「さすが!」( = Sasuga!)




=”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

nagareru/ryuu : to flow, stream

: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.

For example


= 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.

Ex. さすが、プロだけあって彼女は強い。

= 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.”


= 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.”


= Makasete.

= ”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!

→ 薔薇


frenchbulldogマギー先生より  ( = Maggie sensei yori) From Maggie-sensei


= Watashitte sasuga desho!

=  “I’m great, right?”


= Hai sasuga dato omoimasu. 

 Yes, I think you’re great!





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      1. Hi! Thanks for the fast reply. Can you use さすが and じゃない together at all? I saw いやいや、全然、さすがじゃないですよ before, but I’m not sure if that’s wrong.

        1. Ah OK,
          If you use さすが as a quote you can say さすがじゃない
          (to make it clear I will put ” ” and other examples)

  1. *raises a hand*I have a question sensei!!
    so an average Japanese person, how many kanjis would they know?
    and, in everyday life, do most Japanese use kanjis when typing (like on the cell phone and computer) or do they actually hand write a lot?? The non student Japanese people of course^^ Cause when you type kanjis pop up and it’s not that hard, but writing them… ちょっと難しいね・・・

    1. @Aki
      Well, I just checked it.
      We are supposed to know at least 1600 kanji by the time when we graduate from junior high school and almost 400 more kanji for high school students. So more or less 2500 kanji you should know, I think.
      But it doesn’t mean we all can write kanji. You are right. Since we depend on computer or cellphones too much when we write, we don’t and we tend to forget how to write them. We have a couple of games shows on TV where people compete the knowledge of Kanji. It’s crazy! You will laugh!

      1. haha, I really wanna go to japan!! every day I want it a bit more >.<
        BTW sensei, could you explain to me the use of kanji 「方」?

  2. 薔薇 most people wouldn’t use that right its very hard to read i like it though!! 憂鬱 ahh that one is hard to read can you read it that small ゆかり先生 people wouldn’t write this right? or do they?? if i saw this i think my head would explode…

    1. drewbingen-san,

      Don’t worry! We can read them but if we have to write them, our heads would explode as well!
      The more we use a computer or a word processor, the more we forget kanjis.
      So that is why Maggie-sensei is GREAT!
      There are a couple of popular quiz shows where people compete to read or write kanjis in Japan.
      「ヘキサゴン」(=Hexagon) is one of them. You will be surprised to see many of おバカタレント (=Obaka tarento) (a kind of cute way to call “stupid TV personalities” can’t read even easy kanjis. And it is a fun program!

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