The Meaning of Sayonara

First term for the Certificate II in Japanese is finally over! Yaata! And I’ve passed all core elements in first attempt…

Studying Japanese in TAFE as my first-hand experience in the Australian education system is really something for me… being a typical Asian (Malaysian and Singaporean or probably even Hongkies, Taiwanese, etc… alike) I was so focused on the grades that I am going to get… so like all Asians, I went to the course thinking about how it’ll suck if I got a C/D on my paper, worrying & stressed. But to my amusement, there is no grading system in TAFE (Technical and Further Education) – which is equivalent to polytechnics in Malaysia. All they have is a competent/ non-competent grading… so no matter how my papers looked like – whether it’s with flying colours or not, it won’t show in the certificate… (o_O!) huh?

Anyway, here’s something to share which is always well misinterpreted by non-japanese speakers.

Sayonara – indicates that speaker does not expect to see the person spoken to before she “turns a page in her life”; not until a few day arrives, or until fate brings the two person together again, or until they meet again in the other world… (source: An Integrated Course in Elementary Japanese I, Genki) – Which interprets to me: use it in the case of a break-up...? hm… sure comes in handy if you want to do it without being too straight forward… *wink*wink*

So, what’s the correct way to say Goodbye to someone whom you expect to see fairly soon again? --> “Jaa, mata!” would be more appropriate… *grin*


Stupidgale is a Sino-Kadazan office nerd during the day and leisure blogger by night. She enjoys writting about everything under the sun and is currently living in Singapore with her family (including teddygirl the corgi).

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