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Tsugi wa … OMAE DA!

This made me laugh:

次は オマエダ

It’s a photo of an electronic display inside a train that provides passengers with information such as the name of the next stop. Here it says 次は オマエダ (tsugi wa Omaeda) to indicate that the next stop will be at Omaeda station (小前田駅) in Saitama prefecture.

However, since the place name is written in katakana instead of kanji, it can be read in two different ways.

The intended meaning:

次は 小前田 = tsugi wa Omaeda = “Next: Omaeda”

And the unintended threat:

次は お前だ = tsugi wa OMAE DA = “Next: YOU!”

Omae is a rather disrespectful way of saying “you” in Japanese. (Check Wikipedia for the meaning of da, if you’re interested). Furthermore, katakana is often used as a means of emphasis, similar to the use of italics or block capitals in English. So the sign could perhaps be translated as “YOU’RE NEXT, PAL!”.

This entry was posted in Humour, Photos, Translation and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Tsugi wa … OMAE DA!

  1. ALiCe__M says:

    This is wonderful. My Japanese is too basic to grasp such subtle humour, but thank you for explaining it all.

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Header image: Dusk falls over the harbour at Takamatsu (高松市), as seen from the top floor of the 30-storey Symbol Tower. Photo: Frank Gualtieri.

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