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Jul
26
revised Where's the missing い in ありがた迷惑【ありがた めいわく】?
Typo corrected.
Jul
26
comment Can't に always replace へ?
+1 for technically finding a situation where へ can not be replaced by に, but I think you already knew that it wasn't quite in the spirit of the question.
Jul
26
accepted Can't に always replace へ?
Jul
25
awarded  Nice Question
Jul
24
asked Can't に always replace へ?
Jul
23
answered How can I research how a film quote was translated into Japanese?
Jul
23
asked Is there an online list of frequently used words in the news?
Jul
23
accepted Why does そう in 「美味しいそう」 not mean “seem” the way I think it should?
Jul
23
comment Is there an equivalent to George Carlin's “Seven Dirty Words” in Japanese?
Yes, I think that might fit the bill. I think this is potential evidence that Japanese does in fact have words that reliably create a context of extremes, and not merely follow contexts. Thus, at least on one of the points I'm addressing, that the Japanese claim, "we don't have those," can be countered with, "well, you have at least one."
Jul
22
comment Is there an equivalent to George Carlin's “Seven Dirty Words” in Japanese?
@Derek, rintaun: This seems to be going way off track. I don't see the importance of determining which words are curse words, or why. Yes, sure, they are culturally determined. Fine. Now that they are though, what are their implications and how are they used? That's what the original question is getting at. It seems rintaun's answer and this discussion is all about trying to establish that all swear words across all cultures are etheral except for context. I know that's patently untrue in English (fuck is a swear word, period), and I want to know how it works in Japanese.
Jul
22
comment Is there an equivalent to George Carlin's “Seven Dirty Words” in Japanese?
@Derek: Sorry to go a bit at length with a second comment, but I felt it necessary to add that I'm not saying swear words are now carved in stone, never to change. Just that while some words are buffeted by culture and come and go out of favour, other words are like boulders in a stream that are much harder to shift. A little web searching indicates the word "shit" (including variant spellings) is many hundreds of years old.
Jul
22
comment Is there an equivalent to George Carlin's “Seven Dirty Words” in Japanese?
@Derek: No argument that which words fill the role of swear words is arbitrary. But I believe that there is a desire, if not a need, in a culture to have a way of expressing extremes. So some words will get chosen to fill that role. Which words and why isn't as important as the fact that the category of extreme words does exist, regardless of how it gets made. The idea of rintaun's that I don't accept is that the words are always made bad by context and nothing else. In English, now that the words are delineated, however that happened, they no longer require context to be understood.
Jul
22
revised What is the こと in sentences such as あなたのことが好きだ?
Corrected "it's" to "its"
Jul
22
accepted Where's the missing い in ありがた迷惑【ありがた めいわく】?
Jul
22
revised Where's the missing い in ありがた迷惑【ありがた めいわく】?
Improved formatting.
Jul
22
comment Is there an equivalent to George Carlin's “Seven Dirty Words” in Japanese?
You raise some interesting points, but alas, I'm just not with you on your idea that there are no inherently bad words in any language. As a native English speaker, I can concretely identify a handful of words that are codified by convention as "bad" words. I don't think kids are perceiving them as less bad, I think our society just permits more outlets. The fact is, every generation essentially wants them to retain their purpose, so that one has somewhere to go in order to express extremes. Racial slurs are an entirely different ilk. No one would say, "nigger this!" in place of "fuck this!"
Jul
22
comment How should I choose between [知]{し}る and わかる?
@Uberto: The idea that different parts of the brain are involved, like the patently false belief that Japanese have longer intestines that other people, is more than just highly suspect. But, I would be fascinated to see evidence that supports it, so if you can point to any, then please do.
Jul
22
awarded  Benefactor
Jul
22
accepted How would one convey “get over it” in Japanese?
Jul
22
accepted Are there words so bad that they aren't allowed on television?