Kawasaki-san, kaisha o yameru rashii yo.

(Mr. Kawasaki is apparently quitting the company.)

Situation 1: Mr. Mita enters a room at the office.

三田: 新人の川崎さん、会社を辞めるらしいよ。さっき、みんなが話していた。

グレイ: え、せっかく会社に慣れてきたように見えたのに…。

Mita: Shinjin no Kawasaki-san, kaisha o yameru rashii yo. Sakki, minna ga hanashite-ita.

Gurei: E, sekkaku kaisha ni narete-kita yō ni mieta noni…

Mita: The new recruit Mr. Kawasaki is apparently quitting the company. Everyone was talking (about it) a couple of minutes ago.

Gray: Goodness, just when it seemed like he was getting used to the company…

The pattern Xらしい, expresses the speaker’s objective inference from something they saw, felt or learned indirectly from another party. It is also used to avoid assertion or a strong tone. In Situation 1, Mr. Mita uses らしい because he heard the news that Mr. Kawasaki is quitting from other people, not Mr. Kawasaki himself. “X” can be a noun, the noun stem of a na-adjective, or an i-adjective or verb in its dictionary form. Adverbs of inference, such as どうも (which helps with emphasis) or どうやら (somehow, in some manner), are often paired with the structure:


(No matter what, it seems that Sachiko dislikes me. Somehow, I just have a hunch.)

Situation 2: Two colleagues are having a chat at the office.

芝: 社長室に掛かっている絵、どうやら本物らしいですよ。

ティエン: やっぱりそうでしたか。本物らしいオーラがあふれていましたからね。

Shiba: Shachō-shitsu ni kakatte-iru e, dōyara honmono rashii desu yo.

Tien: Yappari sō-deshita ka. Honmono rashii ōra ga afurete-imashita kara ne.

Shiba: That painting hanging in the president’s office, apparently it’s real after all.

Tien: Just as I thought then. It’s overflowing with the aura of a genuine article.

In Situation 2, Ms. Shiba uses the Xらしい pattern as it was introduced in Situation 1. Mr. Tien’s use of 本物(ほんもの)らしい is different, however; it combines the noun with らしい to create a term that operates like an i-adjective. Thus the 本物らしいオーラ translates to something like the “real-thing aura”:


(That kid talks only about money, [he’s] not child-like at all.)

Bonus Dialogue: Ms. Gray is speaking to the section chief, Mr. Okubo.

グレイ: 課長(かちょう)、今(いま)、田町(たまち)さんからショートメールが来ました。今日(きょう)は体調(たいちょう)が悪(わる)くてお休(やす)みするそうです。

大久保(おおくぼ): えっ、めずらしいな。どうしたのかな?

グレイ: よく分(わ)からないんですけど、風邪(かぜ)らしいですよ。

大久保: 風邪か…。コロナじゃないといいけど。

グレイ: 私(わたし)たち、最近(さいきん)までテレワークで、誰(だれ)にも会(あ)わないで生活(せいかつ)してきたんです。コロナにうつるはずないですよ。

大久保: だけど、夜(よる)の街(まち)で遊(あそ)びまわっている人間(にんげん)が、昼間(ひるま)あちこちをうろうろしているらしいよ。そんな遊び人(にん)たちにうつされる危険(きけん)は大(おお)いにある。

グレイ: いやですね。エネルギーのあまっている若者(わかもの)が、家(いえ)でも職場(しょくば)でも子どもやお年寄(としよ)りにうつしたら…。

大久保: まったくだ。どうして、ちょっとの間(あいだ)だけおとなしくしていることができないんだろう。

グレイ: ワクチンができるまでは、みんな気をつけないといけませんね。

Gray: Boss, a text message from Ms. Tamachi came just now. She’s feeling sick and seems she’ll be absent today.

Okubo: Eh, that’s unusual. I wonder what’s wrong?

Gray: I’m not too sure, but it’s apparently a cold.

Okubo: A cold, huh. I hope it’s not the coronavirus.

Gray: All of us, until recently we’ve been teleworking, going about our lives without seeing anyone. She couldn’t have caught the coronavirus.

Okubo: However, there are people who are going around hanging out in the nightlife districts, but then they’re wandering about here and there apparently. There is a great danger of being infected by such playboys.

Gray: How awful. (It would be terrible) if these young people with their excess energy infect children and the elderly either at home or at (their) place of work.

Okubo: Exactly. Why can’t they just behave themselves even for only a short period?

Gray: We all need to be careful until a vaccine is found.

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