0

日本語が分かる

Well, somebody posted the above on twitter and I got curious what it would actually mean. All of the given answers where Google Translate crap.

But as I do not understand Japanese I am a bit lost. Maybe something like Do you understand Japanese? or I understand Japanese.?

  • Since pronouns aren't always necessary, and inflection can signal questioning, this could be "I understand Japanese", "You understand Japanese" or "He understands Japanese" or a question for any of those, amongst others. Context is key ! – metasyn Apr 8 '15 at 18:49
6
  • 日本語{にほんご} (nihongo) means Japanese Language
  • が (ga) is the particle indicating the subject
  • 分かる{わかる} (wakaru) is the verb to understand

Without any context, this seems like it would simply be a statement:

I understand Japanese.

Here are some basic examples of usages with different context:

Asking someone if they understand Japanese

日本語が分かる? or 日本語が分かるの?

Do you understand Japanese?

Stating that he understands Japanese

彼{かれ}は日本語が分かる。

He understands Japanese.

Japanese is very context based, so the same phrase can have different meanings in different situations.

1

日本語 means Japanese and 分かる is a verb meaning "to understand".

So I would translate it as "understand Japanese".

If there was a の on the end then it would be a question:

日本語が分かるの?

Do you understand Japanese?

  • 2
    It might be helpful to note that in Japanese, "Japanese" meaning the language, "Japanese" meaning "a Japanese person" and "Japanese" meaning "from Japan" are three different words. 日本語 means "Japanese (the language)", 日本人 means "Japanese person" and 日本の means "of or from Japan". – Todd Wilcox Apr 8 '15 at 13:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.