Learning through Translating: ブラックジャックによろしく episode 4: 夏雲

Come on now, you can’t tease your native language without saying what it is. German and English are closely related but I don’t think that’s what you mean.

Off-topic again:
I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to languages and while I understand the necessity of loan words, I don’t like them used when a native word already exists. I juste read a good article about that:

Strawberry as a fruit is ichigo in Japanese, but when talking about the flavor of ice cream or gum, the loanword sutoroberī is more common.

Why? It’s sad to favour English words over native ones. :disappointed_relieved:

From the same article:

Japanese currently consists of around 33% words of Japanese origin ( wago ), 49% words of Chinese origin ( kango ) and 18% loanwords from other languages (including words of mixed origin and the made-in-Japan pseudo-English known as wasei eigo ).[edited for brievety] I do not deny that new terms can supplement and enrich, but I am concerned that their overuse could drown out perfectly good Japanese expressions.

I guess プライド would be more of a “wasei eigo” then.

More interesting tidbit:

This suggests that roughly one in five words in Japanese are loanwords, whose rising share is bringing about fundamental changes in the language.

I think it’s important to differentiate words of foreign origins which fill a niche and loanwords which replace native words.

Source: https://www.nippon.com/en/column/g00195/are-loanwords-a-threat-to-the-japanese-language.html

Re: 53.

What is から for in this context? I don’t understand. Doesn’t から mean “from”?

Weblio

In order to encourage people to explore new dictionaries other than Jisho, I thought I’d write a little about Weblio which can be daunting at first glance (well it was for me).

This is from the app but I would imagine the website is similar in design.

So under those four main tabs there’s a crass advertisement which gives me nausea. It’s peddling for something so cheap and I’ll designed, I gag whenever I see it. I mean, I really do, this isn’t a metaphor.

① 意味【いみ】meaning;

② 例文【れいぶん】example sentences;

③ 類語【るいご】synonym;

④ 共起表現【きょうきひょいげん】cooccurrence expression;

☆ so what the flip does “cooccurrence” even mean?

In linguistics, co-occurrence or cooccurrence is an above-chance frequency of occurrence of two terms (also known as coincidence or concurrence) from a text corpus alongside each other in a certain order.
-Wikipedia

It’s right inbetween German and English, both linguistically and geographically :wink:

One in five is more than I’d have guessed, interesting. Suppose it makes sense though, Japanese being a language isolate makes loanwords stand out more (compared to European languages which have exchanged so many words that the entire concept of a loanword has become a bit unclear for most) and not having a long shared history means that when a new concept reaches Japan, it’s easier to just copy the word than make up a new one.

It’s “because” here. Just noticed you typed an extra や in your transcription by the way, it’s ~からじゃないんですか

The advertisement on Weblio

image
Oh wow! What a fun game!! What would I do if I were stuck in an elevator and a dog came in?!

I live in a damn village, we don’t have elevators you dingus. And if I were confronted by a dog, I wouldn’t carry a flipping raw steak in my pocket to fling in case I was attacked by a dog or a tennis ball for that matter.

I’d push one of your advertisers towards the dog and hope he gets shred to pieces, one less vulture to worry about. How’s that for an answer?

Wasted money: expression; spending a dollar on those types of brain dead games.

You’re so secretive, ayamadori. I’ll find out which country it is, I’m on the case!

@ayamedori:
Got it, Netherlands! Progressive city northwest of Europe between England and Germany. Also Deutsch shares both from English and German.

Re: から

Ah ok so it’s because after a verb or adjective.

So it’s:
:speech_balloon:It’s because you didn’t want to help that old man

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Bingo! Greetings from Amsterdam :tulip:

The じゃないんですか!?makes it a question: “isn’t it because you wanted to help that old man?”

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Ah ha! Everything falls into place now. You already have an advantage to learn Japanese then as a lot of words were borrowed from Dutch. Case solved. Shannon is from Chicago, I already solved that one. I think Jonapedia is in France somewhere.

This very scientific website says it’s one the cities with the most beautiful women:

Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Women in Netherlands are exceptionally tall, blonde, and beautiful. Many of them are fun and laid-back, often riding past on bicycles with a friendly smile for passers-by. Amsterdam is a hip cultural hub with flocks of these stunning ladies, so it’s the best place in the country to visit.

There are plenty of world-class Dutch beauties such as Doutzen Kroes, Famke Janssen, and Lara Stone. Cindy Kimberly is from Amsterdam.


51.

なんであんなていねいな手術『を』したんですか


なんで: why;
あんな: such;
ていねい〔な〕〜な adj. civil, courteous, conscientious;
手術: surgery;
『を』direct object for した, “to do” in the past;
:speech_balloon: “Why do such a conscientious surgery?”

@YanagiPablo:
Do you remember, you made a post compiling all of the previous days we worked on the manga. I wanted to check how many days it took us for each episode but can’t find it anywhere. Can you tell from the top of your head?

