人生はバナナのようなものさ。どれだけ長いのか誰も知らないのさ。— Can you read this sentence and understand what it means?
人生 LV.3 : One’s Life. 人 (Person) + 生 (Life).
バナナ: That’s what “banana” looks like in katakana🍌
もの: Thing. It could also be written with the kanji 物, but the hiragana is common too.
どれだけ: How (long/much). Similar to どれくらい or どのくらい, it’s a common expression to ask someone the quantity, amount, measurement, etc.
長い LV.6: Long.
誰 LV.43: Who.
知る LV.6: To Know.
Let’s break it down!
The particle は marks the subject, which is 人生 in this case.
〜のような works as a simile such as “like 〜” in English.
So, バナナのようなもの is “A thing like a banana.”
さ is a sentence ending particle with an optimistic nuance.
どれだけ is used to ask the measurement or amount, and the following 長い specifies that the speaker is asking about the length — “how long.”
〜のか (or sometimes it’s just 〜か) is used for the end of question clauses. Without this, it doesn’t work as a clause in Japanese⚠️
誰, meaning “who” turns into “nobody” when followed by a negative verb. It’s the same thing that happened to the sentence in my past post 何も知らない.
の and さ are sentence ending particles. With these, you can sound like our symbolic nomad, Snufkin from Moomin — actually that’s how he talked in the Japanese translated/dubbed version! It’s got some optimistic, but also philosophical vibes — makes this sentence sound like a quote with a philosophical depth.
Reading: じんせい は バナナ のようなものさ。どれだけ ながい のか だれも しらないのさ。
Meaning: Life is like a banana, you never know how long it will be.
What do you think 人生 is like? Answer in Japanese!
Bonus points if you also answer with the reason😉