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Thread: Japanese language

  1. #81

    Default Re: Japanese language

    I'm confused about something:

    [a]何と言いましたか
    [b]何だと言いましたか

    What is the difference between these two? I thought [a] was "What did you say?" but then I also thought "何だと" was "What did you say?" and it has a "だ" in it. And if "何だと" is really 何だと言った" shortened, which is casual for "何だと言いましたか", shouldn't [b] also mean "What did you say"?

    Any help would be appreciated~

  2. #82

    Default Re: Japanese language

    Quote Originally Posted by Meowch View Post
    I'm confused about something:

    [a]何と言いましたか
    [b]何だと言いましたか

    What is the difference between these two? I thought [a] was "What did you say?" but then I also thought "何だと" was "What did you say?" and it has a "だ" in it. And if "何だと" is really 何だと言った" shortened, which is casual for "何だと言いましたか", shouldn't [b] also mean "What did you say"?

    Any help would be appreciated~
    They're pretty much the same, but the nuance is slightly different. Basically, [a] is a more general "what did you say?", while [b] implies with somewhat more precision that the speaker has heard enough of what was said to tell that it was a statement, but is unsure precisely what that statement was (or doesn't believe it, etc.). A rough approximation in English would be something along the lines of "What did you say [was the case]?"
    Co-Translator, Podcast Regular, and Man-in-Japan at Kanzenshuu, your authoritative Dragon Ball online resource

  3. #83

    Default Re: Japanese language

    Quote Originally Posted by SaiyaJedi View Post
    They're pretty much the same, but the nuance is slightly different. Basically, [a] is a more general "what did you say?", while [b] implies with somewhat more precision that the speaker has heard enough of what was said to tell that it was a statement, but is unsure precisely what that statement was (or doesn't believe it, etc.). A rough approximation in English would be something along the lines of "What did you say [was the case]?"
    Thank you! That cleared everything up.

  4. #84
    Someone call for Zeidoktor sgamer82's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese language

    I had a question regarding two kanji I found that, when looked up on a language site, appear to have the same meaning. I'm not 100% sure if this is the place to ask, so if it isn't, please let me know and I'll delete this/ask elsewhere. Anyway, I was wondering what, if any, difference there was between them. The two kanji are:

    自重 Jichou
    思慮 Shiryo

    According the site I generally use for this sort of thing, both words/kanji mean "Prudence." That's all it says for both. My question is regarding if there's any difference between them. The reason why is because a character in a story I'm working is going to be based on the virtue of "Prudence" and I want to use word or words for Prudence to name her.* However, if I use one or the other above as part of the name, I want to select the one most appropriate to the character's personality (think female version of Kikuchiyo from Samurai 7/The Seven Samurai(?)).

    Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.


    *My usual trick is to mix and match until I find something I like/sounds right. I absolutely stink at naming things/people without some kind of wordplay/theme involved...
    Waldorf: You know Statler, after watching the last nine hundred episodes of One Piece, I think I've come to a conclusion.
    Statler: No you haven't.
    Both: DOHOHOHOHOHO!

  5. #85

    Default Re: Japanese language

    Quote Originally Posted by sgamer82 View Post
    I had a question regarding two kanji I found that, when looked up on a language site, appear to have the same meaning. I'm not 100% sure if this is the place to ask, so if it isn't, please let me know and I'll delete this/ask elsewhere. Anyway, I was wondering what, if any, difference there was between them. The two kanji are:

    自重 Jichou
    思慮 Shiryo

    According the site I generally use for this sort of thing, both words/kanji mean "Prudence." That's all it says for both. My question is regarding if there's any difference between them. The reason why is because a character in a story I'm working is going to be based on the virtue of "Prudence" and I want to use word or words for Prudence to name her.* However, if I use one or the other above as part of the name, I want to select the one most appropriate to the character's personality (think female version of Kikuchiyo from Samurai 7/The Seven Samurai(?)).
    According to the Japanese-Japanese dictionary that I have, the former is more about being cautious and staying out of trouble, while the latter has more connotations of thoughtfulness and discretion. But if you're aiming for a Japanese name (especially a Japanese girl's name), neither one is going to sound natural...
    Co-Translator, Podcast Regular, and Man-in-Japan at Kanzenshuu, your authoritative Dragon Ball online resource

