Gengo Girls #32: Fool Me Once…

Gengo Girls #32: Fool Me Once...

Wakaru is yet another super common Japanese word. It is usually used to mean that you literally do or don’t understand something, like when you want to say “I don’t understand Japanese” or “Thank you for explaining that. I understand now”.

But wakaru is also often used as a way of agreeing to requests. If your boss asked you to photocopy a document and deliver it to one of your coworkers you could say “wakarimasu” to mean “I understand your request (and will go do that now)”.


分る = わかる = to understand


言語ガールズ #32

Fool Me Once…

Blue: Verbs that don’t end in “iru” or “eru” will still end in some sort of “u” sound like or .

Yellow: That’s convenient.

Blue: To make these verbs polite you first change the final “u” sound to an “i” sound.

Blue: to , to , to and so on.

Blue: Then you add ます to the end.

Blue: Let’s look at わかる. It ends in “aru”, not “iru” or “eru”, so we can’t just replace the with ます.

Yellow: Instead we have to change the to and then add ます, right?

Blue: Exactly! So the polite form of わかる is わかります.

Yellow: I understand…

Blue: I’m not falling for that gag a second time.