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Re: Meaning of 日本語

Posted: 2014-07-11, 5:22
by mōdgethanc
It gives you the translingual definition:
ocean, sea
A (typically male) given name
foreign, western, imported

If it doesn't have definitions for each language, look for that.

Re: Meaning of 日本語

Posted: 2014-07-11, 7:06
by dEhiN
mōdgethanc wrote:It gives you the translingual definition:
ocean, sea
A (typically male) given name
foreign, western, imported

If it doesn't have definitions for each language, look for that.

Oh ok, thanks. I saw the translingual def'ns. I didn't realize that if there's no def'n provided for each lang, then the translingual one is what I need to go by. It makes sense though.

Re: Meaning of 日本語

Posted: 2014-07-11, 16:28
by linguoboy
The translingual definitions are, in fact, the strength of Wiktionary in this respect. Otherwise I would recommend language-specific dictionaries like Breen for Japanese or Lin Yu-tang for (Traditional) Chinese.

Re: Meaning of 日本語

Posted: 2014-07-12, 4:10
by dEhiN
Ok cool! Never really used Wiktionary as a regular resource before, so wasn't aware of that. I've generally used specific dictionaries, sometimes sites with multiple dictionaries (like WordReference), or translation sites (like Google Translate). I'm happy to add another site - and specifically a dictionary site with etymologies for myriad of languages - to my repertoire!

Re: Meaning of 日本語

Posted: 2014-07-12, 4:17
by mōdgethanc
Yeah, Wiktionary is pretty solid for East Asian languages, at least for how to pronounce characters. Otherwise, it can be spotty, but often better than Google Translate at least.

Re: Meaning of 日本語

Posted: 2014-07-12, 9:18
by OldBoring
dEhiN wrote:So does 洋 mean Asia? And 東 means east, while 南 is south-east?

東 means east, 南 means south.
洋 means ocean, but also "foreign".
The Language Log article linked by linguoboy explains it.
In Mandarin, for "Orient" we may say Dōngfāng 东方. Dōngyáng 東洋 (lit., "East Ocean") is an old slang term referring to Japan and the Japanese (cf., Dōngyáng guǐzi 东洋鬼子 ["Japanese Devils"], Dōngyáng huò 东洋货 ["Japanese goods"]). Yáng 洋 (lit., "ocean") in Mandarin refers to anything foreign (e.g., chóngyáng mèiwài 崇洋媚外 [lit., "worship of foreign things and fawning over things from abroad"; "xenophilia"], yángrén 洋人 ["foreigner"], xīyáng 西洋 ["Western"], yángcōng 洋葱 ["onion"], etc.). "Orient(al)" refers to a region that includes China, so it can not be considered yáng 洋 ("ocean", i.e., "foreign").


So, from the Chinese viewpoint:
東洋 = Eastern foreign land = Japan (East off China, so it cannot include China itself)
南洋 = Southern foreign land = South-East Asian (but South compared to China)
西洋 = Western foreign land = Europe and Americas

Re: Meaning of 日本語

Posted: 2014-07-12, 18:19
by dEhiN
Thanks Youngfun!