Tuesday, August 4, 2009

日本語 勉強 - かてない!

I'd like to share little bits of Japanese language I learn along the way. I feel it helps to solidify my grasp of it, and helps me to remember as well.

Makiko and I had a good discussion tonight. We bounce back and fourth with questions of how you say this in English, or how you say that in Japanese. We both gain a lot from teaching eachother.

She saw Harry potter last night, and I asked her how it was. Her response was something along the lines of "The movie based on the book didn't win" It took a moment for me to figure out what she was trying to say. It was the direct translation of :

"hon wo beesu ni shita eiga wa hon ni katenai."
which is basically:
"the movie based on the book can not win against the book"

so, I taught her "The movie didn't/couldn't compare to the book" or "the movie wasn't as good as the book" etc etc. There are so so many ways to say the same thing in English. I'm often surprised at how simply concepts can be conveyed in a Japanese sentence. It's usually very direct. English is so complicated, I'm so grateful that I'm not studying English as a second language. むりそう!  seems impossible. (? i never know if i say things correctly when i make things up..)

anyway, the lesson I learned here is a natural way to say "doesn't compare/ isn't as good as" I suppose you could say "~~no hou ga ii" ... or ~~ yori etc... but anyway, to break down what I learned:

かつ - to win

(まける - to lose)

〜〜は 〜〜に かてない。
えいがは 本に かてない。
eiga wa hon ni katenai.
the movie wasn't as good as the book (literally- the movie lost to the book)

(i think here we have the lovely "は” for use in a negative sentence. i mention this simple point because i'm still trying to get used to it)

I love this example of the different ways english and Japanese approach the same concept. I feel i hear "katsu" and "makeru" often. I know I've heard "makenai!" (i won't lose!) before. Thinking in terms of "winning" and "losing" seems to be common/important to the culture.

This reminds me, I'd like to teach Makiko "~~didn't live up to~~"
"the movie didn't live up to the book" "the movie didn't live up to the hype"

1 comment:

shellechan said...

Speaking of "katsu"...I made Misokatsu tonight. Oishii sou! That's good that you're posting up what you learn in Japanese--otherwise you might forget it later.