I found a book at Half Price Books yesterday called “zakennayo”. It’s an introduction to slang in Japanese. It doesn’t paint a very flattering picture of early 90s Japanese teen culture, but maybe that’s just realistic.
“Zakennayo” is an extremely rude word that means, essentially, “fuck off” in Japanese. It’s a word I’d actually rather I didn’t know, but I guess it’s good to have in my arsenal if I really, really need it. And I can’t think of a situation where I would.
But here’s the funny thing. This is a word that is just to be taken at face value for what it means, but I wanted to dig in a little further to find out where it came from. I didn’t succeed at that. But I did find that there’s a (rather highly rated, it seems) sushi restaurant in Guatemala called “Zakennayo Sushi Bar”. Don’t take my word for it, look it up yourself.
Basically, it’s a sushi bar that is telling every one of its customers to fuck off, and they have absolutely no idea that’s the case.
It seems to me that some people use the fact that they know a different language to their advantage. Some people use it to talk about someone right in their face, and they have absolutely no idea. Others use it to try to cheat them. And some just do stuff like this to troll.
It works right up until someone figures out that they’ve been trolled or insulted, and then the jig is up.
It might be a joke. And it might be a way of insulting people right to their face.
This is why I think it is so valuable to know another language. You learn things that you never would otherwise. For example, I learned what a sushi restaurant owner in Guatemala thinks of their customers.
Maybe sometimes you’re better off not knowing, to be honest.