Language | WELL SAID

Impress with your powers of prediction in Japanese by using 'yappari'

by Akemi Tanahashi and Hitomi Tashiro

Contributing Writers

Nakai-san, yappari Shingapōru shiten ni tenkin suru-n datte. (I hear that Mr. Nakai is going to be transferred to the Singapore office, as expected.)

Situation 1: Ms. Gray and her colleague Ms. Tamachi are gossiping.

グレイ: 中井さん、やっぱりシンガポール支店に転勤するんだって。

田町: そう。やっぱりね。前からそんな話が出ていたね。

Gray: Nakai-san, yappari Shingapōru shiten ni tenkin suru n datte.

Tamachi: Sō. Yappari ne. Mae kara sonna hanashi ga dete-ita ne.

Gray: I hear that Mr. Nakai is going to be transferred to the Singapore office, as expected.

Tamachi: Really. I thought so. We heard such a rumor from before.

Today, we will introduce the adverb やはり and its casual spoken version, やっぱり, which is frequently used in Japanese conversation. The adverb やはり means “just as I thought” and shows that the result meets the speaker’s expectation, as in:

やっぱりフランスのサッカーチームは強(つよ)かった。

(The French soccer team is strong, as I expected.)

やはり conveys the speaker’s conviction about the certainty of the result. やはり can be used as an interjection, as in Ms. Tamachi’s remark. It can also mean “still” or “again” and communicate that the state of something has not changed, as in these examples:

10年(じゅうねん)経(た)ってもあの日(ひ)のことがやはり忘(わす)れられない。 (Even after 10 years, I can never forget that day.)

来年(らいねん)の夏(なつ)もやはり暑(あつ)いのだろうか。(Will it be hot again next summer?)

In addition, やはり(やっぱり) can mean “also,” to shows that someone or something is the same as all the others. Example:

小川(おがわ)さんもやはり風邪(かぜ)で欠席(けっせき)した。 (Ms. Ogawa was also absent due to a cold.)

Furthermore, やはり is used when the speaker has rediscovered the value of something, as in:

やっぱりさしみには日本酒(にほんしゅ)が合(あ)うね。 (Sashimi really does go well with Japanese sake.)

Situation 2: Mr. Sere invites his colleague Mr. Mita to participate in a seminar.

セレ: ねえ、あのセミナーに参加しないの? すごくいいらしいよ。

三田: そうだなあ。その時期は忙しいんだけど。でも、今しかチャンスはない。うーん、やっぱり行くことにするよ。

Sere: Nē, ano seminā ni sanka shinai no? Sugoku ii-rashii yo.

Mita: Sō da nā. Sono jiki wa isogashii-n da kedo. Demo, ima shika chansu wa nai. Ūn, yappari iku koto ni suru yo.

Sere: Hey, aren’t you going to that seminar? It’s supposed to be great.

Mita: Ahh, I’m busy then. But this is my only chance. Let’s see, I’ll attend after all.

やはり(やっぱり) is also used when the speaker is explaining a conclusion as the result of various considerations. This usage implies a roundabout way of saying something, rather than being assertive. Therefore, やはり is heard when a speaker changes a decision, as in:

紅茶(こうちゃ)をお願(ねが)いします。あ、やっぱり紅茶じゃなくて、コーヒーをお願いします。 (I’d like to have tea. Oh, sorry, make that coffee, not tea.)

Bonus Dialogue: After the seminar. Mr. Mita and Mr. Sere are chatting.

セレ: やっぱりプロの講師(こうし)はすごいね。話(はなし)に引(ひ)き込(こ)まれちゃったよ。

三田: うん、やっぱり参加(さんか)してよかった。

セレ: みんな来(き)ていたね。ティエンさんも芝(しば)さんもやっぱり参加していたよ。

三田: そうだね。去年(きょねん)のセミナーもよかったけど、今年(ことし)もやっぱりよかった。ただ、実行(じっこう)するとなると、ちょっと難(むずか)しいなあ。

セレ: でも、やっぱりやらなくちゃ意味(いみ)がないよ。ぼくはあの講師の人(ひと)が言(い)ってた1つ目(ひとつめ)のポイントをやってみるつもりだ。

三田: 毎日(まいにち)の仕事(しごと)に追(お)われていると、なかなかできないよ。まあ、仕事が一段落(ひとだんらく)してからやってみる。(たちさる)

セレ: うーん、やっぱり三田くんは変(か)わらないなあ。

Sere: That professional lecturer was amazing. I got pulled into her story.

Mita: Yeah, It was a good thing that I participated in the seminar after all.

Sere: Everyone was there. Mr. Tian and Ms. Shiba too.

Mita: Yeah. Last year’s seminar was nice, and this year was good, too. But, it’s a bit difficult to pull that off, actually.

Sere: But, it’s meaningless unless you do it. I am going to try the first point that the instructor talked about.

Mita: I can’t do it as I’m backed up with daily work. Well, I’ll give it a try after a finish my work. (Walks away)

Sere: Well, you really don’t change, Mita.

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