分 Minutes and Parts... Am I crazy or did it used to be ぶん part?

Hey there,

Am I crazy, or did ~分 used to be taught here as part(s) and minute(s)? I noticed there is no option to add a user synonym for the reading. (Now that I think of it, I don’t think there ever was…)
Does WK have “part” still, also? And if so, how do you recognize the difference?

When looking the words offered in parts of speech (四分、五分、一分) up on Jisho, for validation (because, I was 必 - certain - I wasn’t crazy), at first I found the furigana which matched up with my memory… but then on a closer look, it was “four parts” and then “half”/“50-50”/“50%”… and not minutes. A deeper search found that ふん was indeed used for minutes (which means I’d been reading time wrong forever, I guess!)… but still…

Anyways… Am I crazy, or did WK used to teach that as “part(s)” as the primary meaning? Any way I can get ぶん as a user synonym? (Or… I only just did my lessons… so… is it perhaps one of the secret synonyms?)

I would just like to know how hard I have to think and try to force this alternate reading to stick in my brain. However, I am also thankful that it came up, so I learned I was wrong in my pronunciation when reading the time…

Yeah, this isn’t a complaint… I just feel I need to know.

Uh.

Thanks! ^_^;

I imagine Kyo is Viet, here… I’m Tohru.

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I don’t think you are crazy, but I do wonder if you might be confusing the ~分 and 分 vocabulary lessons with the 分 kanji lesson.

https://www.wanikani.com/kanji/分 - learning the kanji and its reading. meanings available are both part and minute.

https://www.wanikani.com/vocabulary/分 - the word 分 which means part/portion as it is as a word on its own.

https://www.wanikani.com/vocabulary/〜分 - the suffix version 分 that is used to count ‘number of’ minutes. this is similar to how other suffix versions work, ie 本.

本 means book, but when it is used as a counter or suffix, ~本 it means ‘number of’ for cylindrical things like wine bottles.
https://takoboto.jp/?q=本

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I’ve been around Wanikani since August of 2015… So… Nope. I’m sure it was the ~分 vocab, I’m talking about. (The kanji too, for sure.)

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Tofugu do have an article that goes into more detail about counters - 350 Japanese Counters Grouped by How Useful They Are

you might find this interesting :slight_smile:

ある???
… But books are NOT at all cylindrical/round like wine bottles. You’d think the kanji for book would be a counter for… books (and things like magazines and newspapers…)… Flat, rectangular/rectangular-ish, and made of paper.

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haha yeah, but that would be 枚 - Takoboto | Look up 枚

-edit-

and 枚 is only for thin flat objects like paper, books have a different counter :sweat_smile:

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This one is 五分五分(ごぶごぶ).

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It doesn’t originally mean book. It’s a drawing of a tree with its roots emphasized, then extended to mean “origin” and then much, much later abstracted to book.

So the cylindrical counter is the one that makes more sense.

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yup…books used to be scrolls :wink:

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We do have 巻 encompassing modern scrolls, so I’m not sure if 本 ever meant scroll. I’d have to dig more into the timeline. It’s certainly possible though.

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good point…I was thinking more along the lines of scrolls were long round objects :slight_smile:

curious to what you find

分 can refer to both minutes and parts of things. For example, 5時5分 means 5:05, or 5 minutes past 5 o’clock, or 6分の5 which means 5/6 or five sixths. When 分 refers to minutes, it is pronounced ふん but when 分 refers to parts of things, it is pronounced ぶん. ふん is sometimes pronounced ぷん because of 連濁(れんだく)shenanagans, a phenomenon where sometimes the first mora or syllable of a word becomes voiced instead of unvoiced. For example, 三分 is pronounced さんぷん and 十分 is pronounced じゅっぷん. Hope this helps or clarifies stuff.

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Unless you lived in ancient times (when Chinese characters and thus Japanese kanji were invented) when what we call ‘books’ today were actually ‘scrolls’ back in the day. A rolled-up scroll is indeed long and cylindrical.

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A rolled up book is also long and cylindrical. :nerd_face:

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Let’s not forget the other meaning of 本 then: reality.

So, I suppose the wine bottles are the reality in the cellar. Wine is your reality. *smirks*

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I’d like to see you roll up a hardcover of something like War and Peace, Twilight, LOTR…

Heck, even trying to roll up a trade paperback of any of the three major parts of LOTR, or Patrick Rothfuss’ Wise Man’s Fear would be very difficult.

Any chance a WK @Mods can answer my original question? (It’s in the topic line.)

Was that a content change?

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I’m still confused as to why Japanese needs a different counter for every imaginable shape of thing you could count.

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Are you familiar with group names for animals in English? (school of fish, murder of crows, troop of chimpanzees, etc.) They’re basically all encompassed by the word 群れ in Japanese.

Do we need them? No, not really. Is it kinda neat that they exist? Sure.

You only actually need to remember like 10 or so counters in Japanese to be all set in basically any situation.

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〜分 was added on August 27th 2021. At the same time they made “part” the primary meaning of 分 and hid away the “minute” meaning and reading.

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