Definition of 壮行

Hello there :wave: ,
hope I posted in the right category, but if there’s a better one, please tell me:
recently the word 壮行 came up during my lessons. The meaning as defined by Wanikani is “rousing”. Now with such a random word I can barely make any proper connection in my head and the example sentence didn’t help me either here (will come back to it in a moment).
For cases like these, I often check additional dictionaries, first and foremost the ones I have loaded into Yomichan (the English and German JMdict databases and a jp-jp dictionary), in the hopes that any additional definition will make more sense to me. JMDict (and thus use the term “rousing” as well, but the German defintion immediately stuck out to me, which says: “Verabschiedung (von jmdm., der verreist)”, in English: “farewell (to someone who goes on a journey)”.
Now this one made more sense to me, since the example sentence uses the word in another compound, 壮行会, which means “farewell party”, in every dictionary I checked. Just to make sure, I also consulted a monolingual dictionary like this one here, which says:


This says something about cheering someone on at the time of his departure for the trip, which pretty much fits the German definition (for me at least).
So how come both Wanikani and JMDict / decided to use the term “rousing”? It doesn’t fit, no matter how I see it. I look forward to your answers, which can hopefully clear that up for me :slight_smile: .

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Well, rousing does have connotations of the kind of excitement or cheering on that you would do at a farewell party or pep rally (another word is 壮行式). I don’t really agree that it’s completely off base or anything. I’m not sure I would personally leave it as just “rousing”, just that I don’t see a problem with associating rousing with this word.

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I see, yeah, it can have this connotation, you’re right. It’s just that the meaning seems to specifically refer to farewells at the time of departure, which is why a word like “rousing” doesn’t look like a word which captures the Japanese definition of it, to me at least. I personally added “farewell” as synonym, since I saw nothing wrong with associating it with that English word, but now you posted “壮行式” (yeah, those aren’t farewells) and I’m not sure anymore :see_no_evil: .

壮行会 can also mean “motivational rally”

I honestly can’t think of a better word than rousing for an English definition.

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Then why are the Japanese dictionary definitions of 壮行 trying to further confuse me :joy: . Yes, I overlooked the second meaning of it, thanks!
Last but not least, I did find another dictionary entry which actually supports what you guys wrote :dizzy_face::

Well, I guess I’ll keep the synonym and hope one or both definitions stick? :sweat_smile: Still not cool that the example sentence doesn’t make use of the stand-alone word. Imagine seeing the definition for the first time, checking the example sentence which uses 壮行会, seeing the translation WK gives and think “Rousing meeting/party? What does this have to do with farewells?” Oh well.

Edit: Yeah, if you take a look at and see all results that come up, including the compounds, you do end up seeing more variety. I just didn’t take a proper look there and focused on just checking Yomichan and the first result on Jisho, since I just assumed I had all results I needed to see in my pop-up dictionary. Still kind of a tricky word I suppose.

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Isn’t 壮行 a noun? Rousing is an adjective, which makes this even more confusing.

It is also a no adjective.

But that’s not really a thing in Japanese grammar. It should be usable as a noun directly.

In this case it’s a gerund of rouse:

1b. To stir up; excite

yes, but a gerund which is an established adjective

Sure, but it’s still being used as a noun here. Doesn’t matter whether it’s also an adjective.

Although at this point, I think we’re getting a bit pedantic. :wink:

No I mean, when does Rousing ever get used as a noun in English? I don’t really care about the English, but it being a gerund doesn’t automatically make it a valid noun.

“I’m about to have a bit of a rousing with the boys.”

That’s how gerunds work. It’s not a noun but you can use it as one.

Which works as a definition for a concept from another language that doesn’t have a direct correlation to a standard noun.

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Oh okay, yeah that works!

Do all gerunds work like that? I think you can use all gerunds as adjectives, but only some as nouns, but I’m not sure.

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Yeah I think that it’s important to keep in mind that a translation is usually just an approximation of meaning.

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@alo @Saida I’ve read your entire conversation, and I have no idea what’s going on. I think this (English) grammar is over my head. :sweat_smile:

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Oh, it’s over my head too, don’t worry!


The thing to remember is that grammarians created the term gerund to describe something that people were already doing. E.g. Swimming is fun. We have a noun that is turned into a verb with -ing and then we use the concept of doing that action as a noun again. :exploding_head: English, amirite? :wink:

So it’s a narrow definition and the nature of language in general means that the source of the words is all over the place.

Got an -ing verb being used as a noun? It’s a gerund. Part of the definition is that it’s used a noun so that’s always the case but some could definitely be adjectives too.

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All right, yeah, I see what you mean. Thanks for the patient explanations!

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(not aimed at you in particular, but I feel this always happens when foreign students of any language start asking the grammar questions :joy:)