Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 175 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [classical-japanese]

文語(古文). The classical literary form of the language based on Early Middle Japanese.

5
votes
1answer
162 views

How to read this sign and what it means?

A friend sent a picture he received from another friend of this framed parchment with some very flowery and old looking Japanese written on it asking me if I could read it and if I knew what it meant: ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

Meaning of ものかわ in a Haiku

Bashō: ふつかよい ものかわはなの あるあいだ. I’m completely lost by ものかわ. Any idea?
4
votes
1answer
256 views

Meaning of 折らで in a haiku

From Basho: 蓮池や折らでそのまま玉祭 I have the impression that 折らで would be 折らないで without ない. If that's the case is it an artistic choice or some obscure grammar?
3
votes
2answers
281 views

Is 選ばれし者 a grammatically correct translation of “The Chosen One”?

I have frequently seen 選ばれし者 used as a translation for the English phrase "The Chosen One". I know that し is the 連体形 of the auxiliary verb き which, quoting from デジタル大辞泉, is used when expressing things ...
1
vote
0answers
102 views

Why is まじる a 五段 verb?

As far as I know all じる verbs are supposed to be 一段. I found an interesting set of rules online: Does the verb end in る? No → 五段 Yes → Does it have an e or i sound before the る? No → 五段 ...
6
votes
1answer
241 views

What is the meaning of the radical 手 as a part of character?

I know that the radical 手 means "hand" but I wanna know meaning does 「手」 contribute as a part of a character If anyone can give me five examples and it could be better if he can bring example with a ...
4
votes
1answer
96 views

Translation for [竜とは逃げぬものなれば]

new in the language so I am having a hard time figuring out the meaning of this sentence. 'When it comes to dragons, you can't escape' would be my translation, but pretty sure I am wrong. If it doesn'...
8
votes
1answer
221 views

Questions on an 1840's text: Battle at Yamaki Palace 治承四年八月中句右兵衞佐頼朝公

I am a bit lost understanding and translating elements of this text from the 1840s, even after persevering for a couple of days. Two versions (with reasonable detail when viewed at actual scale). My ...
4
votes
1answer
47 views

How should I translate “驚破という場合に望みては”?

I am reading 外科室. At some point, there is this sentence: さてはいかなる医学士も、[驚破]{すわ}という場合に望みては、さすがに懸念のなからんやと、予は同情を表したりき。 [驚破]{すわ}という場合 is a reference to an earlier passage, 手術台なる伯爵夫人は、純潔なる白衣を絡いて、...
4
votes
1answer
68 views

どうして「お聞き遊ばして」が現代語訳では「お吸いなさいまして」になるのか分からない

現代訳を頼りに、泉鏡花さんの「外科室」を読もうとしているところですが、分からない箇所があります。 原文の  看護婦は医学士の旨を領してのち、かの腰元に立ち向かいて、 「もう、なんですから、あのことを、ちょっと、あなたから」  腰元はその意を得て、手術台に擦り寄りつ、優に膝のあたりまで両手を下げて、しとやかに立礼し、 「夫人、ただいま、お薬を差し上げます。どうぞそれを、...
10
votes
1answer
304 views

(伊曾保物語) 鼠と猫の事 comprehension problem “只、人は、愚にして、他人にぬかれたるにしくはなし”

I am having trouble parsing/understanding/translating a sentence in the last section of the fable "the mice and the cat" (鼠と猫の事) from the 仮名草子 伊曾保物語 (Aesop's fables). Here is the paragraph in question;...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

What does the kana 「し」 do in this phrase?

It comes from the video game title. 過{す}ぎ去{さ}りし時{とき}を求{もと}めて I looked up in online dictionary thinking that it should be a conjugated form of the verb 去る but it is not.
5
votes
2answers
182 views

征伐, せいばつ, seibatsu: a conquest or a 'righteous conquest'?

征伐, せいばつ, seibatsu An old Japanese friend suggested that 征伐, “conquest,” has a moral tone to it and might be better translated as “righteous conquest,” however, most dictionaries simply define it as ...
0
votes
1answer
85 views

Is there a good reason why I can use a polite form before から but not before ので? [duplicate]

Does anybody know why - historically, etymologically or logically - one can use polite forms (e.g. -ます) in causal subordinate clauses before から, while one must use the plain form before ので?
2
votes
1answer
81 views

だ versus な in causal subordinate clauses

Why do causal subordinate clauses ending in -から take だ as a means to connect nouns and な adjectives (e.g. 日本人だから), whereas causal subordinate clauses ending in -ので take な (e.g. 日本人なので)? I read that だ ...
4
votes
2answers
191 views

Is there a good explanation for the forms 大きな, 小さな and 多くの?

Is there a good historical/etymological explanation why 大きい and 小さい can take the な ending in attributive position? Also, is there a good historic/etymological explanation why 多い in attributive use ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Is there a historical explanation why verbs fall into two categories of pitch accent?

