Do you know あたしンち(Atachin’chi)?
Atashin’chi is short for “Watashi no uchi” and literally means my house. It was a very popular comedy manga and an anime which I had watched every Friday night as a child. Atashinchi is a spoken form that is mainly used by women. Men preferably say “Orenchi or Bokunchi”.
Atashinchi is one of the most hilarious Japanese anime and an animated sitcom of the daily life of a family. There are many reasons why watching Japanese anime, especially, Atashinchi helps you improve your Japanese.
In this article, I will show you how you can learn Japanese with Atashin’chi. Watching Atashin’chi actively enables you to remember a large number of useful phrases, words, and grammar that you can use in real life.
What is Atashin’chi anyway?
Atashin’chi is one of the most popular anime in Japan along with Sazae-san, Crayon Shin-chan, Doraemon, Chibi Maruko-chan, and so on…
Atashin’chi is all about the daily experiences of a family called タチバナ家 (Tachibanas).
One of the main characters is 母 (Haha which means mother), her family calls her お母さん (Oka-san which means mother). She is a Japanese housewife who arrogantly prides herself on her methods of cleaning the house, controlled budget, and cost-effective but delicious dinner.
父 (Chichi, means father) his family calls him お父さん (Oto-san, means father). He is a typical salaryman who works in Tokyo. He loves drinking beer after work and plays Pachinko sometimes. He does not speak a lot but has a unique presence.
みかん (Mikan, the name has a meaning of Mandarine) is a second-year high school student, the daughter of 母 and 父. She has an easy-going relaxed personality.
ユズヒコ (Yuzuhiko) is a second-year junior high school student who is very scholarly and ambitious. He is very smart and always brings the best solution to the family’s issues.
Why is Atashin’chi Good for Learning Japanese?
As mentioned above that the story of Atashin’chi is all about the everyday life that modern Japanese families encounter. Therefore, the language used in each episode is extremely useful in everyday life.
This show is created for children so the lines are simple and straightforward. You will be able to learn native Japanese grammatical structures, vocabulary, and a lot of useful phrases.
It will Enhance Your Speaking and Listening Skills
All the lines you will learn in Atashin’chi can be used tomorrow with your friends. Because Atashin’chi represents the modern Japanese families’ daily experiences. As a matter of fact, my family has the exact same family structure with extra two dogs and a grandmother. I do relate to most of the episodes of Atashin’chi and makes me feel nostalgic whenever I watch them.
By watching Atashin’chi without subtitles will help you practice your ability to listen to Japanese. All the conversations you hear in Atashin’chi are used in everyday life by all Japanese people.
By watching it with Japanese subtitles will help you learn a lot of Japanese words. When you turn on the subtitles, you will subconsciously switch the learning method from actively listening to actively reading. However, the episode I will introduce you to today does not have Japanese subtitles but only English subtitles. But do not worry, I will explain everything word by word in Japanese, romaji, and their meanings.
How to Do it!?
Learning Japanese by watching anime, which indeed, is interesting and very fun. However, I want you to understand that it may take a long time before you will be able to speak like 母 or the other characters.
Here is How.
Ideally, I do not want you to watch English subtitles since it only makes it harder for you to understand the Japanese. However, if you are really new to the Japanese language and know absolutely no words, feel free to watch it with English subtitles for the first time to understand the main content of the episode.
Once you get used to it or start to remember some Japanese words, please take the subtitles away and learn them in Japanese. This will help you a lot to understand the Japanese by heart.
Let’s Watch Atashin’chi
Step 1 – Watch It without Subtitles
Before watching this episode, let me give you some advice to understand this episode better without English subtitles, even if you don’t know any words in Japanese.
Try to understand what this episode is about by using the visual advantage of anime. For example, the scene where 父 is laughing so hard and みかん said「お父さんがあんなに笑っている」(Oto-san ga anna ni waratte iru). You can easily guess that it has something to do with laughing which by the way, this sentence means “my father is laughing so hard like that”.
笑う (warau, to laugh)
In this way, you can learn it by heart and when you hear the word “笑う” you will automatically picture someone who is laughing in your head.
Now, enjoy 6 minutes and 37 seconds of joy with Atashinchi. By the way, you can watch it as many times as you want!
Step 2 Let’s Learn Some Words!
Maido arigatou gozaimasita
Maido = everytime.
Arigato = Thank you.
Gozaimashita = very much.
Gozaimasu is present tense Gozaimashita is past tense.
