Japanese of the Week

I didn't get a chance to do this last week, so rather than try to pass off the translation of the Cyril card trick as one, I'll just do two this week.

一寸 (chotto) adv,int. - just a minute; short time; just a little; hey!

It's very rare to see this printed in kanji, honestly. Much more likely is to see it as ちょっと (in hiragana). Really, chotto is one of those incredibly common words... which brings to mind a sensei-ism. "Chotto is almighty."

To explain, chotto is the word you use to trail off a sentence rather than coming right out and saying something. The power, or, should I say, the almightiness, of it is that it spares the speaker of the need to offer a real explanation... at least, as a matter of Japanese. I'm not even sure of the level of verbal gymnastics that would be required to get around chotto in a polite setting.

Oh, on a note related to the language, I found that while I cannot copy/paste directly from JWPce into the Blogger compose box, I can circumvent it by going from JWPce to Notepad to the compose box. (Note that this requires your computer to have support for Japanese characters.)

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