The Huffington Post has just started publishing in Japanese in association with Asahi Shimbun. Head on over and take a look. It could end up being a good language learning tool!
馬子にも衣装 [まごにもいしょう] – “clothes make the man”
馬子 [まご] – packhorse driver
- 馬 [バ・うま] – horse
- 子 [シ・ス・こ] – child
衣装 [いしょう] – clothing; costume
- 衣 [イ] – clothing
- 装 [ソウ・ショウ・よそおう] – attire; disguise
I’m guessing that the idea of this one is “you can even dress up a packhorse driver and make him look nice.” Not sure what they had against packhorse drivers.
掲載 [けいさい] – publication; to run (an article in a newspaper)
- 掲 [ケイ・かかげる] – to put up (a notice); display
- 載 [サイ・のせる] – place; publish
絶賛 [ぜっさん] – high praise; rave review
- 絶 [ゼツ・たえる] – beyond; interrupt; suppress
- 賛 [サン・たすける] – approval; praise
致命的 [ちめいてき] – lethal, fatal (-na adjective)
- 致 [チ・いたす] – do, cause, incur, exert
- 命 [メイ・いのち] – fate, life, destiny
- 的 [テキ・まと] – target, object, bull’s eye
致命的な欠陥 [けっかん] – a fatal flaw
鯛の尾よりも鰯の頭 [たいのおよりもいわしのかしら] – It’s better to be the head of a sardine than the tail of a sea bream.
This saying is akin to something like “Better to be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion” in English. While I don’t agree with the “don’t be too ambitious” slant of the saying at all, it’s still pretty cool. Plus, there are the names of two fish in there, so hey… free vocab!
Note also that 頭, which is often pronounced あたま is, in this case, read かしら.