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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

2級 Grammar 86-90

Whew - it has been a long, long time since I've posted anything, and Jeff has been double-timing it in my absence. Well... that might not be fair to say since he usually does 4/5 of the work anyhow, but plus-one-quarter-timing it isn't as catchy. Still, I'm back from America, so I may as well share some of the wisdom I (re)gained setting foot in the best United States I know. Those of America, of course.

86) ~とか
it seems like ~
I heard/read that ~

When I first saw this phrase, I thought "oh man, I know the hell out of 「とか」, this'll be cake". Little did I know there's another usage beyond the "...and such" tag "とか" conveys for lists. Still, this one is pretty straight forward. It's a lot like "そうだ", and is best used in situations where you're talking about something you learned or observed third-hand.

Ex. 僕の日本人の友達とアメリカについてはなすたびに、かれらは「アメリカはとても危険な国だとか」と言っている。 やばいところもあるんだが、俺にとって困ったこと無し。

87) ~どころか (1)
~ is definitely not the case, but rather ~
~ is not true at all, it's ~

This is a fun little grammar point when you want to stress that something is completely contrary to a certain belief. It also asks no modification, and can be stuck between two clauses with very little effort.

Ex. アメリカ人の皆が銃持ってるどころか、僕の友達の中で一人ぐらいが持ってるぞ。

88) ~どころか (2)
Of course ~, but even ~ is okay/not okay.

This one took me awhile to translate, partially because I looked at it from the wrong angle at first. I'll let the book's definition speak for itself as a disclaimer
So the idea is that of course 'A' condition is/isn't met, but 'B' condition is/isn't met, either/too. An example might help better than my ranting...

Ex: アメリカの芝にあるフラミンゴがたくさんどころか、この畸形もある。

89) ~どころではない ・ ~どころではなく
~is DEFINITELY not the case

This one is simple - a more powerful assertion that something is not true. Think number 87 on speed.

Ex. いつも同じことに関する文を作ることはやさしいどころではなく、僕の大好きなアメリカにつて文もういいです。

90) ~ところに ・ ~ところへ ・ ~ところを
RIGHT as ~ happens, ...
just as ~, ...

Another pretty straight-forward grammar point, which means exactly what it appears to mean. My only glitch here is when to use に、へ、or を... but I'm afraid that's a question for a different grammar point.

Ex. アメリカはうんざりするところに、アメリカの旗を見るとうれし泣きする。

IMPORTANT NOTE: Check the comments section for corrections from blue, a native speaker and friend of the Yoji.


blue said...

I do not want to discourage you but those Japanese examples were not quite right.

Ex. アメリカ人の皆が銃持ってるどころか、僕の友達の中で一人ぐらいが持ってるぞ。

I think this should be


According to my dictionary,
“~どころか、”denies the sentence before that in order to make an emphasis on the sentence after that.



I have never heard of this kind of usage.
~どころか、is usually used for the negative meaning.
But then, of course I can be wrong. Maybe some other way to use it.

EX. アメリカの芝にあるフラミンゴがたくさんどころか、この畸形もある。


This means
"Tough I had heard there were many flamingos on the lawn in America, instead I saw the weird bird like this."

Ex. いつも同じことに関する文を作ることはやさしいどころではなく、僕の大好きなアメリカにつて文もういいです。

I'm sorry I do not quite understand what you mean by this.
Write it in English.

Ex. アメリカはうんざりするところに、アメリカの旗見るとうれし泣きする。

I do not understand this either.

I always learn intersting Japanese and English from you.
Keep up with your good work!

AzzidisRidden said...

Hey blue,

Thanks for all of your tips and advice. The part with 「Aはもちろん、Bも大丈夫だ。」 comes straight out of the textbook, so we feel confident about that one, but as for the other stuff, thank you for all your corrections and native speaker example sentences.

Instead of going back and fixing Brett's post, we'll just make a note to have people read your comment for clarification and corrections!

Also, can you email me at bobbyjudo@gmail.com? I've been following your blog posts and I have a lot of questions I want to ask and things I want to talk about with you, but your comments are disabled!

If you want to talk about some of the issues on your blog, give me an email. You write a lot of thought-provoking, controversial things.

blue said...

After posting that,
I realized I had been wrong.
Sorry about that.
~どころか、can be used for not only the line with a negative meaning but for the one with a positive meaning as well.


As for「Aはもちろん、Bも大丈夫だ。」,
I had to think about what was the appropriate example for a while.


