Turning Japanese 2: sutairu (スタイル), n (ん) at the end of a verb, jan (じゃん)

sutairu (スタイル)

Since I, errr, a friend ran across it when he saw some hentai recently, “sutairu” (Engrish for “style”) doesn’t translate to… well, “style.” Instead, it means “body figure” in 90% of cases. “ii sutairu” hence means “nice body,” not “nice style/sense of style.” You wanna remember this.

n (ん) at the end of a verb

If you ever encounter a verb in its negative stem bot only a “ん” at the end of it, it is indeed the negative form for it, but in Kansai dialect. Mostly, Kansai is considered delinquent-ish/cool and so you’ll come across Kansai dialect more often than you’d like to. Usually, the negative form of a verb in Kansai is negative-stem + へん (hen). So tabehen/asobahen/and so on. But that doesn’t sound as cool, but rather hen (haha… ha), and so it’s not often seen in light novels and the like. To begin with, the meaning behind all cool slang and stuff is to make Japanese quicker to speak. And “n” is quicker to say than “hen.”

jan (じゃん)

Now this knowledge might lead you to believe that “jan” is the Kansai version of “janai.” But that’s wrong. “Jan” is dialect/slang for “da/darou” (だ/だろう mostly the nuance is closer to “darou”). So if you run across “ii n jan,” it means “ii n darou” (“that’s fine, isn’t it?”). Now, I’ve forgotten which dialect it’s from, but I think it was the same that uses “ya” for “da.” But more on that another time.

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