Either I have a problem with -suru nouns or the site has. But there is definitely a problem

I’m talking about nouns that (seem to me) primarily used as suru-verbs and that don’t seem to have noun-like properties on their own. The wanikani examples either give a -suru example and avoid actually explaining it, or give an example where the meaning doesn’t even match the vocab meaning.

For example:
受託
“Be entrusted with” or “being entrusted with”.
How is that a noun? I understand it as part of a suru-verb, but the noun usage makes 0 sense to me.
How do i use it in a sentence? The wanikani example is:

我が社にとってその受託契約を受注することがどんなに重要か、分かっているよな。
Do you know how desperately we need the brokerage contract?

Does 受託 mean ‘brokerage’ here? If it does why not make that the vocab entry and leave the ‘being entrusted with’ meaning for the -suru vocab entry.

This is the most recent example, but definitely not the only one. For most -suru nouns with a non-suru vocab entry I remember encountering, wanikani takes the “to xxxxx” and makes it “being xxxxx” as if that helps.

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Adding more/better example sentences has been on the to-do list for a long time. They only got as far as level 20 when they started doing that, so they are aware that they need to improve the sentences for 21-60.

This part I don’t really understand, but I guess you’re just referring to the fact the English gloss “be entrusted with” isn’t a noun itself? But it sounds like making it a noun phrase, like “being entrusted with something” or “the act of being entrusted with something” wouldn’t solve your issue.

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This part I don’t really understand, but I guess you’re just referring to the fact the English gloss “be entrusted with” isn’t a noun itself? But it sounds like making it a noun phrase, like “being entrusted with something” or “the act of being entrusted with something” wouldn’t solve your issue.

Yeah. I mean conceptually I understand that “The act of being entrusted with something” can be a noun. English also has similar constructs. But is it idiomatic, does it actually exist? Or did they just cut off the ~suru part. In the example that I gave, it turns out it doesn’t exist. All references I find to 受託 are about contracts.

I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t like the way wanikani takes out the -suru but then gives a weird defition to the resulting noun.

Another example:
抱っこ
Wanikani says this means: “Holding in one’s arms, Carrying”. Sure, it means the verb of that when it’s a ~suru verb. But it’s a noun as well that means “A hug”. Sure, it also means the “Act of carrying” or “A carry” but you can leave that definition for the suru verb as “To be carrying”. You don’t need to overcomplicate nouns like that.
For this word, 2/3 wanikani examples are ~suru usages and the last one is a different noun, 抱っこひも. If you can’t find a non-suru example of a noun, don’t make it a vocabulary word.

does what exist, 受託?

image

Is it just that you want the to just have the する verb or other compounds if the noun is uncommonly seen on its own? All of that is irrelevant to how to read 受託, which is what they’re teaching here.

Whether it’s 受託者, 受託業務, or whatever, you are being taught that it’s じゅたく at the end of the day.

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I don’t know where you checked, but if you look at 受託 - Jisho.org it gives you the noun meaning as well, and if you check 読み込み中…┃NINJAL-LWP for TWC you can see lots of usages of the noun.

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Is it just that you want the to just have the する verb or other compounds if the noun is uncommonly seen on its own? All of that is irrelevant to how to read 受託, which is what they’re teaching here.

Yes. That is what I want. They teach definitions, not only readings. Nothing is stopping wanikani for including the ~Suru verb for it, but they chose to also include the noun. Since they did, they might as well give an idiomatic definition and example for it.

I don’t know where you checked, but if you look at 受託 - Jisho.org it gives you the noun meaning as well, and if you check 読み込み中…┃NINJAL-LWP for TWC you can see lots of usages of the noun.

The tsukuba link I didn’t know about and it looks extremely useful, thanks for that. But even there, after scanning a few pages, it seems it’s used as a specific contract/work type, not as the generic definition wanikani uses.

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Same with 抱っこ.
The example usages are for 抱っこする and for 抱っこ紐. I have no problem learning either of those. By all means make vocabulary entries for both. But dont make an entry 抱っこ and give me the other two as examples. This feels more like teaching me a stem than a word, the way you present it.

