Learning how to use KY properly.

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    If you live in Japan, chances are that you’ve heard “KY” mentioned, and that person was not talking about the sexual lubricant. “KY”, for those who don’t know is short for “kuuki yomenai” (空気読めない), meaning you can’t read the air. The kids I teach throw this out all the time. Any time someone doesn’t seem to understand the atmosphere, and says something that kills the mood, you hear 14 year-olds shouting “KY! KY!”

    A story taken from oh my news describes how “KY Language” (KY語) is becoming something even more annoying than anything on the English Internet, with its LOLs and ROTFLs can throw at you. Seeing as IT in English is “information technology,” a Japanese student, when asked about the acronym, said it’s a direct translation of the English, “information technology.”


    The student was quickly corrected and told that IT stands for “aisu tabetai?” (アイス食べたい?) Do you want to eat some ice cream?

    And I thought that American kids were doomed.

    GOT? gyuudon oomori tsuyudaku (牛丼大盛りつゆだく)Large beef-bowl in broth.

    JC? joshi chuugakusei (女子中学生)Junior-high school girl.

    ODD? omae daigaku dousuru? (お前、大学どうする?)What are you going to do about college?

    The kids interviewed said that these are not commonly used in conversation, but are most likely to be used in e-mail and on message boards. It just goes to show that no matter what language you speak, there’s always gonna be kids distorting it on the Internet.

    Bonus: KY Language online translator

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