Also I thought
Ex. アメリカ人の皆が銃持ってるどころか、僕の友達の中で一人ぐらいが持ってるぞ。
got something very wrong, fundamentally wrong, but I could not figure out exactly what it was.
But now I know why.
For you, with American standard, the fact that only one person got a gun out of all your friends is good or at least not too bad.
However, with Japanese standard, that is still pretty baaaad.
Therefore this ex. does not make much sense for Japanese.

Wow, probably you are the only one follows that crappy blog.
Thanks anyway.
"You write a lot of thought-provoking, controversial things."
That's exactly why I disabled the comments since they can attract those stupid people to post stupid comments.
I started that for just English writing, not for socializing or any preaching.

I will send a Hi-mail later.
But do not expect too much about discussing those issues heavily.
It will take too long to explain them properly.

AzzidisRidden said...

Thanks again. I think Brett's sentence with ところが is not meant to compare Japanese and American standards, but it's meant to compare the idea that EVERYONE has a gun, with the reality that out of dozens and dozens of Brett's friends, only ONE has a gun. A 1 in 20 or 1 in 50, or 1 in a hundred ratio might still seem bad to Japanese people, but compared to 100% it's better, right?

I wrote a post on here a long time ago about struggling to say things in proper Japanese, without being Japanese. For an American, this statement makes sense, and if you wanted to express this statement in Japanese, what should you say?

My goal in speaking/learning Japanese is to be able to communicate the things I want to communicate with proper grammar, even if they're not necessarily things that other people agree with or expect/want to hear...

I think you know what that's like :)

I look forward to your email.

Defendership said...

Sorry to be late on responding - I've never enabled any settings that lets me get immediately notified when these posts are replied to, so if I don't visit the page regularly I don't get all the updates.

for "いつも同じことに関する文を作ることはやさしいどころではなく、僕の大好きなアメリカにつて文もういいです。", I wanted to say that "Always writing sentences about the same things is definitely not easy, so I think that's enough sentences about my beloved America"

The idea is that usually when I do grammar points, I try to tie them all together with a common theme... which unfortunately has the side effect of me either running out of ideas or bending grammatical points past their limits to try and convey a thematic message, as happened here.

as for "アメリカはうんざりするところに、アメリカの旗を見るとうれし泣きする。"(I just added in the "を", missed it last time), this doesn't make as much sense if it's removed from the previous sentence, but the idea is that in the previous sentence I'm saying "okay, okay, enough about America, writing about the same thing over and over again is way too hard". And in this sentence, it's "Just when I'm getting sick of America, I see the American flag and cry in joy". The joke here being not so much that I'm that nuts about the American flag, but rather that it's being worn by a very attractive woman.

Thanks a lot for your feedback, blue, and please don't feel like I was ignoring you. A lot of times I end up playing fast and loose with the grammar here and end up getting burned, but I learn a lot from it and I'm glad to have you here.

blue said...

As for "いつも同じことに関する文を作ることはやさしいどころではなく、僕の大好きなアメリカにつて文もういいです。"

"いつも同じことに関する文を書くことは、やさしいどころではなく、僕の大好きなアメリカについての文ですら、もういいです(orもうたくさんです, or もうウンザリです。"


You usually say "文章を書く"

On the other hand, "文章を作る" can be used like these.

For this case, writing is a part of the project or the production to creat something, in this case, the poster. Therefore "作る(creat)" can fit well.
We have to Constract(elaborate) sentences with full of observation and sensibility in order to express the changes of four seasons lyrically.
Since this writing is more creative than regular one, "作る" can fit nicely.
However, in both of the cases, you can say "文章を書く". So I think usage of "書く" is safer for you till you learn the subtle differences.

As for "アメリカはうんざりするところに、アメリカの旗を見るとうれし泣きする。"


Mmmm, this one is tough. How can I explain the difference?
Actually it is not about "を" you added.

You had been in the condition of A ところに、B happened and as the result of B, unexpectedly C happened.
I think you have to be able to see the flow of the time and the clear development of the event in sentences with ~ところへ, which I do not see in your ex..

Sorry, I might be way off as I am not a Japanese specialist.
Pardon me if I am wrong.

Defendership said...

All of your edits make sense to me, though I understand what you mean by grappling with the nuance - that's what learning a new language is all about, right? :)

Interestingly, there are some similarities in how you'd talk about making or writing sentences in English. Making has the same creative force behind the creation of the sentence that 作る might convey, whereas write is more of a plain any-case verb. That'll help me remember a lot.

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