’s own work or you can also say
さくら: 自画自賛になりますが
Peter: As kind of like a preemptive or a preliminary remark when you want to say something that sounds kind of like self admiration. I don’t mean to brag but…Okay let’s take a look at the sample sentences. Sakura san,
さくら: 妻は自分の料理をいつも自画自賛する
Peter: My wife always talks up her own cooking. Hmm not bad.
さくら: Not bad.
Peter: Next we have
さくら: 父は自分の撮った写真を自画自賛した
Peter: My father always praises or kind of brags about – can I say brag because brag is kind of a negative nuance to it.
さくら: そうですね。It can be used in that kind of way as well if you are talking in a negative way 自画自賛した. In that case, brag でねjust 自画自賛したis praising his own work.
Peter: So my father is always praising photos he takes and finally we have
さくら: 自画自賛になりますが、これは大発明だと思います
Peter: I don’t like to toot my own horn but I think it’s a great invention. I like these expressions.
さくら: そうですか
Peter: Pretty good expressions.
さくら: いつも自画自賛していますか


Peter: Yeah. そうんなことないですけど、でも I kind of like these. Okay again, stop by japanesepod101.com. Inside the PDF, you can see the characters and it’s very, very important to see the characters to kind of visualize what we are talking about in the lesson. See the characters and see their usage and see how this idiomatic phrase develops from the words and doing so would really help. After doing that, leave us a comment and we will get back to you letting you know if you used the phrase right, letting you know if it needs a little tweaking and we will be more than happy to correct it.
さくら: はい
Peter: So stop by, say hi and be sure to leave us a comment.
さくら: またね


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