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2266Re: No means no...?

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  • Erin Kelly
    Dec 1, 2000
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      When I was studying [modern] Japanese [language], it
      was helpful to me to think of *no* as "'s." It sticks
      onto a noun and implies its posession of something.
      So *Tanaka-no hon* translates pretty slickly as
      "Tanaka's book." (The word order can be different, but
      the -no still sticks with the posessor: you could say
      *Hon-wa, Tanaka-no des* - "About the book, it's
      Tanaka's.") It breaks down a little for an English
      brain when you start thinking of "Fukushima's Jiro,"
      but you get the idea.

      (Once you get your head around Jiro, we'll tell you
      you also can use it with adjectives - IIRC, you can
      answer an informal question like "which car" with
      something like "blue's," to mean "the blue one.")

      You may have noticed that Japanese plays a bit fast
      and loose with articles and little qualifying words
      compared to English. Words like *muyo* incorporate
      concepts that take several words in English - it
      doesn't need a "for" or a posession to modify Tenchi.
      You really shouldn't read too much into the choice of
      words in English, because "No Need for Tenchi" is
      really just a translational smoothing of "Tenchi
      extraneous."

      Now if you want to get really confused, try to figure
      out when you use *-tono* and when you use *-dono.*
      (That's almost on topic, isn't it? ;)

      ERIN

      (I really ought to find me a Japanese language list...natsukashii.)
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