【道 / 道路（みち / どうろ）】”MICHI / DŌRO”
(Michi ni mayoimashita.)
- 「迷う (まよう / mayou)」 on its own has the meaning of getting lost, but if you say 「道に迷う (みちにまよう / michi ni mayou)」, the meaning becomes clearer.
- Especially when a child gets lost, we say 「迷子 (まいご / maigo)」(“a stray child”). The verb is 「迷子になる (まいごになる / maigo ni naru)」(“to be a stray child”). If your child got lost, you could say 「子供が迷子になりました (こどもがまいごになりました / kodomo ga maigo ni narimashita)」to the police or staff and they would understand.
- 「迷う (まよう / mayou)」 is also a verb to use when you can’t decide which one to choose. For example, when you are in a cake shop, and there are so many delicious-looking cakes that you can’t decide, you say 「どれにしようか迷う (どれにしようかまよう / dore ni shiyouka mayou)」(“I can’t decide what to choose.”).
- 道（みち）: road
- 迷う（まよう）: to get lost, to be puzzled, not to be able to decide (choose)
- 道に迷う（みちにまよう）: to eat
(Shingō ga ao ni natte kara watarimashō.)
“Cross the street after the light turns green.”
- We call green light “青信号 (aoshingō / “blue light”). This is a remnant of the old days when all cold colors were called blue. In ancient times, the only words for colors were red, blue, white and black, and these four colors were used to express the saturation and lightness of colors.
Other things that are green are sometimes described as blue. Here are some examples:
- 青りんご（あおりんご）: green apple
- 青じそ（あおじそ）: green shiso (perilla) *Japanese basil herb
- 青葉（あおば）: fresh green leaf
- 青虫（あおむし）: green caterpillar *Especially caterpillars of the cabbage white butterfly
- 信号（しんごう）: traffic light
- 青（あお）: blue
- なる: to be, to become
- ～してから: after […]
- 渡る（わたる）: to go accross, to cross
(Ōdanhodō no hantaigawa ni posuto ga arimasu.)
“There is a post at the other end of the crosswalk.”
- Crossing at a place that is not a crosswalk (jaywalking) is a violation of the Road Traffic Law. You will not be arrested unless you do something terrible, but there are many accidents caused by jaywalking, so please cross at the crosswalk as much as possible.
- A Japanese postbox looks like the illustration below. (Occasionally, there are also old-fashioned round pillar-shaped posts). There are one or two mailbox slots, and if there are two slots, the one on the left (the one with the red letters) is used for thin letters and postcards, and the one on the right (with blue letters) is for other large mail and thick letters. The pickup time is also written on the side of the post.
- 横断歩道（おうだんほどう）: crosswalk
- 反対（はんたい）: opposite, reverse, contrary, con (of “pro and con”)
- ～側（がわ）: […] side
- 反対側（はんたいがわ）: the opposite side
- ポスト（ぽすと）: postbox, mailbox
- ある: there is […], there are […], to be
(Nihon no jūtakugai ni wa ippōtsukō ga takusan aru.)
“There are many one-way streets in residential areas in Japan.”
- If you drive in Japan, you should pay attention to the sign in the photo below. It means a one-way street, and you can only go in the direction of the arrow. This is especially seen in residential areas, and once you enter the area, it can be difficult to go in the direction you want to go.
- 「住宅 (じゅうたく / jūtaku)」 is a formal word for house. It is not used in everyday conversation or when talking about your or your listener’s home.
- 日本（にほん / にっぽん）: Japan
- 住宅（じゅうたく）: residence, house (very formal way of saying)
- 住宅街（じゅうたくがい）: residential area
- 一方通行（いっぽうつうこう）: one-way
- たくさん: many
- ある: there is […], there are […], to be
(Go to zero no tsuku hi wa, jūtai ga ōi to iwareteiruyo.)
“It is said that there are a lot of traffic jams on days with 5 and 0.”
- Especially in the Kansai region, the days with 5 and 0 are called “Gotobi” (“go” is five, “to” is ten, and “bi” is day) and are recognized as the days with the most traffic jams. This is said to be due to the fact that in the Kansai region, where there have always been many merchants, deliveries and payments were made on days with 5 and 0.
- 0 is 「零 (れい / rei)」 in Japanese, but in everyday conversation, we usually say 「ゼロ (ぜろ / zero)」 like in English. To say a postal code, apartment number, or phone number, we also say 「まる (maru)」 (まる means a circle). For example, for room #308, we say 「308号室 (さんまるはち ごうしつ / san-maru-hachi gōshitsu」.
- つく（付く）: to be attached, to stick, to be with *つく in other kanji have different meanings.
- 日（ひ）: day
- 渋滞（じゅうたい）:heavy traffic
- 多い（おおい）: many, a lot
- 言う（いう）: to say
- ～と言われている（といわれている）: to be said, it is said that […]
(Rōtarī kōsaten ga fuetekita.)
“Roundabouts (circular intersections) are increasing little by little.”
- The number of rotary intersections in Japan has been increasing little by little to ” reduce vehicle accidents” and “ease traffic congestion”. The station in front of my house has been converted to a rotary intersection.
- I was very confused at first because the direction of traffic was the opposite of the roundabout I used to drive through when I lived in the US. Please be careful if you are from a country where vehicles drive on the right side of the road. In Japan, vehicles drive on the left.
- 交差点（こうさてん）: intersection, junction
- ロータリー交差点（ろーたりーこうさてん）: roundabouts, circular intersections
- 増える（ふえる）: to increase
(Kono tōri wa mukashi shōtengai datta.)
“This street used to be a shopping district.”
- 「通り (とおり / tōri)」 can be used for many kinds of roads, such as streets, avenues, boulevards, passageway, etc.
- Although the number of shopping streets is decreasing due to the rise of large commercial facilities, the ones that survive today are recommended for both tourists and residents to enjoy both quaint old Japanese stores and modern, fashionable new stores.
For more about Japanese shopping streets, please read the article below.
Stroll Shotengai (Shopping Streets) in Tokyo
- この～: this […]
- 通り（とおり）: street
- 昔（むかし）: in the old days, a long time ago, in the past
- 商店街（しょうてんがい）: shopping street (district)