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あいづち responding during conversation

言葉の語源 kotoba no gogen – The origin of words:

あいづち aizuchi [相槌]

Meaning: verbal or non verbal responses of agreement while someone is speaking. (While listening to someone you nod for example)

Hint: Remember the “zu” is づ


あいづちを打つ
aizuchi o utsu

Example: あの人のはなしは面白くなかったけれど、一応あいづちを打ちながら聞いていた。


ano hito no hanashi wa omoshiroku nakatta keredo, ichiou aizuchi o uchinagara kiiteita
That person’s story wasn’t interesting, but I listened while throwing in the occasional “uh huh” or “yes.”

Example: クレイさんは、「そうですね」と相づちを打ちました。
kurei san wa “sou desu ne” to aizuchi o uchimashita.
Clay agreed with a nod of “that’s right”.

Origin: This word comes from the conversation-like pounding when making swords. Sword makers would use a hammer called つち (槌) to pound the molten metal into the right shape. Several people would take turns pounding in a rhythm as if conversing with each other but without words. From this came the meaning of responding to someone non verbally while speaking.

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