  6. #86
    Someone call for Zeidoktor sgamer82's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese language

    Quote Originally Posted by SaiyaJedi View Post
    According to the Japanese-Japanese dictionary that I have, the former is more about being cautious and staying out of trouble, while the latter has more connotations of thoughtfulness and discretion.
    Thank you. With that in mind I think the first one sounds closer to my intentions. As mentioned, she's very similar to Kikuchiyo (though I created her before hearing of Kikuchiyo, the resemblance is enough I'm trying to incorporate it into the character a little) so staying out of trouble/keeping the good guys out of trouble, won't be something shes' very good at.

    Quote Originally Posted by SaiyaJedi View Post
    But if you're aiming for a Japanese name (especially a Japanese girl's name), neither one is going to sound natural...
    Don't worry. The setting's fantasy, so the name won't need to necessarily be Japanese. My usual trick for names in this story has been to mix-and-match syllables from the representing word(s) in varied languages. So I might use the "cho" in "Jicho" but not the "ji" (or vice-versa) and maybe mix it with some letters from 'prudence.' It lets me have my wordplay without making it overly blatant. It's generally worked well (though there are still a few I'm not 100% about).

    Thank you SaiyaJedi.
    Waldorf: You know Statler, after watching the last nine hundred episodes of One Piece, I think I've come to a conclusion.
    Statler: No you haven't.
    Both: DOHOHOHOHOHO!

  7. #87

    Default Re: Japanese language

    Ah, sorry. I have another question...

    I was reading for practice and came across this sentence:
    先に行って待つ方がいいかしら
    "I wonder if it's better to go ahead and wait for them."

    I learned that in this kind of construction where you're making a comparison, the verb before 方 always has to be in past tense (except if it's a negative verb). For example, ゆっくり食べた方がいい. So in the above sentence, how come 待つ is not in the past tense?

  8. #88

    Default Re: Japanese language

    Quote Originally Posted by Meowch View Post
    Ah, sorry. I have another question...

    I was reading for practice and came across this sentence:
    先に行って待つ方がいいかしら
    "I wonder if it's better to go ahead and wait for them."

    I learned that in this kind of construction where you're making a comparison, the verb before 方 always has to be in past tense (except if it's a negative verb). For example, ゆっくり食べた方がいい. So in the above sentence, how come 待つ is not in the past tense?
    Generally speaking, using a verb in the present tense in this situation indicates a more generally-applied idea than when it is in the past. That doesn't entirely seem to mesh with the situation it's being used in, but I suppose in general it's better to get there ahead of time and wait up for others than to arrive late after everyone's gotten there before you...
    Co-Translator, Podcast Regular, and Man-in-Japan at Kanzenshuu, your authoritative Dragon Ball online resource

  9. #89

    Default Re: Japanese language

    Quote Originally Posted by SaiyaJedi View Post
    Generally speaking, using a verb in the present tense in this situation indicates a more generally-applied idea than when it is in the past. That doesn't entirely seem to mesh with the situation it's being used in, but I suppose in general it's better to get there ahead of time and wait up for others than to arrive late after everyone's gotten there before you...
    To use a part of my last example, I have also encountered ゆっくり食べた方が健康にいい. This seems like a general statement to make, yet it uses past tense. Confusing...Am I thinking about this correctly? But I didn't know about this idea before. Thank you!!

  10. #90

    Default Re: Japanese language

    Quote Originally Posted by Meowch View Post
    To use a part of my last example, I have also encountered ゆっくり食べた方が健康にいい. This seems like a general statement to make, yet it uses past tense. Confusing...Am I thinking about this correctly? But I didn't know about this idea before. Thank you!!
    Hmm. I may need to dig out some reference materials on this one.

