決心 and "resolution"

The definitions for 決心 have been driving me nuts for ages.

Determination, Resolution, Conviction

But resolution isn’t synonymous with determination and conviction - by my estimation this should be “resolve.”

Am I crazy? Do I have some sort of confusing near-Canadian dialect? The definitions on Google do list ‘resolution’ as a synonym but I’ve only ever heard “resolve” used the way “determination” and “conviction” are. “Resolution” I’ve only heard used as a noun (new year’s resolution, peaceful resolution).

I guess my question is: is there a particular reason “resolve” isn’t a synonym here?

Resolution is the noun form of resolute, which is “marked by firm determination”.

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They are not exactly the same, you’re right about that, but they’re very similar.

You just need to understand one thing, that translating from Japanese to English isn’t exact, you just need to have the feeling of what the word means in Japanese, rather than always translating it to English in your head. So these can both work as translations for the word, Japanese words tend to be very flexible in their meanings, depending on context.

I suppose resolve could work, probably no specific reason, they can’t exactly put the whole dictionary there

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Interesting

Looking into a few dictionaries as well as a couple monolingual, I wonder if “Conviction” is the word that doesn’t really belong.

One definition of conviction has to do with “firmly held belief”, and that does not really seem to apply to “making a decision/determination”. Maybe I have been using “conviction” incorrectly all my life :speak_no_evil:

There could be all kinds of subtlety here (in both English and Japanese) that I’m not seeing, but I’ve spent enough time on this that I don’t really care now lol.

I would just make “resolve” a synonym and move on.

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You think so? I find those concepts to be very similar. Like, you decide to believe something strongly. It might be because you have rock-solid proof, but still, it’s your decision…

At least that’s how I interpret it…

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That’s pretty much what I thought the word meant and how I have used it before. It’s just when I started to look at definitions and usage, it seemed like I was finding something slightly different. Unfortunately thinking about it is making my head hurt haha.

English is too hard! Back to Japanese immersion :face_with_spiral_eyes:

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Resolution is the noun form of resolute, which is “marked by firm determination”.

True but the issue here is that the word “resolution” isn’t used the way the other two are. Actually even the “determination” definition on Google uses a different form of it (“resoluteness.”) Resolution isn’t used to name a quality the way the other two are which is why I’m confused about the definition of the Japanese word itself. These things really don’t go together well when you press on them and it bugs me! :joy: I know I’m just nitpicking but I couldn’t decide if it was a mix-up or if I was just missing the point of the word.

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This is good sentiment. Just go read some books. If the word is important, you will see it in context enough to learn how it is used.

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It can be – in the OED this is sense 13a, “Determination; firmness or steadfastness of purpose; the possession of a resolute or unyielding cast of mind.”, with quotes like:

1921 L. Strachey Queen Victoria iii. 35 She…braced herself, with royal resolution, for the odious, odious interview.
1973 C. C. Trench George II xiv. 220 Having behaved all day like a hero,…he lacked the resolution now to press on to the enemy’s destruction.
2003 Nation (N.Y.) 7 Apr. 5/2 As the British prime minister walked to the despatch box…he had the grim resolution of a man strapping on his six-shooter.

This is a bit of a tangent from the meaning of the Japanese word, of course.

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…on which, Daijisen defines 決心 as 心を決めること。考えを決めること。, ie, the act of making up your mind to do something, and distinguishes it from the similar 決意 by saying that for 決心 the emphasis is on your thought (making a firm decision) whereas for 決意 it’s more about having a firm will or intention.

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I think the discussion about whether or not these English words are exact synonyms (or close enough approximations) is… well, maybe interesting, but like @HaseebYousfani mentioned, maybe also not the point of the exercise. The definitions are not meant to be:

“決心 = (determination = resolution = conviction)” but rather
“決心 = determination; 決心 = resolution; 決心 = conviction”

So you can add other words that -in the right context- might be suitable translations for 決心 as well, that don’t need to be synonymous with the other listed (English) options. Like “resolve”.

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