For all of you who read in Japanese, how are you able to tell when a word ends?
Because I can’t figure this out, I end up not recognizing some words in Katakana and even just now someone replied to me in Japanese on Twitter and on my first read through, I somehow read ありがとうございます wrong and didn’t recognize it because I jumbled it with their previous sentence. Now something like this is relatively easy, I just had to reread it to get it, however when it’s a word I simply don’t know, that now makes things that much more complicated because I will never be able to read it in a natural tone, and just throws out my chance at guessing what it meant.
I just can’t get used to the fact that there are no spaces, do I just have to know more vocab or is there something that can help me?
If you copy and past a sentence in Jisho (jisho.org) it will also breakdown the sentence for you and then you can also click at the individual words for their meaning. With time, it will become easier and easier (as you learn more grammar and vocabulary) to break down the sentences.
Thank you both! I tried to use it with the sentence that I was replied with in Japanese. In particular I was looking at 見てくださり嬉しいです
DeepL gave me “I’m glad you saw” but with both websites, くださり is the part that confuses me in translation. It appears to mean “To give”. So trying to translate it myself I would have thought something like “I’m happy you were able to see”
Learning grammar also helps a lot with parsing sentences. くださる (like くれる) can be attached to a verb in て-form to indicate that the verb was done for the speaker. This makes 見てくださり basically “saw (for my benefit)”, where the part I put in parentheses is often left out of English translations. Further, after て-form of くださる (again like くれる) you can put things like 嬉しい, ありがとう, etc. to indicate your feelings or thanks for that action being done for you. In more formal situations, the て-form can be replaced with the verb stem, in this case くださり. Hence, the whole thing loosely translates to “I’m happy that you saw (for my benefit)”.
In short, it becomes a lot easier to parse sentences when you know the grammar.
I would also caution against using machine translation much beyond getting a very high-level gist of something especially when your grammar knowledge isn’t enough to be able to verify its output as accurate. In the end, it’s all still relying on a machine-learned statistical model to generate output.
I know people love DeepL, but I routinely see it still give wrong translations, omits parts of sentences and give a gloss that tends to lose some or quite a bit of the nuance of the original Japanese in favor of trying to make a more natural sounding translations. In this case it was close enough, but beware that just because you get a glossy-sounding output that that doesn’t mean it’s accurate.
In addition, it may help to practice reading materials for kids. They often leave a small space between the words, so that could help you get used to seeing how they usually end. Just establishing more ending patterns in your brain.