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This is a practice problem from a textbook on natural language processing:

やってみよう:ブラウンコーパスのニュースとロマンスの 2 つのジャンルのデータを利用して、どの曜日がもっとも新聞っぽく、どの曜日がもっともロマンチックかを調べてみよう。

"Which day of the week is newspaperish?"

I know what っぽい、新聞、曜日 all mean, but I don't know what 新聞っぽい曜日 means and I know what the problem is asking, it's just such a strange phrase I can't make a translation out of it. You're supposed to count occurrences of the words [Monday, Tuesday, ..., Sunday] from the two text files, news clippings and romance novels, and then just see which genre has the larger relative count of a given 曜日語. I think the conclusion is supposed to be something like "月曜日はロマンチックではなく新聞っぽい曜日だ". But besides this mechanical understanding of the problem, the notion of 新聞っぽい曜日 is hard to translate. The best I can come up with is "the day of the week that is the most readily associated with the type of sentiment that might be typical of newspaper writings". Or maybe this just a poor choice of words on the part of the author?

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For people who accept just "newspaperish", I ask, what does newspaperish mean? And how can a day of the week be considered as newspaperish? Is it like saying sunday is a bookish day? Or maybe friday is a pamphletish day? Tuesday a magazineish day? lolz okay ill stop. –  taylor Aug 23 '12 at 21:05
    
Didn’t I exactly answer why “newspaper-ish” is a correct translation of 新聞っぽい in your example even though its use is not really logical? 新聞っぽい曜日 is an illogical notion, and so is its translation “newspaper-ish day of the week.” –  Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 23 '12 at 21:56
    
@TsuyoshiIto oh I totally agree with you. I'm just poking fun at the author for such a ridiculous notion lolz. –  taylor Aug 24 '12 at 0:21
    
Ah I see. ..... –  Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 24 '12 at 0:24
    
Isn't the answer simply in the context of that question?? The exercise wants you to identify which days come up more often in newspapers (hence "newspaperish"/"newspaper-like", whether that's a word or not) and which come up more often in romance novels. The 'っぽい' here seems to be a short way of saying "that are associated to the lexical field of"... –  Dave Aug 24 '12 at 3:01
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1 Answer

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It does not seem to me that you have any trouble translating the sentence in question, but here is my translation.

やってみよう:ブラウンコーパスのニュースとロマンスの 2 つのジャンルのデータを利用して、どの曜日がもっとも新聞っぽく、どの曜日がもっともロマンチックかを調べてみよう。

Try this: Using the data of the genres News and Romance in the Brown Corpus, find out which day of the week is the most newspaper-ish and which day is the most romantic.

I think that you are wondering whether there is more meaning in 新聞っぽい than just “newspaper-ish.” No, it is just a made-up phrase and it does not have any hidden meaning.

I do not think that it is logical to call the day of the week whose name appears the most frequently in a corpus based on news articles as “the most newspaper-ish day of the week,” but I would assume that the author is joking here.

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In other words: if the phrase has a hidden meaning, then it is too well-hidden for me to find…. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 23 '12 at 18:38
    
yeah its a silly example, its only a beginner level textbook lolz –  taylor Aug 23 '12 at 20:30
    
@taylor: Do you mean that the Japanese text in the question is from a textbook for learning Japanese? If so, I think that this example is advanced because, as I wrote in the answer, it is a joke. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 23 '12 at 23:36
    
this is actually from the book 入門言語処理, the Japanese version of Introduction to Natural Language Processing with Python from O'rielly. Believe it or not its not a joke though lolz. The author is just really dumbing everything down in the book, so there is a bunch of these vague colloquialisms all over the place. but there's still a few useful tidbits here and there –  taylor Aug 24 '12 at 0:24
    
@taylor: I thought that it looked a little like translation, so I am glad to see that my sense was correct. :) I wonder what the original phrase in the English book is. By the way, the title of the book must be 入門 自然言語処理. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 24 '12 at 0:31
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