If I ask a flight attendant




Is there any difference in nuance if I want to know how much time is left until we land? Meaning, I want to know how many hours and minutes we are airborne, not at what local time we are expected to land (figuring out the aircraft's timezone while in the air is not always easy).

I noticed that there already is a similar, more general question posted here, but mine is more specific.

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    I have seen in older writing, such as 芥川良之助 stories, situations where the kanji 何時 is read as いつ. – Craig Hicks Feb 18 '17 at 20:00
  • ^ Yes, いつ is sometimes written as 何時... (ところで芥川だけどね・・^^) – Chocolate Feb 19 '17 at 2:19
  • Not to mention that the time of arrival is written on in-flight displays :) – virgil9306 Feb 21 '17 at 6:43

いつ means "When"

何時 means "What time"

To the first, she might answer "In an hour" "At 4pm" "Very soon" ect - just like in English. To the second, she would almost certainly answer "At 4pm"

Neither one will necessarily give time remaining in the air.

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  • So, if I want to know how much time is left until we land, what would I say? – Daniel Feb 18 '17 at 9:19
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    @Daniel You'd say 「あとどのくらいで[着]{つ}きますか?」 or「[到着]{とうちゃく}まであとどのくらいですか?」 or 「[destination]まであとどのくらいですか?」 – Chocolate Feb 18 '17 at 14:02
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    @Daniel You could also say 着くまでどんだけかかるの? どんだけ is common slang for どのぐらい. – Craig Hicks Feb 18 '17 at 19:57
  • どんだけ is a collapsed way of pronouncing どれだけ. And どれだけ has a similar meaning to どれくらい/どのくらい. But... how come we can say 「到着まであとどれだけ/どのくらい/どれくらいかかりますか?」 but not 「あとどれだけで着きますか?」 or 「到着まであとどれだけですか?」(?▽?) – – Chocolate Feb 19 '17 at 3:12

If we pronounce "何時" as "何時{いつ}," it is the same meaning of "いつ."

If we pronounce "何時" as "何時{なんどき}," it has the same meaning of "いつ," but it is the old-fashioned word.

「いつ、とうちゃくしますか?」 = 「とうちゃくは何時{いつ}ですか?」
This Japanese sentence doesn't tell what time in your mind, local time of departure area or local time of arrival.

You can clearly tell, 「現地{げんち}時間{じかん}でいつ、とうちゃくしますか?」 = 「とうちゃくは、現地{げんち}時間{じかん}の何時{いつ}ですか?」 or 「出発{しゅっぱつ}地{ち}時間{じかん}のいつ、とうちゃくしますか?」 = 「とうちゃくは、出発{しゅっぱつ}地{ち}時間{じかん}の何時{いつ}ですか?」

In general, we use the local time of the destination when we need the arrival time.

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