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Jitsu-wa, kacho-ni chui-sarechatta-n-da

by Akemi Tanahashi and Hitomi Tashiro

Jitsu-wa, kachō-ni chūi-sarechatta-n-da. (Actually, I got a warning from my boss.)

Situation 1: Ms. Gray talks to Mr. Mita who looks gloomy.

グレイ: どうしたの? きょうは元気がないじゃない?

三田: 実は、課長に報告書のことで注意されちゃったんだ。

Gray: Do-shita-no? Kyō-wa genki-ga nai-ja-nai?

Mita: Jitsu-wa, kachō-ni hōkokusho-no koto-de chūi-sarechatta-n-da.

Gray: What’s up? You don’t look well.

Mita: Actually, I got a warning about the report from my boss.

Today we will introduce the two adverbs 実(じつ)は and 実際 (じっさい)は. 実は translates as “in fact,” “as a matter of fact” or “actually” and is used when the speaker discloses the truth or reveals a fact that is unexpected. 実は can be used when the speaker realizes the truth, as in Mr. Sere’s remark in the Bonus Dialogue. The end of the sentence is often the expression んです/のです/んだ/のだ, which function as an explanation. 実は is often followed by a sentence that opposes the previous part, as in それは肉(にく)のように見(み)えますが、実はとうふなんです (That looks like meat, but actually it’s tofu).

Situation 2: Mr. Sere talks to his boss.

セレ: あのう、ちょっとよろしいでしょうか。実は、IMM社との新しいプロジェクトのことなんですけど…。

Sere: Anō, chotto yoroshii-deshō-ka. Jitsu-wa, IMM-sha-to-no atarashii purojekuto-no koto-na-n-desu-kedo…

Sere: Excuse me, may I talk to you for a minute? Actually, it’s about the new project with IMM Company …

実は is often used to broach a subject that is hard to bring up, such as a difficult matter, troublesome request or apology. The rest of Mr. Sere’s remark above is expected to be rather important or serious. Therefore, when you discuss simple matters it is better not to use 実は.

Situation 3: In a meeting, Ms. Gray is describing a company.

田町: この会社は地方の小企業ですが、実際は、たいへんな技術を持っており、業界では世界的に有名なんです。

Tamachi: Kono kaisha-wa chihō-no shōkigyō-desu-ga, jissai-wa, taihenna gijyutsu-wo motte-ori, gyōkai-dewa sekaiteki-ni yūmei-na-n-desu.

Tamachi: This company is a small local firm. But, actually, it has great technology and is famous worldwide in this industry.

実際(じっさい)は is similar in meaning to 実は, but 実際は is used to tell an objective fact, while 実は conveys the speaker’s desire to open up the truth.

Bonus Dialogue: After a meeting with Ms. Akasaka and Mr. Shibuya from another department, Mr. Mita and Mr. Sere are chatting.

三田: 赤坂(あかさか)さんって、きれいでやさしそうな人(ひと)だね。渋谷(しぶや)さんも仕事(しごと)をテキパキ進(すす)めていて、いい感(かん)じだし。

セレ: うん。でも、実(じつ)は、赤坂さんと渋谷さんはつきあっているんだよ。

三田: ええっ、知(し)らなかった! ショックだ‥。

セレ: 赤坂さんは、やさしそうに見えて、実は、けっこう気(き)が強(つよ)いんだ。もし三田くんとつきあったとしても、すぐにだめになっていたと思(おも)うよ。

三田: そうか。ありがとう。そこまで心配(しんぱい)してくれて … 。赤坂さんと渋谷さんはお似合(にあ)いだね。2人ともかっこよくて。

セレ: でも、実際(じっさい)はあまり長(なが)く続(つづ)かないと思うな。2人とも意見(いけん)を曲(ま)げない性格(せいかく)だから。

三田: そうか。じゃ、ぼくにもチャンスがあるということか。よし、それまで待(ま)とう。[たちさる]

セレ: 三田くんは、実(じつ)は、ぼくの忠告(ちゅうこく)を全然聞(き)いていないんだな。

Mita: Ms. Akasaka is beautiful and seems kind. And while Mr. Shibuya is a hustler on business, he seems nice.

Sere: Yeah. But to tell you the truth, they’re going out now.

Mita: What? I didn’t know! I’m shocked …

Sere: Ms. Akasaka seems calm and gentle, but as a matter of fact, she’s strong-minded. If you went out with her, you’d soon break up.

Mita: I see. Thanks for your concern. Ms. Akasaka and Mr. Shibuya make good couple, since they’re both good looking.

Sere: But I think their relationship won’t last long, because they both so opinionated.

Mita: I see. Then it means I have a chance! I’ll wait for that day. (Exits.)

Sere: Truth is he didn’t listen to my advice at all.

  • Goldie

    While it might be an objective fact, the speaker may have just realized it a moment ago. I think in that instance jissai and jitsuwa are interchangeable – depending on the speaker’s realization of the fact.