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I have this question in my JLPT textbook:

男女{だんじょ}平等{びょうどう}といっても、女性{じょせい}___の差別{さべつ}はまだ残{のこ}っている。

A ゆえ B たる C なり D こそ

The book says the answer is A, which is weird to me because I thought ゆえ was kind of like "ergo", or "as a result from". If you say 女性{じょせい}ゆえ, it seems to me like one is saying that somehow the 差別{さべつ} is because of women.

So I must have ゆえ wrong. What exactly does it mean?

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  • 1
    This is a good one, thanks for asking it.
    – jlptnone
    Nov 29, 2011 at 10:30
  • 1
    I came here to ask this same question about this same practice sentence! Nov 11, 2012 at 3:36

3 Answers 3

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+50

故{ゆえ} appears to mean many different things depending on the way it's used, but the main definition seems to be "reason".

  • ゆえの: "by reason of (being)", "due to (being)" or "because of (being)".

    Whether to add or omit "being" can only be determined by context:

    女性ゆえの差別
    "discrimination by reason of being a woman."

    有名人ゆえの苦労
    "hardships by reason of being a famous person."

    熟練ゆえの効率の良さ
    "efficiency by reason of skill."

  • X(が)ゆえに: "for the reason of X" or "because of X":

    信念を貫くがゆえに拷問を受ける
    "be tortured for the reason of one's faith"

  • (それ)ゆえに at the start of a sentence etc: "for that reason", "therefore" or "thus":

    故に商品の質は、信頼そのものになる
    "for that reason, product quality is consumer confidence."

According to Daijisen, it can also mean "of splendid history" when written as 故ある人 and 故ある家 etc, "taste/atmosphere", "relation/affinity" and "break-down/accident".

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In this sentence, 女性ゆえの差別 does not mean “discrimination (against someone) because of a woman,” but it means “discrimination (against someone) because of (that person) being a woman.” That is, it means the fact that some people discriminate against a person because the person is a woman.

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I can find this in a dictionary :

3 〔…のために〕

それゆえに

for that reason

悪天候ゆえに旅行は延期された

Because of [On account of] the bad weather, the trip was postponed.

何ゆえにうそをついたのか

Why did you lie?

which explicitly used because of in the translation.

And I think try to find one word (or phrase) as an equivalent of a word (or phrase) in another language is just impossible. So maybe sometimes ゆえ means "as a result of", but that does not mean it is equivalent to it.

EDIT:

In "女性ゆえの差別", the "ゆえ" here is to show the reason why a person got discriminated (because of that she is a woman). The literal meaning has been given in Ito's answer. However, in English there not such a way to express discrimination, so the translation becomes "discrimination against women".

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