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Dealing with historical matters for a certain urban area, one would like to say the following:

In this city we had many populations here: Normans, Greeks and French...

So what is the right term for: "Population" and "Civilization"? Thankyou

PS I tried dictionary, but there I cannot find good exmples... probably my dictionary is not so advanced. I also tried denshi-jisho on-line... the same

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Did you try to look up these terms in a dictionary? –  Earthliŋ Oct 5 '13 at 11:05
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I think the better English word for your example sentence would be "civilizations", not "populations". –  Earthliŋ Oct 5 '13 at 11:35
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What did you find? It might help to include that information in your question. –  snailboat Oct 5 '13 at 12:18
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I recommend www.alc.co.jp as a starting point for these kinds of questions. It contains a huge library of example sentences and you can search multiple words simultaneously in both English and Japanese. –  b-wilson Oct 9 '13 at 8:59
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@Andry (I didn't downvote you, but...) "How do I say X in Japanese?" is not a good question, and adding that you tried a dictionary but didn't find anything, really, doesn't make it any better. As Andrew Grimm suggests, jisho.org lists 8 words, which are nouns and translated as "civilization", which might be a good starting point. You could have chosen one or two of these and provided your own translation. Doing all of the above and adding some extra information would certainly have made this a better question and would have been less likely to attract downvotes. –  Earthliŋ Oct 10 '13 at 10:36

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I recommend www.alc.co.jp as a starting point for these kinds of questions. It contains a huge library of example sentences and you can search multiple words simultaneously in both English and Japanese.

That said, here is my translation of the sentence you gave:

当市は複数の文明ーノルマン文明やギリシャ文明やフランス文明などーが住み着いたことのある歴史を持っています。

The tone got a bit more formal than your original sentence, but you get the idea.

The key thing to point out is that when translating, you should try searching for how ideas are expressed rather than word-equivalences. If you attempt the latter, you usually end up with awkward formulations or just end up making things more complicated than you need to.

Edit (2013/10/10):
Following Earthling's suggestion, the original translation,

当市は様々な国の人―ノルマン人やギリシャ人やフランス人など―を占めていた都市です。

was changed to better reflect the intent of the original sentence

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I think 文明 is more appropriate here, since the Normans and the French are different civilizations, which inhabit(ed) the same land (at different times). –  Earthliŋ Oct 9 '13 at 12:11
    
@Earthling, Good point. My lack of historical awareness leaked through into the original. Made appropriate edit. –  b-wilson Oct 10 '13 at 9:48

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