Welcome, curious minds, to the Language Detectives! Don your silliest hat, grab your best magnifying glass, and join on in!
Goal: exposing ourselves to more fun Japanese terms by answering the question: Does this word exist in Japanese?
Word: miezerregen (Dutch)
Meaning: a light but “dense” rain – the raindrops are tiny, but there is just so much of it that you’re soaked in no time
Equivalent found: Numerous! I’ll just list the top two
小雨 - light rain; drizzle
小降 り - light rain; drizzle
涙雨 - light rain; rain falling at a time of sadness
晴一時小雨 - clear, with brief light rain
Sometimes, there is no Japanese version of a word, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to learn!
Word: glimlach (Dutch)
Meaning: a closed-lipped smile
Equivalent found: None that this mediocre detective could turn up at this time!
Not equivalent but interesting words:
I was amused by the numerous different ways to talk about forced/insincere smiles:
愛想笑 い - insincere smile; ingratiating smile; forced smile
苦笑 い - bitter smile; wry smile; forced smile; strained laugh
作 り 笑 い - forced laugh; forced smile
苦笑 - bitter smile; wry smile; strained laugh; sarcastic laugh
And being in a funny situation where you have to suppress laughter is always fun, so I also took to:
含み笑 い - suppressed laugh; smile; giggle; chuckle
I think the myriad of nationalities represented here will mean we’ll see many interesting terms, both in Japanese and in many other languages! Idioms are fun, too!
think of a word/nuance/idiom – try to find the Japanese version of that word – have fun with other Japanese nuances (even if you can’t find the word you were looking for)!
I just did some searching on Jisho – not exactly world-class detective-ing. Feel free to share if you have other resources/ideas on how to go about sleuthing!