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HomeLanguage LearningPhrases Past Translation: Ichi-go Ichi-e (いちごいちえ)

Phrases Past Translation: Ichi-go Ichi-e (いちごいちえ)

Studying Time: 4 minutes

Language helps us pinpoint precisely how we really feel. However each language has its limits. Typically, it’s onerous to seek out the correct phrases in your native language to precise how superior, bizarre, horrifying, or hilarious a scenario may be. That’s a part of what makes studying new languages so enjoyable—it opens up an entire new world of expression. 

For instance, pleasant in English falls flat when what you actually need to say is nakakagigil in Tagalog, which implies that’s so cute I NEED to pinch it. 

Or how concerning the phrase compromise? Positive, an settlement was reached, however taraadin (تَراضٍ) in Arabic makes a much more endearing level—it means a cheerful resolution for everybody

On this There’s a Phrase for That collection, we’re looking on the phrases and phrases that get to the center of extraordinary and on a regular basis conditions. By means of world-traveler Celinne Da Costa’s eager eye and real-world experiences, we’ll break down the that means behind every phrase. 

Now, right here’s a glimpse into ichi-go ichi-e, a preferred Japanese proverb that may broaden the way you describe and perceive likelihood encounters.  

What does Ichi-go Ichi-e (いちごいちえ) imply? 

Consider all of the individuals you meet in your lifetime. What if you happen to acknowledged every of these encounters as once-in-a-lifetime alternatives and gave them your utmost presence and a spotlight? Actually translated into ichi (one) go (time) ichi (one) e (assembly/encounter), ichi-go ichi-e is an outdated Japanese proverb meaning one alternative, one encounter. It may also be interpreted as for this time solely, by no means once more, and as soon as in a lifetime. Rooted in Buddhist philosophy, the time period ichigo means from one’s start to demise.

In different phrases, ichi-go ichi-e embodies the philosophy that each second spent in an encounter ought to be extremely treasured, as a result of it should by no means happen once more.

Observe saying it out loud utilizing the audio file under: 

LISTEN: How you can pronounce ichi-go ichi-e

The place does the Ichi-go Ichi-e philosophy come from? 

The idea dates again to Sixteenth-century Japanese tea ceremonies, the place members would meet to have tea collectively, with the understanding that this precise ceremony wouldn’t reoccur of their lifetime. Due to this, they approached your complete expertise with respect, sincerity, and a spotlight.

Celinne, an avid traveler, discovered about ichi-go ichi-e from her Japanese good friend, Miyako, who, upon being quizzed about untranslatable Japanese phrases, described it fantastically:

“Ichi-go ichi-e speaks to the concept nobody encounter can ever be recreated: Every second and every convergence of time, house, gentle, temper, thought, and circumstance is singular and unrepeatable. As such, each encounter ought to be met with one’s full, attuned senses. Some encounters plant seeds that take root over time, whereas others change the course of 1’s life in a single second.”  

Celinne’s life has been peppered by these moments. She spent a yr touring all over the world, staying within the houses of associates and strangers alike. Her objective was to rediscover what it meant to be human by sharing real moments of reference to others. 

Nepal - Kid - Family

What expertise have you ever had that formed your understanding of Ichi-go Ichi-e? 

In Celinne’s phrases, right here’s how an uncomfortable scenario led to a significant likelihood encounter in Nepal. 

There was a selected second I had throughout a meditation retreat in Nepal that greatest upholds the ichi-go ichi-e philosophy. Once I signed up for the retreat, I pictured myself sitting cross-legged in deep meditation for every week, the utter depiction of piety and Zen. What really ended up occurring was severe food-poisoning that had me working to the toilet each hour.

On the fourth day, I used to be sitting at one of many widespread tables making an attempt to down my supper. I will need to have been fairly the sight: pale face, stomach loudly gurgling, and making zero try to cover my distress.

As I used to be considering one more lavatory break, a person quietly sat throughout from me. He softly smiled at me and started consuming, when my abdomen gurgled and interrupted the silence. 

“Are you alright?” he requested me.

I answered, “To be trustworthy, I’m having a number of the worst diarrhea of my life.”

Barely batting an eye fixed at my shameless confession, he responded: “Have you ever tried acupuncture?”

Puzzled (in any case, we have been in the midst of the Nepalese mountains), I laughed and answered no.

Little may I’ve anticipated that the person sitting throughout from me was an acupuncturist and would instantly provide to deal with me proper then and there. Out of each curiosity and desperation, I agreed to provide it a strive.

Acupuncture - Japanese

I’ve by no means fairly skilled intimacy like having a whole stranger stick needles into my abdomen inside half-hour of assembly. Inside a day, I used to be virtually again to regular, and shortly after, my newfound good friend left the retreat middle. I by no means noticed him once more.

I couldn’t assist however really feel that our encounter was not a coincidence. It’s foolish to confess that having a nasty case of the runs and being fortunate sufficient to have somebody there to deal with it enriched my life. However this random encounter was one of many many uncooked acts of belief that I’ve prolonged throughout my travels which have fantastically paid off.

Friends - Nepal - Japanese

Though it hurts to acknowledge that I’ll by no means see that man once more (and if I did, it will not be the identical), I do know that our ichi-go ichi-e was distinctive and contributed to my belief in individuals.

The philosophy behind Ichi-go ichi-e is a potent reminder that the fantastic thing about the journey is in how we method the current. Giving our full presence and a spotlight to every interplay permits us to be taught deeply from all kinds of individuals. Everybody has the facility to deliver worth into our lives, even these we would not meet once more. All we’ve got to do is hear. 

Impressed to maintain the training going with Japanese? Rosetta Stone will help you get conversation-ready.

Celinne Da Costa (@CelinneDaCosta) is a model story coach and author who shares actual, human tales all over the world. 



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