4

これは日本語で言い方ですか

kore ha nihongo de iikata desu ka

Is this correct? I want to point to something and ask how do you say that in Japanese.

Base 2 + かた means how to.

1
  • 2
    In case people aren't familiar with this "base 2" terminology, I believe it's referring to the 連用形 of a verb (the same form that appears before the polite auxiliary 〜ます).
    – user1478
    May 4 '15 at 6:37
9

「これは[日本語]{にほんご}で[言]{い}い[方]{かた}ですか。」

Unfortunately, this makes little sense.

To ask an information question (as opposed to a yes-no question) like "How do you say this in Japanese?", you need to use a question word just like you used "how" in English.

Question words in Japanese are: なに、なん、いつ、どこ、だれ、どう、どんな, etc.

The most natural way to say it by the native standards would be:

「これは日本語でなんと言いますか。」

That is the question word 「なん」 plus the quotative particle 「と」.

The problem with 「言い方」 is that it is generally used to refer to how properly a phrase or sentence is composed or the mannerism employed in saying a phrase or sentence. It is not used to talk about what an object is called.

3

Just to complete an already good answer, there are actually many natural ways to ask how something is said:

日本語ではどう言いますか。
日本語では何と言いますか。
日本語ではなんて言う? (なんて is a casual form of 何と)
How is this said in Japanese?

Or, to ask what you just heard means:

それはどう言う意味ですか。
What does this mean?

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