I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means

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Today’s title comes from a great movie called “The Princess Bride”. Unfortunate twists keep getting thrown into the plan of criminal mastermind, Vizzini. Each time he squeaks out, “Inconceivable.”

Finally, the endearing Inigo Montoya voices his thoughts, “You keep saying that word… I do not think it means what you think it means.”

There is a word in Japanese, yappari (やっぱり), which I hear often, but wonder at its usage. I always thought it meant “as I expected”, but people often use it when the result of something was completely unexpected. I would hear conversations like this:

“Aren’t there going to be twelve guests today?”

“No, there will be two hundred guests.”

As I expected: two hundred guests.”

Originally I thought there were a number of arrogant, delusional people around, who would claim the result was expected even though they thought something different. More recently I have found that there are other meanings/uses of yappari. One use is “after all”.

I need to ask my Japanese teacher a number of questions about usage, but she will be taking vacation for O-bon next week, so it will have to wait.

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One Response to “I Do Not Think That Word Means What You Think It Means”

  1. novhard Says:

    I do not think it means what you think it means, in my language it means aku tidak mengerti apa yang kamu mengerti

    i am an indonesian
    if you wanna be my friend
    visit me at novhard.wordpress.com
    and write something in my guest book

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