How to use なかなか (= nakanaka)

February 9, 2015 in useful phrases


NAKANAKA

Clyde:「僕、なかなかイケメンでしょ!」

= Boku nakanaka ikemen desho!

= Don’t think I am a fairly handsome guy?

NAKANAK2

Khloe: 「こんなかわいい猫はなかなかいないよ」♩

= Konna kawaii neko wa nakanaka inaiyo!

= I bet you can’t find a cute cat like me easily.

/ It is not easy to find a cute cat like me, you know!

Hello everyone!

Today we have these lovely guest teachers, Clyde-sensei and Khloe-sensei from the U.S.

They have been waiting to be guest teachers since last June.

お待たせしました。= Omatase shimashita. = Thank you for waiting!

*********

みなさん、はじめまして!= Minasan hajimemashite! = Nice to meet to you, everyone!

We are Clyde and Khloe! We can finally be your guest teachers. !onpu!

I hope our sister who has been studying Japanese can learn something in this lesson as well. :) 

Today we will teach you

:u:

!star! How to use なかなか (=nakanaka)

1) ★なかなか (=nakanaka) + adjective = fairly/ pretty/quite/rather/ very

We also use とても (=totemo), すごく (=sugoku) or かなり (=kanari)   for these meanings but

なかなか(=nakanaka)  is more moderate than these.

For example, the translation could be the same but when you see something really nice, you say

 :rrrr: It’s VERY nice!

:u:

Ex. とてもいいですね。

= Totemo ii desune.

Ex. すごくいいですね。(slightly more colloquial)

= Sugoku ii desu ne.

When you see something which is not quite reaching “VERY nice” level but fairly nice, you say

Ex. なかなかいいですね。

= Nakanaka ii desu ne.

= It’s pretty nice.

The kanji for なかなか  (=nakanaka)  is 中中 or 中々 but we usually use hiragana

As you can see the kanji 中  (=naka)

You describe something which is in between, not the best but not the worst either.

Also it sometimes adds the feeling that something was nicer than what you had expected.

 

Ex. なかなか面白い映画だった。

= Nakanaka omoshiroi eiga datta.

= It was quite an interesting movie.

Ex. この曲、なかなかイケてるね。

= Kono kyoku, nakanaka iketerune.

= This song is pretty cool.

*イケてる (=iketeru) is slang word for something cool.

Ex. 孝雄の彼女、なかなかかわいいね/ かわいいな

= Takao no kanojo, nakanaka kawaiine/ Kawaiina

= Takao’s girlfriend is pretty cute, isn’t she?

Note:

~かわいい(=kawaiine) for female speech

Ex. うちの子もなかなかしっかりしてきました。

= Uchi no ko mo nakanaka shikkari shite kimashita.

= My child is getting more mature.

 

Ex. この本、なかなか面白いよ。

= Kono hon, nakanaka omoshiroiyo.

= This book is fairly interesting.

!Anapple! From the first picture above:

Clyde:「僕、なかなかイケメンでしょ!」

= Boku nakanaka ikemen desho!

= Don’t think I am a fairly handsome guy?

 !to right! キリリ= Kiriri is a Japanese Onomatopoeia for something stiff,firm and slackless and also is used to describ someone “sharp

★It doesn’t always means “something is fairly good”. It emphasizes the adjectives which comes after “moderately” / Something is ~  more than you expected.

Ex. 「試験どうだった?」

= Shiken doudatta?

= How was the exam?

なかなか難しかった。」

= Nakanaka muzukashikatta.

= It was rather difficult.

Ex. Khloe先生はなかなか厳しい。

 = Khloe sensei wa nakanaka kibishii.

= Khloe-sensei is pretty strict. (more than I thought.)

2) ★なかなか(=nakanakano) +noun =some / quite a~/ fairly ~

Ex. 彼はなかなかの人物だ。

= Kare wa nakanaka no jinbutsu da.

= He is quite a person.

Ex. 彼女はなかなかの料理の腕前を持っている。

= Kanojo wa nakanaka no ryouri no udemae wo motte iru.

= She is some cook.

Ex. 私のお姉さん、なかなかの美人でしょ。

= Watashi no oneesan, nakanaka no bijin desho.

= My older sister is quite beautiful, isn’t she?

Ex. この車、なかなかの値段したんだ。

= Kono kuruma, nakanaka no nedan shitanda.

= This car was fairly expensive.

 :pika: Useful conditional pattern:

★(someone verb + たら+ なかなかのものだ

(someone  ni)verb+  tara + nakanaka no monoda.

= (If you let someone do something, he/she/they are pretty well. )

= Someone does something pretty well.

Ex. 彼に歌を歌わせたらなかなかのものだ

= Kare ni uta wo utawasetara nakanaka no monoda.

= He sings pretty good. / He is quite a good singer.

Ex. 私に料理をさせたらなかなかのものだよ。

= Watashi ni ryouri wo sasetara nakanaka no mono dayo.