    EDIT: Okay, so A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (Makino & Tsutsui, 1986) suggests that affirmative present tense + hou ga ii is less emphatic an injunction than affirmative past tense + hou ga ii, which might explain why the former is treated as a more general directive: when you're speaking to a person directly about something they ought to do, you'd invariably use the latter, which is stronger and thus more personal. At least, that's my interpretation. (Keep in mind, though, that a negative case is always in present tense, regardless of the situation.)
    Last edited by SaiyaJedi; July 3rd, 2007 at 05:38 AM.
    Co-Translator, Podcast Regular, and Man-in-Japan at Kanzenshuu, your authoritative Dragon Ball online resource

  11. #91

    Default Re: Japanese language

    Quote Originally Posted by SaiyaJedi View Post
    Hmm. I may need to dig out some reference materials on this one.

    EDIT: Okay, so A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (Makino & Tsutsui, 1986) suggests that affirmative present tense + hou ga ii is less emphatic an injunction than affirmative past tense + hou ga ii, which might explain why the former is treated as a more general directive: when you're speaking to a person directly about something they ought to do, you'd invariably use the latter, which is stronger and thus more personal. At least, that's my interpretation. (Keep in mind, though, that a negative case is always in present tense, regardless of the situation.)
    Ooooh, now that makes sense! You're a really great help, thank you so much!

  12. #92

    Default Re: Japanese language

    Quote Originally Posted by Meowch View Post
    Ooooh, now that makes sense! You're a really great help, thank you so much!
    It's no trouble. If anything, it helps me review things I've already learned, so I can keep my skills sharp.

    Actually, though, digging out A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar reminds me... the book came out in 1986, followed by A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar nine years later, in 1995. That was 12 years ago... d'you suppose they'll get around to publishing the Advanced edition anytime soon?

    EDIT (10 months later): Whee, it just came out. *purchases*
    Last edited by SaiyaJedi; May 18th, 2008 at 04:26 AM.
    Co-Translator, Podcast Regular, and Man-in-Japan at Kanzenshuu, your authoritative Dragon Ball online resource

  13. #93

    Default Re: Japanese language

    Quote Originally Posted by SaiyaJedi View Post
    It's no trouble. If anything, it helps me review things I've already learned, so I can keep my skills sharp.

    Actually, though, digging out A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar reminds me... the book came out in 1986, followed by A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar nine years later, in 1995. That was 12 years ago... d'you suppose they'll get around to publishing the Advanced edition anytime soon?
    They sure take their time...It's certainly reasonable to expect an Advanced edition about now, but you never know. It might take another year or so. ^_^; Speaking of books, do you recommend those? I've been wanting to buy one focused on grammar since I haven't learned anything new aside from vocabulary and kanji in my class for the longest time. I've tried searching for good sites online, but I never know which ones to trust because one site says one thing, and another says something else which contradicts the first. A simple book would make it all much easier.

