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Thread: mottainai

  1. #1
    Itasan is offline Member
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    Default mottainai

    It is said that Ms Maathai, Assistant Environment Minister of Kenya, was impressed by the Japanese word ‘mottainai’. The idea of ‘mottainai’ is fairly well expressed by a Japanese college student as: It expresses not only regret for the material loss, but also regret for the process of making, getting or achieving something. This is the "mottainai" spirit.
    I have gathered several translations from newspapers, etc.
    1. Waste Not, Want Not.
    2. What a Waste!
    3. Don’t Waste Resources.
    4. Wasteful!
    5. Too Precious to Waste
    6. Don't waste what is valuable.
    7. Don’t waste it because it’s precious and limited.
    8. Shameful to waste
    In my opinion, these all work and mean nearly the same thing. As a slogan, which one, do you think, is the best? ‘Mottainai’ is basically an adjective, but as a slogan, it need not be an adjective in English. Also, do you have any other suggestions?
    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: mottainai

    Perhaps,

    We worked too long to get here, let's not throw it away.

    So much work by so many people for so many years... can all be thrown away by a single person.

    Hurting the environment is wasting a lifetime of work...

    Do not destroy in a minute what took years to grow.

    A forest is a terrible thing to waste.. or to lose...

  3. #3
    Itasan is offline Member
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    Default Re: mottainai

    Wow!!!
    So many valuable examples by a single person.
    I will not waste the information.
    Thank you very much.

  4. #4
    Itasan is offline Member
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    Default Re: mottainai

    Would you please correct errors?
    1. Think before buying, think before throwing.
    2. uy not, throw not.
    3. Use as long as possible.
    4. Never throw away easily.
    Thank you.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: mottainai

    Would you please correct errors?
    1. Think before buying, think before throwing.
    Wonderful, perfect!

    2. uy not, throw not.
    2. Buy not, throw not.
    Good.

    3. Use as long as possible.
    Good.

    4. Never throw away easily.
    4. Never throw away without thought (or, without thinking.)

    A phrase we use in my city is "Use Less Stuff." ("Stuff" means things, objects, items) "Use Less Stuff" is simple, short and easy to remember... we also hear "Use less" Very short, but it means exactly what you want to say.

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