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I do, not to mention the phonetics being quite similar and the fact that every Japanese person seems to have a friend who visited Europe and raved about our windmills… Instant conversation practice. (Also, this is a thing.)
No clue who half those women are but I’ll take that as a compliment :tipping_hand_woman:t2:

You can only take it as a compliment if you’re tall, blond and beautiful (especially the tall one as we know all women from Amsterdam are giants).

Women of Amsterdam

image

Failure to meet any of those three criteria could only mean one thing:
You’re actually from someplace else entirely as the article could not be wrong.

54.

延命(えんめい)処置(しょち)『が』医療(いりょう)財政(ざいせい)『を』圧迫(あっぱく)する『の』『は』(たし)かです


延命処置(えんめいしょち): is the subject of the sentence as indicated by 『が』
医療財政(いりょうざいせい): healthcare financing; not a new word, we’ve seen it before;
圧迫(あっぱく)するの:pressure, press, oppress; new vocabulary for me.
Here’s it’s been turned into a noun by 『は』so pressure I guess.


:speech_balloon:Life extension measures puts pressure on the health financing of course.
Pretty sure about this one.

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Don’t know about beautiful, but that’s at least 2/3 sorted :smile:

Close enough, as a tall woman, you must’ve been an object of great curiosity in Japan. Ironically, seems like the article I linked is pretty representative after all. That is of course, if you smile to passerby while riding your bicycle designed for tall people.


55.

でも1%でも可能性があれば()『の』前の患者(かんじゃ)『を』おうとするのが医者(いしゃ)でしょう?

:grey_question:: how come there are two consecutive でも here?
:speech_balloon:But 1% but…

Unfortunately my bike got stolen a while ago so no smiles from me. Either that strips me of my citizenship or you’re gonna have to find a better source next time…

The first one is “but”, the second one is で+も, “even just 1%”.

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My EN-JP dictionary seems to give ‘backbone’ as the translation for 意気地, and I think that matches the Japanese definition well. ‘Willpower’ seems to be a good translation as well though. The native word I was considering for ‘pride’ was 「誇り」as in 「誇り高き」.(That’s kinda archaic since 高き=高い in modern Japanese, and sounds like the way some noble might introduce his/her house (that’s how I learnt it, actually), but you get the idea.) @Zizka: Honestly, I’m not sure why プライド is more common, but it could be that it’s a bit less formal? Also, I imagine that imported English words don’t have as much historical baggage, so they’re less likely to have any strange connotations. Another interesting example is リベンジ, which means both ‘revenge’ in the English sense of getting back at someone, and “revanche” in the French sense of ‘getting back an advantage/privilege’ that was lost’ (e.g. when you lose in a competition and want to do better in it next year).

About purism in languages, and some thoughts about loanwords in Japanese

I’m quite a purist myself when it comes to languages. When I learnt French, I intentionally avoided all structures that sounded similar to those in English, even if they were perfectly valid, so that I wouldn’t make using calques into a habit. E.g. I refused to use “influencer” because “influer sur” exists. However, as Zizka pointed out, there are loanwords that fill gaps in a language’s vocabulary. Also, I think that, especially in the case of Japanese, many borrowed words end up becoming truly ‘Japanese’ because they’re extremely far removed from their original grammar and context of usage. All the 和製英語 words are examples of this. Similarly, while Japanese shares a lot of kanji compounds with Chinese, there are also many compounds that are unique to Japanese – Chinese may have equivalents, but they often use completely different kanji.

The one loanword that *does* trouble me a lot though... is ページ.

I can’t imagine how a country with fairly developed literature and culture could possibly lack a native word for ‘page’, particularly since paper was apparently invented in China, and would almost definitely have reached Japan through trade before reaching Western territories. At the very least, there as surely a word for sheets of material used for writing. Does anyone know of a native word for it? @ayamedori? I’ve seen 頁 (read as けつ), which is the same character used in Chinese, but that’s generally only used as a counter (e.g. ‘forty-seven pages’). It seems the noun ‘page’ is only referred to as ページ, and 頁 is sometimes used as a kanji for that! (I find that somewhat atrocious. Perhaps I’m just too used to kanji being a Sino-Japano-Korean thing, so I find it hard to accept it being used for a word imported from English.)

I believe there actually are official words for things like ‘escalators’ in Japanese written using kanji. For instance, カメラ=写真機. They’re just not sufficiently popular among the general public. I’m actually curious whether or not the Japanese government has an office somewhere churning out official recommendations the way the Académie Française and the Office québécois de la langue française, but I’ve never checked.

Anyway, yes, @Zizka, you remembered correctly: I’m somewhere in France. As for you, @ayamedori, I guessed you were in the Netherlands or in Belgium after you said your native language was a Germanic one that wasn’t English, German or Scandinavian. (I had to bring up a map of the Germanic languages of the world because I wasn’t too sure where all the other European countries were relative to peninsulas and so on.) Dutch sounds a lot like English! That is, until you listen more closely and realise you don’t understand a thing. Hahaha. I see it quite often on the packaging in France, and I feel like I can understand some of it based on my experience with German, but I’ve never studied it, so I don’t understand that much.

