Take the 2-minute tour ×
Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm reading a short story 「かえるくん、東京を救う」 by Haruki Murakami. I found a passage where 非 is attached to two nouns, I guess to give them the meaning of opposition.

ぼくは純粋なかえるくんですが、それと同時にぼくは非かえるくんの世界を表象するものでもあるんです。

ぼく自身の中には非ぼくがいます。

I know I'm reading a literary work so words can be made up but is it a normal practice to attach 非 to words this way? How to translate that best into English? Is "anti-" appropriate?

I am a genuine Frog but at the same time I'm the symbol of the anti-Frog world.

There's anti-me inside of me.

share|improve this question
    
non- > anti-. Anti is 反. –  非回答者 May 3 at 4:00
    
@TokyoNagoya Thank you for pointing that out. Can 反 be used as a prefix in a creative way as well? Is 反ぼく understandable? –  Szymon May 3 at 23:39

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes! I think your interpretation is fine, and given the context I think "anti" makes sense. There are several prefixes for negation, but adding one in unconventional ways is fine so long as it fits the general pattern of use. That said, however, it's not necessarily the most "normal" way. For example, saying something like 非かえるくん and 非ぼく is kind of goofy, but it's clear that's what the writer is going for. In general the use of a prefix in itself shouldn't be too problematic; it's just the context that dictates how good it sounds.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.