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Kinō, Aria-to-iu resutoran-ni itta-n-da.

by Akemi Tanahashi and Hitomi Tashiro

Kinō, Aria-to-iu resutoran-ni itta-n-da. (I went to a restaurant called Aria yesterday.)

Situation 1: Mr. Mita tells Mr. Sere about a new restaurant.

三田: きのう、アリアというレストランに行ったんだ。料理がおいしいんだけど、値段はお手頃だったよ。

セレ: へえ、それ、どこにあるの?最近、安くておいしいレストランが増えているというニュースを聞くね。

Mita: Kinō, Aria-to-iu resutoran-ni itta-n-da. Ryōri-mo oishī-n-da-kedo, nedan-wa otegoro-datta-yo.

Sere: Hē, sore, doko-ni aru-no? Saikin, yasukute oishī resutoran-ga fuete-iru-to-iu nyūsu-wo kiku-ne.

Mita: I went to a restaurant called Aria yesterday. The food was good, but the prices were reasonable.

Sere: Really? Where is it? Recently, I’ve heard that the number of reasonably priced, good restaurants are increasing, right?

Today, we will introduce the proper use of XというY and XとかいうY. X(noun)という Y(noun) means that Y is known as X, and is used when the speaker thinks that the listener doesn’t know about X or when both the speaker and the listener don’t know it very well. X is the topic word, and Y is the category of X. In the casual spoken language, XっていうY is used instead of XというY. For example: きのう「海辺(うみべ)のカフカ」っていう小説(しょうせつ)を読(よ)んだよ (I read a novel titled “Kafka on the Shore”). When Y is a noun such as 話 (はなし, speech), 意見 (いけん, opinion), 考え(かんがえ, idea, thought), 記事(きじ, news article), ニュース (news), 評判 (ひょうばん, reputation), うわさ (rumor) or 指示 (しじ, instruction), X shows the content of Y as in Mr. Sere’s remark. In this use, X is a sentence in plain form. Example: この 温泉(おんせん)は皮膚病(ひふびょう)に効(き)くという評判(ひょうばん)だ (This hot spring is reputed to heal skin disease).

Situation 2: Ms. Gray gets a call from a person from an unfamiliar company, and talks to Mr. Mita.

グレイ: 三田さん、イースト貿易とかいう会社の方から電話だけど。

三田: え、知らないなあ。何ていう名前の人?

Gray: Mita-san, Īsuto-bōeki-toka-iu kaisha-no kata-kara denwa-da-kedo.

Mita: E, Shiranai-nā. Nante-iu namae-no hito?

Gray: Mr. Mita, a person from a company called East-trade or something is on the phone for you.

Mita: What? I don’t know it. What’s the name of the person?

When the speaker does not know X well or does not remember X well, XとかいうY is used. XとかいうY is sometimes used when the speaker does not have a good impression of X. For example: 息子(むすこ)はブレイクダンスとかいうダンスに夢中(むちゅう)になっている (My son is absorbed in a type of dance called break dancing or something).

Bonus Dialogue: Takako tells her parents about her elder brother Mitsuo’s girlfriend.

たかこ: おにいちゃんはさやかとかいう女(おんな) の子 (こ)とつきあってるらしいよ。

母: ええっ、のんびりやの光男(みつお)にガールフレンドができたの?

父: それはめでたい。どんな子(こ)なんだ?

たかこ: かわいくて、頭(あたま)もいいっていう評判(ひょうばん)だよ。この前(まえ)も駅(えき)のそばのカフェで見(み)た。

母: ああ、「ひだまり」といかいうカフェね。

父: 光男がそんなにいい子とつきあうことができるなんて、驚(おどろ)いたなあ。光男のどこがいいんだろう?

たかこ: その子は毎日(まいにち)塾(じゅく)とか、ピアノとか、すごく忙(いそが)しいんだって。でも、おにいちゃんと話(はな)していると、そんなにがんばってやらなくても、楽(たの)しそうにしているから、安心(あんしん)するっていう話だよ。

父: 光男がさやかさんによくない影響(えいきょう)を与(あた)えてしまうかもしれないなあ。ちょっと心配(しんぱい)だ。

Takako: I heard that Mitsuo has been going out with a girl named Sayaka or something recently.

Mother: Really? Did that easy-going boy get a girlfriend?

Father: That’s good news! What’s she like?

Takako: I hear she’s pretty and smart. I saw them in a cafe near the station.

Mother: Oh, it’s that one called Hidamari or something.

Father: It’s amazing that he can go out with such a nice girl. What does she like about him?

Takako: I heard that she’s very busy with cram school or piano lessons. But, Mitsuo looks happy despite not being serious about it and she feels relaxed when she is with him.

Father: I’m afraid that Mitsuo may have a bad effect on her. I’m worried.