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8

金 in 金曜日 refers to Venus (金星). In fact, "Fri" in "Friday" also refers to Venus, also known as Frige's star. Both are almost certainly derived from the Roman names for the days of the week.


7

Most modern style guidelines say that adverbs, including しばらく, should be written in hiragana. (examples of adverbs which should be written in hiragana.) It is true that some adverbs are simple enough even in kanji, but many people are conscious of this rule and tend to use hiragana versions. I think this rule came into existence somewhere during the ...


7

As noted in the question comments, the kanji 円 was originally 圓. The nutshell version of the article Yang Muye linked is that monks developed a shorthand version of 圓 that looked like a box with a vertical line through it: . Over time, the shape of the surrounding box changed, likely due to the same anatomical and mechanical processes that inform any change ...


6

Please note that kana is not a true syllabic script anymore. The reason for this is due to /n/. For example, take the word /sinbun/ "newspaper". If you break it into its syllables, it is sin.bun. While accents are determined by syllables in some dialects, kana--as well as Japanese speakers--segment this as si.n.bu.n. The appropriate term for this mora. ...


6

In about 2000 years ago, people in Japan were still using clay vessels and had no characters at all, while China had developed a large civilization and their own writing system, kanji. In those days, Japanese and Chinese used completely different languages, with completely different vocabulary, syllables, and grammar. In around the 1st to 4th century, kanji ...


4

〔一段活用・二段活用の動詞に推量の助動詞「む」を伴ったもの,例えば,「見む」「受けむ」などは,中世末期までに「みう」「うけう」から「みょう」「うきょう」の形に変‌​化していたが,そこから,動詞未然形「み」「うけ」と助動詞「よう」とが分かれて,助動詞「よう」が生ずるに至った。現代語のように,五段活用の動詞には「う」が,その他の‌​活用の動詞には「よう」が付くというように,接続のしかたを補い合うような用法が一般的になるのは近世江戸語以降のことである〕 ― 大辞林 entry for よう Combinations of monograde (一段) and bigrade (二段) verbs with the conjecture auxiliary -mu, for example ...


4

My answer will be based on the assumption that OP is talking about when 「なんか」 is indeed followed, not preceded, by a noun as s/he so states in the comments (but not in the question). In informal conversation, there actually exists such a structure. "なんか + Noun + みたいな(のような) + Noun" For instance, I have little appetite when I have a fever. Since I do ...


3

Turning comments into an answer. Credit should go all to the commenters on original question! Choko: 「さざれ石(=細かい石)が巌【いわお】(=大きな岩)になって、(それに)苔【こけ】が[生]{む}す(=苔が生【は】える)まで。」って意味です。 jogloran: Is the fact that が=の in this text commonly known to ordinary Japanese speakers? Choko: 私学の中高に通っていた大学生は結構知らなかったりしますね・・・ College students that went to ...


3

You've got two distinct questions here, I'll answer them in turn. Japanese wasn't really 'influenced' by any other syllabic phonetic writing systems; instead, it turns out a syllabary is the most natural kind of phonetic writing system to create out of nothing (or out of a semantically-based system like Chinese). Of the various examples we have of people ...


3

Here is a page showing a detailed study on citation history of the kanji: http://atonal.fc2web.com/mr/something/gather/otodo_taito/otodo_taito.html According to it, there is a book from 1981 called 姓氏の語源 'Etymology of Surnames', and it has a short story about the kanji, which goes; One day a young guy showed up at a brokerage office, bought a large amount ...


3

As Snailboat mentioned in her comment, gogen-allguide.com has a good explanation for said etymologies. Although, I should caution against analyzing Chinese moraically; Chinese is a syllabic language. While 馬{うま} and 梅{うめ} are etymologically borrowings from Chinese, they predate any of the three major 音読み classifications (ie, 呉音、漢音、唐音), and are thus ...


2

Early stages of Japanese did not have relative clauses, but it was possible to modify nouns with attributive verbs (using contemporary lexicon/morphology for ease): 咲く丘 a hill where something grows I believe that from early stages, there was little restriction on the semantic role of 丘 in the action of 咲く, i.e. all this is really saying is "a hill that ...


2

It seems to be 汗のない社会は堕落だ, which is a variation on 「愛なき人生は暗黒なり。汗なき社会は堕落なり。」Google tells me this is a quote from 前田又兵衛. Something like "A life without love is darkness. A society without effort is corruption."


2

I'm not finding anything at the level one could cite in a paper after a brief search in Japanese, but three different sources (Japanese Wikipedia, NHK Kids show, and Japanese version of yahoo answers) agree that the original was written in a mix of kana and kanji. The "yahoo answers" answerer points out that there is no copy of the original.


2

I think there are multiple interpretations of this character, but it's clearly a combination of 辶 (from 辶) and 軍, which suggests the movement-related meaning came first and "luck" was a derived meaning. But how was it derived? Here's what Henshall has to say: 辶 is movement 129. 軍 is army 466 q.v. Some scholars take the latter in a literal sense, ...


2

No. かたじけない is one of the most famous 武士語/サムライ言葉, but it's never used in ordinary conversations today.


2

A lot of the times, but not always, this originates in literature. A word like しばらく came up through Heian and Kamakura female writers, so they were written in hiragana from the beginning. 石鹸 on the other hand has its origin in Meiji when a lot of new and fancy Western products entered Japan. There was a need for words that would also describe its utility and ...


1

Certainly at some point Japanese fishermen shared drinks/conversation with Tamil speakers somewhere along the coast of Malaysia & perhaps brought back some colorful new vocabulary (or spouses) ... but that's very different from a linguistic/etymological link on a grand scale. As you say, Tamil (like many societies) has its proponents who claim it's the ...


1

Excerpt from 日本国語大辞典 entry: まら 【魔羅・摩羅】 (1)「ま(魔)(1)」に同じ。 *却癈忘記〔1235〕下「勤行之人の魔道に堕ると、世間に人のいふ事、甚謂有事也。魔と者具には魔羅と云ふ」 (2)((1)から転じたとも、排泄する意の「まる」の交替形ともいう)陰茎をいう。もと僧侶が用いた語。 *霊異記〔810〜824〕中・一一「卒爾に𨳯(マラ)に蟻著きて嚼み〈国会図書館本訓釈 𨳯 万良〉」 That means, the "penis" sense may have come from buddhist māra, or the verb まる "excrete", or confusion between both.


1

The lyrics is written in Classical (Heian-era) Japanese, where the が/の alternation is known to be 180 degree inverted than today, that is, 君が代 is あなたの代 in today's language, so さざれ石の巌となりて → さざれ石が巌となって and 苔の生すまで → 苔が生えるまで. I'm not sure about the origin of the alternation, since the usage is attested in earliest documents. The original text has multiple ...


1

This is speculation on my part, but I believe it is possible that when 運 is used to mean one's luck or fortune, it may be interpreted as "[that which is] carried". To illustrate, consider the word 運命(うんめい), meaning destiny or fate. Taking the two kanji apart, we have: 運ぶ (はこぶ) meaning to carry and 命(いのち) meaning life. So, synthesized, it would mean ...


1

I suggest A Guide to Remembering Japanese Characters, by Kenneth Henshall. It gives both the true etymology (if known) and a mnemonic explanation that is more useful to memory. It seems to be exactly what you were looking for.


1

My understanding is that until the Meiji era, through the early 1900's, foreign words were most often written in kanji. Perhaps the sudden exposure to foreign cultures and the rise of the merchant class and marketing led to it's emergence as the definitive way to write foreign non-Chinese words. As the script was imported centuries ago, it is possible that ...



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