Yoku Ieba, Waruku Ieba, (良く言えば~、悪く言えば~)

  • Yoku Ieba, Waruku Ieba,


    I introduced you to the Japanese term ‘ishiatama‘ (石頭 – hard head/inflexible) yesterday, and ‘majime‘ (真面目 – serious/earnest) several days ago.

    Both of these terms have a similar meaning, but ‘majime’ includes a positive connotation, whereas ‘ishiatama’ includes a negative connotation.

    If you want to express a person who can be described by both of them, you can say as follows:

    Yoku ieba majime, waruku ieba ishiatama” (良く言えば真面目、悪く言えば石頭).

    Yoku‘ (良く) means “good/positive,” ‘waruku‘ (悪く) means “bad/negative,” and ‘ieba‘ (言えば) means “saying/speaking.”
    「良く」は “good/positive,” 「悪く」は “bad/negative,” 「言えば」は “saying/speaking” を意味します。

    Therefore, the above expression means that he/she is ‘majime’ (earnest) in a good way of saying, but ‘ishiatama’ (inflexible) in a bad way of saying.
    すなわちこの表現は、”He/she is ‘majime’ (earnest) in a good way of saying, but ‘ishiatama’ (inflexible) in a bad way of saying.” という意味になります。

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