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I was talking to one of my friends, and at one point they said

ドイツ雪ってるはず

Am I right in thinking that 雪ってる means snowing?

I'm aware this is clearly not formal Japanese at the very least, but I've also never seen it used before at all. Can 雪(る) even be used as a verb?

  • Took me a couple minutes to even realize what you were asking about... – istrasci Dec 14 '15 at 18:46
  • Can you provide some context? It could mean a lot of things. Kinda vague like this, to me at least. – strawberry jam Dec 14 '15 at 19:55
  • @strawberry jam, we were talking about snow, and japan's mild winter – sqrtbottle Dec 14 '15 at 19:56
  • Maybe it's just a typo or an abbreviation of ドイツ雪ってあるはず with って being "quotation particle". – 永劫回帰 Dec 15 '15 at 9:32
6

As you guessed, it surely is "It must be snowing in Germany", said in a very slangy way.

People usually don't use 雪る, but coining such verbs (even from traditional Japanese words) is not too uncommon among native speakers. You know, English speakers do it pretty often in casual settings, too. And in this case, there's a verb 曇【くも】る (雲 + る, "cloudy") which looks similar, so it should have been easy for them to come up with 雪る.

Of course, don't try to use it yourself until you reach the native speaker's level, or people would just think you made a grammatical mistake.

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If the speaker really said 雪ってる, then yes, I agree with you and naruto that it should be a made-up word meaning “snowing.” But I have another explanation of what happened, which I think is much more likely given your description.

Just from your description, it is entirely possible that the speaker said 雪[降]{ふ}ってるはず and you heard it as 雪ってるはず. For example, when I tried pronouncing 雪降ってるはず, I found myself devoicing the vowel in the ふ sound. Some non-native speakers have trouble recognizing devoiced vowels. Moreover, this particular case of devoiced vowel is probably more difficult to recognize than typical devoiced vowels because it is followed by っ and therefore the lack of vowel sound can be mistakenly attributed to the following っ.

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  • They messaged me this, so it can't be the case that I misheard – sqrtbottle Dec 15 '15 at 18:41
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    @ShenKuo Now you know why you should always try to give as much information as you have. I was talking to one of my friends could have been I was talking to one of my friends on chat and they said could have been they typed. – Earthliŋ Dec 15 '15 at 18:45

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