Talking like a highschool girl

Good morning everyone,

It looks like we can expect mostly nice weather to last through the week-all the way till Sunday when we may see some rain again. Highs all week will continue to remain around 30C.

When it comes to setting trends in Japan, Japanese schoolgirls have been leading the way for years, creating a boom in demand for mobile messaging and photo sharing apps like Line and Snow, and even inventing their own vocabulary of hip slang words to communicate with while using them.

With the new slang frequently popping up in everyday conversations, if you’re not a Japanese student, chances are you won’t understand half of what’s being said around the schoolyard these days, I'm here to give you a lesson in schoolgirl talk.

Some of the JK terms used include “Ma?“, which stems from the phrase “Maji de?” which translates to “Seriously?” and “Maji Man“, which adds the abbreviation for “Manji” – the counter clockwise or left-facing swastika symbol (卍) commonly seen at Japanese temples – on the end.

School students use the word “manji” or “man” in a number of different ways: it can be used to describe someone who’s naughty and mischievous, in a sentence like “Ano hito manji da yo ne” (“That guy’s a manji”), or used as an exclamation, when shouted out like “Manji!!!“.

The phrase “Maji Man!” is translated as “Shinjerarenai!” or “I can’t believe it!“, as the “man” exclamation at the end adds extra emphasis to the disbelief inherent in the word “Seriously?”

Not only are kids using the left-facing manji swastika in conversation and in text messages, they’re also using it when posing for photographs, with people positioning their arms and legs to resemble the manji symbol.

The same sense of exclamation and excitement is expressed with the pose, which many believe got its start from the wild movements of Sabotender/Cactuar and Jabotender/Giant Cactaur from the Final Fantasy video game series.Another slang word used in the clip is “Staren”, which comes from “Stamp Renda”, meaning “Stamp Barrage”, and “Stabaku”, which is an abbreviation of “Stamp Bakuhatsu” or “Stamp Explosion“.

Other notable JK vocabulary used frequently in messaging includes:

Ometan = Tanjoubi Omedetou = Happy Birthday

Ri = Ryoukai = Understood/Roger

Ten Age = Tension Agaru = Amp up the tension/Get excited

Amore = I love you

NHK = Ni no ude, Hippate, Kiss = Upper arm, Pull in, Kiss

Imifu = Imi Fumei = ambiguous/cryptic

Wanchan = One chance

According to a survey conducted by Line, more than 80 percent of teenage users understood the expressions “Imifu” and “Wanchan“, closely followed by “Manji” (卍) “Ten Age” and “Staren“, suggesting these are the most commonly used terms amongst high school students.

There is also a new phrase, “Wanchan Wandoki“, which translates to “One Chance One Fast Beat (of the heart)“, and refers to the way your heart pounds when you receive a “Wankiri” or “One-ring” on the phone from your crush. One-ring is usually performed when exchanging numbers for the first time so you can register the new number on your phone.

So next time you want to prove you’re cool at school, don’t forget to wish your friends “Ometan” and create some “Ten Age” with “Staren” text messages. Chances are you might receive an “Imifu” in reponse, though, so if you really want to brush up on the lingo, check out the top 10 buzzwords used by Japanese high school girls in 2016 that I wrote about last year...just don't ask me which day.

Have a great day!


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