I bought わがままファッションガルズモード from the Nintendo (JP) e-shop today. I feel a little silly about the purchase. You may know this series in the U.S. as Style Savvy. Back when it came out in 2009 I rented it from GameFly and played the heck out of it. I was excited to see there was a new one releasing, more excited that I could download the game (take that $20 shipping!), and even more excited to try to play it in Japanese. I’m doing pretty well so far. I understand a lot of what’s going on (it’s not rocket science). The kanji has furigana which makes my life easier. And it’s super cute (which is kind of why I feel silly about playing it. 80% of the time I’m very anti-girly.)
But the characters in the game kept using a grammatical structure that was driving me nuts. They were using “ちゃう” and “ちゃった” everywhere. I thought I knew what it meant. I learned via Tae Kim’s guide to learning Japanese that ちゃう was used to express unintentional actions like “I ate the whole cake! (I suck)” and “OMG I forgot to do my homework (and I suck)!” etc. and also used to express completing something like, “I read the whole book.”
But the ちゃう I encountered didn’t really seem to fit into those usages. The customers were saying it after I picked out awesome clothing for them. Maybe they wanted ALL of the awesome clothes, I thought. But even that seemed kind of sketchy. So I googled a bit more thinking it was feminine speech and I was right! I believe they’re just using it to sound cute and girly! According to Maggie Sensei it’s also used to add emphasis and cuteness. So now I can continue selling ポップなシャツ without wondering if they want ALL the darn shirts or what. Thanks Maggie Sensei!