Saturday, October 19, 2013

Is She Pretty or Pitiful?!

Do you remember the difference between かわいい/kawaii/ and こわい/kowai/?
If not, check out my old post ; ) [Excuse me ma'am...]

This time I'm gonna tell you about another common mistake in Japanese.
It's about the difference between かわいい and かわいそう.

Once I wrote about what ~そう means. Look at *Japanese Word of the Day* in this post.
If you say "Aそう", it means "It seems/sounds/looks like A".

こわい(scary) → こわそう(seems scary)
優しい/yasashii/(kind) → 優しそう(looks kind)
おいしい(delicious) → おいしそう(looks delicious)
元気/genki/(fine) → 元気そう(seems fine)
大変/taihen/(hard) → 大変そう(seems hard)

Your friend looks very happy, and you'll ask him 元気そうだね、どうしたの?(You look happy, what's up?) =) Or he said he must work from early morning till midnight. Then you'll say 大変そうだね(That sounds hard).

Now, your friend showed you a picture of his girlfriend, who seems cute. What will you say?

Hmm... "cute" is かわいい in Japanese. And I should put そう to express "It seems"...
I got it! It's 「君(きみ)の彼女(かのじょ)、かわいそうだね!!」

The answer is ... NO!!!

If you say this phrase, you might rather make him angry.
Why? Because かわいそう means "poor" or"pity"!! So 君の彼女、かわいそうだね means "your girlfriend is pitiful". In this case, "かわいいね" is enough. Be careful!

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