Today my Superintendent dropped 親孝行 in a conversation, which also happens to be the first word I didn’t firmly know the English equivalent for and had to look up. I never thought I’d ever have to use it, let alone in conversation, yet here we are. Don’t take WaniKani’s vocab system for granted.
We all know those words that pop up and we think, "wut."
Whether it’s because a coworker
was snooping happened to see your studies over your shoulder, someone makes a fool of you publicly kindly points out the word you just used in conversation isn’t the best way to convey what you mean (althought still technically correct), or even those times when WaniKani completely makes up words introduces you to a new English word (native speakers and non-natives alike).
親孝行/おやこうこう: Filial piety.
Even as a native speaker, this one threw me. It was my first time encountering a word I had to look up in a dictionary. I had an idea of what it meant, and I knew I’d learned it before at some point, but I was only about 60% sure.
Well, today it happened. I went to deliver some Omiyage to my supervisor at the Town Hall and ended up having a conversation about my trip with my parents (the source of said Omiyage). Near the end of the conversation my (admittedly older) Superintendent of the municipality I teach for said something about おやこうこう and I regrettably didn’t catch all of it because as soon as that word dropped, my brain started racking trying to remember what it meant. It certainly sounded familiar, but damn what was it?? About the same time my (younger) Supervisor was searching her phone’s dictionary while muttering something about it being such a rare word to the Superintendent, I remembered! Filial piety!.. Wait, he really just used that word?
I then explained that even in English, that word doesn’t come up super often and may not always be immediately recognized (I can’t even think of another case where either of those words would be used individually off the top of my head).
All that to say, WaniKani might teach you some weird words, sure, but to all the people pointing them out to you (and while we should be grateful that they do, if speaking naturally is a goal of yours, regardless of if it’s unwarrented or the millionth time it’s happened), they do still know the word and who knows? You may just use it some day.
Feel free to share your own stories like this in the replies, if you have them! I’m sure some people would love reassurance that even when it can feel like it, vocab here is definitely solid.