Seeing the other side and defying expectations with ‘han shite’

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Kitai-ni hanshite ureyuki-wa teichō-desu. (Contrary to expectations, sales are sluggish.)

Situation 1: Department head Yamani speaks at an office meeting.

ヤマニ:  わが社の「スラリビューティー」は、CMとパッケージ・デザインを変更し、値下げまでしましたが、期待に反 して売れ行きは低調です。次の手を考えなければ いけません。

Yamani: Wagasha-no Surari-Byūtii-wa, CM-to pakkēji-dezain-o henkō-shi, nesage-made shimashita-ga, kitai-ni hanshite ureyuki-wa teichō-desu. Tsugi-no te-o kangaenakereba ikemasen.

Yamani: We’ve changed the TV commercial film for our Surari Beauty product and its package design, and even cut its price, but contrary to expectations, sales are sluggish. We have to consider our next step.

Today we will introduce the meaning and usage of the adverbial phrases Xに反(はん)して (contrary to X) and X反面(はんめん) (on the contrary), which are mainly used in written language, formal speech, lectures or when talking about a rather serious theme. In the pattern X(noun/noun phrase)に反してY(clause), X is usually a word like 予想 (よそう, anticipation), 期待 (きたい, expectation), 予測 (よそく, prediction), 意志 (いし, will) or 意思 (いし, intention), 法律 (ほうりつ, law) or ルール (rule), and Y is the result or fact that betrays the content of X. In Ms. Yamani’s sentence in Situation 1, X is her and her staff’s expectation that their product would sell better and Y is the fact that it is not. Its noun-modifying form is ~に反した, as in 常識(じょうしき)に反した行動(こうどう) (an action that defies common sense).

Situation 2: Having recently retired, Mr. Furukawa visits Mr. Tian at the office. Tian asks him about his recent life in the country.

ティエン:  リタイア後の田舎ぐらしはいかがですか。

古川:    田舎は空気がきれいで物価も安い反面、車がないととても不便ですよ。

Tian: Ritaia-go-no inaka-gurashi-wa ikaga-desu-ka.

Furukawa: Inaka-wa kūki-ga kirei-de bukka-mo yasui hanmen, kuruma-ga nai-to totemo fuben-desu-yo.

Tian: How has country life been since you retired?

Furukawa: In the country the air is clean and prices are low, but at the same time, it’s quite inconvenient if you don’t have a car.

In the X反面(はんめん) 、Y pattern, X is the noun-modifying form of a noun/adjective/verb phrase, and Y is the fact or phenomenon opposite to X, as反面 literally means the “opposite side” of a thing. Mr. Furukawa expresses the good points about country life with X and the bad point with Y. Thus, this pattern is used to describe that something has two opposite sides.

Bonus Dialogue: Ms. Tamachi comes across Ms. Shiba in a corridor and starts talking. (Anpanman is a TV character popular among children.)

田町:  今度(こんど)の経理(けいり)課長(かちょう)、いつも難(むずか)しい顔(かお)をしていますが、やっぱりかなり 厳(きび)しいらしいですよ。

芝:  その反面(はんめん)、家(いえ)では、お子(こ)さんに デレデレだといううわさも。

田町: ええっ? そんな顔、想像(そうぞう)できませんね。あっ、経理課長がこっちに来(き)ますよ。ろうかで 立(た)ち話(ばなし)ているから、怒(おこ)られるのかも。

経理課長: すみません、そのストラップ、アンパンマンです よね?

芝:   あ、はい、うちの子がアンパンマンのファンで…。

経理課長: うちの子もなんです。どこに売(う)っているんですか。

芝:   家(いえ)の近(ちか)くのお店(みせ)なので、明日(あした) 買(か)ってきましょうか。

経理課長: それは、ありがたい。よろしくお願(ねが)いします。 (たちさる。)

田町:  予想(よそう)に反(はん)した展開(てんかい)でしたね。

芝:  ええ。人(ひと)は見(み)かけによりませんね。

Tamachi: The new accounting section chief (ASC) who always looks so severe is said to be as strict as he looks.

Shiba: So they say, but at the same time, he apparently fawns over his child at home.

Tamachi: Really? With that face? I can’t imagine it. Oops, he’s coming toward us. He may be angry at us for chatting in the corridor.

ASC: Excuse me, that strap of yours has Anpanman on it, doesn’t it?

Shiba: Yes, my little son is an Anpanman fan, you see …

ASC: Mine too. Where do they sell these?

Shiba: A shop near my house. Shall I buy one for you tomorrow?

ASC: That’s very kind of you. Much appreciated! (He leaves.)

Tamachi: That didn’t go how I expected, did it?

Shiba: Yeah, As the old saying goes, people are not always what they seem.