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Get What You Deserve – 自業自得

Here’s the Japanese equivalent of a nice little idiom that we often find ourselves using in English. 自業自得 literally translates to the English idiom ‘you reap what you sow’. But we have several other expressions that are good matches for this Japanese phrase too. Let’s explore.

自業自得

じごうじとく

You reap what you sow

Can you think of other equivalent English expressions? There are quiet a lot! Some examples:

A taste of your own medicine.
He’ll get what’s coming to him.
She’s asking for it.
Asking for trouble.
Make one’s bed and lie in it.
Get what you deserve.
Just deserts.

And plenty more! All of these could be good translations for 自業自得. But how do we use this word?

自業自得 has a nice little explanation in Japanese, so let’s take a look.

自分の行いの報いを自分が受けること。

じぶんの おこないの むくいを じぶんで うけること。

Facing the consequences for one’s own actions.

Usually the phrase is used to refer to something bad, or an unpleasant situation.

もとは仏教の語で、自分のした善悪の行為で、みずから苦楽の結果を招き受けること。

もとは ぶっきょうのごで、 じぶんのした ぜんあくの こういで、 みずから くらくの けっかを まねきうけること。

Originally a Buddhist word, it signifies that one’s own good actions will invite good rewards and bad actions will invite unpleasant consequences.

Okay, examples!


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8 Responses to Gakuu. Studying with Real Japanese

  1. Sabrina September 29, 2010 at 5:48 pm #

    This is pretty cool! Right now I’m studying on Textfugu which is great! I belive Gakuu can be really helpul too. What I like most is that its for pre-intermediate to advanced level students. So you can’t say its the same thing over and over again… students can actually improve their knowledge here. Thank you very much for creating this site. Have a nice day :)
    -Sabrina

    • Gakuranman September 30, 2010 at 1:09 am #

      Hi Sabrina! Thank you for your comment :).

      That’s definitely our aim. I love Textfugu for beginners and really getting students a solid grounding in the language, but afterwards (and even while) studying the basics, it can really help to encounter raw Japanese material. You don’t have to understand everything at first, but feeling challenged and picking up little bits here and there that are extra to your learning the basics helps expand your mind. Let me know if you have any more questions! More demonstration material will be up soon! We are currently having a special launch sale price for early adopters, so check out the pricing page if interested :).

      • Sabrina September 30, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

        Thanks for your reply. :) Unfortunately I’m even still miles away from the intermediate level. But I’ll definetly return to Gakuu when I get to this point. Anyway, I’m looking forward to the extra demonstration material. :) Keep up the good work.

        • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 12:21 am #

          Sure thing :). Let me know if you have any other questions or suggestions for things you’d like to see on Gakuu!

  2. missingno15 October 1, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

    When I looked at this, I first thought to myself, “aw hell no, gakuranman is doing the same thing as koichi…even the website layout is similar”. But then I realized “it’s aimed at pre-intermediate to advanced level students” which is perfect for my situation right now because I now really want to excel way past beginner. So basically, Gakuu really complements Textfugu. Can’t wait for more lessons to see how this is gonna be like so I can decide if its worth getting.

    • Gakuranman October 1, 2010 at 7:37 pm #

      Hey there! Thanks for dropping by :). No way – Koichi and I are buds. I’ve always loved teaching the more advanced stuff so it worked out perfectly. I’ll be adding more stuff in the coming days, so please stay tuned!

  3. DumbOtaku (percent20) October 3, 2010 at 12:58 am #

    This is really cool. I am glad to see more online content going beyond just teaching hirigana and katakana. That is what I try to do on my blog, but with to little consistency. Glad to see an expert do it, btw already a signed-up paid member now. :)

    • Gakuranman October 3, 2010 at 2:24 pm #

      Glad to have you man! Look forward to hearing any suggestions you have for the site and future lessons :)

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