Is there a good historical or logical explanation why all verbs fall into two categories of pitch accent: either accentless (such as 買う, 浴びる) or accented (such as 食べる, 書く)? I am having a hard time ...
8
votes
2answers
356 views

Difference お疲れ様です vs お疲れ様でした while leaving from office?

Most of the time, I use to say "お疲れ様です" while someone else leaving the office. But many of my colleagues say "お疲れ様でした". Does it have any difference? Also, I want to know, can we use "お疲れ様です" while ...
2
votes
1answer
151 views

Is there a good historical explanation why we cannot generally use 言う in the 3rd person in the past tense?

Is there a good historical or logical explanation why we cannot generally use 言う in the 3rd person in the past tense? Why do we have to resort to 言っている for the 3rd person part tense (言っていた), unless it ...
5
votes
1answer
230 views

Is there a good etymological reason why the potential form in Japanese requires the が particle?

Is there a good etymological reason why the potential form in Japanese requires the が particle? When dealing with the -たい suffix, which also requires the -が particle for what in other languages would ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Is there a reason why the passive and the potential form are identical (at least for える/いる verbs)?

Is there a reason why the passive and the potential form in Japanese are identical (at least for える/いる verbs)? I mean, does one etymologically derive from the other? Or were they perhaps modelled on a ...
5
votes
1answer
223 views

Question about verbs in Old Japanese

Does anybody with in-depth knowledge of Old Japanese know why vowel-based verbal stems could only end in -e or -i (leading to the える/いる or type 2 class of verbs in Modern Japanese)? Why are there no ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

Is まはりて an archaic form of 廻って, and how is it broken down grammatically?

I came across a cover version of "Bad Apple", where the singer uses a more traditional style than the original song, including a translation of the (modern) lyrics into more archaic/poetic language. ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

What is the meaning of 「れど」 in the waka poem title 「忍ぶれど」?

「忍ぶれど」 is the title of Taira no Kanemori's waka poem in Ogura Hyakunin Isshu and I'd like to know the translation of this title in English. I already looked up the meanings and 「忍ぶ」 means to ...
2
votes
1answer
114 views

What does 形ク mean in japanese?

I was searching for the meaning of "時すでに遅し。" but I couldn't find 遅し in the dictionary goo.ne.jp and weblio tells me that it's おそい with 形ク in parenthesis.
5
votes
1answer
270 views

Cannot recognise the kanji in a cartouche 保里尾[ ][ ][ ]晴

In the context of a C19th work titled Takamatsu no shiro mizuzeme no zu, "Picture of the Flooding of Takamatsu Castle" (髙松城水責之圖 with furigana たかまつのしろみづぜめのづ), there is a name cartouche, but I am ...
0
votes
2answers
162 views

Transcribing iteration marks: kunojiten , くの字点

The iteration marks 々, ヽ, ヾ, ゝ, ゞ are slightly smaller than standard kana, and are often seen in print when a contemporary scholar is transcribing text, a printmaker's seal, etc. My question relates ...
2
votes
2answers
176 views

'to appear': arawareru, arawaruru, and arawaru

Arawareru, あらわれる: "to appear, to come in sight, to become visible, to materialize, to manifest." It looks as if arawareru can be written: 現れる, 現われる, 表れる, 表われる, 顕れる, 顕われる (Readings: 現 = gen, ken, ...
9
votes
1answer
187 views

Did つ (助数詞) actually mean の?

There are quite a few examples were tsu actually means no. まつ毛・睫毛・睫 matsuge actually comes from 目の毛 me no ke (ma is another pronunciation for 目 me) 沖つ宮 okitsumiya(aslo written 沖津宮, but, as Meikyou ...
3
votes
1answer
266 views

Why is 「てふ」 pronounced 「ちょう」?

I recently purchased a copy of One Hundred Leaves: A new annotated translation of the Hyakunin Isshu to try and improve my Japanese reading level. In addition to the English translation, each poem ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

What verb form is くださねばなるまい

The following is from a mystery manga. The criminal mastermind is lamenting that his accomplice Masumi failed to properly kill Kimisawa. ますみの奴・・・ 最後の最後でしくじったな あの至近距離でよもや急所をはずす ...
4
votes
1answer
121 views

What does 「なりき」 mean in this context?

I came across the sentence 「宇宙KOMAなりき」in a Dragon Ball song. The context is like this: 回り磁極踊れば 大地も空も 世界は巡る 宇宙KOMAなりき The song lyrics are here: http://www.kget.jp/lyric/112532/KOMA_CHIHO What ...
3
votes
1answer
164 views

How do I understand 「わが身世にふる ながめせし間に」

This might be a difficult question but let me give it a try here. I have trouble understanding this poem by 小野小町: 花の色は うつりにけりな いたづらに わが身世にふる ながめせし間に I understand that the words 「ふる」 and 「ながめ」 are ...
7
votes
1answer
213 views

I know that the word 広し means 広い, but which rule or grammar is included?

The sentence is from my textbook みんなの日本語 世界広しといえども ... that means 世界が広いと言っても ... right? But what function has it when you use 広し instead of 広い? During some research I found this Website/ ...
3
votes
1answer
174 views

what is a meaning of しければ in a classical japanese?

