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japanese is a fun language (fun fact: all languages are fun)

from the perspective of an english speaker, japanese is super entertaining to me with how vastly different it is from english structure. what better way to illustrate those differences than word by word (by particle...) comparison to a translation?

here i'm using lyrics from PiNK CAT by GARNiDELia since i think lyrics are probably an easier to use as examples. also english translation done by misa-chan <3 (always pay respects to translators)
i'll bold something that doesn't make it into the translation/doesn't appear to, and explain it if i can! underlines are just english used in the original line

i'm only doing the first two lines but by the end i hope people can understand a little bit about why i'm so crazy about languages

昨日Kissまだ Yesterday’s Kiss is still

//// to start, these phrases actually match quite well in that the word placement is the same in both the original line, and the translate line. this isn't that rare, but there plenty of times it's completely reversed.

"昨日" alone means yesterday while "" is a particle, and particles are pretty important to japanese. i'll leave that explanation for when i talk about "". for now, i'll say functionally serves as an " 's ", it indicates possession. it can also serve to modify something as an adjective or to mean "of", though neither are happening in this case.

まだ doesn't have a real direct translation but it's essentially like "not yet" which can be and is better said in this context as "still"

- the particle talk <3 to start, is used to indicate the subject in this line . in english, we don't use a particle for this. we could say "look at the tree" and the obvious subject is the tree, even though there's nothing to necessarily indicate that. ("the" is not a subject indicator, it's a particle that just shows it's a noun. if i said "look at tree" the subject is still clearly "tree") english is also kind of wordy, we use a lot of extra words.

in japanese, you can basically strip things to their bare bones. so instead of saying something like "today, i walked my dog" you literally say "today, dog walked" but that's pretty vague, which is why japanese relies a lot on particle usage. also, it highly expects you to use your brain to put two and two together. if you asked me what i did today and you were aware i had a dog and i said "today dog walked" it'd be more clear that what i mean is that i walked my dog, but completely out of context it sounds weird and cryptic. that's why context is really important in japanese and it makes translating it REALLY hard if the context isn't totally clear.

so with that out of the way, you understandand all other particles like it easier conceptually. as i said before, in this line indicates a subject and it's being used with "kiss" here, making it our subject. it's specifically the subject in that it's performing an action, which we'll see in the next line.

ココロ支配して Controlling my heart

/// there's the reverse order like i mentioned beforeeee... in japanese, verbs are actually put at the end of the sentences. always. so that's why "支配", which means control, is at the end here. verbs in japanese are like english in that it uses different tenses, like "-ing" and so that's "して" here. and so, control becomes controlling and of course "ココロ" literally means "heart".

now you may wonder: where's "my" coming from here? we learned before that の indicates possession, and this can also be in the form of like "my" but that's not in this line. the thing is...
there's nothing in this line, the one before, or even the next that says anything whatsoever like "my"!
however, this isn't a mistranslation. like i mentioned in my particle talk, japanese is a vague language. part of this vagueness is the tendency to omit words like "i" because unless there's context that might make it confusing, other people should be able to assume and understand you're referring to yourself. like introducing yourself, in english i would say "my name is angel" but in japanese, i can just say "angel"! that simple. we COULD do that in english, but we have a wordly language that makes us think in a wordy way so even if there's no reason to assume i'm saying anything besides my name, it's still preferable for me to make an indication that i'm introducing myself.
so: in this case, it's assumed this heart being controlled belongs to the singer even if it's not literally said since the only other noun, the kiss, already belongs to yesterday

: now for our particle... this one's really simple but i struggle explaining it simply so in the words of this website, "the thing directly before “wo” is the object of the verb" in this case is being used for ココロ, heart, and the verb that's after it is 支配, control so it's the heart being controlled

also something you might notice is, japanese doesn't use any spaces between words. if you only know languages that use spaces to differentiate words, it might sound strange but it's actually not that hard of a concept! trywritinglikethis,whereyoudon''sactuallynotmuchdifferent.mostpeoplethatarefluentinenglishwouldstillbeabletoreadthis. though, there is a practical reason we don't write english words like that and it's simply that this language isn't built that way, unlike japanese where you can even write from top to bottom and it feels completely natural. but for english, reading individually written english letters top to bottom makes me dizzy.

aaand that's it because my wrist hurts but i might make more posts like this, it's fun <3

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kimchi's profile picture

i agree with your statement .. my native is japanese and back when i was learning english my head was hurting from being confused and stuff x_x japanese is just a fun and easy language tbh!

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yeah, japanese is pretty nice and straightforward, while english is sort of a mess >< i feel like it's pretty hard to learn, so congrats on learning english!

by angel; ; Report

ty!! if only english was just simple and fun 2 begin with ,,

by kimchi; ; Report