Translating 以前 and 以後

Wanikani has 以前 translated to “previously, before” and 以後 translated to “after this, from now on, after, since”. From the kanji it seems as though these vocabulary are essentially opposites. Would I be remiss in adding “before this” as a user synonym to 以前?以前#Noun以後#Japanese

Wanikani calls both vocabulary “nouns”, but wiktionary calls 以後 an adverb. In fact, wikitionary has completely different translations from wanikani for 以前: 1. “(the one) before”, “formerly”, “ago”. (This is also confusing because “formerly” is also an adverb!)

Could someone help shine light on the “true” translations for these?

I don’t see why not, you should add it if that’s easier for you :ok_hand:

“True translation” is a tricky word as Japanese and English are different languages, a translation is just an equivalent or word with similar meanings, and it will always vary depending on the context.

以前 is categorized as a “noun” in Japanese grammar (I don’t know about wiktionary but this is at least what my Japanese dictionary says). However, it could also work like an adverb. I don’t think English has a word that has the same meaning and classified as a noun, so that’s why those translations don’t match the parts of the speech of the original Japanese word.

Context sentences will hopefully help you understand the meanings (that a translation can’t cover), though!

(I wasn’t sure what your question was exactly, but I hope this helps!)


Thanks for the response! I suppose what I mean by “true” translation is some more context for their usage, since I found the example phrases on their pages to be a little confusing as well. But perhaps I’m just jumping the gun and it’ll all fall into place once my grammar textbook arrives :innocent:

Yeah, knowing the grammar helps a lot. For example, you’d be more likely to say 以前に for the adverb form and 以前に actually feels like a better translation of “before this”. So the jukugo is kind of showing what the word “before” looks like and you have to learn the grammar to actually say something like “before this”.

Hope that make sense.

Also, is a great resource for things like this. The entry for 以前 has the adverb listed below the main meaning.

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