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.

Is it possible to refer to the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and nuclear incident in everyday conversation, preferably without using the words earthquake or tsunami or nuclear incident?

For example, when I was told a museum in Sendai wasn't open, and I wasn't sure whether it was because of the earthquake or just because it's closed on a Tuesday, should I have said "大震災 / 東日本大震災 から?"※, or could I have used something that doesn't directly mention 震災?

The reason I'm trying to do so is that even in English, people often avoid referring to the type of disaster when referring to it (eg "Bali", "seven seven"), and I've heard that the Japanese language tends to be more indirect than English.

※ This may not be a correct use of the word から, but that's not relevant to the question.

share|improve this question
1  
Hmm how about "3.11(さんいちいち)のせいで?" But I'd just say "震災で?" (What does 米 mean btw?) –  Choko Apr 9 '12 at 4:10
4  
Maybe it was supposed to be ※? I've never seen the 米 kanji used for this. –  Hyperworm Apr 9 '12 at 4:14
    
@Hyperworm I was googling for "rice symbol". Sorry. –  Andrew Grimm Apr 9 '12 at 4:35

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

It is difficult to refer to the earthquake without mentioning it. If you don't want to mention it, you can think of other ways to ask:

定休日ですか。
'Is it regular holiday?'

なぜしまっているんですか。
'Why is it closed?'

いつ開きますか。
'When will it be open?'

But I don't see any reason to avoid the word.

share|improve this answer
    
Is my reasoning in the third paragraph flawed? –  Andrew Grimm Apr 9 '12 at 7:32
1  
As well as Japanese is concerned, you don't need to be indirect for the type of the disaster. –  sawa Apr 9 '12 at 8:06

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.