bi ji rei ku
I was having a discussion with some friends the other day about how reactions to things seem bigger in Japan, at least in a verbal sense. Remember what I was saying in Wednesday's post about the way different cultures use language differently?
Since I've come to Japan, I've adopted the habit of declaring a meal (most any meal) to be おいしい in excited tones, more than twice. My Japanese acquaintances will do the same thing more than five or six times. I don't ever say "ええー!" when I hear something interesting, or something that I didn't know, but it no longer strikes me as strange when other people use it to reply to everything I say. Nor does it strike me as uncommon that Japanese people love to compliment each other on all manner of things: how good you are at singing, at handwriting, at cooking, at driving, at all kinds of things. If you were to tell me how great I was at handwriting in America, it would strike me as odd. If you were to tell me about it more than once, it would strike me as patronizing. Apparently, even though the cultures have different thresholds to determine precisely when compliments begin to make us feel uncomfortable (or suspicious), there is a level where, even to native-speakers, compliments began to become patronizing.
1. Flowery prose
2. Verbose and insincere flattery
My second translation doesn't appear with a Rikai Chan Analysis, but you'll note that the Japanese definition says that this Yo-ji is used to refer to the kinds of words that, if you heard them used in everyday speech, they would strike you as insincere. Most of the instances of actual usages that I've found involved telling someone to stop it with the over-the-top compliments.
Usage note: You don't 言う 美辞麗句, you 並べる them. Connect the two with を instead of と.
例文： 姑さん： わー！このカレーはうまいよ。本当に本当にうまい！おいしいーーー！あたしの人生で、初めてこんなにおいしいカレーを食べた。これからは、他の人が作ったカレーを食べないつもりです。で、わたしも作ることをやめるよ。なぜならば、あなたが作ったカレーではないから、ぜったいがっかりするよ。うーーーーーまい！
Mother in law: Wow! This curry is fantastic! It's really, REALLY, good. It's so delicious. This is the best curry that I've ever eaten in my ENTIRE LIFE. I will never eat another person's curry again. And I'll quit making my own. Putting someone else's curry in my mouth, after this, it could only be a disappointment. It's THAT good.
New Bride: Oh, thanks but, it's nothing special really...
Tanaka san: Mom! Knock it off with the bogus flattery. Give it a rest already!
Note: Please check the comments for an alternative (better) way to use 美辞麗句。 Thanks Mizuki!