I'm stuck with this sentence - "いかにも山の中に只だ独り居たるに人の気はひのしければ少し生き出づる心地して見出だしければ" It's part of the folktale "鬼に瘤取らるる事". I know that ば mean to indicate end of statement in classical japanese, so does it ...
3
votes
2answers
96 views

寄らば from 寄らば大樹の陰

I have trouble understanding the 寄らば from 寄らば大樹の陰. I know it comes from 寄る (to approach/to come near). But how does it becomes 寄らば and what meaning it implies? The ば should be the same as 寄れば. But I ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

What is this 連用形+ゆる grammar? How is it different from the potential form?

I have come across this grammar a lot lately: 連用形+ゆる For example, in this comment, 文語と現代語を交じたる文はインターネットで見ゆるなあ I've also heard しゆる. Judging from the context I think that this grammar is similar ...
4
votes
1answer
82 views

What is the way 召されなば is conjugated?

In a bit old Japanese, the phrase: 草鞋{わらじ}を召{め}されなば means "if you (talking to a superior) put on the straw sandals" (I assume from the context). Where does the conjugation ~なば of 召される come from?
0
votes
1answer
93 views

What do the Long vowel rule and Palatalized long vowel rule represent?

In relation to the Classical Japanese orthography what are the Long vowel (長音 Chōon) rule and the Palatalized long vowel (開拗長音 Kaiyōchōon) rule? What would be some examples of them?
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Where does the particle は come from?

In A Dictionary to Basic Japanese Grammar, it says under the conditional ば that this is the origin of the topic particle は but I haven't been able to find where this claim comes from. Does anyone know ...
4
votes
1answer
188 views

What is かたじけのう?

This is a quotation from a fairy tale. A young man was turned into a samurai: 信じがたきことなれど、拙者サムライでござる。かたじけのうござる。 I read the first part as 'Although it is hard to believe, I am a samurai'. What is ...
8
votes
1answer
171 views

Name of レ点 in 漢文

In 漢文, why is the レ used for レ点? Is it purely a graphic representation of returning to an earlier point in the text, or does レ stand for some word?
0
votes
1answer
798 views

When was this Japanese standard and why this is so different from modern Japanese?

朕󠄁惟フニ我カ皇祖皇宗國ヲ肇󠄁ムルコト宏遠󠄁ニ德ヲ樹ツルコト深厚ナリ我カ臣民克ク忠ニ克ク孝ニ億兆心ヲ一ニシテ世世厥ノ美ヲ濟セルハ此レ我カ國體ノ精華ニシテ敎育ノ淵源亦實ニ此ニ存ス爾臣民父母ニ孝ニ兄弟ニ友ニ夫婦󠄁相和シ朋友相信シ恭儉己レヲ持シ博󠄁愛衆ニ及󠄁ホシ學ヲ修メ業ヲ習󠄁ヒ以テ智能ヲ啓󠄁發シ德器ヲ成就シ進󠄁テ公󠄁益ヲ廣メ世務ヲ開キ常ニ國憲ヲ重シ國法ニ遵󠄁ヒ一旦緩󠄁急󠄁...
10
votes
2answers
366 views

Similarity between 挟む and 狭む

today I came across a certain sentence and I was confused by one word in it: 親指の腹で石を支えながら、人差し指と中指の間に挟む。 When I read this, I mistook 挟む for 狭{せば}む, and apparently, 狭{せば}む is barely used outside ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

What does 「/\」 mean in this sentence?

皆さん、こんにちは! Now, I've been reading 竹取物語 and have come across (another) set of symbols that I've yet to understand. Given the following sentence. かくて翁やう/\豐になり行く。 What does the sudden 「/\」 mean?
5
votes
1answer
496 views

What does「ゝ」mean?

Now, I've been at least trying to read 竹取物語, and in the second sentence of my version it shows a odd symbol that I've yet to see. 野山にまじりて、竹を取りつゝ、萬づの事に使ひけり。 The symbol in question is the 「ゝ」 what ...
5
votes
1answer
441 views

Can 〜んとする mean “to pretend, to act as if”?

I'm trying to understand the meaning of the first sentence: 刀の力で日本を牛耳らんとする玲爾{れいじ}たち。その企みを見抜いた晴馬{はるま}たちは...etc. My translation would be "Reiji and his men are not trying to control Japan with the ...
3
votes
1answer
354 views

Please help me understand this たる?

Please help me understand this たる! 焼きたる 在りたる
7
votes
4answers
494 views

How do Japanese make language sound old (e. g. in historical dramas)?

When English speakers try to make a text sound old (like in historical dramas), they for example use "thou" together with the "-st" verb ending. What's the equivalent in Japanese, i.e. what kind of ...
4
votes
1answer
215 views

Older Jp had much fewer particles (助詞) ? — The modern “use ALL the particles” written style

. . . A perhaps pedantic comment: The idea that everything has a particle in theory, which is either "dropped" or not, is actually relatively modern. In earlier forms of Japanese, there were many ...