The quick or short Language Questions Thread (not grammar)


I don’t know if there is a good answer to this except “history” but I wonder why あなた ended up being the word for calling someone in the 2nd person in modern Japanese, when if you think about こそあど, it should be そなた, as was common in classical Japanese. あなた should refer to someone who is not near the speaker or the listener, if you think about it in the context of こそあど.

I’ve never heard そなた or こなた used, though the words existed / exist. Obviously どなた remains a polite way to refer to an unknown party.

I’d be interested in reading more about the whole history of pronouns.


I never made the connection with こそあど for these words! a little bit of a mindblow, this one


Yeah, for me too, guess it could have gone in that topic too, but part of why the connection is harder is because あなた doesn’t behave like a normal あ word, at least not now.


Here’s a thing.

Looks like そなた is a really old way of saying it.


which you already said. oop.


Yeah, I couldn’t find discussion of it in the context of こそあど, or classical usage of あなた, but admittedly I haven’t looked hard.


Aight so I asked some friends and this is the best answer I got.







So basically the difference was mostly just respect based, and in Japanese less direct = more polite, so anata just kinda took over as the most used and the triad lost their “true” usage so to speak.


あいつ、こいつ、どいつ is a similar case maybe? I don’t hear そいつ too often


I’m having trouble remembering this radical 冓…

The mnemonic for this one is:
You put your life (twice, one for each show) into an elephant’s hands (or trunk). Where do you work? At the circus. Don’t get this confused with the similar 黄, though. That one is different, and doesn’t involve life or elephants.
No idea what’s going on, I can see where the elephant comes in, but the lifes? It looks like a double layered blackjack


cut it down the middle and the black jack looks like two 生 without the drop, I guess



Question: How do I say “one teaspoon of sugar” in Japanese?



While we’re at it, a tablespoon is 大さじ. Please note, by the way, that Japanese teaspoons are 5mL and tablespoons are 15mL. That may be different to where you live. Here in Australia, our tablespoon is 20mL, which appears to be unique in the world. Not sure why that is.

For all the cooking terms (and recipes) you could ever possibly need: :slightly_smiling_face:


Unless you’re borrowing it from the Satou family, that would be 砂糖 :slight_smile:


Gah. That’ll teach me not to proofread.

That was a lie. Nothing teaches me to proofread…


Thanks! At last I can now stop being clueless about this.


What is the difference between 疎遠 and 疎外? WaniKani lists “estrangement” and “neglect” as meanings for both, while 疎外 also has alienation.

The dictionary entry for 疎遠 is relatively straightfoward:


But I can’t make sense of the entry for 疎外 (which even uses 疎遠 in the second definition):



Based on the first definition for 疎外 it seems like “alienation” might be the better meaning to learn, but I’m not sure. And I’m having trouble making sense of the second meaning and figuring out if it’s relevant for the meaning WaniKani wants us to learn.


Does your dictionary not mention that the second definition is a jargon definition from a specific philosopher’s work? Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.


That’s the whole definition other than it saying it’s related to 自己疎外. So I guess not.


Yeah, the 大辞林 (found on weblio) definition for meaning 2 starts with ヘーゲルの用語. I often ignore definitions like that.