I just heard a Japanese man say what sounded like "Nonsense" said with American accent immediately followed by Japanese "ka ne". Assuming he didn't throw a single American English word in his speech what is this Japanese word and its meaning? Sounds like "Nansenskane".


This would be ナンセンス (nansensu), which means almost the same as English "nonsense". Daijirin also mentions ナンセンス文学 ("nonsense-literature"), which refers to the genre exemplified by Lewis Carroll. (Japanese Wikipedia article - links to English article "Literary nonsense")


Without actually hearing it, my best guess as a native Japanese-speaker would be the colloquial:

「何{なん}すかね」 or 「何{なん}なんすかね」

The former is a contracted form of 「何{なん}すかね」 and the latter, that of 「何{なん}なんすかね」.

If 「で」 had actually been used, I do not think you would have missed it as the "d" consonant would have been pronounced fairly acutely in that context.

Finally, depending on the context, 「ナンセンスかね」 is also possible.

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