Japanese idiom equivalent to "take with a grain of salt"

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1

Is there a Japanese idiom equivalent to "take with a grain of salt"?

In other words, an idiom which means "don't accept this information as completely true or the complete truth".

MatthewD

Posted 2012-04-10T05:24:41.887

Reputation: 1 520

2I would say that that idiom means a little more "don't immediately accept this information as true (until you learn more)". It doesn't mean that the information in question is actually false, but that it may be colored or prejudiced in some way. It's a way of telling someone to listen to the information and make their own conclusion. – silvermaple – 2012-04-10T05:45:19.517

To help people out with the expression, here's a wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grain_of_salt I actually found it pretty interesting :)

– silvermaple – 2012-04-10T15:52:54.943

Answers

15

This may be close to that phrase:

話{はなし}半{はん}分{ぶん}に聞く

話半分 denotes where roughly half of what is said is a truth, and half is a falsehood or exaggeration according to Daijirin.

Another similar phrase may be 割り引いて聞く, which means something similar to "discount some of what somebody says".

See also Space ALC for more expressions.

cypher

Posted 2012-04-10T05:24:41.887

Reputation: 13 257

6

鵜呑{うの}みにしない

This literally means "don't swallow it whole" (like a pelican), in other words take it with a grain of salt. For example, when I went clothes shopping recently in Japan and the staff kept saying I looked so good in various things I tried on so I ended up buying a bunch of stuff. My Japanese friend later rebuked me by saying

所詮{しょせん}奴{やつ}らは販売員{はんばいいん}なので、店員{てんいん}さんの言{い}うことを鵜呑{うの}みにしないで。

"The staff are salespeople after all, so take what they say with a grain of salt." 奴ら here adds a mild derogatory connotation, like "slimy salespeople" but not as strong.

Other ways partly mentioned by others are also correct:

Xさんの言{い}うことを割{わ}り引{び}いて聞{き}く (or 話{はなし}半分{はんぶん}に聞{き}く)

Karitate

Posted 2012-04-10T05:24:41.887

Reputation: 464

3

For expressing such stories, the phrase 眉唾もの is close. Or, in the form of a predicate, you can say 眉に唾をつけて聞く.

user458

Posted 2012-04-10T05:24:41.887

Reputation:

Rikaichan is telling me that that means "false" but "to take with a grain of salt" doesn't necessarily mean that something is false. Wikipedia can explain it better then me: "[it] means to view something with skepticism, or to not take it literally." – silvermaple – 2012-04-10T15:51:36.003

1Oh? But one of my English-Japanese dictionaries ("Lexis" from 旺文社) says 'take...with a grain of salt' means 「…を割引して聞く, "眉唾"だと思う」... ところでよく思うんですけど理解ちゃんって間違い多いですよね! – None – 2012-04-10T18:11:18.827

1@Chocolate さん、そのとおりです。ありがとう。所詮、日本語を母語としない人が作ったものを日本語を母語としない人が引用して、日本語を母語とする人に対して、間違っているという間違った指摘をするというのが、なんとも滑稽です。 – None – 2012-04-10T18:27:25.370