Today, as I was heading back to work when my lunch break was nearing its end, I decided to say hello to a friend of mine. He was talking to a couple of girls, and he called to me:

“Ken, come and explain this. You know sun-dare?” He spelled it for me.

“No, I don’t know what that is.”

“What? You’re supposed to be the Japanese expert!”

“Wait,” I said, interest piqued, and pride bruised, “spell it again.”


“Oh… Don’t know that word.”

One of the girls said to him, “So, explain what it means.”

He did. And, unfortunately, I don’t remember what he said, exactly. But, I decided to look up the word as soon as I found a computer, and, according to the dictionary I found, he was right:

(1) being on the surface sharp and sarcastic (tsuntsun) but underneath lovestruck and fawning (deredere)characteristic of a gap between acted out actions and feelings in mind(2) normally being sharp but at some prompt suddenly becoming lovestruckhot-cold personality type
Jeffrey’s Japanese Dictionary

His definition was more in line with the first one. One of the girls said, “Oh, you mean like Helga!” Haha!

Helga, the perfect example of tsundere!

The interesting thing was his pronunciation of the word. We English-speakers are probably renowned for mispronouncing the ‘ts’ sound (we say sunami). He changed the ‘u’ sound from the short ‘oo’ in ‘book’, and, of course, the last ‘e’ became silent, making that last syllable sound like ‘dare’.

It reminded me how much I hate transliterations. They can be so very confusing. Anyway, I learnt a new word. And it’s a fun one!

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9 Responses to Sun-dare?

  1. read.robin says:

    So how do you pronounce the ‘ts’ sound?

    And that is a fun word!


  2. Did he pronounce the ん properly, props if he did.


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