The quick or short Language Questions Thread (not grammar)

Not really. If you run through the section of this Japanese Wiki article about the names of China (中国 - Wikipedia), you’ll see that none of them is really of Japanese origin. The one that was used by Japan around WWII, especially – reportedly – after China lost the first Sino-Japanese War, was 支那. China found it insulting, but Japanese definitions don’t mention any sort of pejorative meaning, and it ultimately has Indian roots (Sanskrit, specifically), it seems.


Can anyone tell me what the ち does in ‘小林さんちのメイドラゴン’ (manga title) ?

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It’s short for の家, usually it gets shortened to んち but because さん already ends in ん it’s just ち.

So it’s 小林さんの家のマイドラゴン - the dragon maid of Ms. Kobayashi’s home.


That’s interesting. Thanks!

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It’s the payback for 倭人 lol

There is 唐【から】 (the kanji is the one for Tang dynasty.).

Btw, からて was originally written 唐手 (Chinese techniques, and could be read トウで also) but changed to 空手in the 1930s.

Another word using that 訓読み is 「唐揚げ」【からあげ】.


No offence, but I sincerely wish people wouldn’t take resources like Wiktionary at face value, and that such resources would stop oversimplifying things or spreading misinformation. If you read the Wikipedia pages on 大和国 and 大和, you’ll see that at various points in history, 倭 was used inside Japan as part of official appellations for the country. There’s even an example inside one of those articles of a time Japan specifically added 大 to 倭国 in order to make it more honourable. Don’t you think that, if 倭 were such a shameful kanji, it would have been changed in that era? Yes, there is an article about 倭人 containing a section about the derivative derogatory usages, which is probably the equivalent of doing something like calling people from Taiwan ‘Formosans’ or Singaporeans like me ‘inhabitants of Syōnantō’ (what Singapore was called under the Japanese Occupation in World War II) – that is, using a name that people of a given territory don’t identify with – but it also mentions things like 倭寇 as derogatory, which is certainly possible, but neglects the fact that 倭寇 was meant to refer to Japanese pirates who did very commonly and consistently raid China’s coast in the Ming dynasty. My point is that these words were not originally derogatory, even if they might have taken on such a meaning when the people referred to stopped identifying with them.

As for 支那, it’s a historical name. It wasn’t originally derogatory either, and my Chinese dictionary notes many examples of foreign countries using it to refer to China. (Heck, even ‘China’ is probably etymologically related.) It’s possible that at the time of the first Sino-Japanese war, people in China preferred some other term of reference, and people in Japan originally referred to the Qing dynasty by another name, which led to it being perceived as derogatory.

There’s no point speculating whether or not one word was payback for another, especially when both have ancient historical roots and were either widely used or widely accepted within the respective countries for substantial periods in their history, particularly if they weren’t used in an insulting fashion concurrently (and that’s very unlikely because the First Sino-Japanese War happened around 1895, and none of the dates in the 倭人 article under the 蔑称 section are even in the same century). Yes, there have been historical tensions between Japan and China, and they still exist now, which might have motivated derogatory usages, but I strongly doubt that the two usages have any sort of causal relationship.


(posting this after Jonapedia’s long write-up about historical names seems almost disrespectful, heh. sorry about that!)

I’ve been wondering this for quite some time now: a while ago, I came across this song about yojijukugo, which I understood to be some form of translation from a previous chinese song (do correct me if I’m wrong here). In it, there’s one particular yojijukugo that caught my attention (definitely not because it was one of only three I recognized!): 一生懸命.

Now, wanikani (and EDICT, through my 10ten extension and jisho) gives the reading of this as いっしょうけんめい. However, the line displayed (and sung) in the song around the 1:01 mark is clearly いっしょうけんめ. I’m wondering if this is simply a slip, or if there was song translation factor to be considered (although I don’t know of any sources that give いっしょうけんめん, and I don’t think メン is one of the standard on’yomi for 命.)

いっしょうけんめん is not listed in my yojijukugo dictionary or in Koujien. When I search for いっしょうけんめん all I get are ramen restaurants called 一生懸麺, which is cute and clever.

I don’t want to think that someone making a song like that, while obviously putting a lot of work into it, would make that basic of an error on one of the best known yojijukugo that exist… but maybe there’s some reasonable explanation that I’m just not aware of.

EDIT: I just noticed that ramen place (at least one anyway) is only a few station stops from me! I’ll have to go and see how it is, lol


It doesn’t appear on Kanjipedia either. I think it was probably just an error. All I know about 一生懸命 is that it’s also equivalent to 一所懸命(いっしょけんめい), at least in its usual sense. I don’t think there are any other related readings. (Though perhaps I’m wrong.)


that was a joke

thanks for the intel! very insightful.

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Based on the description and comments, I get the impression the singer and intended audience’s native language is Chinese, which makes a one kana slip-up a lot more understandable.

Figuring if it were a mistake, someone would bring it up,
I found one comment in Japanese:


So I think it’s just a simple mistake.


Yeah, I know, but still, I’m not even sure if either word was meant to be insulting to begin with. That’s all. :slight_smile:

Yeah, actually, reading the comments section can be very helpful for understanding what’s going on in a video. Even if it doesn’t help, it can be fun to read others’ opinions and reactions.


What’s the logical reasoning behind 開発 meaning “development”?

How can “open” modifying “leaving”/“starting” point mean that?

Also, according to Jisho it can mean “exploitation”. WHAT

I would think of it more like

ひらく, which can mean “to develop land”, “to found a company or country”, not just “to open”.


はっする, meaning “to produce”

Try to look at all meanings.

Also, exploitation has a non-nefarious meaning, as well.

the use or development of something for profit or progress in business:


Googling “開発 語源” suggests that it originated from Buddhism - that it was originally about like, opening your mind and letting enlightenment spring forth, so to speak, and then it got applied to other things like developing a field, etc.

I think the “exploitation” meaning from jisho is trying to convey that it means development in the sense of like - taking raw materials and making them useful. Or like, taking something with potential and making it productive. I don’t think the negative connotation of “exploit” transfers.

In general by the way, I wouldn’t say logic for compounds needs to be especially literal. Both feeling vaguely development-ish is enough to make it not necessarily surprising to me that the word might mean that.


In my opinion, ‘opening’ up a new way forward and heading/‘starting’ out (or just ‘starting’ something new) is effectively the essence of development. I think the phrase exists in Chinese too, and I feel it’s quite logical.


Is there any filler words that we should avoid using?

All of them?

jkjk, coming from English, I would avoid using huh since it sounds angry to Japanese speakers. Otherwise, I hear あ(の) all the time. えと I hear less regularly, but it should be fine casually at the least.


What do you mean by filler words? “Thinking pause” words like “hmm”? These are fairly common in Japanese and using them is actually a good idea. Or do you mean things like なんか? Not exactly suitable for a polite conversation, but there are alternatives :slight_smile: .

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