Sunday, 14 August 2016

The Japanese particle no (の) in titles of songs, movies etc.

Every time you google the Japanese particle you'll get the same results. The possessive aspects of it are pretty well explained. But it bugs me that no one points out its other use, which is to show the title of piece of art, whether it's a movie or a song.

Here's two song titles:


If you were to translate these using the conventional way, it would make no sense.

"Of 1000 words"
"The payapaya of the kitten"

When is used in a title without a subject, it doesn't show possession. Think of it as an artistic way of naming things. So, the correct translations of these songs would be:

1000 words
Payapaya the kitten

I don't think there will ever be a direct translation of the meaning of this particular use of , but I hope this helps someone understand a song title better. Wish someone told me this when I was starting out :)

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Things that only Japanese/ Chinese learners will understand

Sometimes the absurdity of the situation is too much not to laugh. I was thinking casually the other day, how many times a kanji mnemonic started with:
A woman was sitting on a stool.. 
奴(やつ, guy)
致す (いたす) means to do
倒す(たおす), however, means to overthrow.

If your leader tells you to do something, it usually means to overthrow the enemy.
Furthermore, who can forget the classic elephant / phenomenon 象 that once you add a person in there becomes a statue. 像

I'm sure that if all learners got together we could produce a bible of jokes inspired by the sheer absurdity of the Japanese language.