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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.



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.

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non- > anti-. Anti is 反. – l'électeur May 3 '14 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 '14 at 23:39
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.

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