日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

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Re: 日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

Postby הענט » 2016-01-02, 17:54

My textbook reads: watashi wa hatachi desu for I'm 20 yo. Is it correct. Why not watashi wa nijuusai desu.

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Re: 日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

Postby Yasna » 2016-01-02, 20:13

Dr. House wrote:My textbook reads: watashi wa hatachi desu for I'm 20 yo. Is it correct. Why not watashi wa nijuusai desu.

20 years old is special because that's when you become an adult in Japan. Japanese prefers the native Japanese word for this age, especially in the context of 成人式. にじゅっさい is not unheard of though, especially in the news.
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Re: 日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

Postby Koko » 2016-02-09, 3:35

I was wondering if it's ever possible to negate a negative verb/adjective :hmm:

俺はそこに行かなくなかった。— "I didn't not go there."

(or are double negatives simply impossible?)

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Re: 日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

Postby Núria Harket » 2016-10-15, 15:50


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Re: 日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

Postby Meera » 2016-12-16, 4:36

Thank you Nuria
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Re: 日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

Postby Iván » 2018-08-19, 14:36

I've always read that Japanese is a hierarchy-oriented language, so I would like to know whether someone could tell me more about it or if there's any good lecture/source on this topic.
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Re: 日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

Postby Ciarán12 » 2018-08-19, 15:09

Iván wrote:I've always read that Japanese is a hierarchy-oriented language, so I would like to know whether someone could tell me more about it or if there's any good lecture/source on this topic.


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honorif ... prov=sfla1

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Re: 日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

Postby linguoboy » 2018-10-12, 17:31

Is anyone familiar with the connotations of 沈黙? In Korean, this appears to have the specific meaning of "silence" in the sense of a person not speaking (as opposed to, say, a peaceful absence of all sound). Is that true of the Japanese?
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Re: 日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

Postby ceid donn » 2018-10-12, 21:29

As far as I know and as far as my resources suggest, yes. It seems to mean to not speak or remain quiet as a verb, or the silence from someone not speaking as a noun.

It comes from this Chinese word, which also has the same connotation: 沉默

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Re: 日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

Postby pennybright » 2018-10-27, 17:50

In general, if you need to know the connotation of a word and you don't have a native speaker you can ask, it's often a good idea to try looking up the word in a J-J dictionary such as the 広辞苑, or コトバンク online if you want something free. For instance, the コトバンク entry for 沈黙 is:

1 だまりこむこと。口をきかないこと。「沈黙を守る」「沈黙を破る」「沈黙して語らない」
2 音を出さないこと。物音もなく静かなこと。「深い夜の沈黙」
3 活動をせずにじっとしていること。「長い沈黙を破って新作を発表する」

It's clear from #1 that the primary connotation of 沈黙 is silence that comes from not speaking (evident also in the use of the kanji 黙, which is used in the verb 黙る). It's also clear from #2 and #3 that the word can sometimes be used with a wider connotation as well.

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How to advance with spoken Japanese when there are 12 others too on one's learning list?

Postby SomehowGeekyPolyglot » 2018-11-10, 11:12

I'd really like to advance at least some more with spoken Japanese.
However, there also are ... 12 ... other languages on my learning list.
I only learn them in rotation, not several of them the same time.
Also, I have my reasons for doing so, instead of simply quitting learning some of them :).
So how to still advance at least a bit with Japanese in this case?
As for all others on my list, I am not even asking this question, because while I am now not considering Japanese more difficult than any of the others any more, there still is some (minor) Learning Progress Stagnation.

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Re: 日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

Postby SomehowGeekyPolyglot » 2018-11-11, 17:03

In written Japanese, there is a lot of disambiguation going on by the use of different Kanji for the Japanese Homophones.

But in spoken Japanese, of course this distinction cannot be made.

Is it possible to say that usually, the context provides enough clues that serve as a "substitute" for the Written Kanji Disambiguation?

Or is it rather often required to additionally ask specific questions like "did you mean ____ by saying it, or _____ instead"?

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Re: 日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

Postby SomehowGeekyPolyglot » 2018-11-12, 9:17

(If I am posting another question before the other one has been answered in some cases, I do like to point out that I am not even trying to apply even the slightest "pressure". It's just that sometimes, anybody's questions simply could remain unanswered, which is fine to me, too.)

"蛇はどこですか?"

When I read this example somewhere, there also was a Romaji transcription included. It said "dokodesu", not "doko desu". Does that mean that this is really a compound word (without a pause of speech between those two)? Or is it simply "doko", then "desu", with a pause of speech?

"あそこにカフェがあります。"

Why exactly would one use "ga" instead of "wa" in this case?

"ゴリラとシマウマはどこですか?"

In this example, first "to" is used, then "wa".
If a sentence like this contains "wa", does it always refer to both things mentioned (i.e. the two connected with "to")? Or does it also sometimes only refer to the second thing mentioned, without the first one?

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Re: 日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

Postby pennybright » 2018-11-13, 15:23

Yes, since Japanese has a relatively limited sound system, there are a lot of homophones. However, this is rarely a problem in conversation because context makes it clear.

SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:"蛇はどこですか?"

When I read this example somewhere, there also was a Romaji transcription included. It said "dokodesu", not "doko desu". Does that mean that this is really a compound word (without a pause of speech between those two)? Or is it simply "doko", then "desu", with a pause of speech?

どこ and です are two separate words. Spaces in romaji are generally an indication of how the person who wrote the romaji wants to emphasize underlying syntactic structures. There is no need to take them too seriously. There is, of course, no pause between the words in this utterance, just as there is no pause between two words in one phrase in any spoken language.

"あそこにカフェがあります。"

Why exactly would one use "ga" instead of "wa" in this case?

