3

Many times I heard/read an archaic form of giving thanks to somebody かたじけない modified to かたじけなや. I also think I heard ありがたや quite a lot.

What exactly does this や at the end (is it regional, emphatic, or else?) and how does it sound to a native speakers' ears?

  • Not quite "emphatic" but kinda close. Think of another word starting with an 'e'. That was too much of a hint. – l'électeur Sep 22 '15 at 7:10
  • I would appreciate some more examples of Japanese expressions using this particular や if they existed... – macraf Sep 22 '15 at 7:18
  • 1
    他には「おそろしや」「うらめしや」とか・・・? – Chocolate Sep 23 '15 at 5:55
4

This や is an old 終助詞 which is described here. It's probably similar to the English exclamation mark, or "Oh/O" seen in verses and lyrics. Basically it is only found in old Japanese and haiku. (や used in Kansai-ben is different from this, I think)

In modern Japanese usage, ありがたや sounds archaic as compared to ありがたい. It sounds as if you were jokingly simulating a person in the past who is faithfully worshiping Japanese 神 and 仏. Or it sounds like you were thanking for something in an exaggerated manner, as if you saw a miracle of God.

A typical usage of ありがたや can be found in this page introducing a VPN router. The men in the picture are worshiping the almighty router!

QoSも、VPNも、バックアップも1台で済むとは。ありがたや、ありがたや

Don't use it in formal situations, because ありがたや is usually used jokingly like this.

I think かたじけない is already an archaic, samurai-like wording, and people use it only as a joke today. So I see very little difference between かたじけなや and かたじけない. Theoretically though, the former is more emphatic.

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.