The 5 Unparalleled Powers Of Sa (さ) — 19 Comments

  1. 俺ってさ、「さ」の使い方についてさ、其処まで考えた事が無いんだけどさ、この記事を読んでさ、日本語の奥深さに感動しちゃってさ、そんでさ、やる気が湧いてきてさ、まあ、兎に角、皆さんもね、一緒に頑張ってこうぜ

  2. I seem to hear さぁぁ a lot in anime, by itself, as a somewhat cheeky response to a question that the speaker doesn’t want to answer.

    • Yes that’s さ’s use at the beginning of a sentence and is the perfect cool way to show you don’t know/don’t care.

  3. さ is one of the few words that I picked when watching Ninja Warrior (before I started studying Japanese). The announcer guy would just keep saying it. I also noticed all the Katakana English, ジャンピンガスパイダー! (Jumping Spider!)

    • It is really nearly impossible to escape and since it is just one sound, often emphasized, it jumps out at you.

  4. When working/spending time with young Japanese students/kids, you are bound to hear this a lot.

    For some 小学生, though, it can get a bit ridiculous. I think the records was over 20 in about 5 minutes. The さs can be so numerous that you might forget the first part of their conversation before they finish their thoughts.

    • That’s pretty much along the lines of English teenagers using “like” every other word. They think it’s cool to use so they use it, then it becomes a habit, and eventually it tends to fade away as they build their vocabulary.

      I actually don’t use the さ version in point 1 in my Japanese since I don’t use that kind of lexicon in my English.

  5. Can you please record how each one of these「さ」’s are said? I’ve heard the “who knows” one, and I’ve also heard the wavy down then up one but I don’t know which「さ」it is!

  6. Thanks for the effort but I still feel the explanations are lacking so you cannot get a better understanding of the particle. Perhaps English equivalents in whatever useful way would have been ideal…

    • This isn’t the kind of thing you can fully learn from an explanation. An explanation helps make it easier to grasp, but there’s often no English equivalent and really no substitute for immersion to really get a handle on when and how to use it.

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