As you might know, English has a lot of contractions.  It’s a way of shortening words.  So, for example, “I am” becomes “I’m”, and “They have” becomes “they’ve”.  So, why, you might ask, does Japanese, a language in which the speakers seem to really hate spending mouth energy they don’t have to, not have contractions?

Well, simple answer:  It does!

But they’re not like ours.

You might have heard the song “Motteke! Sailor Fuku” from the anime “Lucky Star”.  It is chock full of contractions, to the point where it almost doesn’t make sense.  For example, “motteike saigo ni waracchau nowa atashi no hazu”.  What is that “waracchau”?  The phrase translates to roughly “Bring it on! At the end I’ll have the last laugh!”  But, where’s “laugh”?  That’s “Warau”.  “To laugh”.  It’s just a very casual (and a bit girly) way of indicating a complete action.

See this link for further details.

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