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Lately ふう has been on my mind. Often it seems interchangeable with よう:

  1. これを{こんなふう/このよう}にしてください。 Please make it like this.

  2. あれを{どういうふう/どのよう}に解釈しますか。 In what way do you interpret that?

  3. 家を出るとき、帰りにケーキを買ってきてという{ふうよう}に言われました。 When I was about to leave, I was told to pick up some cake on the way back.

Questions

When ふう and よう are used in this way to mean "manner" or "like":

  1. Are they always interchangeable?
  2. Is there any difference in nuance?
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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

First of all, as you already implicitly show in your examples, their modifiers are not interchangable.

 {こ/そ/あ/ど}んなふうに
× {こ/そ/あ/ど}のふうに
△ {こ/そ/あ/ど}んなように
 {こ/そ/あ/ど}のように

I think ふう means some manner freely picked out, whereas よう is a manner chosen from the possibilities set by the context. This difference parallels the English what vs. which.

In what way did you do it?
In which way did you do it?

What kind of music do you like?
Which kind of music do you like?

English what does not presuppose the possibilities whereas which requires a contextually specified set from which one is chosen (i.e., in linguistic terms, discourse-linked).

On top of that difference, ふう is less approximate than よう. To reflect the difference, I would translate your examples like this:

これをこんなふうにしてください。
'Please make this kind of like this.
これをこのようにしてください。
'Please make this (look) this way.

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"ふう is less approximate than よう": Is this a typo? Your translation suggests that ふう is more approximate. –  Amanda S Aug 6 '11 at 1:54
1  
@Amanda Maybe my English was wrong. I meant よう is more accurate than ふう. –  user458 Aug 6 '11 at 4:47

When I wrote my graduation thesis, I used このふうに. A friend corrected my Japanese, but told me he had left in all the ふう's as a nod to my personal style. He also said that ふう was inappropriate in a serious written style -- I should have used よう. By the time he told me this it was too late...

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"it was too late ..." and what happened? Did you flunk? :P –  Lukman Aug 7 '11 at 5:10

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