Municipal - adjective or noun

I got really confused when learning 市立。A municipality is a noun in English. The adjective is municipal.

Can this be fixed?


It doesn’t mean municipality. But 市立 is still a noun and a の adjective in Japanese.

Just because municipal isn’t a noun in English doesn’t mean 市立 isn’t in Japanese.

From Kotobank:


“The fact of being funded/managed by the city. Also, the thing being funded/managed.”

So, as a noun, it means a thing that is municipal. (It’s a bit hard to translate in English, I guess)


Okay, that makes sense. So the grammatical type for the Japanese word is not the same as the grammatical type for the translation… Which is why I’m suggesting that the translation be adjusted.

Adjusted to what? “Municipal thing”? If you want to add your own meaning, you’re free to insert it as a user synonym. Just keep in mind that it doesn’t mean “municipality”.

You’ll find there’s a few words that exist in a different part of speech in Japanese than they do in English - the trick is to remember that Japanese is not English. Typically in such cases, they’ll be translated into the English word that’s the most natural, but you shouldn’t forget that the usage in Japanese is different. For example, the word “like” in English is a verb (“I like donuts”), but the equivalent word in Japanese, すき, is a な-adjective, with a meaning like “likeable” (私はドーナツが好き = literally “For me, donuts are likeable” but in natural English, “I like donuts”).

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It means “municipal” in the way it’s used. You want them to change it to that full sentence definition that Nath mentioned?

There is no conflict. The listing of noun on the item page only refers to the Japanese. It’s a 名詞. That is something that is most closely related to the word noun in English, but the rules aren’t identical, for obvious reasons.

It basically never gets used as a standalone word in Japanese. It’s always modifying or describing something, which makes it very adjective-like when translated, but it’s not a 形容動詞, which is what we call a な adjective, so it’s a noun as a technicality.

I can see how it’s confusing, but I think it’s important to forget your definitions of English parts of speech when you look at the parts of speech listed on the item pages.


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