= (If you give me a chance too cook, you will see my cooking is not bad. )

= I am quite a good cook.

Ex. この絵はなかなかの作品だね。

= Kono e wa nakanaka no sakuhin dane.

= This picture is something.

3)  When something is taking time/work more than you expected

Ex. ここまで来るのになかなか時間がかかった。

= Kokomade kuru noni nakanaka jikan ga kakatta.

= It took me longer time than I had expected  to get here.

Ex. なかなか苦労したけれどもついにレッスンができました。

= Nakanaka kurou shitakeredomo tsuini ressun ga dekimashita.

= I have had lots of difficulties but I finally made a lesson.

4) When you have troubles more than you think./ When things don’t work so easily

(You express a little frustration be by using なかなか(=nakanaka) becaues things don’t work out as you had expected.)

なかなか (=nakanaka) + verb  negative form.

Ex. 体重がなかなか減らない。

= Taijuu ga nakanaka heranai.

= It is pretty hard to lose weight.

Ex. マギー先生、なかなか日本語が上手になりません。どうしたらいいですか?

= Maggie sensei, nakanaka nihongo ga jouzu ni narimasen. Doushitara iidesuka?

= Maggie sensei, my Japanese’s hasn’t improved as much as I’d hoped. What should I do?

 :rrrr: Maggie : なかなか難しい質問ですね。

= Nakanaka muzukashii shitsumon desune.

= It is a quite difficult question, huh?

Ex. 仕事がなかなかはかどらない。

= Shigoto ga nakanaka hakadoranai.

= I can’t get my work done as I expected./ My work isn’t progressing as I expected.

Ex. なかなか準備ができないのでこちらで待っていて下さい。

= Nakanaka junbi ga dekinai node kochira de matteite kudasai.

= It is taking too time for preparation so please wait here.

Ex. 風邪がなかなか治らない

= Kaze ga nakanaka naoranai

= It is taking me a long time to get over my cold.

Ex. いい人がなかなか見つからない。

= Ii hito ga nakanaka mitsukaranai.

= It is not so easy to find the right man(woman).

Ex.新しい単語がなかなか覚えられない。

= Atarashii tango ga nakanaka obowaranai.

= It troubles me (more than I thought) to memorize new words.

Ex.なかなか手に入らないものほど、欲しくなるものだ。

= Nakanaka te ni hairanai mono hodo, hoshiku naru monoda.

= We tend to want  what we can’t have easily.

Ex. 煙草は体に悪いとわかっていてもなかなかやめられない。

= Tabako wa karada ni warui to wakatte itemo nakanaka yamerarenai.

= I know smoking is bad for health but it is not so easy to quit smoking.

Ex. 忙しくてなかなか休みが取れない。

= Isogashikute nakanaka yasumi ga torenai.

= I’ve been so busy that it is pretty difficult to take a vacation.

Ex.心の傷はなかなか消えない。

= Kokoro no kizu wa nakanaka kienai.

= It is not so easy to remove an emotional wound.

Ex. パーティーではなかなか普段では会うことができないセレブに会うことができた。

= Paatii dewa nakanaka fudan au koto ga dekinai serebu ni au koto ga dekita.

= I got to see some famous people who I don’t usually have a chance to to see.

Ex. 昨夜は興奮してなかなか眠れなかった。

= Sakuya wa koufun shite nakanaka nemurenakatta.

= I was so excited last night that I had difficulty in falling asleep.

 !greenapple! From the second picture above:

Khloe: 「こんなかわいい猫はなかなかいないよ」♩

= Konna kawaii neko wa nakanaka inaiyo!

= I bet you can’t find a cute cat like me easily.

/ It is not easy to find a cute cat like me, you know!

OK, that’s about it.

このレッスンは簡単でしたか?それともなかなか難しかったですか?

= Kono ressun wa kantan deshitaka? Soretomo nakanaka muzukashikatta desuka?

= Was this lesson easy or fairly difficult?

日本語を教えるのはなかなか楽しかったよ。

= Nihongo wo oshieru nowa nakanaka tanoshikatta yo.

= Teaching Japanese was  kind of fun.

 

maggie-senseiマギー先生より= Maggie Sensei yori = From Maggie Sensei

Clyde先生、Khloe先生、ありがとう!

= Clyde sensei and Khloe sensei!

= Thank you Clyde sensei and Khloe sensei!

もっと早くゲスト先生として迎えたかったのですが、なかなか長い時間がかかってしまってごめんなさい。

= Motto hayaku gesuto sensei to shite mukaetakatta no desu ga, nakanaka nagai jikan ga kakatte shimatte gomennasai.

= I wanted to have you as guest teachers earlier but I am sorry that it took a longer time than I had expected.

 

Special Note

This lesson is translated by Laura in Spanish.  I put the translation on my Facebook page.   *dated Feb.12th, 2015. Muchas gracias ,Laura, por todo el trabajo!