Trying to understand the million different ways to say "somehow" or "anyhow" in Japanese

There seems to be an endless supply of Japanese words and phrases that translate to “somehow” or “anyhow” in English. It’s difficult, at least with J-E dictionaries, to understand the nuances of each variation. If you had to break these up into categories, how would you do it?

迚も斯くても
如何かこうか
兎や角
兎も角も
兎も角
兎もあれ
兎に角
兎にも角にも
何分にも
何分
何処やら
何処とも無く
何処かしら
何れにしろ
何れにしても
何らかの形で
何にせよ
何にしろ
何にしても
何とやら
何とはなしに
何となし
何とか
何せ
何しろ
何かの拍子
何かしら
どの道
どうやらこうやら
どうやら
どうにかして
どうにかこうにか
どうでも
どうせ
どうかした
どうか
どういう訳か
とりま
ともあれかくもあれ
とまれかくまれ
いずれ

And i am here with my less than N5 grammer.
"What the heck"い一体なんだ

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image

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Take a step back here. What exactly are you trying to do? Don’t get too hung up on any one English word and every possible / potential translation.

I would say any word that’s an archaism or isn’t listed as a common word you can put in the category of “don’t bother.”

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You could do it all sorts of ways:

  1. By Kanji.
  2. Grammatically.
  3. Search sentence usage for each one.

The real question is why I’d want to.

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It really depends on context and who’s speaking.

I see a lot you listed are used in very formal fashion, especially the upper ones (you don’t see this frequently in this form, I think). In manga, I see them being used by aristocrats or politicians.

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I’m not a native English speaker, but I can consume all kinds of media with no problem at all.
Still, I never heard of “haphazard/ly”, “helter-skelter” or “willy-nilly”.
And I never heard “by hook or cook”.

Sooooo… I don’t feel bad about not having any idea about the Japanese versions :smiley:

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Yeah, was just making the point that if you do a similar thing in English you’ll also get a big list of things that isn’t that helpful.

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I wouldn’t class many of these as having the same or even really similar meaning.
This is not a good way to learn new words. Also try not to think about the words in terms of what they could be translated into English/whatever your native language is as. This complicates things more. Actually, these sorts of expressions are exactly the type that looking up a translated definition won’t help you with.

I don’t quite remember where I saw this, but: “There aren’t many words that mean the same thing, just many words that you don’t understand yet”.

If you did want to try and categorise these, I would recommend using a Japanese thesaurus like https://thesaurus.weblio.jp/ and seeing what comes out when you type each in. I wanna say again thought that I don’t think this is productive at least in terms of language learning

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I would write most of those kanji in kana, to start with: can’t read half of them :sweat_smile:

いかが

ともかく

どこ

Okay, so I did know how to read them. But you are highly unlikely to see them like that, I think…

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I see them quite a lot in kanji forms in manga with aristocrats/nobles as characters. They are usually in kana form in other types of stories though

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All right, must be my own experience bias, then. Thanks!

Normally, you’re unlikely to see them.

But then, we’ve already had a 何故 in Yuru Camp so far…

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I learned the word haplology earlier this week and used it yesterday. Sometimes rare words still come up.

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I can still list the helping verbs I learned in 3rd grade from memory for some reason:

Am, is, are, was, were
be, being, been
have, has, had
do, does, did
shall, will, should, would
may, might, must, can, could

It never actually did me any good in the 34 years since, but hey, cool party trick.

I wouldn’t call it rare so much as specific to a discipline, like linguistics. I wouldn’t expect anyone outside of network engineers or lawyers to know what an egress is. :wink:

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Oh buddy ole pal we’ve clearly never crossed paths… :sweat_smile:

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