10,524 reputation
2964
bio website sakamotomaaya.com
location Dallas, TX
age 31
visits member for 3 years, 5 months
seen Oct 13 '11 at 18:09

Japanese language enthusiast since 2001. Passed JLPT1 in 2008. Volunteer teacher at local study groups.


Jul
29
comment “Unsolvable problem”
@Tsuyoshi: Sounds like a research paper just begging to be written. :)
Jul
29
comment “Unsolvable problem”
@Tsuyoshi: Could it be related to whether the verb expresses a continuous or discrete change? ~にくい, when it means なかなか~しない, seems to imply that the verb may happen only gradually over a period of time, but never quickly and easily. Because of the gradual transition, a continuous-change verb (such as ほどける or 燃える) is required. But 解(と)ける expresses a discrete change: a problem is either solved or it isn't, and the change from unsolved to solved takes place instantly. Perhaps this is why 解(と)けにくい sounds odd, but other combinations, such as 溶けにくい, work.
Jul
29
comment “Unsolvable problem”
@Flaw: ~にくい, in addition to the meaning of "difficult to do" (potential), also has the meaning of "won't happen easily" (non-potential). The second is used when attaching to intransitive verbs such as ほどける. (Another example: 燃えにくい材質 "material that won't burn easily".) I don't have a solid explanation on hand for why ほどけにくい works and とけにくい doesn't.
Jul
29
comment “Unsolvable problem”
@sawa: 解けた is both the past potential form of 解く as well as the past form of 解ける. 問題が解けた is therefore ambiguous. I will edit to clarify this point.
Jul
28
comment How to end a sentence in わけ
@language hacker: わけ and わけだ are merely alternate versions of the same thing, as has been clarified in the comments here. You'll have to provide an example sentence so I can tell you which usage pattern it fits into. There's no "わけ(だ) always means X" rule.
Jul
28
comment How to end a sentence in わけ
@phirru: That matches usage #4 on another page I found which sums up わけだ: 私が声をかけても彼は知らん顔をしているわけです。 ("I even try talking to him, and he's just standing there looking like he doesn't see me.") It's kind of a pain to translate into English well, and definitely counts as another one of those case-by-case constructions.
Jul
28
comment How to end a sentence in わけ
@William: Using わけ to give a conclusion (Y→Z) requires some level of objectivity. In other words, given the evidence, anyone could form the conclusion marked by わけ. This objectivity is not present in the example sentence you're referring to, since the preceding context (whatever it is) does not always lead to the logical conclusion that the two married and lived happily. It is a mere statement of fact known only to the speaker. This is why わけ can be left out without affecting the meaning, which is what Yokota was getting at in her paper.
Jul
28
comment How to end a sentence in わけ
@Matt: Without an example sentence from the OP we can only guess at which usage is being questioned. :) As far as わけ not followed by だ, this is common in informal speech and not limited to わけ. Borrowing from an example of the first case, we could easily say: 「日本時間のちょうど正午につくわけ。」. The fact that だ is missing doesn't change the function of わけ. Similarly, 「今日は定休日。」 still means the same as 「今日は定休日だ。」, even though the だ is dropped.
Jul
28
comment Love in the air: 愛x恋 {あい vs こい}
@Lukman: With respect to 愛人/恋人, I was not clear on the difference, but after checking the dictionary and doing a quick search for 愛人 on ALC, I find nothing to contradict sawa's answer. 恋人 can be used for, say, a close boyfriend or girlfriend, but 愛人 implies illicitness. Often 愛人 is best translated as "mistress": a lover you have outside of your "official relationship" or with whom you are having an affair. (The first page of the ALC search also quotes a Hiragana Times article which explains the same Chinese/Japanese difference sawa mentioned.)
Jul
28
comment How to end a sentence in わけ
@sawa: Duly noted. But since language hacker's question included the statement that there is "a certain way of talking where you can end just about anything you say in わけ", I deduced that the OP, in addition to wanting to know how to construct such sentences, is in fact unclear on why and how one would use わけ. (I also know from past teaching experience that this is a particularly tricky bit of Japanese for non-natives to learn, so I imagine many others on this site will benefit from a thorough explanation.)
Jul
28
comment How to end a sentence in わけ
@phirru: Part of the analysis in the paper I linked makes note of when you can replace each of the five uses of わけだ with either はずだ or ことになる (which can be very close to ということだ). There's a table in the conclusion that summarizes when these substitutions are allowed, but unfortunately there are many exceptional cases within each usage of わけだ (such as whether the clause marked by わけだ is unknown, known, or an unconfirmed past event), so the only way to fully explain the difference would be to translate the entire paper.
Jul
28
comment How to end a sentence in わけ
@istraci: That sounds plausible.
Jul
27
comment Love in the air: 愛x恋 {あい vs こい}
@sawa: I thought about the difference in particles too, and was going to edit my answer to include that, but I'll upvote your comment instead.
Jul
26
comment に vs で again: 前に vs 後で
Related: What's the difference between に and で when speaking of time of an action?
Jul
23
comment Greeting for meeting a friend by chance
The second one sounds great for an acquaintance, but for a good friend we might want to tone down the 謙譲語. Perhaps add 「また会えてよかった。」 as an alternate?
Jul
23
comment The difference between Aが見える and Bを見る
This may be a silly question, but did you perhaps mean Aが見える? Otherwise this turns into a discussion of が versus を, which, based on the level of your previous questions, I think you can distinguish.
Jul
22
comment Is there an equivalent to George Carlin's “Seven Dirty Words” in Japanese?
I don't think anyone can deny that there are some genteel gentiles, but I'm pretty sure you meant the former. :)
Jul
22
comment do people actually respect the nuances of 探す vs 捜す?
+1 Attacking it from the on'yomi angle might be the best way to define the difference between these two.
Jul
22
comment Is there an equivalent to George Carlin's “Seven Dirty Words” in Japanese?
@Dave M G: Yes, every language has its "extreme" words and "regular" words. But does not the particular culture decide which is which? Thus rintaun's use of "cultural context" (as opposed to "situational context"). I could go on a Japanese show right now and say all the "bad" English words I want, and they won't be censored. (I have actually heard this happen when a midday show decides to play a song that would get the "explicit language" label in the U.S.) No one says anything in Japan because the cultural context is missing, and the words are reduced to innocuous strings of syllables.
Jul
22
comment Is B2F, B1F, 1F, 2F, … wasei-eigo?
I'm sure you still pronounce 1F and 2F as いっかい and にかい, respectively, but I'm honestly not sure about B1F or B2F… It would also be nice if someone could pinpoint the origins of this convention and give examples of where it is and isn't used (and why they don't just stick with 階).