引用. Questions about Japanese quotations, or about the grammar of quotation.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
1answer
196 views

In Japanese, how do you tell the reader that a quotation is literally translated from the original when the original sounds strange?

In cases where the original wording of a quotation sounds strange, and thus the Japanese translation of it sounds unnatural, my advisor says I need to add a note each time in my academic paper to tell ...
5
votes
2answers
172 views

Using both と and を with the verb 言う?

I've recently been reading Tobira and there was a sentence that I was really having trouble finding exactly what was going on in it. ...
2
votes
1answer
58 views

The usage of という in questions

My question is about the differences when using という in a question compared to without. Take for example the 4 questions below 何があったというのだ? 何があったのだ? 何かが始まるというの? 何かが始まるの? The two questions ...
4
votes
1answer
105 views

Use of quote marker と before unusual verbs

I'm happy with the purpose of と when it precedes verbs like 言う、聞く、思う etc. The following sentence puzzles me: おじいさんは「雀は大丈夫かな。」と、大変がっかりしました。 I understand that the man feels disappointed and ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Do Japanese people use quotation marks for emphasis?

I came across this tweet today: Is this the least confidence-inspiring use of inverted commas ever? The English part of the sign has "Safe" and "Comfortable" in inverted commas, and the ...
9
votes
1answer
173 views

Telling the speaker apart from the person being spoken about

A recent question about the usage of quoted speech contained this interesting sample sentence: ハイリアの民は、ふしぎな力を あやつることが、できたと言います。 Often when I read this kind of sentence, I wonder if ハイリアの民 is part ...
0
votes
3answers
454 views

How to write “Aikido Wa Ichiban Budo Desu” [closed]

"Aikido Wa Ichiban Budo Desu" is supposedly a quote from 植芝 盛平, Ueshiba Morihei (founder of Aikido). Most people translate this as "Aikido is first and foremost a true Budo". My question is: how are ...
8
votes
3answers
805 views

Is this って equivalent to 「と」?

Is the って in the following sentence equivalent to 「と」 as in AはBと変わる/違う? 昔から好きな曲って変わらないみたい。 My favourite songs have not changed for many years. Does this mean it is equivalent to the と used ...
2
votes
3answers
572 views

Introducing an indirect quotation with と

I find it difficult to translate Japanese indirect quotations into my own language partly because of different grammatical patterns and verb conjugation altogether; for example, what about this ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the original Japanese for “It's always the darkest under the lighthouse”?

What is the original Japanese saying meaning, "It's always the darkest under the lighthouse"? (reference)
1
vote
2answers
488 views

Which kana/kanji are used to write Yoshitoshi's death poem?

Browsing for art late at night, I came across this beautiful poem by Yoshitoshi, said to be his death poem: yo o tsumete terimasarishi wa natsu no tsuki translated as: holding back ...
9
votes
1answer
540 views

Making sense out of Japanese proverbs

I was never able to make any sense out of the following Japanese proverbs or idiomatic expressions: 豆腐の角に頭をぶつけて死んでしまえ。 'Hit your head against a corner of a cake of tofu, and die.' ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

と、て、って Quoting Particle Usage

と、て、って What's the difference between these three quoting particles? Is there any grammatical difference, or are they just casual/formal variations of one another? 田中さんは行きましょうと言った 田中さんは行きましょうて言った ...
2
votes
1answer
339 views

Which kanji and/or hiragana are used to write this snippet of Japanese that appears in the novel Gravity's Rainbow?

It purports to be a kamikaze chant, and appears near the end of the book. Being basically a Gravity's Rainbow nerd, I have always wanted to be able to write it out in order to impress other literary ...
1
vote
1answer
169 views

幼いときに老けて、老いて子供に戻る。Can anyone explain the nuances of this sentence?

幼いときに老けて、老いて子供に戻る。 I can make a few guesses as to the specific meaning but I'm not sure which one is right.. does anyone know what would be the most correct translation of this sentence?
3
votes
1answer
141 views

Is と necessary after a quoted phrase?

Hi all I was wondering if we want to treat a quoted phrase as a "noun", is it necessary to put a と particle behind the quoted phrase? For example: A) The "received" in "received from Tom" ...
1
vote
0answers
295 views

Looking for the original japanese of this haiku [closed]

I'm sure this is a translation of a haiku but I'm not able to find the original text or even the author. As the sun goes down the birds land one by one. I've been trying to Google it ...
5
votes
2answers
194 views

What does 「父なる砂漠」mean?

There is a line in the 「この涙 星になれ」, which is a song of ZARD (Sakai Izumi): 父なる砂漠 コイン投げて 明日を占おう I don't understand the meaning of 「父なる砂漠」. It's quite strange to think of it as the desert that has ...
5
votes
1answer
204 views

“感動した!(like ex-primeminister Koizumi)” Where does this reference come from?

After showing a project to a Japanese coworker, he answered me the following: 感動した!、小泉元総理風 I found this amusing, but I couldn't get the Mr.Koizumi reference. Is there a story behind this?