Talk Like A Samurai Katajikenai for reading this.

    It seems as though bushido, i.e. "the way of the warrior," is getting pretty popular amongst several (mostly otaku) groups in Japan. Not only are people speaking like Samurai – using Samurai grammar, vocabulary, etc., but people are starting to "act like them" as well.

    Here's a quote from Japan's Weekly Playboy (2/18):

    "Samurai are supposed to be strong, quiet types, right? So they sit there with their arms folded, saying nothing. After about an hour, they'll come over and pay, handing out their cash without showing their wallets. A modern wallet wouldn't match their image. The otaku girls in (the Tokyo shopping district of) Akihabara really like these guys."

    Supposedly, a lot of Japanese are trying to return to their roots; trying to regain that "Japanese uniqueness." Samurai movies, video games, and comics are currently very popular. More people are wearing kimonos out in public. Even a new magazine devoted solely to the concept of bushido came out at the beginning of this year. Although I'm not sure if this fad is to last, or make any impression on normal Japanese language, I thought that it would be fun to learn a little bit of Samurai lingo just in case. So, if you want to impress your Japanese friends (or give them something to laugh about), click on, friend, click on.

    です ー> でござる

    Definition: It is – are

    Everyone knows "desu," right? No matter what you're saying, if you switch desu to degozaru, you're already half way there. Degozaru is one of the main differences between normal Japanese and feudal, Samurai Japanese. You can also replace degozaimasu, da, and any other version of desu with degozaru. Give it a try!

    おはようございます ー> おはようでござる

    Definition: Good Morning!

    Good morning! As you can see, the first part is the same (ohayou). The only part that is different is the degozaimasu which changes to degozaru. Easy!

    こんにちは/こんばんは ー> ご機嫌いかがでござるか?

    Definition: Good Afternoon – Good Morning

    So basically, if you want to greet someone, you use gokigen ikaga degozaruka. It's sort of asking "are you in a pleasant mood?" 麗しゅう

    元気ですか? ー> 達者でござるか?

    Definition: How are you?

    "Tasshya degozaru ka" means the same thing as "genki desu ka," it's just a different set of words. As you can probably guess, tasshya means "in good health" and degozaruka is the "are you" bit of things.

    Verb 〜ます ー> Verb 〜まんねん

    Definition: n/a, these are just masu verbs

    When you're using verbage like a samurai, you gotta change the masu to a mannnen. I don't think this means anything in particular (besides ~masu); it's just one of those changes you make to make your speech generally more "samurai-ish."

    大丈夫? ー> 心配御無用?

    Definition: Are you Okay / I am okay

    When asking someone if they are okay (i.e. after you've battled them to the death), you would say "shinpai gomuyou?" Shinpai means "worry" or "concern," go is just the particle on muyou that makes it more formal, and muyou means "needlessness" or "unnecessariness." Basically you are asking them if their "worry is needless." That sounds just like "are you okay?"

    私/ぼく ー> 拙者

    Definition: I – Myself

    Before you go out and talk to people, you should know how to refer to yourself (how else will you say "I am the world's greatest swordsman?"). In these situations use sesshya.

    あなた ー> 其方

    Definition: You

    Gotta tell people what to do if you are an awesome samurai. "You, do this." "You, fix my sandal." The list goes on and on. Use "sochi" in place of "anata."

    ありがとうございます ー> かたじけない

    Definition: Thank you

    Katajikenai is the samurai version of "thank you." When translated directly, it comes out to "I am grateful," or something similar. "I'm thankful I didn't run into a ninja today." Katajikenai indeed.

    馬鹿 ー> うつけ

    Definition: Idiot, Fool

    If I was a samurai, I'd probably use this one a lot. "That fool Miyamoto Musashi. He thought he could beat me in Starcraft." I like the way utsuke just rolls of the tongue. It's a nicer sounding word than baka, I think.

    So there you have it. Now you can speak like a samurai, if you ever wanted to. I'm not sure why you would, but it certainly has a different feel to it. Really rolls off the tongue, if you ask me. Before you go out and begin speaking like this, make sure you know that basically it's the English equivalent of Shakespearean speech, and may sound kind of silly in large doses.

    Anyways, I hope you all have fun with it, at the very least!