  14. #94

    Default Re: Japanese language

    Quote Originally Posted by Meowch View Post
    They sure take their time...It's certainly reasonable to expect an Advanced edition about now, but you never know. It might take another year or so. ^_^; Speaking of books, do you recommend those? I've been wanting to buy one focused on grammar since I haven't learned anything new aside from vocabulary and kanji in my class for the longest time. I've tried searching for good sites online, but I never know which ones to trust because one site says one thing, and another says something else which contradicts the first. A simple book would make it all much easier.
    I do recommend those, since they have a lot of detailed info. The explanations themselves can be pretty jargon-intensive, but the examples are effective in explaining the nuances. They're actually my newest additions to my collection, though - Since 2001 or so, I've gathered a jumble of various books, including (in no particular order):
    • Random House Japanese-English English-Japanese Dictionary (Nakao, 1997) - The first book on Japanese I ever owned. A dictionary of this type is inherently limited, but it was my first step on a road to much larger things.
    • The Kanji Dictionary (Spahn & Hadamitzky, 1996) - I purchased this before I had broadband, and thus before online dictionaries became practical for me. The book is hardbound, and very heavy, but it was good practice for finding kanji by radical. Also includes lists of various compounds with said kanji.
    • All About Particles (Chino, 2001)
    • Kanji & Kana: A Handbook of the Japanese Writing System (Spahn & Hadamitzky, rev. 1997) - I bought this as a way of seeing what kanji I already knew, and making some flash cards to remember more. It's not all that effective in terms of a dictionary, but very helpful in that it shows you the steps of properly writing kanji.
    • Japanese Verbs at a Glance (Chino, 2001)
    • The Essential Kanji Dictionary (Kodansha, 2002) - Had to buy this for my sophomore year Japanese class. Much lighter and more portable than my first one, though it only lists kanji that are "essential" to literacy.
    • A Japanese Reader: Graded Lessons in the Modern Language (Miller, 1990) - This book gradually works up from the very basics of kana, all the way to some really advanced stuff. The reason I bought it, though, was because it has lessons on how to read pre-1945 modern literature, covering some classical-form kanji, as well as old-style kana spellings. To that end, there are a couple of excerpts from works by authors such as Yasunari Kawabata and Yukio Mishima (technically, all Mishima's work was post-1945, but he refused to use modern spellings or simplified kanji).
    • Breaking into Japanese Literature: Seven Modern Classics in Parallel Text (Murray [ed.], 2003) - includes "The Nose," "In a Grove," and "Rashomon" by Ryunosuke Akutagawa (among others), all classic short stories. They're bilingual, and for the Japanese side, grammar, vocabulary, and usage notes are included. (The stories are also provided in modern orthography, so all you have to worry about is the advanced vocabulary and kakikotoba.)
    • Read Real Japanese: All You Need to Enjoy Eight Contemporary Writers (Ashby [ed.], 2003) - Similar to the above, but with more recent writers (including Banana Yoshimoto, if memory serves). Also bilingual, with vocab, grammar, and usage notes, but perhaps more accessible for markedly less kakikotoba.
    • Classical Japanese: A Grammar (Shirane, 2005) - I only got this on interlibrary loan, so I basically photocopied the pages on grammatical forms (I'm looking at Columbia as a possible grad school, so don't tell Shirane-sensei I said that >_>). Still a great reference for being able to comprehend anything written prior to the 1890s (once you look up all the obscure/classical-form kanji).
    • Colloquial Kansai Japanese: The Dialects and Culture of the Kansai Region (Palter & Slotsve) - I spent a semester studying in Kyoto, and this book was an invaluable resource in helping to understand the local dialect. Also useful for understanding characters like Kero-chan and the kids from Abenobashi. (Side note: dammit, Gainax, would it kill you to write an actual ending?...)
    • Improve your skills! Japanese Language Proficiency Exam Level 2 Kanji Word Drills (Matsumoto & Kanno/Sugano, 2005) - A book I picked up at Kinokuniya in NYC to help me improve my kanji recognition / reading skills. The neat thing about it is that pronunciations and English translations are printed in red, and a red filter is included that you can use to test yourself after you've studied. Pretty neat.
    • Japanese: The Spoken Language (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) (Jorden / Jorden & Noda, 1987-1990) - The main textbooks we used at my college. There are lots of grammar notes covering many topics, intonation marks to aid proper inflection, and lots of example conversations. On the other hand, the situations are all pretty dated (very '80s), and the romanization is Nihon-shiki, which drives me nuts. Nevertheless, I consider it a valuable resource when it comes to learning to speak the language (as the title suggests).
    • A Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar (Makino & Tsutsui, 1986) - One of the books I was required to have while studying my semester in Kyoto. Contains all the basic grammatical patterns you're likely to run across in lower-level study, and explains it pretty well thoroughly, along with straightforward and insightful examples. The jargon can be intense at times, and you might need to try several different looks in the index until you hit upon what you're looking for, but it's an invaluable resource. I also hear the authors also wrote the Nakama textbook series, though I never used those books so I really have no idea how they compare.
    • A Dictionary of Intermediate Japanese Grammar (Makino & Tsutsui, 1995) - Continues what the first book started, with many more grammatical patterns (some of which I'd even label advanced), along with valuable appendices covering things like how to read newspaper headlines, common kanji prefixes/suffixes and their meanings, and conversational strategies. The index also seems a little easier to use this time around when it comes to finding what you're looking for.
    • A Dictionary of Advanced Japanese Grammar (Makino & Tsutsui, 2008) - Hot off the presses, this version includes even more of what makes the previous two books so indispensable, and its index covers the contents of all three books. Looks like they may go back and make new editions of the other two so they can all match, but it'll probably just be a cosmetic thing...
    (Don't think I've religiously gone through each one and absorbed all the nuances - the nice thing about reference books is that you can keep them around and look things up. )
    Last edited by SaiyaJedi; May 18th, 2008 at 04:34 AM. Reason: New book!
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  15. #95

