9

美人だときく友藏{ともぞう}もヒロシも身を乗り出した。
When? they heard that she was a beautiful women both 友藏 and ヒロシ leaned forward.

I have no idea what the や in bold is. It seems like it ought to be とき, but I've never seen や used to mean 'when'.

  • 1
    it conveys the sense of "in the instant that". i think it's more literary, but I'll leave it to a native speaker to give a fuller explanation. – A.Ellett Aug 24 '16 at 18:00
  • 1
    I think it is mostly encountered as や否や, the meaning and grammar rule are the same. – 永劫回帰 Aug 24 '16 at 19:12
6

I think this や is closer to the phrase "as soon as" than "when". See the first definition (classified as 接助 = conjunctive particle) in this link. http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/jn/220994/meaning/m0u/%E3%82%84/

And this usage of や is very literary. I have not ever heard that in conversation. 

  • Thanks. What would be the informal/spoken equivalent? – user3856370 Aug 25 '16 at 14:02
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    "~するとすぐ" may be close to the one. – Yuuichi Tam Aug 25 '16 at 14:35
1

や is short for やいなや which means "as soon as", "no sooner than".
http://dictionary.goo.ne.jp/je/4173/meaning/m0u/%E5%90%A6%E3%82%84/

So the translation becomes:
美人だときくや
As soon as they heard that she was a beautiful woman

  • 2
    や is short for やいなや <- No. や and やいなや have the same meaning, but や is not short for やいなや. や, by itself, as well as the first や and the second や in いな , is a conjunctive particle, meaning "as soon as". dictionary.goo.ne.jp/jn/220994/meaning/m0u/%E3%82%84 「1⃣[接助]動詞・動詞型活用語の終止形に付く。ある動作・作用が行われると同時に、他の動作・作用が行われる意を表す。…とすぐに。…すると。『わたしの顔を見る逃げ出した』」 Saying "や is short for やいなや" is like saying "'whether' is short for 'whether or not'," or "~か is short for ~かどうか". – Chocolate Oct 25 '16 at 15:12

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