Translating "WaniKanian English" into English thread

What is Deliberation / Deliberate? Better to think of Discussion? Why is 篤 deliberate?

Deliberate can be a verb, but in this case it seems like it’s the adjective meaning. As an adjective it means careful, intentional

“a conscientious and deliberate worker” (careful meaning)
“a deliberate attempt to provoke conflict” (intentional meaning)


A hick - similar to a redneck, someone from a small town… like the Beverly Hillbillies… Or like Cleetus, the Slack-jaw Yokel:

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Wanikani has definitely helped me with my spelling of the little words that get me when I’m not paying attention. Stuff like “angel” vs. “angle” and “receive” not “recieve” “bureau” even though “beautiful” isn’t pronounced “BOH-tih-full.” Just the little “Are you drunk? You spelled this wrong.” thing helps so much.

I didn’t know this, but apparently there is a difference in English between “to compare to” and “to compare with”. I guess “compare to” is focusing on differences in similar things and “compare with” is focusing on similarities in different things. Or maybe the other way round? I still can’t quite remember it.

So when WK says 対する is “to compare to” (it doesn’t accept “to compare with”, or it does, but says it’s “a bit off”) I wonder if it really is “to compare to” in the English sense as opposed to “to compare with”, or if that distinction isn’t really present in Japanese. But either way, WK not accepting “to compare with” is how I learned about this distinction.

Don’t take WK’s listed translations as the final arbiter of the meaning of the words. In the best case scenario, it’s a starting point for learning about what a word means, unless it’s something unambiguous… but even then you don’t know what you don’t know. For instance, 猿 (さる) has the given translation of monkey, and no other synonyms, but in Japanese all primates are さる, even things that aren’t monkeys in English, like chimpanzees and gorillas.

Jisho has tons of definitions for 対する, so that’s a better place to start, but the best bet is just a monolingual dictionary.

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Most of the words causing trouble here are loan words, which makes sense, because English is a language that has basically been put together by mixing in whatever language has been powerful at the time. And in a land as contested as the British Isles, that changed very often.

That’s (one of the reasons) why Old English is so different to current English.

Interestingly, most of the words that sound fancy and convoluted to native English speakers are easier for non-native speakers coming from Romanic languages (like Spanish, Portuguese, French, etc).

“Hegemony”, “bureaucrat”, “instigate”, “piety”, “filial”, and a long etc, those are all words that look much more familiar to those speakers (me included).

I still remember the first time I used “antepenultimate” in casual conversation with a native English speaker, and the face he gave me in return.

Case in point

In Spanish, those would be “hegemonía”, “burócrata”, “instigar”, “piedad”, “filial”. And the last one would be “antepenúltimo”.


China is pretty commonly known as the Middle Kingdom.

Mediterranean is from Latin - and Terra means Earth.

On a side note, I wish they removed or made optional the “the” article in the translations.

I mean, like “the world”.

Or am I missing something and it is actually important for the English speakers?

What, for like 世界? Yes, “the world” is not just “any” world, it’s Earth and its human society. As such, one of the meanings of 世界 is “the world”.

The presence of articles in English can be very important. Saying “the world” clarifies that “world” is being used as a noun and is specific, as opposed to “world” used as an adjective as in “world politics” or a general noun as in “some world in the far reaches of the Galaxy.” While the general/specific cases may not be vital to translations, the noun/adjective needs to be clarified.

But it can be used as an adjective, too.

Are we still talking about 世界 here? Because I don’t think it can be, not without adding okurigana to it, making a new word.

Well maybe not as an adjective, but as a noun modifying another noun? I am not far in the Japanese grammar yet. But I found that it can be used pretty much like in the English “world economy” phrase:

Aside from that, I quickly googled and it appeared that there are a lot of cases where 世界 is used for some other world.

It doesn’t really bother me since I can just use the override if I forget about the “the” and forget to add my synonym, but still.

That usage in English would be “Economy of the World” which may have the same end meaning, it is the case of showing ownership of one noun by another, not an adjective describing a noun. To a native English speaker, the article makes it clear what is meant whereas if you just said “world” the meaning has been left ambiguous.

It can be “world.” But it can also be “the world.” There’s no contradiction there…

And yes, it can be a の adjective

3. renowned; world-famous; well-known outside of Japan​

That’s why I say that adding “world” as a synonym by default would be nice, same for the other “the” words. They actually already have it for a lot of words, for example “the best” as the default translation, but also accepts “best”.

In this part of the world (northern Appalachian mountains of the US), Chrysanthemums, known colloquially as “Mums”, are sold everywhere in Autumn since they are resistant to the cold.

Also, I actually learned “filial piety” in the wild, many moons ago, in a science fiction book.

What is eddy supposed to mean in ? Also, WaniKani only taught through the vocab 淀川. Doesn’t it make more sense to teach 淀む? (I learnt through 澱む, though.)

I know there is Eddy current in physics, but I have mostly forgotten what it is.

The physics definition is (I think) pretty close to the general definition, which is the flow of water in a whirlpool. I think there are a few more definitions, but they are all related to the idea of water flowing in a circular pattern.

I think what WaniKani is going for in their explanation of the term is: if you’re sitting in a boat on the water, you may be able to block the tsunami because creating a circular current would mess up the momentum of the wave (in reality you could never do this but we’re using WK logic). When they say digging, what they mean is digging your paddle into the water, not digging a shovel into the sand.

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