The sentence: "息子は一年浪人しました。"

The translation provided(I don't know if this translation is really correct though) :"My son failed his university exams so he's retaking them in a year."

  • The translation does appear wrong, but without more information it would be hard to put it into context. Please cite source if possible.
    – BJCUAI
    Commented Jan 27, 2018 at 23:13
  • It's from a vocabulary deck so there isn't more context than this sentence :/
    – Jirei
    Commented Jan 27, 2018 at 23:15
  • 2
    Yeah. This particular fragment does just say that son WAS Ronnin (waiting for college) for a year. Commented Jan 27, 2018 at 23:15

1 Answer 1


浪人する means to become a 浪人生. 浪人生 is a person who failed an entrance exam and is preparing for the exam next year, usually enrolled in some 予備校. If this sentence was said right after the son failed the first year's exams, "My son became a 浪人生 for a year" automatically means he will retake entrance exams next year. If this sentence was said after he entered a university, the same sentence can mean "He retook entrance exams after a year (and finally succeeded)". It depends on the time when this sentence was made.

Likewise, 2年浪人しました would mean either "He failed twice and will give a third try next year" or "He tried three times (and finally succeeded or gave up)."

  • @narutoさん:バカな質問かもしれないけど、まだ納得できない。なぜ浪人生活送り中の人について過去形を使うんですか?「一年浪人(生)になりました」ならわかるけど、教えて頂けませんか?「一年浪人にしました」という意味合いですか?私はどう見ても浪人生活の期間が終わったようにしか見えないです。
    – BJCUAI
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 3:38
  • ^ 「(4月の時点で)受験に失敗しました、で浪人することに決まりました」って感じの意味で「浪人しました」(で今も浪人している)って言いますね・・「進学しました」の反対、みたいな。。「留年しました」と同じような使いかたでしょうか?いやちょっと違うのかな・・
    – chocolate
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 5:29
  • 1
    @user27280 Because 浪人する both means "to spend a period as a 浪人生" and "to become a 浪人生" depending on the context.
    – naruto
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 5:41
  • @naruto: So, in a colloquial sense, 浪人しました indicates that they have 'entered into a period of '浪人-hood.' I'm not sure I completely understand the grammatical aspect, but I think I get the general nuance お陰様で.
    – BJCUAI
    Commented Jan 28, 2018 at 6:28

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