(=”Yuutsu” to iu kanji wa kono you ni kakimasu!”)
This is how we write the kanji “Yuutsu” (melancholy).
“You are GREAT (as we all know), Miss Maggie!”
(=Sensei, “bara” wa dou kakun desu ka?”)
“Miss, how do you write “bara”(=rose) (in kanji)?”
See, Maggie-sensei can write any 漢字 (=kanjis) without any problems!
Today’s word is 「さすが」(= “Sasuga”) The Kanji for “sasuga” is 「流石」
流：nagareru/ryuu : to flow, stream
石：ishi/seki : stone, rock
“Sasuga” is 当て字 (=Ateji) phonetic equivalent
It means “wonderful” or “impressive” “admirable” as people expected.
When you see someone who almost always does a good job, accomplish something you can say,
「さすが！」(=Sasuga!) or「さすがですね！」(=Sasuga desune!) ”You are great!” as a compliment. The implication is that you are not surprised they did a good job, because they often do a good job. You are impressed, but you also expected them to do well. In your mind, they have a good track record.
When you put it in front of adjective, it makes it more powerful.
= “You are great! “
＝Sasuga ni sugoi desune.
(The reputation was true, I knew you were great but still ) ”You are great!”
It is one of the many difficult words to translate from Japanese to English. Let’s look at some more examples.
When you are impressed or want to flatter someone, you say 「さすが」 (=Sasuga)
Ex. 1 )
As you see Maggie wrote difficult kanji on the board.
=”Miss Maggie is great (as we know).”
It implies you knew Maggie is a great teacher but still you are impressed with her ability to write difficult kanji.
When we see Ichiro hit a winning home run,
=Sasuga Ichirou dane.
“Ichiro is a great player!”
（He made it as we had expected!)
It implies we all know that Ichiro is a great player and reliable. (true to be one’s reputation.)
(=Sasuga, Sekai ichi no pianisuto to iwareru dake atte kare no ensou wa subarashii.)
“As the world’s best pianist, his performance is just wonderful!”
（→His reputation as the world’s best piano player is deserved.)
♦さすが〜だけ（のことは）ある(=sasuga ~ dake (no koto wa) aru.) : As might be expected, Only ~ could have done this great job.
= Sasuga puro dake atte kanojyo wa tsuyoi.
(Since she is a pro) we had expected, she would be strong!
When a mother made a wonderful meal for her family,
＝Sasuga okaasan ryouri umai ne!
“I knew you are a great cook!”
=Odatete mo muda desuyo.
“Flattery will get you nowhere! “
•おだてる (= odateru) to praise, to brown nose
•無駄 (= muda) waste
＝Sasugani Rittsu hoteru wa sugoinaa…
“As we had expected from its reputation, The Ritz Hotel is great!”
Ex. ３ ) If you use it in a negative sentence, it means “even”.
＝Sasuga no Maggie-sensei demo machigaerun dane.
“Even (a great teacher) Miss Maggie made a mistake, huh?”
=Shitsurei na okyaku no taido ni sasugani itsumo teinei na tenchou mo koe wo aradateta.
Even the store manager — who is usually polite — raised his voice to a customer who had become rude.
=Sasuga no kare demo okusan wa kowai.
Even he is scared of his wife.
Ex. ４) Just to emphasize,
After all the hard work,
=Sasuga ni kyou wa tsukareta ne.
“(As we had expected) we got so tired today.”
(Usually we don’t get tired much but since we worked more than usual, we got so tired.)
Cultural Note : How do you respond when someone praises you saying 「さすが（ですね）」“Sasuga (desune)”
=Sasuga Katou san, Jouzu dane.
“Kato san does it great as always.“
加藤さん（＝Katou-san) would say,
=Sonna koto nai desu.
”That is not true.”
=Ie, zenzen umaku nai desu.
“No, I am not good at all.”
• 「いいえ、私なんて… 」
=Iie, watashi nante.
“No way, someone like me (is not good).”
“I am not good enough.”
in a very humble way.
But between friends, we might jokingly say,
= ”Leave it to me!”
OK, now let’s take a look at the picture above!
=~ wa dono you ni kakimasu ka?
How do you write ~?
=~ wa kono you ni kakimasu.
We write ~ this way.
Note : 憂鬱(=yuu utsu) (melancholy, gloom, depressed feeling) is one of the difficult 漢字(= kanji) that I bet many Japanese people can’t write.
ばら（バラ）rose is considered to be one of the most difficult 漢字(= kanji).
Do you want to try to write it?
Here you go!
「私ってさすがでしょ！」（＝Watashitte sasuga desho!) “Ain’t I great?”
はい、さすがだと思います。(=Hai sasuga dato omoimasu.) Yes, I think you’re great!