節々 context sentence translation questions

節々 is the vocab word but my question isn’t about that.
One of its context sentences is: あの人、言葉の節々にトゲがあるよね。
It’s translated as: That person makes some harsh word choices, huh?

I was curious about how that broke down
and why is トゲ in katakana? Is it a loanword from a non-english language?

DeepL translates the sentence as: That man has spikes in every word he says.

I see the correlation between harsh and spikey or thorny, actually I love that, but I’m curious why the action of “making” would be inserted into the Wani translation instead of just the harsh words existing, which seems to be the implication in the DeepL one.

It’s probably a bit of artistic license in the translation and I’m probably totally overthinking it! (Plus I’m procrastinating from something else!)

What do you think?

Katakana can be used for emphasis as well. It’s not just used for loan words. That’s the case here as 刺 just mean thorn or in the case of words, harsh/biting (words). :slight_smile:

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It often isn’t written in kanji. It could be written as 刺 or 棘, but the とげ reading for 刺 isn’t jouyou, and 棘 isn’t a jouyou kanji.

Also, as @ekg pointed out, this is a metaphorical usage anyway, which can be one reason why people might not use kanji.

That’s only one reason why words can be written in katakana. There are lots of other reasons to write words in katakana beyond that.

Here, I would say it helps make the sentence a little easier to read, by immediately separating トゲ from the surrounding hiragana.

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That makes so much sense. Thank you!

I think you answered your own question :slight_smile:. “That man has spikes in every word he says” is technically correct, but isn’t a very natural-sounding sentence IMO.

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It isn’t currently natural but I think maybe we should start incorporating it into English! Some people’s word choices really do feel like spikes! :face_with_head_bandage: :rofl:

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Generally, I think it’s best to not fully trust a translation, while it may be acceptable, it is usually not literal, try and understand these sentences in Japanese rather than English.

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