Hai = Yes.
Osewasam = Thank you for your kindness.
*Osewasam is short for Osewasamadesuand commonly used by elderly people.
Ii = good.
Nioi = smell.
Saa! konya wa gochisodayo!
Saa = here you go.
Konya = tonight.
Gochiso = a feast.
Dayo = it is a feast!!
みかん「ピザ、久しぶりだね～」”It’s been a long time to have Pizza, hasn’t it!?”
Piza hisashiburi dane
Piza = pizza.
Hisashiburi = long time no see.
Dane = ~,right!?
ユズヒコ「うまそ～」”It looks delicious”
Umai = delicious.
母「はい、冷めないうちに召し上がれ」”Eat before the food gets cold”
Hai samenaiuchi ni meshiagare
Sameru = gets cold.
Samenaiuchini = before it gets cold.
Meshiagare = you can eat
*This sentence is commonly used by elderly people like my grandmother.
ユズヒコ「この店のピザ、サラミが分厚くていいよな～」”This shop’s pizza is amazing with the very thick salami, right!? “
Konomise no piza sarami ga buatsukute iiyona
Kono = this.
Mise = shop.
KonomisenoPiza = This shop’s Pizza.
Sarami = salami.
Buatsui = thck.
Iiyona = good, right!?
Buatsukute iiyona = It’s nice and thick, right!?
Oishi! kono chizu no torotorokan to kiji no sakusakukan no hamoni ga nantomo ienaiyo. ne okasan?
Oishi = delicious.
Konochizu = this cheese.
Torotorokan = expression of something is very melty.
Kiji = dough.
Sakusakukan = expression of something is crunchy.
Hamoni = harmony.
Nantomoienai = I can’t say anything.
このチーズめっちゃトロトロだね！？ = This cheese is very melty, right!?
このピザ凄いサクサクだね！= This Pizza is very crispy, right!?
母「なによ～？」”What is it?”
*○○yo is a feminine way to say something.
Iiwayo = Okay.
Sukiyo = I like you.
Iya = no.
Betsuni = nothing
Iikara = that’s okay.
Hotteoke = leave it alone
*I want you to notice the way 父, 母, and their children speak. The expressions used by these people are different, even though if they say the same thing
For example, いいから、ほおっておけ is very manly like 父 used. But, if 母 said, it would be いいわよ、ほおっておいて. If みかん or ユズヒコ said, it would be いいから、ほおっておいてよ. They all mean the same but the way they say it is different depending on who you are.
Umaika? = Is it delicious?
Souka = I see
Otosan ga anna ni waratteiru
Otosan = father.
Anna = like that.
Warau = laugh.
*~tteiru = present participle
父 ga waratteiru = 父 is laughing.
父 ga hashitteiru = 父 is running.
父 ga tabeteiru = 父 is eating.
みかん「普段はこの世界に面白い事なんて何一つ無いって顔しているお父さんを何があそこまで大爆笑させたの？」 “Usually, his face says there is nothing that can make him happy. But what made him laugh so hard like that?”
Hudan wa konosekai ni omoshiroikoto nante nanihitotsunaitte kaoshiteiru otosan wo nani ga asokomade daibakusyo sasetano?
Hudan = usually.
Konosekai = this world.
Omoshiroikoto = funny thing.
Nanihitotsunai = there is nothing in there.
Kao = face.
Daibakusyo = laugh so hard.
*The guys on TV speak in a different dialect called Osaka-ben. This dialect is commonly spoken in the Kansai regions such as Osaka and Kyoto. However, it is not appropriate for beginners to learn and probably just confuse them. Therefore, do not remember them for now.
You can learn a little bit more about Japanese dialects here.
みかん「お父さんってこういうのでは全然笑わないんだよな」”He does not laugh at all when he watch something like this” (the comedy show on TV)
Otosan te kouiunodewa zenzen warawanaindayona
こういうの = like that.
全然＝not at all.
みかん「無茶苦茶だよねー」”It doesn’t make sense, right!?”
みかん「蚊がいた」”There was a mosquito”
Ka ga ita
母「取れた？」”Did you catch it?”
みかん「洗濯物にくっ付いて来たのかな？」”I wonder if the mosquito came with the laundry?”
Sentakumono ni kuttsuitekitanokana?
洗濯物 = laundry
し～ with an index finger in front of your mouth is a very common expression when you need silence.
