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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 21. Japanese That Hits the Mark Every Time. I think this is a really good kind of translation of the first phrase we are going to look at, you know?
なつこ: Ah I see, yes.
Peter: Kind of playing on that one.
なつこ: Uhoo.
Peter: Now for those of you who are new to this course, this course is a 25-part series and inside this course, we introduce
なつこ: Yojijukugo.
Peter: Japanese idiomatic phrases and it’s very important because there are four kanji character compounds.
なつこ: Yeah.
Peter: Four kanji lined up. From it, you can draw an idiomatic phrase. So understanding these can help you understand the Japanese way of thinking.
なつこ: Yes it’s more into culture and not only the language.
Peter: It’s a really nice mix and the best part about it is that, this is no matter what level you are, this is perfect.
なつこ: Yes.

Lesson focus

Peter: Okay let’s take a look at the first phrase.
なつこ: 百発百中
Peter: To hit the mark every time. Every prediction comes true. Break it down.
なつこ: ひゃっぱつひゃくちゅう 百発百中
Peter: Let’s take a look at the characters one by one. First character,
なつこ: 百
Peter: 100.
なつこ: 発
Peter: Counter for gunshots.
なつこ: 百
Peter: 100.
なつこ: 中
Peter: Center. Let’s take a look at the two two character kanji compounds. First two character kanji compound is
なつこ: 百発
Peter: 100 gunshots.
なつこ: Not only gunshots but maybe like shooting arrows.
Peter: It’s interesting you mentioned that. I am thinking of arrows too.
なつこ: Yes because this word I think goes back to days before the invention of guns.
Peter: さすがNatsuko san. I couldn’t agree more and I was going to try to point that out in a minute but it’s very interesting.
なつこ: Yes. Usually in these days, we use it for gunshots but you can use this letter はつ or ぱつ in more other occasions.
Peter: So maybe in a couple of hundred years, it will be 100 laser shots or something like that.
なつこ: Like Star wars?
Peter: Okay. Second two kanji character compound.
なつこ: 百中
Peter: To make 100 gunshots hit the mark or maybe we should just say shots, to make 100 shots hit the mark. Now, put them altogether, we have
なつこ: 百発百中
Peter: Literally it means every time someone shoots an arrow or a gun, he or she hits the mark or can hit the mark and it’s also come to mean Natsuko
なつこ: Every prediction that someone makes comes true. Wow, superman.
Peter: Now this phrase originated during a historical event in China where an expert archer shot a bow at a leaf.
なつこ: At a leaf!
Peter: How many times Natsuko san?
なつこ: A 100 times?
Peter: And how many times did it hit the mark?
なつこ: 100 times.
Peter: すごくない
なつこ: すごいね
Peter: Let’s talk a little bit about the usage. Now this is usually used when you succeed in predicting something. Natsuko san, such as calling
なつこ: A horserace.
Peter: Your specialty or knowing kind of what questions are going to be on an exam, what can you say?
なつこ: 百発百中だ
Peter: So I called it, how would you say I called the horserace?
なつこ: 私の競馬予想は百発百中だ
Peter: So I always hit the mark when it comes to picking the ponies.
なつこ: Right いってみたいですね
Peter: Let’s take a look at the sample sentences and then we will kind of discuss how often this is used. What do we have first?
なつこ: ひろしのシュートは百発百中だ
Peter: Every time Hiroshi shoots, he scores a goal. He can score a goal.
なつこ: この占いは百発百中だ
Peter: This fortuneteller is always right. Next
なつこ: 彼のテスト問題の予想は百発百中だ
Peter: He always predicts the answers to every question on an exam.
なつこ: So it means 100% right.
Peter: It’s really interesting.
なつこ: Yes a 100/100.
Peter: Now Natsuko san, how often do you use this phrase? Is it not that much, once in a while? If you said it, would it be out of context?
なつこ: I think it’s used when you are really impressed or you know, really surprised. It’s really exaggerating, the achievement.
Peter: I guess you could use it kind of like a joking way as boasting.
なつこ: Maybe.
Peter: I am always right.
なつこ: Like that.
Peter: Like 僕の予想は百発百中
なつこ: Hmm that maybe sounds like 半信半疑
Peter: Ah!
なつこ: Ah!
Peter: なるほど
なつこ: The previous lesson.
Peter: Okay very nice Natsuko. Okay let’s take a look at the second phrase.
なつこ: 無理難題
Peter: Impossible demand, unjust proposal.
なつこ: むりなんだい 無理難題
Peter: Let’s take a look at the individual characters. First one,
なつこ: 無
Peter: Nothing.
なつこ: 理
Peter: Reason.
なつこ: 難
Peter: Difficult.
なつこ: 題
Peter: Topic. The first two kanji character compound is
なつこ: 無理
Peter: Without reason. The second two character kanji compound is
なつこ: 何代
Peter: Difficult problems. So put it all together
なつこ: 無理難題
Peter: Impossible and unreasonable demand. Now it’s used to indicate problems that you know are impossible to solve from the beginning or conditions that are unreasonable and you can never accept. Let’s talk a little bit about the usage. Natsuko san, how do we use this?
なつこ: 無理難題を言う
Peter: To make an impossible demand, to make an unjust proposal.
なつこ: As in だれだれは、だれだれに、無理難題を言う
Peter: So someone made an impossible demand to someone else.
なつこ: We also use ふっかける
Peter: And that’s also a set of phrase that means to make an unreasonable demand on someone, someone.
なつこ: So like 無理難題をふっかける
Peter: Okay. First sample sentence we have
なつこ: このクライアントはいつも無理難題をいう
Peter: Sounds very familiar. This client always makes unreasonable demands on us. Next we have
なつこ: 最近の親は先生に無理難題をふっかけてくる
Peter: Recently, parents have been making unreasonable demands of teachers and finally,
なつこ: 僕はホームランを打てと言われたが、それは無理難題だ
Peter: I was told to hit a home run but that’s an impossible request for me. Natsuko san, how about this phrase? Do we use it quite a bit or?
なつこ: Yes I think so but usually in a daily conversation, we use the word 無理 very frequently.
Peter: All the time.
なつこ: Uh all the time right like saying impossible or I can’t do that and this 無理難題 is like far more 無理than the usual 無理
Peter: Believe it or not, that made sense. And you know, what’s funny for me hearing it, it kind of sounds like I am so used to hearing 無理難題を
なつこ: I see. 無理なんだい
Peter: Yeah 無理難題
なつこ: Right but the word is different. It sounds like that.
Peter: Similar. Of course the 無理 Natsuko san was talking about and the 無理難題.勉強になりました Again, check out the PDF. Now for advanced listeners, what’s really, really interesting for you, what maybe a really great study technique for you is try to think about the kanji when you hear us break it down and you hear the characters. That’s like the ultimate test. Try to guess the kanji. Then check it out in the PDF.
なつこ: Yeah that might be interesting. It’s like a game.
Peter: Yeah and for beginners, this is a very nice stepping stone to kanji sometimes even before learning to read them, just understanding the meaning is very, very important too because when I learned Kanji, I had to learn it twice. First I learned the reading just so I didn’t look foolish in class.
なつこ: Hah!
Peter: So I could get through a sentence and then I’d have to go back because I didn’t really understand the meaning.
なつこ: Right yeah.


Peter: So this is a great chance for you to get familiar with the meanings through the PDF and the kanji close up. All right, that’s going to do it for today.
なつこ: それじゃあまた


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