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Monday, April 7, 2008

四苦八苦

しくはっく
shiku hakku

切磋琢磨するために、I'm back in action, and bringing you a brand new Buddhist Yo-ji-juku-go that's ALL about the pain.

Your Kanji today are easy enough in the translation (four-suffering-eight-suffering), but they come with a slightly involved theology lesson, so let's jump in:

Do you know the four noble truths of Buddhism? The first one is this: LIFE = SUFFERING. I'll let you look up the rest on your own (Clay, work on memorizing the Ten Commandments first). Suffering, in early buddhism, is divided into, that's right, eight categories, half being physical and half being mental.

Physical:
  • 生: The pain of birth
  • 老: The pain of ageing
  • 病: The pain of sickness
  • 死: The pain of death
Mental:
  • 愛別離苦: The pain of separation from loved ones
  • 怨憎会苦: The pain of contact with hated ones
  • 求不得苦: The frustration of unsatisfied desires
  • 五蘊盛苦: Suffering of the illnesses of Five Skandhas (form, sensation, perception, volition, and consciousness)
So, 四苦八苦 encompasses all of these 8 sufferings.
Definition:
大変な苦しみ。あらゆる苦しみ。
Translations:
1. In a world of hurt
2. In a state of physical and mental anguish
3. Being "hard put to it" (from rikai-chan, not to be confused with "having it put to you, hard")

例文(featuring 2級 grammar)


ある日、彼女から電話があった。運転中だったけど、少し喋ってもいいと思い、電話をとった。彼女は挨拶も言わずに、「分かれよう」と言った!ショックのあまり、前を走っているパトカーにぶつかった。骨六本を折ってしまった。2ヶ月前から、入院していた上に、私の保険会社は払ってくれないそうだ!そして今日、私の元彼女とその新しい彼氏がお見舞いに来てくれた。実はその彼氏は私の弟だった!四苦八苦したよ!
So, one day, while I'm driving, I get this call from my girlfriend, right? And as soon as I pick up, without even saying "Hello," she goes: "I'm breaking up with you!" I was so surprised, I rear-ended the police car in front of me, and broke six bones. I've been in the hospital for two months, and it looks like my insurance isn't gonna cover it! On top of that, today my ex came to visit, and she brought her new boyfriend: my little brother! CURSE YOU, EIGHT SUFFERINGS (AS SET FORTH BY THE GAUTAMA BUDDHA)!!!!

hehehehehehehe.....

6 comments:

BilabialBoxing said...

Despite being all about pain, this was a terribly humorous post.

Defendership said...

I would actually be interested in learning the yoji jukugo for "putting it to somebody hard", if you can find the time.

Claytonian said...

Speaking of that, not many people know, but I am a very lazy Buddhist in addition to my other beliefs. I still don't have the eight-fold path memorized though, let alone these suffering things.
Hey, did you munks forget the rules? 例文を作りなさい!

私はブレッドを騙すために、四字熟語を作りかけたが、やっぱり"putting it to somebody hard"を翻訳するのは難しいスよ。考えることさえ四苦八苦だ。
To trick Brett (breado), I started to make a four-kanji compound, but "putting it to somebody hard" is, as expected, difficult to translate. Even thinking about it is hell on earth.

Claytonian said...

BTW, since these things can be really hard to get a sense of in how they might be used I am starting to look them up in google blog search. Look like this idiom comes up a lot for people that hate programming.

AzzidisRidden said...

Good point, Clay. It's hard to know exactly how these things are used in conversation.

Most of the ones that I found on the webs seemed to be used with suru, and one of them even said that 「四苦八苦しましたよ!」is what you say when something that causes you suffering appears before your eyes.

We'll try to add more notes on usage, instead of just hoping that you can infer them from our example sentences.

AzzidisRidden said...

I've been corrected! My yo-ji-juku-go sensei informs me that, despite the connotations of 四苦八苦, this suffering goes ABOVE and beyond the kind of pain that is associated with 四苦八苦。A more appropriate usage would be in a situation where you were trying to really hard to do something difficult (like maybe programming), and you failed to do it. In that case, you can say 四苦八苦。By that logic, Clay's example sentence above, holds water.