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Goin’ Japanesque!

5 Funny Japanese Internet Slang

Internet has completely become part of the Japanese lifestyle. Along with the spreading of the internet culture, it has given birth to various internet slang words. Out of the various internet slang words, we have selected a famous few that have been in use for a relatively long period of time. All of these words are used quite often on-line, but please do note that they are very casual expressions and are seldom used in formal situations.

 

Jitaku Keibiin: Home Security Guard

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It has already been over 10 years since the acronym NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) referring to people who do not work, became used very often. And from a certain time, the term “jitaku keibiin (home security guard)” started to spread on famous Japanese message board sites such as “2 Channel” as well as video-sharing sites to be used synonymously with the term NEET. 

Because those of NEET status would often stay at home and become socially withdrawn they have added a positive connotation to explain the status by saying that they were “actively guarding the safety of their homes”. As NEET are looked down on from society, this can be seen as an attempt to shed a different light on the NEET. (Of course it is just a joke made up by the internet community.)

Particularly on on-line video sharing sites, when the question “What is your occupation?” is asked, there is undoubtedly a certain percentage of people who reply “I guard my own home”. At times, even those who work diligently every day would use this term to get a few laughs; so you see it is a kind of funny internet slang.

 

Riajuu

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The term “riajuu” is an abbreviation of a Japanese phrase that means “A person who lives a fulfilling real life”. In particular, “ria” originates from “riaru”, the Japanese reading of “real” (i.e. the actual world vs the internet world), and “juu” comes from “juujitsu”, the Japanese word for “fulfilling”. This term is also said to have originated from “2 Channel” the major internet message board. It is said that the term originated around 2005 but now the term is used not only among the internet community but in actual conversation across many age groups.

This term often makes reference to those who have few friends and rarely leave the house, but in recent years people who are working too hard to take time for themselves have been using this term to express envy toward people who have a fulfilling work life balance and has time for both work and their hobbies.

However, it is seldom used simply as a negative term to judge others. It is often used as a term of envy and respect for the individual living the fulfilling life. The user of the term often uses it as a self-degrading joke.

 

Majiresu

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Majiresu refers to giving a very matter-of-fact or common response to a joke or a funny phrase, without picking up on the humor of the joke. In other words, it is to provide a “Majime (ernest)” of “Maji (serious)” “Resu (short for response)” to a mere joke. It is the kind of situation where the initial speaker would actually feel “yes, that was the obvious answer”.

Particularly for the online community, there is an unspoken rule that a joking statement should be responded with an equally joking or humorous statement. Thus providing the obvious majiresu would give the impression that you are unable to pick up on the vibe (kuuki ga yomenai). This situation may be a common experience that can be experienced in any culture.

 

Daretoku?

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This is an abbreviation for phrases like “Dare no Toku nimo naranai (It doesn’t benefit anyone.)” or “Sorewa Dare no Toku ni narunda? (So who is this going to benefit anyway?)”. This has also originated on a message board thread on “2 Channel”.   

It originally started with someone making a very direct call-out “who is going to benefit from information discussed on this thread?” directed at the starter of a thread that discusses information that most likely won’t be useful to anyone. Many users started using this phrase toward useless information and as more people started using the phrase, it gradually became popular as the abbreviated phrase “daretoku”.

Nowadays this phrase has spread to the common society and it is used as a joking reprimand for actions in real life that will not benefit anyone.

 

(Dou mitemo …. desu.) Hontoni arigato gozaimashita.

= (It is obviously …) Thank you very much.

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You surely know that “arigato” is a Japanese word that is used to express appreciation. However, the “arigato” used here contains a sarcastic connotation.

For example, say someone makes a claim, but from a third person’s perspective, the claim is obviously incorrect and it can only appear to be a different thing or situation, in which case this expression is used.

 

Example 1:
“Dou mitemo neko desu. Hontoni arigato gozaimashita.”
“(They are claiming that this is a cat but) It is a wolf no matter how you look at it. Thank you very much”

Example 2:
“Dou mitemo yuzai desu. Hontoni arigato gozaimashita.”
“(The individual claims to be innocent but) He is obviously guilty. Thank you very much”

 

Thus this “arigato gozaimashita” turns in to an expression of criticism or sarcasm to say “you are obviously wrong” or “thanks for making the extra effort to point out something incorrectly” toward an obvious lie or mistake. Particularly when the word “hontoni (seriously)” is used before “arigato” to strengthen the meaning, the more intense the expression of criticism.

The term “arigato” is originally a positive word in Japanese to express appreciation so this may feel confusing or difficult.

 

Summary

So there you have it. As mentioned previously internet slang in Japan has often originated from famous message boards like “2 Channel” or other video-sharing sites. A term someone may have casually used being picked up by the internet community and eventually spreading to the entire society; this is not a rare occurrence in Japan.

We would guess that there are funny internet slang words in your country as well. We would love for you to share them with us. Many Japanese are interested in internet slang of other countries.

Related Articles:
10 Trending Words of 2016 to Get Close with the Japanese
To Foreigners Learning Japanese: Teaching You Vocabulary as Versatile as Mayonnaise!

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