October 26th, 2009

man woman gun

Japanese Idiom

I have been struggling with an economics translation for a while and this is one of my final battles. I can't find the meaning of this idiom anywhere: 
黄信号状態が続きそうだ。

What is meant by a 黄信号 condition?  It's in the context of the economic recovery of several industries.

Thanks in advance, everyone!

ETA: I know the literal meaning, just wondering if there's an idiom attached to it. Thanks!

ETA2: Turns out it's an economic saying, not a Japanese one, like some of you said. We went over it in class today and the native Japanese students were just as baffled as I was.

by Maurice Sendak

Language shortcuts and easter eggs

My friends and I have a joke which we call Learn Chinese in 3 Easy Steps.
Step 1: You only need to learn two nouns, which are 东西 and 地方 (thing and place).
Step 2: The only verb you'll ever need is 做 (to do or make).
Step 3: If your Chinese teacher asks you any grammar question, the answer is 把. If that's wrong, the answer is 了.

Do you have any little jokes about the quirks of learning your preferred language or ways to make yourself understood in the simplest language possible?
Shoulder Mount

Hindi swear words?

I realize this is probably a long shot, but I figured I'd give it a go!

I recently went to see a play here in Japan which was set in an ancient Indian-esque country, and featured characters named Shiva, Vishnu, Nataraja, Parvati, among others--albeit with pretty much NO relation to said actual Indian notables.

One of the characters uttered a word that sounded like it was supposed to be an expletive a few times, but I have no clue what it might have been, and for all I know could've just been a random utterly innocuous Hindi word that the troupe thought sounded funny.

It sounded like "wakku" (ワック in Japanese, if you're familiar with the script), though once it definitely sounded like, "fakku" (so much so that my friend and I thought he was randomly screaming, "fuck me")--but that might've just been our English-speaking ears jumping to conclusions.

Anyone have any clue what he might be saying?
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