I don't understand this example sentence


I have a plan to go play pachinko with my guy friend.

Don’t the first kanji mean today? (Or is it konnichiwa guy-friend? :P). And then why is the kanji I learned to mean hit in there? I’m not sure if the translation is just loose or if I’m reading it wrong. If anyone could do a literal translation for me I would be grateful!

It starts out with 今日 (きょう), today is missing in the translation; 男友だち are the guy-friend(s) (should be plural?); and 打つ means a lot of things, including “doing [pachinko]”.

Something like:
Today, together with my bros there is a “go to do pachinko” plan.

Edit: the friends should also modify いく, so rather
Today, there is a “go to play pachinko together with my bros” plan.


Don’t they talk like this in English as well?


Indeed we can use “hit” to mean go somewhere. Although it’s not very common (in my opinion). And it’s mostly used for the gym (as per your example).

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It is not uncommon that english uses one verb for a set of actions, while japanese uses several. 打つ means to hit, but it also means to play pachinko apparently. Why? I don’t know much about pachinko, but the hitting action is probably somewhat related. I do however know a little bit about go. In a recent thread in the japanese only section of the forum Mami asked

And indeed, when you place the stones on the go board you do it in a smacking fashion and it makes a satisfying sound. So it makes sense to say “hit go” when you say “play go”. But according to
You could also use the verb for “to surround” when you say “to play go”. I don’t know how common this usage is, but it also makes sense because the purpose of the game is to use the stones to wall in territory and kill off the opponent by surrounding them.

I wonder how the japanese say “play pinball” or “play pool”…

An interesting little aside. Where I’m from in Australia we have a slang term for playing the slot machines (called ‘pokies’) where we say “Having a slap” e.g. “Shall we go for a slap?”


If you’ve ever heard the sound of a pachinko parlour, you’d know why the word “hit” seems appropriate!


Saying that 打つ = “to hit” is misleading, looking at jisho there are lots of meanings:

  1. to hit; to strike; to knock; to beat; to punch; to slap; to tap; to bang; to clap; to pound​
  2. to strike (noon, etc.); to sound (cymbals, etc.); to beat (a drum, etc.)​
  3. to beat (rhythmically, e.g. pulse, waves, etc.)​
  4. to move; to impress; to touch​
  5. to drive in; to hammer in; to put in; to inject​
  6. to type; to send; to transmit​
  7. to insert; to write in; to mark​
  8. to make (noodles, etc.); to prepare​
  9. to till (soil)​
  10. to sprinkle; to throw; to cast​
  11. to do; to carry out; to play; to perform; to engage in (gambling, etc.)​
  12. to pay (a deposit, etc.)​
  13. to visit (on a pilgrimage)​
  14. to line (a coat)​
  15. to bind (a criminal)

I would rather translate it as to perform a (possibly swift) hand action :smile:




博打=ばくち (gamble)
The origin meanings: 博 (dice) 打 (play gamble)

So, the verb 打つ can be used for gambling.
, etc.


Hmm, so is it just coincidence that Go also uses 打つ?

@tessberg I’ve literally never heard anyone use 囲む however Go is specifically 囲碁 or “surrounding Go” and there are other types of Go in existence (still now, but historically as well).

The true reason is not known, but people used to use Go for gambling.

I bet people did that with shogi too, but it’s not known why 指す is used for 将棋 either.

Ahh yea, cause if it was for the way people put the pieces down, you do Shogi pieces the same way as Go stones. But a lot of Shogi words are taken from Go.

I am new here, but one thing I noticed is that the mnemonics used to memorize the radicals are in English. While it works to memorize it’s meaning, it conditions your brain to think in English first then filter it to Japanese. It trips you up when Kanji have different way of sayings and meanings when combined with other Kanji. Perhaps if the mnemonics were in Japanese it could help with the confusions later and make the first week a lot more interesting than boring. This site should assume you got the reading of hirogana and katakana down. Just my opinion though. I mean as an English speaker, it always frustrates how Now and Day together is not Ima Nichi but Kyo. It makes no sense if your filtering it from a english foundation.

Say what now? English has nothing to do with the fact that 今(いま)+日(にち)=今日(きょう)in Japanese. @Baldjas

Radicals aren’t words, so who cares? You don’t need to ever just ‘think of them’.

Anyways, if you can understand this well enough to use them perfectly, then there’s a whole world of mnemonic devices in Japan for you to already read. :

「貸」 代+貝 「代わりに貝を 貸してくれ」
「貧」 分+貝 「分けた貝 貧しい人に あげましょう」
「貴」 中+一+貝 「中でも一番 貝が貴重」

It doesn’t make sense from a Japanese point of view either. That’s why it’s Ateji.


what I mean is that when I see the Japanese characters for Now and Day. I see them in english in my mind first then, I go ok that mean Ima and Nichi, Then I go, ok that is Kyo. Three steps. If I misstep somewhere that will lead me to the wrong meaning or saying. Thats just how my brain thinks.

Well, then why are you doing that?

The way the mnemonic is structured, you think of the meaning of “now + day” which is “today” and then there’s a reading mnemonic for that which has nothing to do with いま or にち.

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友達 can be used to talk about one friend or many friends, so the translation is correct.

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@syphus These are way too much for level 1 guy, but they are great. Do you have a recommended resource for them?