    Default Re: Japanese language

    Quote Originally Posted by SaiyaJedi View Post
    I do recommend those, since they have a lot of detailed info. The explanations themselves can be pretty jargon-intensive, but the examples are effective in explaining the nuances. They're actually my newest additions to my collection, though - Since 2001 or so, I've gathered a jumble of various books, including (in no particular order):
    THANK YOU! That list helps more than you can imagine! I'll definitely look into them~ *throws a box of cookies your way*

  16. #96
    I'm the Hero! Aoi Neko's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese language

    Bump.

    I need to know what "snatched!" is in Romanji.

  17. #97

    Default Re: Japanese language

    Quote Originally Posted by Aoi Neko View Post
    Bump.

    I need to know what "snatched!" is in Romaji.
    Care to give a little context first?
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  18. #98
    POE WUN BGR Greg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese language

    For serious advanced students (Carly, Saiya, I'm looking in your direction) DS KanKen is one of the best purchases I've made in a long time.

    I have a lot of ordered memorization down but it doesn't always mean my stroke order, among other things, is dead on, nor that I can produce kanji when asked either on the spot or out of memorized order.

    That's why this software is gold.

    If you're a new learner it is worthless and I would completely avoid it but this little dream is fantastic for anyone that has at least 500 or so down pat. An EXCELLENT way to practice and rate yourself.

    Actually I wish the grading was a little more specific (ie. track what you do/don't need work on) and the games were level directed as opposed to overall (ie. with the taxi game I can get about 5 answers out of 20 right before it starts spouting 'WHAT THE HELL IS THAT MESS' Kanji, but otherwise it's a GREAT exercise tool.

  19. #99

    Default Re: Japanese language

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    For serious advanced students (Carly, Saiya, I'm looking in your direction) DS KanKen is one of the best purchases I've made in a long time.

    I have a lot of ordered memorization down but it doesn't always mean my stroke order, among other things, is dead on, nor that I can produce kanji when asked either on the spot or out of memorized order.

    That's why this software is gold.

    If you're a new learner it is worthless and I would completely avoid it but this little dream is fantastic for anyone that has at least 500 or so down pat. An EXCELLENT way to practice and rate yourself.

    Actually I wish the grading was a little more specific (ie. track what you do/don't need work on) and the games were level directed as opposed to overall (ie. with the taxi game I can get about 5 answers out of 20 right before it starts spouting 'WHAT THE HELL IS THAT MESS' Kanji, but otherwise it's a GREAT exercise tool.
    Lucky for me, I'll be in Japan in a week and a half, and will be able to pick this up then. :)
    Co-Translator, Podcast Regular, and Man-in-Japan at Kanzenshuu, your authoritative Dragon Ball online resource

  20. #100
    POE WUN BGR Greg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Japanese language

    Don't get the 200MANNIN NO KANKEN! Get the regular version. It has games and shit.

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