I apologize if I'm not making much sense, very much in the beginning of my studies.

I'd like to modify the phrase "cogito ergo sum" into one that means 'I write, therefore I am'.

What I came up with is 我作る, ゆえに我あり.

I figured that 作る would be a good choice to convey something more than the act of writing, and indicate it's a creation/creative act.

The part of ゆえに我あり I took from the Japanese Wikipedia page for the phrase.

Can I have some reviews, and perhaps some pointers if I'm doing something wrong? The more details you can give me, the more I'm able to learn from this exercise.

Thank you!

  • 2
    How about [創]{つく}る instead of [作]{つく}る? I think 創る has a nuance of "creating something new" rather than just "making something". – Chocolate Jun 10 '15 at 10:02
  • 5
    There are already some people using this phrase: 我創る、故に我あり – Chocolate Jun 10 '15 at 10:05
  • That's great - exactly what I was looking for in terms of layering the meaning! – dinchamion Jun 10 '15 at 10:16

You're replacing a verb with a verb, so there's not much that could have gone wrong. In other words, your construction is fine.

You said you wanted to end up with "I write, therefore I am" and then chose a verb that doesn't mean "to write", so obviously 我作る、ゆえに我あり doesn't mean "I write, therefore I am", but something more along the lines of "I make, therefore I am".

You're asking for pointers, so one should point out that just about everything in this phrase is different from standard Japanese that you would be learning in a textbook or basic course.

  • 我 is an archaic way of saying "I"
  • particles have been omitted
  • ゆえに is a comparatively rare conjunction for indicating causality (and may thus be considered "advanced" vocabulary)
    In BCCWJ (Japanese corpus), ので 453599 results, ゆえに 2161, 故に 2634
  • sentences usually don't end in あり, but rather in ある or あります
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  • I was trying to stay as close to the original phrase as I could (as you said, it's basically replacing a verb with another). And it makes sense that it's a more formal, less-colloquial phrasing - since the original already is. :-) And thank you so much for the information, it's great (as a beginner, I often get lost in the available options, so knowing the context serves me well)! – dinchamion Jun 10 '15 at 10:16

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