In English any verb can be turned into a kind of noun called an "agent noun", that just means the do-er of the action:
- to drive - driver
- to walk - walker
- to think - thinker
- to drink - drinker
Yesterday I wanted to communicate the notion "drinker" meaning plainly "one who drinks".
My Japanese is not good and the people I was talking with had a similar level of English. So maybe we missed something, but the best they could come up with was words meaning more like "drunk" or "habitual drinker". In English "drinker" could mean this but could also, depending on context, just mean "not a teetotaller" or even refer to a person or thing that drinks, even in non-alcohol senses.
The English Wiktionary only lists these two as translations of English -er:
- 者 (...しゃ, -sha)
- 家 (...か, -ka)
Others that have been identified by various people reading this question are:
- 手 (...しゅ, -shu)
So could 者 or 家 actually be appended to some form of 飲む to give something similar to the English range of meaning that "drinker" has?
And really "drinker" is just the real life example. I'm actually interested in the general case of turning arbitrary verbs into agent nouns just as much.