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Assari-shita tabemono-no hō-ga suki-ni narimashita (I’ve come to like light-tasting food best)

Situation 1: Mrs. Okubo and her mother are eating lunch.

大久保夫人: あら、お母さん、大好物のてんぷら定食じゃないの?

母: 歳のせいか、最近、あっさりした食べ物のほうが好きになっちゃったのよ。

Ookubo: Ara, okāsan, daikōbutsu-no tempura-teeshoku-ja nai-no?

Haha: Toshi-no sei-ka, saikin, assari-shita tabemono-no hō-ga suki-ni natchatta-noyo.

Okubo: Oh Mom, why didn’t you choose the tempura lunch, isn’t it your favorite?

Mother: It might be because of my age — recently I’ve come to like light-tasting food best.

Today, we will introduce the adverb あっさり(simply/easily, etc.) and its related expressions. あっさりする is the verb form, but usually isn’t used; instead the form あっさりしている is used to express the light taste of food, i.e., non-oily, non-salty, non-sweet, etc., as in: この店(みせ)の味(あじ)つけは、かなりあっさりしていますね (The taste of the dishes of this restaurant is quite light, isn’t it?). The noun-modifying form あっさりした is used more often, as in the mother’s あっさりしたたべもの in Situation 1. Its antonym is こってりした (of thick/heavy taste) or 油(あぶら)っこい (oily). あっさりした is often used metaphorically to describe a person or thing, as in 彼(かれ)はあっさりした性格(せいかく)で、お金(かね)や名誉(めいよ)にこだわらない (He is an open-hearted person and is indifferent to wealth and fame).

Situation 2: Ms. Shiba asks Mr. Tian about his meeting.

芝: ABC社との合同プロジェクトの話は、どうなりましたか?

ティエン: あっさり断られましたよ。あそこなら、引き受けてくれると思ったのになあ。

Shiba: ABC-sha-tono gōdō-purojekuto-no hanashi-wa, dō-narimashita-ka?

Tian: Assari kotowararemashita-yo. Asoko-nara, hikiukete-kureru-to omotta-noni-naa.

Shiba: What did ABC Company think about working together on the project?

Tian: They refused on the spot, even though I had been expecting they would accept.

あっさり is used by itself as an adverb to modify a verb (X) and expresses that X can be done easily, quickly, simply, without taking time or without efforts, as Mr. Tian uses it in Situation 2. In this usage, あっさり has no antonym. と is sometimes added to the end of あっさり making it a little more formal. An example: レポートの宿題(しゅくだい)を、山田(やまだ)さんはあっさりとすませてしまったが、私(わたし)は、なかなか書(か)けないでいる (Mr. Yamada finished the homework essay without any trouble, but I can’t write even still now).

Bonus Dialogue: Two male colleagues are chatting at work.

セレ: 昨日(きのう)もタイガースはあっさり負(ま)けちゃったなあ。

三田: セレくんは、どうしてタイガースのファンなの?関西(かんさい)に住(す)んだこともないのに。

セレ: 国(くに)で子(こ)どものころ入(はい)っていたクリケットチームと同(おな)じ名前(なまえ)なんだよ。

三田: じゃあ、今夜(こんや)は二人(ふたり)でタイガースの残念(ざんねん)会(かい)をしない?「ひさご亭(てい)」のサービス券(けん)があるんだ。

セレ: ごめん、あそこの料理(りょうり)は、あっさりしすぎていて、ちょっと…。

三田: そうか、それなら「だるまや」にしよう。

セレ: お、ずいぶんあっさり変更(へんこう)するんだね。

三田: ぼくは、料理の味(あじ)にはあんまりこだわらないんだ。気(き)の合(あ)う友達(ともだち)と一緒(いっしょ)に行(い)くのが最高(さいこう)だからね。

セレ: 気の合う女(おんな)友達だったら、もっといいんじゃない?

三田: もちろん。だけど、残念ながら、今(いま)はセレくんが一番(いちばん)だ。

Sere: Last night, the Tigers (a baseball team in Kansai region) were once again easily defeated.

Mita: Why are you a Tigers fan, even though you have never lived in Kansai?

Sere: Because they have the same name as the cricket team that I belonged to when I was a child.

Mita: Then, why don’t we go drown our sorrows on account of the Tigers tonight? I have a discount coupon for the Hisagotei pub.

Sere: Sorry, but the food there is too light for me.

Mita: I see. Then, let’s go to Darumaya.

Sere: Oh, you changed the shop so quickly.

Mita: That’s because I don’t mind about the taste of the food. What’s important is to go with a good friend.

Sere: Isn’t it even better to go with a good friend who is a girl?

Mita: Of course. But, it’s a pity, but for now you’re the best I’ve got, Sere.

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