Konekush's Japanese Discoveries

Every now and then I discover Fun Things about Japanese, mostly when talking or reading with my iTalki tutors, or sometimes on my own. I figured others would be interested in them!

6 Likes

Discovered today while reading Kiki’s Delivery Service with T1:

  • Letters are often written in keigo (formal speech, です・ます forms), even if it’s for someone very close to you that you speak with informally, and they end with では、さようなら regardless of whether you’ll be seeing them again soon.
  • In verb conjugation, ~ないで and ~ずに are interchangeable, mean ‘without ~ing’, and can be attached to another verb:

    (Trans.: “Without looking at Jiji, Kiki said.”
    aka, (何かを)見ないで言いました: “said without looking (at something)”.
  • みんな is not restricted for people, but for things too! You can say みんなを食べた. It can be used for ひと, もの and こと.

    (Trans.: “[Kiki] wrote about everything that had happened.”)
  • 多い only becomes weird (多くの) when it’s in the middle of a clause/sentence:

    (Trans.: “The sun in the forest-surrounded [lit: where forests are many] town where Kiki had been born and raised [didn’t feel all that much different].”)
    It can modify nouns normally, the same way as any other い-adjective.

Self discovery via Dictionary of Basic Grammar:

  • Using でしょう・だろう is softer/less direct than using ですね・だね.
    It’s same when asking a question! いいですか is more direct and less soft than いいでしょうか.
10 Likes

Self-discovered while reading 5人の王 (ETA: yaoi/bl light novel, so watch out when you look it up in public, I guess):

  • 温かい is yet another い-adjective that can become a な-adjective.

    (Trans.: “I prepared myself for the water to be cold, but it was warm. Like the room, it smelt sweetly of flowers.”
    (I’m also howling at the choice to write 覚悟 in kanji while 温かな is in kana)
2 Likes

Not judging, but… why?

4 Likes

覚悟 gives the impression of being a more difficult and less common word than 温か(い). That, and 冷たい is in kanji.

It’s not any howling born out of anything logical, it’s more me howling at how arbitrarily writers and editors choose when to use kanji, when to use kana, and when to use furigana.

I would say they’re both easy words in the grand scheme, so it’s not surprising to see no furigana on 覚悟. It’s arguable that the author thinks あたたかな “feels” warmer than 温かな. Or that it just is more aesthetically pleasing spaced out that way.

5 Likes

That’s exactly what has me howling! I mean, I understand that it’s a stylistic/emotional choice, but I prefer more uniformity in my spelling choices …

Eh, I like that about Japanese, that you can change the feeling of a sentence without changing the wording.

4 Likes

Generally I like it too, but sometimes it just stands out.

Same book:

  • [て-form verb]+おいで+[だ・です]: honorific way of saying that something/someone is VERB-ing [source].


    (Trans.: “‘Sheikh’ is a king’s title. Shebron is-- in this country, there are 5 kings who rule [the country]. Because I serve the Blue King, I refer to him as ‘Sheikh’. [Since] Hisoku-sama is the same [as me], please refer to him that way as well.”)
1 Like

From another thread:


質
Noun

  1. nature (of a person); disposition; temperament​
  2. nature (of something); character; kind; sort

(still 五人の王)

A new kind of ように appears!

つい愚痴になってしまうと、ハクは 困ったように俺を見た 。

  • Type 1, which I was aware of:

ように
Alternate writings: 様に (ように)

  1. [exp] [uk]
    In order to (e.g. meet goal), so that, take care (so as).
  2. [uk]
    Hoping or wishing for something.
  • Type 2, which I was not aware of:

ように
陽に
[adv]
Visibly, openly, publicly.

1 Like

獣の奏者:

(post) Location 96, whichever page it is:

五年も待たねばならない。

New grammar point for me! goo.ne.jp says:

[連語]二重否定で意を強める。…する義務・責任がある。…するのが当然である。ねばならぬ。「今日中に帰ら―◦ない」

IE, double the emphasis of ○○なければならない. (I think. If I read the explanation right.) (and it’s also archaic.)


Huh, haven’t seen this second usage before. (post)
image