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I’m pretty sure that source is reliable. I’m fairly certain they’ve defined what “beautiful” means and have have taken statistically relevant samples in a peer review study as well as doing that study in ever single city in the world to write up that article. I mean, if subjecting women from a geographical area by four characteristics doesn’t make it a reliable source, than what does?

()『の』前の患者(かんじゃ)
Does that mean: “to have a patient in front of your eyes/in front of you?”

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One word I always thought was weird for リンゴ for apple in カタカナ. I would’ve thought Japan had apples before they were exposed to Chinese or other foreign languages. I would’ve imagined that word would’ve been of native origin as opposed to being a loanword.

誇り is imo more like “being proud of something”; in Shiratori’s case, it’d mean he was proud of/doesn’t regret his decision to operate. プライド means he’s not just proud of what he’s done, but that he holds a general pride in his work and that’s why he performed the surgery - 誇り and 自負心 are super similar, but the nuance is just a bit different.

Before Western-style books became a thing they used either scrolls or 和装本, which looked like this. One of those double-sided folds was called a 丁 (which made its way in modern book binding as 折丁) and its two sides would just be referred to as front and back. Then the English came and showed them books so they borrowed 頁 from Chinese and gave it reading ページ. So there is no native Japanese word for “page”, basically. As you might be able to guess from the use of 表/裏, one side of a piece of paper is 一面 so in an alternative universe they might’ve used 面 for “page”. One sheet as you know is 一枚, but that includes both sides.

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My foreign friends are firmly divided into two camps: the ones who think it sounds like an Englishman speaking German, and the ones who think it sounds like the language from the Sims. :sweat_smile:

“The patient in front of you”

I didn’t know people from the Netherlands were allowed to have friends. It really is a progressive country. Renown for its bike thieves and progressive politics.

でも1%でも可能性があれば()『の』前の患者(かんじゃ)『を』救おうとするのが医者(いしゃ)でしょう?

:speech_balloon:But if it’s possible for even 1% of the patient in front of you and try to rescue them, you’re a doctor, right?

The wording isn’t up to my liking but I want to know if I got the idea right.


What is this? Tall blond girls don’t play video games?! What kind of city is Amsterdam anyway???!!!

I know right?! Games and friends, everything you need in life. As long as we’re six feet apart and don’t sneeze in each other’s faces.

The 1% refers to the 可能性, and the entire 目の前の患者を救おうとする bit gets nominalised by の: “an 医者 is someone who 目の前の患者を救おうとする, even if there’s just a 1% chance of success.”

Well, I’m not sure, but what I got from the dictionary for 自負心 was 「自分の才能に自信や誇りをもつ心。」. For 誇り, it’s 「ほこること。名誉に思うこと。」I’m just noticing that 「自分の才能に…誇りを持つ」is a valid structure, so it seems 誇り is actually quite a general word, just like プライド. I have to admit that I don’t really know what the verb 誇る means, since I haven’t seen it often enough (and I’m not completely sure what the terms used in its Japanese definition mean), but I’m also not sure 仕事 counts as a type of 才能. I guess I’ll become more ‘sure-footed’ as I go along. Today’s the first time I’ve seen 自負心 after all. However, the pride-related definition of 自负 in Chinese is ‘believing that no one can equal oneself’, which sounds pretty close to the Japanese definition.

What surprises me is the lack of a Sino-Japanese word as well. I mean, sure, the kanji is still based on Chinese usage. That’s true. However, the 和装本 look a lot like the books depicted in Chinese period dramas, so I’m just surprised that Japanese didn’t just keep 丁. For that matter, while I’m not entirely sure about historical Chinese usage and its influence on Japanese usage, but my Chinese dictionary says 頁 was used as a counter for the pieces of paper in traditional books, which is probably where the Japanese counter 頁(けつ)comes from. Today, Chinese uses 頁 for one side of a page (as opposed to one page, which was the historical usage). I guess my question is, why introduce a new word when the concept really isn’t too different? Even now, 頁(けつ)is listed as a synonym for ページ when used as a counter. 丁 could have been reserved for single sheets, while 頁(けつ)could have been used for single sides. Chinese just has 页, and it’s used to mean both. Maybe I just find it strange that the language with more words available chose to adopt a completely new one, whereas the one with fewer words just increased the number of possible meanings. Well, can’t change history. Perhaps I’ll just try to find out when ページ entered Japanese. If it happened during the Meiji Restoration, then I won’t be as puzzled anymore.

Here’s the two definitions side-by-side; 誇り = to triumphantly think that something is ahead of its kind, 自負(心)= not just 誇り, but having confidence in one’s work/abilities/etc as well. Though on second thought 自尊心 might actually be more fitting as a synonym for プライド here… Not that it matter much for the translation haha.

頁 as a counter is read ページ, けつ has fallen into disuse - even 次頁 is read ジページ and not ジケツ. Why they didn’t just keep 丁… It’s much easier to say 15ページ than 8丁オモテ, and since they were big on translating foreign texts for a while it makes sense to conform to foreign customs. Apparently 洋装本 made their way to Japan in the early years of the Meiji era, so I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the restoration played a big part in all that as well.