The quick or short Language Questions Thread (not grammar)

Thanks, that’s interesting. I thought that 歳 could only be used for people.

I’m not certain, to be honest. I’d agree based on my experience with Chinese: 歳 feels like something that’s only meant to be used with living things. However, when I check the Wisdom Dictionary and the dictionary on Weblio’s EJJE page (here), I get annotations like this on certain definitions/translations:


That tells me that the use of these terms might be a little looser than I think.

At the end of the day though, here’s how I see it: it’s probably much more natural to use a circumlocution like what you suggested in your original post, and it’s true that things and people usually don’t have the same sort of ‘age’ in Chinese, and it’s probably the same in Japanese, because I very rarely hear translations of sentences like ‘this school is a hundred years old’ in terms of age. However, if you really wanted to phrase the thought the way you suggested it, then I don’t think the 〜歳年上 structure would be ‘wrong’. I need confirmation from usage examples or someone with more experience, but I think it could be understood as personification that would make sense in context. I don’t think personifying an inanimate object like that would be wrong in Chinese, though it might feel rather poetic, and so I don’t think it would be wrong in Japanese either, because I think both cultures have a tradition of giving inanimate objects a certain spirit, especially when they are seen as representative of a certain institution or set of ideals.


It’s the first time I’ve noticed this, and it just so happened that I encountered it in two different manga today :joy::


What does it mean when there are those little circles next to each kana/kanji? Is it perhaps a way to emphasise the word…?
Dunno, just guessing :joy:

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yep! You guessed right!


Great, thank you!!

So writing it in katakana is not the only way to emphasise a word then… :thinking::thinking:


There’s RARELY only a single way to emphasise a word :wink:


There’s also punctuated. for. emphasis., which is generally how I think of furigana interpuncts (or commas, as they sometimes are). :slightly_smiling_face:



Just ran across this while reading. Is it a saying or did the narrator just make up the metaphor?

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Did you try searching jisho? Because it’s in there. :wink:


Hah, I didn’t. I keep forgetting how much they have in there.

Although, the search only matches if you put in the exact Kanji in there.


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Looks like the kana version matches for me.

I guess if you replace some of the kana with kanji, but not all of them, that screws with it.

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Aye that’s probably it.