“chippoke” vs. “chīsai“：Did You Realize The Difference?
The meaning of these “ちっぽけ(chippoke)” and “小さい(chīsai)” is quite similar, however, what is the difference between “ちっぽけ” and “小さい? They are slightly different. Let me introduce what they are slightly different and how you correctly use them such as native speakers today!
So small (Pessimistic) / 很小 / 자그마함 / Nhỏ bé
“ちっぽけ(chippoke)” means “So small” and which has been basically used as the meaning of “Pessimistic or Ironic”, unlike “小さい(chīsai)”. For instance “小さい家(a mall house) and ちっぽけな家(a so small house ‘Ironically saying’), 小さい夢(a small dream) and ちっぽけな夢(a so small dream ‘pessimistically saying’), 小さい車(a small car) and ちっぽけな車(a so small car ‘Ironically saying’). When people use “ちっぽけ” about someone’s things such as ちっぽけな夢, they ironically use it. And when people use “ちっぽけ” about themselves such as ちっぽけな夢, they pessimistically use it. The tips of the way to use it are to explain for yourself(pessimistically use) or to someone’s things(ironically use).
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自分がいかにちっぽけな存在か気づいたよ。 (I realized how insignificant I am for you, Yuka.) (我意识到自己是多么渺小的存在啊。) (내가 얼마나 하찮은 존재인지 깨달았어.) (Tớ nhận ra mình nhỏ bé đến mức nào.) (jibun ga ikani chippoke na sonzai ka kidzuita yo.)
悩み事なんて本当にちっぽけだったよ。 (I felt that my worries were such so small things.) (烦恼的事真的很渺小。) (고민 따위 정말 별거 아니더라.) (Phiền muộn cũng chỉ là chuyện nhỏ thôi.) (nayami goto nante hontōni chippoke datta yo.)
どうしたの？ (What’s wrong?) (怎么了？) (무슨 일이야?) (Cậu sao thế?) (dō shita no?)
宇宙に比べたら僕なんてちっぽけだよ。 (I’m so small compared to the universe.) (与宇宙相比，我真的很渺小啊。) (우주에 비하면 나같은건 별거 아니야..) (So với vũ trụ chúng ta thật quá nhỏ bé.) (uchū ni kurabe tara boku nante chippoke dayo.)
Small/Little / 小 / 작다 / Nhỏ
“小さい(chīsai)” means “Small or Little” and which has been used as the meaning of “a size that is less than normal or usual” that is an adjective so the basic way to use it is “___(subject)は/が小さい” or “小さい___(noun)”. For instance, “字が小さい(The letters are small.)” and “小さい字(the small letters)”, その車は小さい(The car is small.) and “小さい車を運転する(I drive a small car.)”, etc. “小さい” doesn’t have an ironic or pessimistic meaning, however, when people ironically or pessimistically use it, that would be an ironic or pessimistic meaning. It depends on how people say something with “小さい” though. This means you can use “小さい” ironically or pessimistically.
音量が小さいです。 (The volume is a little low.) (音量很小。) (음량이 작습니다.) (Âm lượng bé.) (onryō ga chīsai desu.)
小さい手だね。 (Your hands are small.) (好小的手啊。) (작은 손이구나.) (Tay cậu nhỏ thật!) (chīsai te dane.)
このペン小さくない？ (Isn’t this pen small?) (这支笔不小吗？) (이 펜 작지 않아?) (Cây bút này nhỏ quá nhỉ?) (kono pen chīsaku nai?)
ちょっとこの服小さいかも・・ (I think this wear is pretty small.) (这件衣服可能有点小……) (이 옷 조금 작은 것 같은데…) (Bộ đồ này có lẽ hơi nhỏ …) (chotto kono fuku chīsai kamo…)
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