=”Yuutsu” to iu kanji wa kono you ni kakimasu!”
= This is how we write the kanji “Yuutsu” (melancholy).
= Sasuga, Maggie-sensei!
= “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” or “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.
= Sugoi desune.
= “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.
= Sasuga Maggie-sensei!
=“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 Ohtani hit a winning home run,
= Sasuga Ohtani dane.
= “Ohtani 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).”
= Madamada desu.
= “I am not good enough.”
in a very humble way.
But between friends, we might jokingly say,
= Atarimae desho.
= ”Of course.”
= ”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 ( = ゆううつ = 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!
= Watashitte sasuga desho!
= “I’m great, right?”
= Hai sasuga dato omoimasu.
= Yes, I think you’re great!
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