Referring to the Tanabata lovers who only meet once a year:

A) 「せめて毎月一回会えればいいのに」
A) "I wish they could meet at least once a month."
B) 「一年一回っていうのがいいんだ。そんなに何回もベタベタ会うもんじゃねェや」
B) "Once a year is fine. In that way they'll meet stickily many times. Right?"

What on earth does ベタベタ mean in this context? I thought it meant sticky. But I can't imagine what a sticky meeting is.


ベタベタ is an onomatopoeia (擬態語) commonly used for describing a couple or lovers being close and intimate, as well as for something being sticky. Maybe it's a bit close to イチャイチャ.

(≂ そんなに何回もベタベタ会うものではない)

I think it'd be something like "It's good because it's just once a year. (≂ What's good about it is that they meet only once a year.) They shouldn't be meeting that often (≂ so many times a year), so intimately."


It feels to me that ベタベタ here is not describing a manner in which single instances of Orihime and Hikoboshi's meeting may be engaged in. Rather, by ベタベタ Person B is referring to the frequency with which, Person A wishes, they could see each other. Person B thinks meeting once a month would be to "ベタベタ会う", regardless of how "clinglingly" the star-crossed lovers might spend their time together. (Person A mentions only how often they should meet, not in what way, don' they? Then it would be somewhat incongruous with the anaphoric そんな if we interpret ベタベタ as a "manner adverb", unless Person B is somehow presupposing that the meeting would be ベタベタ in the "manner" sense of the word, which I think is unlikely.)



The essence of the above sentence is



In this context "あっさり" is the antonym of "ベタベタ" in Japanese.
We say "彼{かれ}と彼女{かのじょ}の関係{かんけい}はあっさりしている。" to describe their indifferent relation.
Do you get the nuance of "ベタベタした感じ"?

  • I think the problem is understanding how meeting (合う) can be ベタベタ. It comes naturally to native Japanese people, but I also think it sounds a bit strange. How do you understand the relation of 何回も and ベタベタ? Are they both adverbs modifying 合う or is そんなに何回も separate from ベタベタ合う?
    – siikamiika
    May 1 '17 at 13:21
  • @siikamiika You've described my problem exactly. May 1 '17 at 13:48
  • @mackygoo So might 'passionately' be a suitable translation of ベタベタ? If they meet once a year their meeting will be passionate, but if they meet every month then it will be less intense? Is that the kind of meaning? May 1 '17 at 13:52
  • @mackygoo I'm not sure if そんなに is talking about person A or person B's previous comment. If it refers to person A then I might think he means that meeting once a month is too much, and meeting too often makes the relationship 'sticky' in a bad way. I'm very confused. May 1 '17 at 13:56
  • @ user3856370 >'passionately' Yes, it is suitable. But the latter understanding is incorrect. They are too passionate to be in normal passion, which could not make them apart for a year.
    – mackygoo
    May 1 '17 at 14:03

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