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Kū ki-ga warui!

by Akemi Tanahashi and Hitomi Tashiro

Kūki-ga warui! (The air is so stale!)

Situation 1: In the Okubo’s house, Mrs. Okubo comes into her son Mitsuo’s room.

母: うわっ、空気が悪い!換気のために、しばらく窓を開け るわよ。

光男: いやだよ、寒いよ。ちょっと風邪ぎみで調子が悪いんだから、開けないでよ。

Haha: Uwa, kūki-ga warui! Kanki-no tame-ni, shibaraku mado-wo akeru-wayo.

Mitsuo: Iya-da-yo. Chotto kazegimi-de chooshi-ga warui-n-da-kara, akenaide-yo.

Mother: Gee, the air is so stale! I’ll open the window to let in some fresh air.

Kamata: Don’t do that. I have a bit of a cold and am not feeling well; so don’t open the window.

Today we will introduce various meanings and usages of the adjective 悪(わる)い(bad/harmful/wrong), which is the antonym of いい (good). Xが悪い expresses that X (noun) is bad, e.g. 気分(きぶん, feelings)が悪い means feeling bad; 運(うん, fortune)が悪い means unlucky; つごう (convenience) が悪い is inconvenient; 頭(あたま, brain)が悪い means not clever; 仲(なか, relationship)が悪い is used for people who don’t get along with each other, and so on. In the following example, 悪い means seriously ill: お父様(とうさま)、大分(だいぶ)お悪いそうですね ( I heard that your father is seriously ill). 悪い is also used as light apology, as you see at the top of the Bonus Dialogue, or as in: 悪いけど、ちょっと待(ま)っていてくれる? (I’m sorry, but will you wait here for a minute?)

Situation 2: At the office, Mr. Ueno is leaving the room.

上野: ちょっと、喫煙室に行ってくるよ。

セレ: たばこは体に悪いですよ。禁煙したほうがいいんじゃないですか。

Ueno: Chotto, kitsuen-shitsu-ni itte-kuru-yo.

Sere: Tabako-wa karada-ni warui-desu-yo. Kin’en-shita hoo-ga ii-n-ja nai-desu-ka.

Ueno: I’m just going to the smoking room.

Sere: Smoking is bad for your health. It’s better you quit.

Xは Yに悪い is the pattern to express that X is bad for Y, as in 飲 (の)みすぎは健康(けんこう)に悪い (Too much drinking is bad for one’s health). Other examples: 長時間(ちょうじかん)のパソコン作業 (さぎょう)は目(め)に悪い (It’s bad for your eyes to work on the computer too long); そのことばは、心臓(しんぞう)に悪いよ (Those words break my heart).

Bonus Dialogue: Mr. Mita reaches the pub somewhat late, where his colleague Mr. Sere is waiting for him.

三田: 悪(わる)い、悪い! 会社(かいしゃ)を出(で)ようとしたところで、タイミング悪く、電話(でんわ)が来(き)ちゃって…。

セレ: いや、だいじょうぶだよ。ぼくも今(いま)来たところ。

三田: 話(はなし)って、もしかして、赤坂(あかさか)さんのこと? 今夜(こんや)、ここで赤坂さんとのデートをセッティングしてくれているとか…?

セレ: それが…。

三田: あ、何(なん)だか悪いしらせみたいだな。

セレ: じつは、赤坂さんにはことわられちゃって…。

三田: うわあ、がっかりだなあ。悲(かな)しくて、今夜(こんや)はねむれないよ。

セレ: 悪く思(おも)わないでくれよ。赤坂さんは今、つきあっている人がいるんだそうだ。三田くんのことをきらいというわけじゃないんだから。そのかわり、友達(ともだち)を紹介(しょうかい)したいって。写真(しゃしん)をあずかってきたんだ。ほら、この人(ひと)。よければ、今夜ここに来てくれるそうだよ。

三田: どれどれ…? あ、そうだ、ちょっと用事(ようじ)を思い出(だ)した。セレくん、悪いけど、先(さき)に帰(かえ)らせてもらうよ。

Mita: Sorry I’m late! When I was about to leave the office, there was a phone call. It was bad timing.

Sere: I don’t mind; I only arrived a minute ago.

Mita: You want to talk to me about Ms. Akasaka, right? By any chance, have you arranged my date with her in this pub?

Sere: Well… no.

Mita: Uh oh, that seems bad.

Sere: Actually, Ms. Akasaka declined my request.

Mita: Oh, that’s so bad. I’ll be too sad to sleep tonight.

Sere: Don’t think badly of me. She has a boyfriend at the moment but said that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t like you, Mita. Instead, she wants to introduce her friend to you. She gave me a photo of her. Here it is. If you’re interested, this girl can come tonight.

Mita: Let me see. … Whoa — excuse me, I’ve just remembered something I have to do. I have to get going now.