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seen Mar 22 '12 at 15:08

Mar
10
comment Were women unable to learn kanji during the Heian era?
I would not underestimate the sexism of the attitude that women shouldn't learn kanji. Murasaki Shikibu (I think) apparently studied kanji, in spite of the fact that it wasn't considered appropriate for women to do so. Very unladylike and unfeminine. The fact that discrimination is expressed in such genteel terms doesn't mean that it isn't discrimination. It's just that I'm cautious about framing it in such modern terms as your Wikipedia quotations do.
Mar
9
comment Buddhist facilities
Also, I think that 鼓楼 is actually drum tower. The bell tower is known as 鐘楼.
Mar
9
comment Buddhist facilities
My suggestion on Chinese was a little misguided. Many of those terms are, indeed, actually Chinese in origin, but that isn't going to help you find an English translation. I looked in some of my general Chinese dictionaries and they were not helpful. The problem is that the language is specialised, so specialised dictionaries are likely to be more helpful.
Mar
9
comment Buddhist facilities
This is a great piece of detective work and obviously took a lot of time. On 'monk's cell', I think this is probably the usual naming (plenty of Google hits), although admittedly as languages change old usages do become unfamiliar and prone to misinterpretation.
Mar
8
comment How best to translate 左右対称 in this context?
I do disagree. I learnt "bilateral symmetry" at school. Maybe they don't teach it any more, or perhaps there are places where they don't teach it, but I don't think that that is grounds for saying that Japanese is much clearer than English. I'm also curious how you would understand the word 'symmetrical' -- just a variation on 'proportional'?
Mar
8
comment This use より baffles me
思ったより would imply a clear subject, e.g., 'easier than I thought' or 'easier than you thought', etc. It's specific because it's referring to an actual 'event' (the 'event' being that you thought it would be hard). On the other hand, 思うより is a general statement. It could mean 'easier than you think', but it could be interpreted as 'easier than people think'. It's more hypothetical than actual.
Mar
8
comment What is the proper term for the use of archaic kanji?
"I don't want to be using Chinese terminology to describe Japanese artwork and vice versa" -- The terminology of Chinese characters, like the characters themselves, came from China. Use of Chinese terminology (with Japanese on readings) is correct and appropriate. Kun readings would be bizarre and probably incomprehensible.
Mar
8
comment Buddhist facilities
I think you also need to check out the language of Chinese Buddhism. Many of those terms are Chinese. For instance, most Chinese cities even now have a 鼓楼 or drum tower.
Mar
8
comment Passive verb forms for intransitive verbs
明日の会議に行きませんか? is an invitation to go the meeting.
Mar
8
comment How best to translate 左右対称 in this context?
Well, I don't if it applies in this case, but a lot of this conceptual vocabulary originally came from the West, anyway. It's true that 'symmetry' doesn't express the direction of the symmetry, but your feeling that 'symmetry' is too vague seems to be due more to your own vague understanding of what the English word 'symmetry' means.
Mar
6
comment What does 女子高生に唾液かけた疑い 逮捕の男「困る姿楽しい」 mean?
You don't need to know the case in order to interpret the meaning. 女子高生に唾液かけた疑い 逮捕の男「困る姿楽しい」. In English: "[Arrested on] suspicion of spitting on female high-school students. Arrested man [finds] "embarrassed appearance pleasurable". It's understood as the continuation of 疑い that the person has been apprehended. The information in brackets 「 」is quoting the person. So we know the person was arrested for spitting, and we know he found their "embarrassed appearance pleasurable".
Mar
1
comment Does contraction and elision affect formation of relative clause?
The original question was a linguistic one about the relative clause, not the 'final meaning'. You answered a question about whether the relative clause could end in anything other than a verb by giving a non-relative clause. That's why your answer was marked down. There is nothing to say that only linguistic approaches are possible, but you need to answer the question. Had you started with 'This isn't a relative clause construction but...', your answer wouldn't have been so misleading.
Mar
1
comment word search: voluntary pause between desire and action
I think it's 間をおいて here. It means a pause, but I don't think it's quite appropriate here because it seems to me to mean 'make a pause for effect' as much as anything else.
Mar
1
comment Interpreting a specific Japanese sentence
You are right. There is something going on here. Is 私のこれがペンです the same as これが私のペンです?Personally I think not. The first means 'This thing of mine is a pen'. The second means 'This is my pen'. What this song title means is another matter -- I suspect it's taking poetic liberties with ordinary language -- but as far as grammar is concerned, I don't think you can say that 'nothing is going on here'.
Mar
1
comment Questions about ありたい
Another possible rendition of the intended meaning, with a different nuance, is いつも心が美しいままでいたい.
Mar
1
comment Questions about ありたい
I think one problem is the fact that 美しい is an adjective. In order to form the negative form, you first transform 美しい to x 美しくある, then transform ある to ない (美しくない). Similarly, to form the desiderative of 美しい, you have to first transform 美しい to x 美しくある, then transform ある to ありたい (美しくありたい). A similar process occurs with the use of は (that is, 美しい - x 美しくある - 美しくはある). I've marked the intermediate state of 美しくある with an 'x' as it doesn't normally occur in Japanese.
Mar
1
comment Does contraction and elision affect formation of relative clause?
Sawa's point is that as a noun it has a 'unified pitch' as a single unit, not the pitch of two separate words. At any rate, whether this is the case here or not, やらなきゃ詐欺 is quite different from やらなきゃならない詐欺. It's a bit like the difference between (English) 'places you must see' and 'must-see places'. The first features a relative clause; the second does not.
Feb
22
comment How do you say I am emailing something and attaching it to the email?
What happened to 添付いたします?
Feb
22
comment “Rather than”-construction
@ Chocolate hehe, maybe...
Feb
22
comment “Rather than”-construction
飢えるくらいなら魚を食べたほうがましだ seems better to me than 魚を食べる ぐらいなら 飢えたほうがましだ. The English expression that best catches the nuance is probably 'You might as well eat fish as starve'. The implication is that eating fish is the better of two evils. You might not like eating fish, but it's better than starving. I got these from the Internet: こんな生活をするくらいなら、一人で外国へ行ったほうがいい。/ 悪いことをして金持ちになるくらいなら、貧乏な生活をしたほうがいい。/ こんな仕事をして生活するくらいなら、国へ帰ったほうがいい。/ あの人と結婚するくらいなら、死んだほうがましだ。 / 家事をたまにしかしないくらいなら、全然しないほうがましだと思う。In all of these cases the suggestion is to avoid something truly bad. Surely eating fish is better than starving!