10,009 reputation
21984
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location 東京
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visits member for 2 years, 10 months
seen 16 mins ago

Lived in Japan for longer than I'd like to admit, given that my Japanese isn't where it should be given the time here.

I'm strongest in reading, and weakest in speaking. I can never express my thoughts accurately enough or fast enough.

I also have a lot of bad habits when it comes to grammar, having gone for so long without proper study. Japanese is not a language learned by osmosis. I'm hoping to stamp those quirks out by asking questions here.


Jan
10
comment How are these translations of “I had an exam yesterday” different?
@DariusJahandarie, I've edited my answer to reflect what I've learned in the comments. Is what I say in my revision accurate enough?
Jan
10
revised How are these translations of “I had an exam yesterday” different?
Hopefully corrected mistranslation, added better explanation.
Jan
10
comment How are these translations of “I had an exam yesterday” different?
@DariusJahandarie, thanks for that. I still get thrown by 外来語 drawn from English words because I can't help but think of them in terms of what they mean to me in my native language. If the meaning in Japanese is more restricted to "an evaluation of something", then I can see how 昨日、僕がテストをした is a little quirky.
Jan
9
comment How are these translations of “I had an exam yesterday” different?
@DariusJahandarie: Thanks for your explanation, but I'm actually still not clear on why テストをしました has to mean that the speaker tested someone else. I can see that テストした, which makes a verb of "test", and is therefor "tested", leans more to that meaning. In English "I tested..." seems incomplete and also implies acting a test on another. But in テストをしました, "test" is still a noun, meaning, "did a test", and as such, I can't see why a person couldn't say 昨日、僕がテストをした. Unless in Japanese テスト as a noun carries implications that it does not have in English...?
Jan
9
comment How are these translations of “I had an exam yesterday” different?
@virmaior: No one should ever "swat down" anyone's answer. We're all here to learn Japanese, not punish people for what they don't know. If there is something wrong with an answer, as with mine, then edits or comments should contain suggestions to improve them. That way, the both the person who asked the original question can learn that much more, and the person who suggested the partially incorrect answer can both learn, and everyone wins that much more.
Jan
8
awarded  Pundit
Jan
8
comment How are these translations of “I had an exam yesterday” different?
Wow, @TokyoNagoya, that is quite hostile comment. Is it really so bad that I offered a way of comparing the sentences by offering their English counterparts? That you can offer more insight with suggestions of who might say these sentences is fine, but the clarity of the comparison is up to the individual to decide. It would be more helpful to the site to be supportive with more information, not swatting down subtleties you don't like.
Jan
8
revised How are these translations of “I had an exam yesterday” different?
Corrected grammar in main body. Changed title to make clear it is not asking for a translation.
Jan
8
answered How are these translations of “I had an exam yesterday” different?
Jan
7
awarded  Nice Question
Jan
6
comment How accurate is the ふりがな on Aozora Books?
@istrasci, I believe you (and Tokyo Nagoya) that わたくし is, in some formal sense, the standard reading. It's just... so amazingly different from my experience in living in Tokyo for all these years. I guess what I'm left wondering is, do Japanese people recognize わたくし as the standard reading, or do they see it as a quirky old leftover standard being enforced by an out of date bureaucracy?
Jan
5
awarded  Popular Question
Jan
3
comment “Full” names of metals
Nice answer. I like that you didn't just say "never use those terms", and allowed for a person to choose their own form of expression with a caution about the difficulties they'll face. Though I'm not just commenting for praise. What I really want to ask is, who or what is the "Genki" you refer to in your last sentence?
Jan
3
comment This PSA was written in the past tense. When is it correct to do this?
I think where you say "what sounds natural in English is of no relevance..." is a defense against something the asker was not proposing. By stating they are an English speaker, the asker is not expecting Japanese to be like English in any way, only that they hope an answer can decode the Japanese thinking in a way that can be sensibly communicated to an English speaker. I believe the asker emphasized this precisely because they understood the Japanese thought process would be different enough that they would not be able to make any assumptions drawn from their experience of English.
Jan
3
comment When おばあさん is not really your grandmother
@virmaior, nice. Thanks for your understanding. :)
Jan
3
comment When おばあさん is not really your grandmother
I can't imagine a woman ever being offended at the term おばあさん based on whether or not she's had children. Far more important is whether or not she feels she's too young for the term. But more importantly, doesn't every culture default to assume that people above a certain age have led a life that includes the expecation of having had children? I'm not sure if the use of おばあさん conveys anything particular that isn't assumed in just about every language.
Jan
3
comment When おばあさん is not really your grandmother
@virmaior, I appreciate you that you meant no offense, but I think you need to trust that what you're after is the default assumption of all questions on this site. Everyone wants to avoid idle speculation from uninformed sources, and everyone wants to know how native speakers conceptualize their words. A non-native speaker may have got the correct information from a native speaker, and is now able to not only pass that on to you, but also do so in a more accessible way because they can frame the information in terms that make more sense to a learner.
Jan
3
comment How accurate is the ふりがな on Aozora Books?
This is surprising to me. In nearly two decades of learning Japanese, I have rarely (almost never) encountered the わたくし reading for 私. Definitely not outside of formal contexts. That it is considered a standard reading is not surprising, but that a school would consider it exclusive and not accept わたし (up until 2010) strikes me as bizarrely out of step with the day to day reality.
Jan
3
comment When おばあさん is not really your grandmother
Asking for answers from "native speakers" is superfluous. Information is either correct or not, regardless of source. The request only makes the asker seem hostile to non-native sources which could be potentially be helpful in ways that native speakers can't be. Not to mention that anyone on this site can claim to be a native speaker when giving an answer, but there is no way of verifying that.
Dec
27
awarded  Notable Question