What in the world does という mean?

I see Japanese people saying Xという___ pretty much after everything. It’s translated as “called”, but even in English, we don’t say "a/an X called ______ " unless there’s an assumption that the thing we’re talking about is something that the other person for sure doesn’t know about. Otherwise, it just sounds strange. As if the speaker is trying to intentionally distance themselves from whatever they’re talking about.

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English speakers use “you know” a lot. But in Japanese you don’t say “知っている?” every other sentence.

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Wait this is the wrong place.
Edit: I meant to put this in the grammar section. How do you delete?

You can edit it.

と - quote particle
いうー言う - verb for speak

と - It`s used to mark a quote so?

お腹が空いたという
“I`m hungry” - he said.

edit: I’m probably wrong for this particular usage case, I just wanted to be leebo’d!

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That’s the most literal usage of it, which I don’t think Xerogravitii is referring to.

They’re talking about when it’s things like アクション映画というやつは、あんまり好きじゃないなぁ

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English speakers use “you know” a lot. But in Japanese you don’t say “知っている?” every other sentence

I get what you’re saying. You’re saying that it’s some sort of convention that Japanese people have that doesn’t exist in English. Could you explain what kind of nuance or feeling it adds to the sentence? I wasn’t really able to pick it up from just reading or listening.

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So this would be like saying: "this is an action movie you know? I don’t like it so much… " ?

I didn’t intend for there to be a direct comparison between “you know” and という. It’s just a common convention of Japanese speech, that doesn’t always need to be literally translated. The feeling it gives depends on the situation.

As for that sentence, I’d translate it feels more like “I’m not such a big fan of action movies” than if you just said “I don’t like action movies.” It’s hedging just a bit, even though it’s effectively the same. Of course, という isn’t doing all of that on its own.

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So this would be like saying: "this is an action movie you know? I don’t like it so much… " ?

It literally means “The thing called action movies, I don’t like so much”. It’s just that while in English this sounds strange, in Japanese this is actually natural.

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I see, I guess it’s the sort of stuff that takes it seeing in different contexts to really get a feel for.
At least I won’t feel so helpless when I see it now, like when I see やっぱり。I’m not the op, but thanks a lot !

For anyone interested, here’s a rather long lesson on the various uses of という:

http://maggiesensei.com/2010/04/24/request-lesson-というtoiu-ということ(toiukoto-and-many-more/

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Personally, I used to be really confused about this when I learned it in Tae Kim, but it’s just one of those things I’ve had to get a feel of from exposure rather than actual translations or explanations.

Fortunately understanding it is usually not super critical to getting the gist of a sentence.

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I liked Tae Kim’s explanation of it. I think other resources (IMABI, Maggie Sensei, etc), tend to overload you with example sentences when I’m just looking for a good explanation of the concept. But then again, I feel like this is one of those things you don’t really learn until you’ve looked at hundreds of examples. The explanation still kind of just amounts to “Yeah, it doesn’t really mean anything.” Figure it out as you go I guess.

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And help you to understand exactly the point you were asking for in the first place? That’s not how we do things in the WaniKani forums!

In all seriousness, though, this is one of those tricky nuances of the japanese language that you can only fully understand by exposition, I’d say. It’s kinda tough to explain. Try to think about these concepts on a more abstract way, because if you keep translating them to English on a word-by-word basis nothing will make sense and everything will sound weird

I switched away from Genki to Tae Kim because I found his explanations more helpful. With any grammar point though, it takes reading and seeing it over and over again until you start to really get it.

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