Let’s learn Japanese! New Japanese Saying and …my mistake as a native speaker

Hello!  Today it’s about Japanese language learning : new saying.

– and…even though you’re native speaker and you think you know your own language,  you still make mistakes…..

Let’s go!

My kind mother-in-law ( hej Kaja!) , she like to make Z happy. (Don’t all the grandparents?) She often asks me if I am missing anything for Z…. so I asked her to buy another pair of jeans that she bought.

But …. maaaan it’s not easy to describe clothes.
In my mind I was perfectly explaining but not to her.

So I digged a pile of laundry and there I found them,
showed to her —- bingo! The problem has been solve in 3 seconds.

ATTENTION! Don’t make a mistake like I did.

Before drawing this cartoon, I thought  HYAKUBUN meant 100 words….but I was wrong. It means 100 listening

The problem was, they are both same pronunciation, but different meaning.
Don’t you hate that when this happens?

Actually 100 listening is the same kanji as Newspaper,
directly translate to New Listening. = 新聞。

So yeah, be careful with that part.
it doesn’t mean 100 words words but 100 times listening. 

I’m Japanese but there are still a lot of things I didn’t know about my language….

Let’s continue to study together, eh?

Does your country have the same saying?


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  1. Matthew says:

    HELLO Koko!

    I come from Hong Kong and i have really enjoyed your cartoon. Your days in Denmark and your sharing about japanese culture is very fascinating.

    May i explain a bit about this particular phrase, I believe its origin is coming from traditional chinese saying.

    The original saying is ”百聞不如一見“, which when it is translated into other languages, means “Seeing something for real is better than hearing about it”. In local culture, this is commonly used when we go to trips and see a famous attraction (e.g. 八坂神社 in kyoto) then we say “百聞(hearing/ knowing a hundred times) 不如(not as good as) 一見(seeing one time)”.

    It may help to know that “聞” in Chinese is “listening”, which is quite equivalent to the pronunciation in kanji (ki) (sorry i just use jisho.org to make sure about it ^_^’ ). The same word in chinese also carries the meaning of “knowing”, which is equivalent to the other kanji pronunciation (bun). it might be helpful to know that “新聞” is also in chinese, which can be understood as “new understanding/ new information”.

    so there you go, 百聞は一見にしかず/ 百聞不如一見

    I dont know if other readers would have told you this, but I hope it helps you! ⋯⋯^ – ^ i’m also starting to learn japanese and your blog really helps a lot!



    • Koko says:

      Matt! Thank you so much for your time to describe! We, Japan had adapted kanji from China, so I think A LOT OF the proverbs we use originally from China – big sensei desu ne! I can recognize a lot of them (but not all ^^;) Like, you hear so many things about Hong Kong, how vibrant it is, and you finally understand when you actually see it!! Glad also that you’re learning Japanese, as you know I’m getting into teaching my little son, so there will be more to see it!