I’m doing some lessons, like ya do, and I noticed that sometimes phrases get put together with の and a location (like ベッドの下, but others become full compound words with the kanji using their onyomi reading.
I’m curious why the language evolved this way - why the need to create a word with a new reading, such as 車内, when you could have used the native kunyomi reading to describe the same, such as 車の内。Is it because it’s fancier? More correct-sounding? Is creating a compound with location words a feature of the language?
I mean in english don’t we do the same thing? Like indoors vs in the car?
Its hard to say if its fancier because you’re not drawing a comparison between descriptions of the same thing. If I were to compare 車内 and 電車の中 however, I mean 車内 sounds more fancy I guess and is a bit more common in books, but I don’t think it sounds more correct necessarily. Its very hard to put into words, but they also feel like they kinda have a different nuance to them. Like I could say この車内、なんだか暑いですね, but I feel like it would be weird to say この電車の中、なんだか暑いですね。
One area where there is a clear divide is signage. The onyomi compounds feel more formal already, which is right for serious contexts like signage, and it also makes sense to use space conservatively on signs.
But like Vanilla said, we have the same thing in English. I think it’s a very common thing for beginners to express surprise at the existence of synonyms or very similar expressions. But the reality is that this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are probably 15 other ways to say this kind of thing that would be archaic or limited to very specific situations.
Languages tend toward a situation where all sorts of nuances can be expressed, not a pure economy of meaning, where every general thought can be expressed in only one way.
Is there a reason you think 電車の中 sounds strange there? It sounds better than 車内 to me in that context. I honestly don’t hear 車内 with regard to trains much except from signs and announcements.
Fyi, that sentence was from an actual book so 車内 is definitely fine, but no I can’t really pinpoint why 電車の中 feels weird. Honestly maybe it’s describing the entire space inside of it with 暑い. Like usually I feel like it’s in the train rather than describing the entire train car maybe. I would have to check but I feel like it’s used less as the subject that’s being described in things I’ve seen.
And to your other point, 車内 is actually the more common one by a decent margin when it comes to books from what I’ve checked. So it definitely has uses outside of signs.
I just ride trains surrounded by high school kids every day and they talk (quite loudly) all the time and I don’t think I’ve ever heard 車内, but yeah, I wasn’t suggesting it’s wrong. Just that I can imagine hearing 電車の中 a lot easier for plenty of given utterances.
Yeah 電車の中 is legit like I said, but for that one use it feels weird.
I wanted to Google before doubling down and possibly spreading wrong info, but googling 電車の中が暑い actually gives no results and instead pops up results for 車内 when specifically talking about the atmosphere/space in the train. The only time it’s densha no naka is talking about things in the train like how the heater is running.
No saying you won’t be able to find dennsha no naka used that way if you look hard enough, but it feels less natural for sure and google seems to be confirming that.
Yeah, either way theres no real results. Not that I’m advocating using この車内が暑い・寒い over この電車が暑い・寒い, especially for beginners. I just wanted to point out how sometimes seemingly equivalent expressions can’t always be interchanged since the topic at hand was how they differ.
Shiet I was only able to find 1 so you already found more than me. But yeah, regardless the number is definitely dwarfed by the instances of 車内 (and just 電車, of course). Might not be as unnatural as I thought though if there are a handful of instances