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As far as a Japanese dictionary is concerned, 抱っこする is just an extension of 抱っこ. 抱っこ is the word, and it can be a する verb or it can be on its own. So only teaching 抱っこ and then mentioning it’s a する verb seems totally normal to me.

The fact that they also teach する verbs with する attached as their own items feels like the inconsistency.

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The fact that they also teach する verbs as their own items feels like the inconsistency.

Perhaps it’s that. When I know there can be する verbs in the vocabulary, when I see a non-する noun in there I expect there is a reason for it and the example to show a non-verb usage.

And just as one more aside, I realize that some E-J dictionaries include “hug” for 抱っこ, but I’m not sure I like it. Even if it might be possible to think of it that way.

It’s almost always about holding a child.

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And just as one more aside, I realize that some E-J dictionaries include “hug” for 抱っこ, but I’m not sure I like it. Even if it might be possible to think of it that way.
It’s almost always about holding a child.

Seems like it’s a normal noun but without a proper english word to match it with (imagine if there was an equivalent to “piggyback” but for this kind of action", so they’re forced to do the roundabout explanation using the phrase. Which is fine, but we go back to the inconsistency of using or not using the suru verbs. It feels like you’re closer to the source if you use the noun, but the -suru verb fits better with the english phrase youre going to use for the definition.

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It’s also used for the “princess carry.”

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I think you need to set up Yomichan and start reading some J-J dictionaries, or at least use weblio and the like more often. Do these examples help paint a picture about its noun meaning?

As an aside, I share your frustrations with WK. The content took a dramatic nose dive somewhere in the 20’s, I think. If it weren’t for this thread, when I reached this word, I would’ve had to go on a deep dive myself to figure out its meaning as a noun. At these levels I’m not sure what the point of a WK subscription is when it’s devolved into something less than what is the most brain dead Anki configuration. Even I can copy-paste the JMDict definition onto a card and call it a day.

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That’s a little harsh, but still; here’s the best thing to remember:
Wanikani is about kanji. The vocabulary part is (virtually) never wrong out of hand, but it is spotty and inconsistent.
You will likely literally never encounter a good 5-10% of words in the wild (most infamously “decorative lights”. Which yes, some of you can PROVE you’ve managed to find, but no one will naturally). Many others are the “wrong” word for something, e.g. weird and non-natural wording for a concept. And the example sentences are straight junk, often using definitions not accepted as answers.

That last part pisses me off enough I was actually planning on making a definitive list of “example sentence definitions” once I reach lvl 60 to help others load them in as user synonyms off the bat.

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Yeah I agree with that both of you are saying

I think you need to set up Yomichan and start reading some J-J dictionaries, or at least use weblio and the like more often. Do these examples help paint a picture about its noun meaning?

Actually, they don’t :smiley: (But thanks, this looks like a very good tool for exploring words) They help paint a picture about its stem meaning, if you get what I’m talking about. I don’t see it alone there. Which is what i’ve been complaining about since the start. WK vocabulary is words (unless it uses a specific ~stem~ pattern). 受託者 is a word. I totally understand it. It means trustee, it should have been the vocab entry.

I mean I’m not that hung up on this word. I am just annoyed at having to type convoluted sentences as answers to a noun “The act of entrusting something to someone” just to please WK. Give me a word humans use so I can give an answer humans use. “Receiving consignment”. Fine. It’s a business term, but it’s a business word too.

I’m really not sure how to explain this, but it is in fact fairly generic. For example, the phrase 受託収賄(じゅたくしゅうわい)=‘request-accepting bribe-taking-in’ i.e. accepting a bribe and taking on someone’s request – which has been in the Japanese media a lot recently with the Kadokawa sponsorship bribery case – could involve literally any sort of request. Here’s another example from the Tsukuba corpus:

特定保健指導の受託ができます。
[They are] able to undertake the [provision of] specific guidance for keeping healthy.

