Cool Passive Phrase – やられた!

I have an article in The Japan Times today, this time about the passive tense in Japanese. After introducing a couple of phrases that helped me understand how the passive tense works in Japanese, I discuss Murakami’s amazing sentence from his Mediterranean travel diary, which I examined during Murakami-palooza 2008. My translations then and now are slightly different. What do you think? The new one is a bit smoother.

I also talk about the awesome phrase やられた! as an example. I highly recommend using this exclamatory phrase as frequently as possible. It will earn laughs, especially in situations where you aren’t really that やられたd.

If, however, this happens:

Then you have truly been やられたd. That image is one of the results of a Google Images search for やられた.

3 thoughts on “Cool Passive Phrase – やられた!

  1. Nice article !

    Regarding the translation in the article, I might choose an alternate translation to the Murakami quote, \おっぱいを出すのも勝手なら、出されたおっぱいを見るのも勝手である\.

    \If it’s fair for one to exposes their breasts for their own benefit, then it’s fair for others to also benefit by seeing those exposed breasts.\

  2. Dave – Nice attempt at translation. I think you’ve overtranslated 勝手 just a wee bit, though. I don’t think it necessarily implies “benefit.” I always equate 勝手 with 適当, which one of my commenters here mentioned: http://howtojaponese.com/2009/11/18/cool-compound-tekitouni/#comment-3155 It implies a right or prerogative rather than a benefit.

    Blue Shoe – Exactly…that’s exactly what やられた literally means. Which is why “I’ve been had” is a helpful way to think about it.

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