Japanese Lessons

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Monthly Archives: January 2021

Happy New Year! あけましておめでとうございます!


Happy New Year!
Thank you very much for your continuous friendship and patronage.

Until 1949, we counted people’s age counting as 1-year old when they were born and after that they aged one year when New Year comes. So back then, everybody became one year older at the same time.

「あけまして」の「明(あ)ける」は英語(えいご)の”to open= 開ける(あける)”ではなく、”to end the duration”という意味(いみ)です。ですから、「明ける」= to end のは「新年(しんねん)」ではなく、「旧年(きゅうねん)」(= the old year) です。「新年(しんねん)明(あ)けましておめでとう(ございます)」は間違(まちが)いで、「明(あ)けましておめでとう(ございます)」か「新年(しんねん)おめでとう(ございます)」が正(ただ)しい日本語(にほんご)です。「あけましておめでとう」の本来(ほんらい)の意味(いみ)は、日本国民全員(にほんこくみんぜんいん)が無事(ぶじ)に歳(とし)を重(かさ)ねることができたので、「おめでとう」と言(い)ったそうです。
“akeru” means “to end the duration” and not “to open”. (Please note that kanji for “to end” is 明けるand “to open” is 開ける) . Therefore, what is ending is the old year and not the new year, so it is wrong to say “Shinnen akemashiteomedetoo(gozaimasu), and current Japanese is “Akemashiteomedetoo(gozaimasu)” or “Shinnen, omedetoo(gozaimasu)” .

「あけましておめでとう」を英語(えいご)では “Happy New Year!”と翻訳(ほんやく)されていますが、それは「新(あた)しい一年(いちねん)を迎(むか)えておめでとう!」と言(い)う意味(いみ)になりますね。

”Originally, “Akemashite omedetoo” meant “Congratulation on all of us to be able to get older in peace.” In English, “Akemashite omedetoo” normally translated into “Happy New Year!”, but it rather means, “Congratulation on reaching New Year!”

忘年会(ぼうねんかい) Year-end Party

Boonenkai (literally, “forget-the-year party) is an annual event held at the end of the year by an organization or a group of friends. The purpose of the party is to look back at the passing year and show their appreciation for the hardships to each other.
They also have Boonenkai in order to forget all the bad times that happened during the year and start fresh from the very beginning of next year. 

Many bonenkai parties are held at Izakaya (Japanese style bars), but I heard that some parties are held at restaurants where serves variety of fancy sweets as more female colleagues and friends started to attend to the parties these days. 

Due to the pandemic, I heard hat most of the companies in Japan didn’t hold Boonenkai last year. Lat year was a very difficult year for most of us. I hope we all appreciate people working on the front lines of the Pandemic, learn from this difficult year, and make a fresh start.