The Japanese Language

Discuss literature (e.g. books, newspapers), educational studies (getting help or opinions on homework or an essay), and philosophy.

Unread postby Shadowlink » Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:38 pm

Man everytime I hear Yukimara and Zhao Yun speak in Japanese it is alway dono. My lord! MY LORD! MY LORD! LORD LIU BEI! OMG!
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Unread postby Yun Shou » Sun Apr 08, 2007 9:48 pm

Japanese, in my opinon, is something of a confliction. On one hand, it's a sublime and delicate language, yet on the other, it's aggressive and bludgeoning.
I suppose any language can host these aspects, but i feel it's more prominent in Japanese. Is it true that the same word spoken in contrasting tones can mean entirely different things?
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Unread postby urbanterrorist » Sun Apr 08, 2007 11:51 pm

In my school we use distance learning for Japanese. We watch videos that come from a Georgia based company called Irasshai. They have preplanned lessons made and all that stuff.

We did it this way.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Wed May 02, 2007 8:58 am

Ok, I really don't understand why this bothers me so much, but Zhuge Liang's politeness in Dynasty Warriors gives me the creeps somehow. I finally got around to playing as him, and... aargh! When he takes over an enemy base, he'd say, "kono kyuten-wa watashi-ga senkyushimashita" (I couldn't tell whether it's kyu or kyuu :oops: ). It's like, you're on a friggin' battlefield, and you just fought your way in and took over someone else's supply base. Stop being so formal and pretentious!

I really need to stop whining about this. I don't even know Japanese well enough to be qualified to complain... :?

---

Oh, and while we're on the subject of pronouns, some characters in DW refer to themselves as sessha (Guan Yu, Xu Huang, Zhou Tai, and probably a few others). They're always talking about "sessha no bu" :roll:. In Kanji it's 拙者, right? Is that phrase even used in Chinese? The Chinese subtitles would translate it as 拙者, but it feels weird to me because I don't recall it used in even Chinese period literature or period drama. Is it the same as the Chinese 在下?

And why does Wei Yan use ware? I thought that's supposed to be old fashioned or formal?

How is waga used? Is it just a possessive form ("my/our"), or can it also be a regular pronoun?

And does anyone know if kisama has historically always been an insulting form of "you", or did it start off being polite (as the kanji would imply), and degenerate from there?
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Unread postby Starscream » Wed May 02, 2007 3:54 pm

I guess Zhuge Liang's speech pattern is to mirror his depiction as a scholarly and calm person. No matter what the situation turns out to be, Zhuge Liang must never lose his cool and start adopting the rougher speech patterns of the likes of Zhang Fei. It will be very out of character indeed. :lol:

And yeah, 拙者 and the Chinese 在下 seem quite similar in use. 拙者 literally means, "this unworthy/untalented person" when the speaker refers to himself. In short, it's a humble expression.

"Ware" means me, oneself, self or ego. "Waga" means mine, one's own, our. "Ware" is a pronoun (with a tone of familiarity) while "waga" is attached to another noun to mean "my/our noun" in humble form. "Waga-noun" is usually used in contexts like, our nation, our home, etc. Similarly, our home can be expressed as, "wareware no ie".

Have I successfully confused you yet? :twisted:

I answer the "kisama" question from my dictionary. "Kisama" is a word used for addressing another person. In the past, it is used to address a person with a higher social status. At present, it is used to address a close friend or used as a form of abuse in certain situation.

Anyway, I'll leave this to the native speakers to explain in greater detail.
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Thu May 03, 2007 8:23 am

I'm even less qualified to talk about Japanese, but in reply to this:

Japanese, in my opinon, is something of a confliction. On one hand, it's a sublime and delicate language, yet on the other, it's aggressive and bludgeoning.
I suppose any language can host these aspects, but i feel it's more prominent in Japanese. Is it true that the same word spoken in contrasting tones can mean entirely different things?


Err- I think the tonal aspect is talking about Mandarin, but I cant be 100% sure that Japanese has no tones at all (I dont think it does though!)

I know that Japanese sometimes have problems learning Mandarin Chinese because of the 4th tone (or at least a kid at my school who was Japanese was learning Mandarin and had trouble with it), the reason, she said, is that Japanese dont like to sound forceful (or at least I think a large proportion), so the 4th tone is hard for them, being a downward and hard tone.

Has anyone else heard of this phenomenon?
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Unread postby FuguNabe » Thu May 03, 2007 10:12 am

Aggressive or delicate depend on the sex of the speaker. There's a male and female way of talking Japanese afterall. If you get over basic Japanese you'll understand the differences between masculine and feminine wordings in the language. Not to mention the expectedly different tone between the two sexes. There's also the superior (often degrading others) way of talking as well.
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Unread postby Shi Tong » Thu May 03, 2007 10:33 am

I understand that FuguNabe, but I was pretty sure that changing a tone didn't actually change the meaning of the word, at least, not in the way that it does in Chinese- like "Mao" in first tone means cat, "mao" in second tone means fur and "mao" in fourth tone means hat.
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Unread postby Lady Wu » Sat May 12, 2007 1:02 am

Starscream wrote:I guess Zhuge Liang's speech pattern is to mirror his depiction as a scholarly and calm person. No matter what the situation turns out to be, Zhuge Liang must never lose his cool and start adopting the rougher speech patterns of the likes of Zhang Fei. It will be very out of character indeed. :lol:

Yeah, but what's funny is that he's more polite than his wife, Yue Ying, who in the same situation would use "senkyushita" instead of "senkyushimashita" (the only two other characters who use the latter form are Diao Chan and Zhen Ji :shock:).
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Unread postby Starscream » Sat May 12, 2007 6:16 am

Lady Wu wrote:Yeah, but what's funny is that he's more polite than his wife, Yue Ying, who in the same situation would use "senkyushita" instead of "senkyushimashita" (the only two other characters who use the latter form are Diao Chan and Zhen Ji :shock:).


Hah. Then it gives me an assumption that, Yue Ying, compared to Diao Chan or Zhen Ji, was a lady of lower "pedigree" and this is why she would adopt a more casual speech pattern than Diao Chan and Zhen Ji (court ladies belonging to powerful houses). Zhuge Liang as compared to his wife, was a scholar and a role model for everyone, must maintain the dignified image!! :lol:

I don't know. I usually think that women should always be more polite in speech. An exception will be Zhu Rong probably.
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