Like with any other word in any language, yes, there are contexts in which this word is more commonly used, but its meaning really is that generic, and you’ll see that it’s defined in such a broad fashion in Japanese dictionaries as well. Leebo provided one example; here’s mine:

① 頼まれて引き受けること。委託を受けること
The act/fact of being asked (for help etc.) and accepting/taking on (what was requested). The fact/act of taking on a duty/consignment/task.
② 物品や金銭を預かること。
The act/fact of taking care/charge of goods/money
Source: 大辞林 (Daijirin), 3rd edition

If we want to know why so many of these nouns are so broad, well, it probably stems from the fact that many of these words are actually verb-noun combinations in Chinese, which is the source language for many of these expressions. For example, 受託 is literally ‘受 (to accept) 託 (a request, demand, act of imploring etc)’. It’s just that they get turned into verbs in Japanese using する because Japanese grammar requires it.

I do agree that having to write some really long answer to express that is frustrating though. It’s just that it’s what’s technically correct.

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I see what you mean. It’s still a bit hard to grasp for me, but those definitions are clear cut, and I think now looking at the original text that this is a symptom of こと doing a lot of work here for them. It makes that kind of sentence flow better and the english equivalent is not as natural.

So the verb came first and the noun came later deriving from the meaning of the verb?

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Effectively, yes. こと is extremely versatile as a nominaliser (i.e. something to turn a phrase into a noun phrase), and it gets stuck on the end of a lot of dictionary definitions for nouns, usually appearing after verbs or adjectives. The other major word that does this job in dictionaries is さま, though in that case, the focus is on overall appearance or… state, I guess? さま is about how something is or looks; it’s about a description. こと tends to be more of a concept or action i.e. it’s more about ‘what’. And yes, it’s often a headache to translate because it’s used in a lot of ways we wouldn’t use, say, ‘act’ or ‘fact’ in English e.g.

ダイエットしたいなら、甘い物を食べないことだ
If you want to go on a diet, you have to/it’s gonna be all about not eating sweet things

(I got that from here because I just couldn’t think of a simpler example, and I was worried I’d come up with some unnatural rubbish.) In essence, that usage is about stating the most important thing for a particular purpose/with regard to a particular topic (at least, that’s how I understand it), and is usually used for giving advice, prohibiting things etc. Indeed, no literal translation of that would be natural in English.

I guess you could see it that way? I’m a native speaker of Chinese and English, and my grammatical understanding of Chinese is actually a little poorer than what I know for English, but the thing is… as much as Chinese dictionaries do indicate parts of speech for everything (e.g. ‘this is an adjective, verb, noun etc.’), in practice, Chinese is very flexible. For example… (OK, I had to go hunting for this because I couldn’t think of something more natural on my own)

这本书的出版
The publishing of this book

出版 is a verb in Chinese. However, functionally, at least from the perspective of the sort of grammar we’re used to, it’s clearly a noun. Chinese doesn’t really care. The paper in which I found this example said,

既然汉语里几乎所有的动词都可以出现在“N的V”的格式里,都可以作主宾语,那就只需将这一特性归为动词的特性 […]
Since in Chinese, just about all verbs can appear in the ‘Noun [reversed “of”, like の] Verb’ format, and can all be used as subjects and objects, then this particularity just needs to be classified as a particularity of verbs […]

So yeah, it’s a verb. For that matter, I went and checked earlier, and actually, 受 and 託 are both verbs in Chinese. But because we can just as easily treat verbs as nouns equivalent to the action the verbs describe… I guess Japanese adopted that behaviour as well. Of course, there are contexts where this feels a little unnatural, but it’s very much a possible construction in many other circumstances.

EDIT: Just to clarify, in Japanese, you usually have to turn the noun into a verb with する, and that’s what happens in most cases. However, there are also instances, especially in formal contexts, where する just gets omitted and you simply see を[suru-verb stem], because it’s clear that an action is being done. Why exactly this usage exists, I don’t know, but it does appear in the news, at any rate.

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