Because it sounds more natural with the verb あります. If you used は, it would sound like a contrastive は:
あそこにカフェはありますが、レストランはありません。
(Actually, even in the above I prefer が after カフェ, myself.)
In general, you can stick to が with あります and います.

"ゴリラとシマウマはどこですか?"

In this example, first "to" is used, then "wa".
If a sentence like this contains "wa", does it always refer to both things mentioned (i.e. the two connected with "to")?

Yes.

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Re: 日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

Postby SomehowGeekyPolyglot » 2018-11-13, 15:30

pennybright wrote:どこ and です are two separate words. Spaces in romaji are generally an indication of how the person who wrote the romaji wants to emphasize underlying syntactic structures. There is no need to take them too seriously. There is, of course, no pause between the words in this utterance, just as there is no pause between two words in one phrase in any spoken language.

When I was mentioning a pause of speech, I only meant a, so to say, "spoken whitespace" :D. Because this is done all the time in English and other languages after each word that has been mentioned in a sentence.

pennybright wrote:
"あそこにカフェがあります。"
Why exactly would one use "ga" instead of "wa" in this case?

Because it sounds more natural with the verb あります. If you used は, it would sound like a contrastive は:
あそこにカフェはありますが、レストランはありません。
(Actually, even in the above I prefer が after カフェ, myself.)
In general, you can stick to が with あります and います.


"Contrastive", this is a term I need to read more about.
(This isn't an additional question. I just prefer responding to my question's responses whenever possible.)

pennybright wrote:
"ゴリラとシマウマはどこですか?"
In this example, first "to" is used, then "wa".
If a sentence like this contains "wa", does it always refer to both things mentioned (i.e. the two connected with "to")?

Yes.


So would you also know if there is a word that can be used to only refer to the second thing mentioned?

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Re: 日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

Postby pennybright » 2018-11-13, 16:05

SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:When I was mentioning a pause of speech, I only meant a, so to say, "spoken whitespace" :D. Because this is done all the time in English and other languages after each word that has been mentioned in a sentence.

What do you mean by "spoken whitespace"? Because if you mean any sort of pause, that's incorrect--we perceive separations between words in spoken language only because we recognize word boundaries at the conceptual level. If you listen to a language that you don't know, you will hear a string of sounds that you won't be able to divide except at phrase boundaries or when the speaker pauses to search for a word.

Here are some Wikipedia articles on this topic that might interest you:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speech_perception (See "Linearity and the Segmentation Problem")
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speech_segmentation

SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:"Contrastive", this is a term I need to read more about.
(This isn't an additional question. I just prefer responding to my question's responses whenever possible.)

No worries :) FYI, "contrastive" is a term I use with my students, but I don't know if it's widely used. So, just to clarify: は is often used to indicate contrast.

That can be in a parallel "this is A, but that is B" structure, e.g.:
リンゴは好きですがオレンジは好きじゃありません。
"I like apples, but I don't like oranges."

Or it can be used once to simply indicate "at least/as potentially opposed to other things."
A:Bさん、今日はきれいですね。
B:「今日」?!
("B-san, you look pretty today." "As opposed to every other day? What are you saying, bub?")

SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:
pennybright wrote:
SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:"ゴリラとシマウマはどこですか?"
In this example, first "to" is used, then "wa".
If a sentence like this contains "wa", does it always refer to both things mentioned (i.e. the two connected with "to")?

Yes.

So would you also know if there is a word that can be used to only refer to the second thing mentioned?

と links the two nouns inseparably, so no. After all, if you only wanted to ask about the zebras, you wouldn't ask, "Where are the gorillas and the zebras?" You'd just ask, "Where are the zebras?" Did you have a specific example sentence in mind?

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Re: 日本語の雑談 (Japanese Language Discussion)

Postby SomehowGeekyPolyglot » 2018-11-13, 16:31

pennybright wrote:
SomehowGeekyPolyglot wrote:"Contrastive", this is a term I need to read more about.
(This isn't an additional question. I just prefer responding to my question's responses whenever possible.)

No worries :) FYI, "contrastive" is a term I use with my students, but I don't know if it's widely used. So, just to clarify: は is often used to indicate contrast.


Not worrying anyway :). It's just that I do like to reduce the workload of others as much as possible ;). Now that slight change of wording did contribute something to myself understanding it better. Because "contrastive" didn't sound to familiar to be as someone who isn't a native of English.

[And as for the topic of a "spoken whitespace" (which I couldn't explain much more clearly anyway than I already did), rather than silently not saying anything more about it, I'd just like to mention that for some reason, I wouldn't really intend to say anything more about it. (Decided to do the latter and not the former, because otherwise, I could appear as sort of "micro-harsh" for simply not responding to it, that's all).]

pennybright wrote:After all, if you only wanted to ask about the zebras, you wouldn't ask, "Where are the gorillas and the zebras?" You'd just ask, "Where are the zebras?"


Sure, otherwise it really would be sort of strange. "Where are the gorillas and the zebras? But I am only asking about the zebras!" :ohwell: :ohwell:

pennybright wrote:Did you have a specific example sentence in mind?


Something like "Here, there are both gorillas and zebras. Now where exactly are they?"

I'd be looking for a Japanese Language Tool Word (or two of them) that can be used to express the difference between:
- "Here, there are both gorillas and zebras. Now where exactly are they (the zebras only)?"
"Here, there are both gorillas and zebras. Now where exactly are they (both groups of animals being mentioned)?"

And I am not saying something like this too often, but because of yourself already having answered a not-so-small number of my All Things Nihongo questions :), you could decide to take a look at my signature's second thread link, and also at the most recent post of that thread. (No reply even required about what I just said, but sometimes I simply feel like mentioning it).


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