A thought provoked by my sofa

So I spend a lot of time on my sofa.

Today I was thinking about how if I was to describe my sofa to someone (as you do), I would say it was ‘L-shaped’.

Then I thought, how would a Japanese person describe something which was ‘L-shaped’?

:thinking: obviously this is an incredibly important question, so an answer will be needed ASAP :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Daniel

21 Likes

I wouldnt actually be surprised if they still called it L-shaped, so something like L-形 maybe.
I mean im pretty sure they learn the alphabet in school, with that said, children must have some other way :thinking:

9 Likes

角形?
Also, a lot of Japanese people know english letters, so you could probably get away with L形.
EDIT: Haha jinx @Emiloow

4 Likes

On a related note, crosses are often described as じゅう in Japanese, referring to the shape of the character 十:

十字路・じゅうじろ・crossroads; intersection
十字線・じゅうじせん・crosshairs; reticle
十字軍・じゅうじぐん・Crusaders; the Crusades
十字架刑・じゅうじかけい・crucifixion (more commonly called 磔)

Even though it makes perfect sense, it tickles me a bit to imagine Crusaders as the army of the number 10, or considering the senence of death by the number 10.

16 Likes

So would you say top right corner of 十字?

Probably not; I think a cross shape is somewhat defined by the fact that the two lines, well, cross :slight_smile:

It might be best to look for words for right/perpendicular angle; it might not communicate that one side is shorter than the other, but it’s close, anyway.

Also, looking at Weblio, it seems that L型 and L字型 see a fair amount of use.

5 Likes

Huh. Google translate says L字型 too, but I’m not quite sure I can trust it :wink:

1 Like

Yep, same thing with ALC:

You should always use a secondary source to verify anything you get from Google Translate.

10 Likes

Fortunately, we have one source that would never lie to us: IKEA!

今日はL字形で、明日はもっと大きなソファにする? セクションを切り離して配置を変え、接続し直せば簡単にレイアウトを変えられます。

Elsewhere on their site, you can also find descriptions of things that are U-shaped, or U字形.

26 Likes

Ahhh yeah! :metal:

9 Likes

There’s got to be some non-english derived word for L-shaped.

2 Likes

I’ve seen this kind of construction with kana too. For example, a bent knee can be described as being くの字, since it resembles that shape. I’d think you could say “Lの字” or “L形” and be understood.

Also, this: https://ejje.weblio.jp/content/L字型

5 Likes

Whoop whoop IKEA!

2 Likes

I guess that’s your answer @Ddjross

1 Like

You can also make a への字 with your mouth, or massage your baby’s tummy in a のの字.

image
(source)

On a related note, looking for these words also accidentally landed me on the word 制限外の字, meaning “forbidden kanji”, and now I need to go learn what those kanji are.

16 Likes

In the chapter of Yotsuba that we’re currently reading in the book club, Yotsuba describes the formation geese are flying in as へ. :slightly_smiling_face:

No idea if that’s used in the Real World, though, or if they just call it a V-shape, same as us…

6 Likes

L字型 is awesome, never knew you could say that. If I had to translate on the spot I’d have said something like
Lの()をした(かたち)のソファー

2 Likes

My sofa in University was V-shaped. Once you sit, it leads you to a vertical position then you lie and sleep. We named it “restbox”.
Good old days.

4 Likes

I’d say the shape is sofa king sexy

11 Likes

wow :star_struck: some really interesting replies. Thank-you !

hahaha - any opportunity to practice hiragana !

well I know what i’m googling next - I’m guessing these are like the unforgivable curses in Harry Potter :laughing:

So is L going to be エル ? if i’m saying it?

3 Likes