Hontō ni ira-ira suru.

(I’m really frustrated.)


Situation 1: Mr. and Mrs. Okubo are caught in a traffic jam.



Otto: Kuruma ga chittomo ugokanai na. Hontō ni ira-ira suru.

Tsuma: Dōro jōhō ni yoru to, jiko ga atta mitai yo.

Husband: The cars aren’t moving in the slightest. Honestly, I’m getting frustrated.

Wife: According to traffic information, it seems like there was an accident.


The onomatopoeic word “いらいら” expresses feelings of irritation, impatience or nervousness. It’s often used with the verb “する”:

この番組(ばんぐみ)はCMが多(おお)くて、いらいらさせられるね。 (This TV program has a lot of commercials, it’s making me irritated.)

彼(かれ)の失礼(しつれい)な態度(たいど)にいらいらした。(His rude behavior irritated me.)

入試(にゅうし)が近(ちか)づいてきて学生(がくせい)たちはいらいらしている。 (The entrance examinations are approaching and the students are getting nervous.)

いらいら can also be used as an adverb or a noun:

連絡(れんらく)が来(こ)なくて、いらいらと歩(ある)き回(まわ)った。 (They didn’t contact me, so I was walking around all irritated.)

この音楽(おんがく)を聞(き)いていたら、いらいらがおさまった。 (I was able to calm down while listening to this music.)


Situation 2: Takako and her mother are listening to the principal’s speech.



Takako: Atarashii kōchō sensei wa hanashi ga nagai-n da. Mō, unzari shichau.

Haha: Sonna koto iwanaide, chanto kikinasai yo.

Takako: The new principal talks for so long. I’m already totally bored.

Mother: Don’t say such things, listen carefully.


The word “うんざり” expresses the idea of being bored, fed up or tired and refers to the fact that someone is reacting unfavorably to an action that repeatedly happens or continues to take place:

彼女(かのじょ)の自慢話(じまんばなし)を聞(き)かされるのは、うんざりだ。 (I got sick and tired of having to listen to her brag.)

Like いらいら, うんざり can be used with the verb する.


Bonus Dialogue: Young staff members are hosting a remote farewell party.






全員(ぜんいん):そして、読者(どくしゃ)の皆(みな)さま、25年間(ねんかん)、どうもありがとうございました。またいつかお会いできると、いいですね。さようなら! 良(よ)いお年を!

Mita: Oh, this year was a really tough one.

Tamachi: Yeah. It was really frustrating being stuck in the house all day working remotely. On top of that, hearing about the coronavirus everyday on the news was exhausting.

Sere: I agree. But, a vaccine has been developed so I think that things are slowly getting better, bit by bit.

Gray: That’s right. After all, it’s great that you’re going back to your home country, Sere, to marry Yuri. I know that you were feeling frustrated because you couldn’t see your mother even though she was sick, but it’s good that you made a decision. We’re going to miss you so much.

Sere: We can still meet online even though we are apart. Besides, we can get together once the coronavirus pandemic is over. I hope next year will be a good year.

Everyone: And, to our dear readers, thank you for reading this column for the past 25 years! We hope we can meet you again someday. Have a Happy New Year and goodbye!

From January 2021, The Japan Times will no longer publish Morning English. We will continue to publish a language-focused feature in the Friday edition of the newspaper. We would like to thank our readers for your continued interest, and invite you to check out more language-learning materials in our Alpha publication. For more information, visit The Japan Times Alpha.

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