• SHARE

Jun ga naku to oro-oro shite-shimatte, dō shite ii ka wakaranakatta yo.

(Jun would cry and I’d get all panicked, I didn’t know what I should do.)

 

Situation 1: Mr. and Mrs. Shiba are talking about a friend of theirs who is raising a child and is having a bit of trouble with it.

妻:友だちのご主人が育休を取って、がんばっているけど、大変みたい。

夫:ぼくも初めのころは、じゅんが泣くとおろおろしてしまって、どうしていいかわからなかったよ。

Tsuma: Tomodachi no go-shujin ga ikukyū o totte, ganbatte-iru kedo, taihen mitai.

Otto: Boku mo hajime no koro wa, Jun ga naku to oro-oro shite-shimatte, dō shite ii ka wakaranakatta yo.

Wife: My friend’s husband has taken childcare leave, he’s trying his best but he seems to be struggling.

Husband: Me too at first, Jun would cry and I would get all panicked, I didn’t know what I should do.

The onomatopoeic words おろおろ and あたふた both convey a sense of panic. おろおろ is attached to the verb する (to do), and expresses the idea that someone gets all flustered and has know idea how to respond to something:

地震(じしん)が来(く)ると、みんなたいていおろおろしてしまう。

(When an earthquake comes, most everyone gets in a panic.)

パスポートをなくしたことに気(き)づいて、彼女(かのじょ)はおろおろするばかりだった。

(Noticing her passport was gone, she got completely flustered.)

おろおろ can be used as an adverb when と is attached to it:

父(ちち)が倒(たお)れて救急車(きゅうきゅうしゃ)を呼(よ)んだ後(あと)、母(はは)はおろおろと歩(ある)き回(まわ)った。

(My father fell down and after calling for an ambulance, my mother paced around in circles in a panic.)

 

Situation 2: At the office, Ms. Tamachi asks Ms. Gray where Mr. Mita is.

田町:三田さん、どこにいるか知らない?

グレイ:あ、さっきメールを見て、あたふたと出ていったよ。何か緊急の連絡でもあったのかな。

Tamachi: Mita-san, doko ni iru ka shiranai?

Gurei: A, sakki mēru o mite, atafuta to deteitta yo. Nani ka kinkyū no renraku demo atta no kana.

Tamachi: Do you happen to know where Mr. Mita is?

Gray: Oh, earlier he checked his mail and left in a rush. I wonder if there was some sort of urgent message, hmm.

 

あたふた has a similar feeling to おろおろ but is used when someone does something even though they are in a state of panic. おろおろ is used when the person doesn’t know what to do:

試験(しけん)の日(ひ)、祐太(ゆうた)はあたふたと教室(きょうしつ)に駆(か)け込(こ)んできた。

(On examination day, Yuta barged into the classroom in a frantic rush.)

 

あたふた is also used with the verb する:

突然(とつぜん)大勢(おおぜい)のお客(きゃく)さんが来(き)たので、あたふたしてしまった。

(I totally panicked when all the customers suddenly arrived.)

 

Bonus Dialogue: Continued from Situation 1.

妻(つま):友(とも)だちのご主人(しゅじん)は、奥(おく)さんの出産(しゅっさん)に立(た)ち会(あ)おうと思(おも)っていたんだけど、いざとなるとおろおろしてしまって、どうしていいかわからなかったんだって。

夫(おっと):そんなものだね。ぼくも同(おな)じようなものだった。

妻:生(う)まれたあとも、何(なん)でも初(はじ)めてだから、みんなおろおろするよね。

夫:うん。じゅんが夜中(よなか)に熱(ねつ)を出(だ)してしまったときも、そうだった。あたふたとお医者(いしゃ)さんに連(つ)れて行(い)ったなあ。

妻:ちょうど私(わたし)が出張中(しゅっちょうちゅう)だったときね。本当(ほんとう)に感謝(かんしゃ)しているわ。

夫:でも、ぼくみたいな夫はまだ日本(にほん)では少(すく)ないんじゃないかなあ。

妻:もっとみんな育休(いくきゅう)を取(と)って、あなたのように子育(こそだ)てをちゃんとやってほしいね。

Wife: My friend’s husband, he thought he wanted to be present for his wife’s delivery (childbirth) but, when push came to shove, he panicked and had no idea what to do.

Husband: That’s about it. I was the same.

Wife: After the birth, everything is new so everyone gets flustered.

Husband: Yeah. That was the case when Jun got a fever in the middle of the night. I took him to the doctor in a frantic rush.

Wife: That was just when I’d gone on a business trip, yeah? Honestly, I appreciated it.

Husband: Yeah. But I reckon there are still few husbands like me in Japan.

Wife: I wish more people took childcare leave, and raised their children right like you do.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)