Mushi no Iki

[Japanese Idioms by Flashcards]


the breath of an insect

(near one’s death, almost dead)

Since insects are small, imagine how faint their breath must be. The chances of recovery are extremely slim for a man whose breath is as faint as that of an insect.

Sample text:
(Style: spoken/formal/female)

A: Tanaka-san no oniisan, mattaku kinodokuni nee. Kootsuu jiko de nakunattan desu te ne.
B: Ee, soo na n desu te. Ookina jiko de ne, byooin ni 
tsuita toki wa moo mushi no iki datta rashii n desu yo.

A: 田中さんのお兄さん、全くどくにねえ。交通事故で亡くなったんですってね。
B: ええ、そうなんですって。大きな事故でね。病院に着いた時はもう虫の息だったらしいんですよ。

A: Tanaka’s brother, what a tragedy! I hear he was killed in a traffic accident.
B: Yes, that’s what I heard, too. It was a pretty serious 
accident. It seems he was almost dead by the time he arrived at the hospital.

Japanese Idioms

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