～してろ or しろ sounds very rude. Please do not use them with anyone unless someone is very close to you like your family.
Usually, when fathers tell their children to make them do something, they say it this way.
掃除しろ = Clean it.
宿題しろ = Do your homework.
母「逃がした」”I missed it”
みかん「残念！」”It is sad”
みかん「お父さん、きっとさっきのお母さんが面白かったんだよ」”He must have laughed because of you a while ago”
Otosan kitto sakkino okasan ga omoshirokattandayo
きっと = maybe.
さっきの = a bit while ago.
面白かった = was fun
母「はぁ？どうして？お母さん、蚊を捕まえようとしただけじゃない」”Why? I was just trying to catch the mosquito”
Ha? doshite? okasan kawo tsukamaeyou to shitadakejanai
はぁ？ = expression when you couldn’t hear something, also a very rude way to say “what?”. Do not use it.
どうして？ = why?
捕まえる = catch.
～しただけ = I just did something
Sokka = I see
Sonanda = I see
母「脱げなくなっちゃって」”I cannot take off my shirt”
脱ぐ = take off
She didn’t say the word “shirt” in this sentence but, it’s easy to assume she meant her shirt.
「手伝って」”Give me your hand”
宿題手伝って = give me your hand with my homework.
母「ちょっと！見てないで何とかしてよ！」”Hey! stop looking and help me”
Chotto! mitenaide nantokashiteyo!
ちょっと = wait a minute.
見てないで = stop looking.
何とかしてよ = do something.
母「人が困っているのに」”someone is having trouble”
「ふざけてないで」”stop fooling around”
みかん「さっきから何バタバタしてんの？」”What have you been doing? You’ve been making noises”
Sakkikara nani batabatashitenno?
バタバタする = make noises on the floor.
バタバタうるさい = Your walking is very loud.
みかん「お父さん、たのしそ～」 “He seems to be having fun”
へいき？ = are you ok?
動かないで = don’t move!
みかん「お母さんは気づいてないかも知れないけど、お母さんの一生懸命がお父さんの笑顔の元なんだよ。」”Okasan, I don’t think you have noticed but Otosan’s smile is made by you doing everything with the utmost effort”
Okasan wa kizuitenaikamo shirenaikedo okasan no issyoukenmei ga otosan no egao no moto nandayo
気づく = notice.
ない = no.
知る = know.
一生懸命 = very hard.
笑顔 = smile.
Step 3 Watch it again (with Subtitle)
Okay! Now you learned a lot of new words.
You can probably understand or hear some of the phrases that you couldn’t before.
This time, you will watch the same video with Japanese subtitles. However, the Japanese subtitle available in this video is not completely accurate Therefore, I recommend you to go back to each part (e.g. 0:00~0:59) and make sure you actively listen to the lines as you read them.
If you can understand it much better than the first time, you are doing great! However, the rhythm of Japanese is completely different from English or the language you speak, and this makes Japanese very difficult to hear.
I personally like shadowing. Shadowing is one of the greatest learning language techniques that I used while I was learning English especially, at the beginning. I watched a lot of TV shows (mostly Friends) and did shadowing as Ross, Joey and Chandler were speaking. I wouldn’t do Monica, Rachel, and Phoebe since I am a dude.
It did help me improve speaking English as well as, listening to fast English conversations as I was able to pronounce them correctly. Shadowing with あたしンち can help you be aware of the unique rhythm of Japanese. Just watch it and speak exactly what you hear. If it’s too difficult for you, you could go back to each part and read them out loud before trying to do shadowing.
The last step is to watch it again without any subtitles. If you are confident and learned a lot of new words, you can go ahead and watch another episode of Atashin’chi. Or you can just wait until I update more! If you are not sure, then you can go back to step 1 and do it as much as you need! The key to success is consistency.
Another post with あたしンち is here!
I hope you found this post helpful!
I completely understand that learning a new language is hard. When I first started watching Friends, I did not understand it at all, not even 1% of it. However, as I continued watching it and tried to listen actively and speak it out as I learned new phrases, I got better and better!
Atashin’chi is, in my opinion, perfect for beginners since all characters speak very slow and clear Japanese. I believe you will be able to watch it and understand it without looking up words in no time. Trust me it works!
If you have friends learning Japanese, please take a moment to share this post with them, it would mean a lot to me.
Other posts you should read are here.
Let me know what you think about my post in the comment below or you can reach out to me on my Twitter account. Thank you!