I’m just having a little bit of confusion with this one. WK says it means space, but is it space as in an open area or as in outer space, or both?
Area Space. 宇宙 is astronaut space.
Maybe the meaning of “sky” for 空 is confusing you on this one, but it also means “open” or “empty”. So this is an “empty space”
By the way if you have doubt about a particular word, just google it. Even if you can’t read the Japanese definitions, just typing the kanji into Google images can help. If you type in 空間, for example, you basically get just pictures of living rooms and a few 3D models of space time.
Ah kay, thank you very much
nice one. So what about an open-air space, like space outsides under the sky?
It also means space in the mathematical sense.
I had to look this up when i kept passing parking lots and parking garages that had 空 lit up on the side of them. “wtf does sky have to do with parkin… oh nevermind.”
jisho.org is also very useful for when you’re wondering about a certain word (you can also get information about individual kanji by adding “#kanji” to the search)!
Also a big help is that most words have example sentences, which can help pinpoint the meaning when in doubt.
e.g. 空間 #sentences
Looking at the example sentences WaniKani provides and the meaning explanation, I assumed it can mean both empty space and outer space. But that empty space is more common, and when you want to use it for outer space you should add 宇宙 in front of it.
It’s not that you should, but you need to, if you want to talk about outer space. Outer space is still an “open space”, so that’s what they mean, but 空間 is not used as an abbreviation for 宇宙空間 the way “space” is used as an abbreviation for “outer space” in English.
Ah ok, thanks. Then I find the explanation on WK a bit misleading. Thanks for clearing it up.
Sadly, my japanese is nowhere near good enough for that. I can only really understand numbers one and two. ^^;
The others are technical definitions in philosophy, physics, and mathematics, as indicated by the kanji those definitions have in brackets at their start. If there was a layman usage like “space” for “outer space” it would be in one of the simple definitions like “宇宙空間の略”.
Next question to answer is why do empty taxis have a red sign while full ones have green? It’s the complete opposite to, say, bathroom stalls…
More than just being used for a particular, practical idea of “a space,” or “an empty space,” it might help to know that this word is also used to invoke the idea of space and spacial relations, as in a “time and space” context. (Just run a quick search for 時間と空間.)
Edit – Just noticed this was covered above. Forgive me. Missed it in all the 宇宙 talk.
Your wording made me realize that that’s not what I intended to say with the “an” in my first post. I meant the idea of this word is “empty space” when you look at the two kanji involved, not specifically “outer space”.
It’s okay. I figured. Nath also beat me to the mathematical/conceptual usage above.
Yes, there are a handful of those technical definitions, in addition to 空いているところ and